Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Interview with the incredibly talented author, Christine Cunningham ~Eternal Beginning

K-We are so happy to have you join us here. I read your book, ‘Eternal Beginning’, and I could not put it down. I read it in one sitting. It was like ‘The law of attraction’ and ‘Conversations with God’ – combined, condensed and very concise.

 It was very inspirational. I almost felt as though you were writing about your own experience. How did this book come about?

C—Hi, Kathleen! Thank you for having me. You are an astute reader because Eternal Beginning is based on my life experience. I was working at a job that paid bills and passed the time of the day, but I heard the call to live an inspired life rather than an expected life. I ignored the call until my health forced me to take time off of work and evaluate what I truly wanted from life. I had always wished to write a book and here was the opportunity. I read and listened to many inspired speakers at the time (and still continue to) and decided to write about my own journey to a brilliant life.

K- Please, describe your typical day, starting with waking up, food, drinks, everything in between, to bedtime.

C-I wake up sometimes with an alarm or often without. It mostly depends on how late I was up the night before writing or creating or simply enjoying life’s moments. I have a bowl of cereal, brew a pot of tea and turn on my computer to connect with fellow authors and readers. I’m a dedicated member of World Literary Cafe and have an active role building that author/reader community there. After clearing the boards I turn on the music station Pandora, choose a genre and dive into writing. Sometimes the story isn’t flowing, and I go play the piano or sew a new piece of clothing. It’s about doing what you want and doing it well. I usually scarf an Odwalla bar for lunch and more tea. I often think I could be so much more productive if I didn’t have to concern myself with food, but I’m grateful I have such easy means to satisfy myself. I take an afternoon walk with a friend or solo to readjust myself to the natural rhythms of the Earth and then have dinner. I love to laugh and I often indulge in watching a comedy during dinner. Then depending on what activity I’m currently enjoying, I usually close the day with reading a portion of a book and slip into dreamland.

K- How do you balance writing, promotional work & personal?

C-I set goals and have a flexible schedule for each day. I set the goal to release a set of five short stories once a month for a year and to release a novella every three to four months. Since I’m home, I’m easily accessible to family and friends and have an active social life. I leave myself open for life to dazzle me with surprises, and I enjoy life so much more. I do what I want when I want and life gives to me, and I joyfully give to others. It’s not always easy to stay in balance. I know when I fail to feel loving, or if I become afraid, it’s time to restore my inner balance and then all other aspects of life will fall into place.

K- Do you do your own editing and do you like it?

C-I have a love/hate relationship with editing. I generally do my own editing for my short stories and use a professional for my longer novellas. I love being able to experience my stories more than once, but it can be frustrating when I see mistakes. I’m a closet perfectionist, but I’m trying to get over it because mistakes can take a story in a new direction that I hadn’t considered before, much like life.

K-If you could name one thing that has driven your success, what would that be?

C-Love. Love of the craft. Love of sharing a story. Love of expressing my true self.

K- Now, let’s have some fun. If your book is made into a movie, who would you want to cast in the roles?

C-The actress I have in mind for the guide in Eternal Beginning would have to be Della Reese. She has the credentials and the presence to carry such an intense role. The person guided, now that’s a little more difficult. I intentionally left sex of the character unknown so all who read it could apply the lessons to themselves. Since it is from my perspective I think I would choose a woman for the role. I would love Audrey Hepburn to play that part, but since she’s unavailable at the moment I guess I would choose Kate Winslet.
K- Another fun ritual I enjoy with my guests is the writing exercise. I give you a scene and you re-write it in your own special style. Are you up for it?


K- Okay- here you go:

Kamlesh was Pratibha’s husband and Dimpy's father. He was a magic man of sorts. He was a guru with powers that many could not understand. Years before, Kamlesh and Pratibha had a happy life in the jungle. That was before that fateful day when the evil man threatened the lives of Kamlesh and his family. He was told he would have to leave forever or he and his family would be killed. He left that day and never returned. He had spent the rest of his days in solitude living in a cave, somewhere in a remote area of the mountainside.

Pratibha’s father, Dadoo, looked at his daughter sadly, regretting the past. He knew he must do the right thing.

"Tomorrow we will bring a search party of five men and we will begin the search for Kamlesh. I promise you my daughter I will bring your husband home. I will make this family whole again."
Dadoo looks like he had aged quite a bit in the past month. He was a small man with short silver hair and glasses. He had a wide jaw that now seemed to soften. A tiny bead of sweat rolled down his four head and into his eye. He wiped his eye with his jewelry-laden fingers. He had come to the realization that he had made a horrendous mistake, years back. He knew he was partially responsible and he fully intended to right this wrong.

C-Magic. That’s what separated me from my family. I use a piece of burnt wood to mark the passing of another day on the wall of my cave. Lightning flashes across the sky illuminating the tangle of trees and hidden horrors of my jungle home. My son Dimpy would have forgotten my face by now. He would hide behind the skirts of his mother and my wife Pratibha. My heart spasms painfully in my chest and I cover my face. She begged me to stay despite the warning. With a flick of my fingers, the nearest tree in front of my cave burst apart. It is this power, I hold that terrifies everyone except Pratibha. I stroke the wall of the cave wishing it was the face of my beloved. I left her before she could be taken from me. My hand binds into a fist and hits the wall with all my feelings of loss. The defect of my abilities, I can’t work magic when I’m afraid. And the man who threatened to take the life of my family if I stayed in my village terrifies me.
“Pratibha come here.”
“Yes, father.”
I wipe the face of my son and send him out to play with the other children. A woven blanket divides the living space in the hut. I grasp the edge of the blanket and pause before entering my father’s side.
“Yes, father, what do you wish?”
Firelight makes my father’s short gray hair glow like a halo around his head. Trickles of sweat make tiny rivers down his face and chest. He wipes his forehead with the palm of his hand. The rings on his fingers sparkle with jewels. I’m forcefully reminded that my life and the life of my son are tied to the whim of this tiny old man.
“Are you too hot father?”
I move to douse the flames, but my father waves for me to be still. I kneel at his feet and wait.
“I have decided it’s time for your husband to return.”
My breath catches in my throat, and tears spill down my cheeks. I grasp the hand of my father and lay my head in his lap. He rests his other hand on my head as he used to do when I was small.
“How will you find him?”
My father lifts my head smiles at me with something like regret in the back of his eyes.
“I have organized a troupe of men to find him. We will leave at dawn tomorrow.”

K-Wow!  That was a beautiful spin.  You have a lovely writing style.

What projects are you currently working on right now? Would you mind sharing them with us? 

C-I am currently working on the third book in my Willow Reed series Cinnamon Summer. If you want to get caught up in the series the begin with First Snow and second Spring Argyle. I’m also working on Volume four of my Five Fables series.
K-Christine, thank you so much for joining us.  It was a pleasure having you.  I hope you’ll return for a chat. In the meantime, where can we find you on the web?

C-It was utterly my pleasure to join you today. You can find me on Twitter , Facebook, my blog and my list of books on Amazon.  

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