Thursday, September 8, 2011

An Interview with Chrystalla Thoma.



In a world where parasites create new human races, Elei leads a peaceful life as an aircar driver — until a mysterious attack on his boss sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side. Pursued for a secret he does not possess and with the fleet at his heels, he has but one thought: to stay alive. His pursuers aren’t inclined to sit down and talk, although that’s not the end of Elei’s troubles. The two powerful parasites inhabiting his body, at a balance until now, choose this moment to bring him down, leaving Elei with no choice but to trust in people he hardly knows in a mad race against time. It won’t be long before he realizes he must find out this deadly secret – a secret that might change the fate of his world and everything he has ever known – or die trying.


Cindy: Hi Chrystalla. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Chrystalla: Hello! Thanks for having me here. What can I tell you about myself? Well, here are 5 not-so-random facts:

I am an author of fantasy and science fiction

I hate mint ice-cream and all sweet minty stuff (like After Eights!)

I am Greek Cypriot, which means, a) my native language is Greek, and b) I am not really Greek but close (lol).

I love the sea.

My dream is to travel to Italy, India and Japan some day.

Cindy: What inspired you to write this book?

Chrystalla: Two main themes run through the book, in my view. The first one has to do with our perception of the others. How do we know whom to trust? How far can we trust our feelings? Is logic and facts the most important thing or gut feeling and instinct? The second was my fascination with parasites, which are quasi-mythological beings in what they can do – the ways they can alter behavior, change our body from the inside, give it abilities or kill it to serve their own interests. What they can do is nothing short of magic. So you could say that Rex Rising is actually on the borderline between science fiction and paranormal.


Cindy: The blurb for your book is very interesting. I'm curious about how parasites can make new human races. Could you share more about that?

Chrystalla: First of all, “race” is an unclear concept, but I used it in the sense of “species” (maybe a little clearer, lol). Species differ in their genetic encoding, even if the difference is sometimes very small. I read a lot about a parasite called Wollbachia which transfers parts of its genes to its host (see http://www.rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=2963) and can completely change the population, transforming all into females and only allowing the birth of females (http://www.nature.com/news/1998/990429/full/news990429-8.html). In fact, the parasite takes over its host so completely (and its whole generation of hosts) that it cannot reproduce if it is not infected with Wolbachia and in some cases they can reproduce asexually (http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2002/07/03_paras.html). And this is just one parasite. The world of parasites is just amazing. Although Wolbachia does not infect humans (or even mammals in general, I believe), it was my prototype for Regina, the parasite that created the Gultur all-women race in Rex Rising.

Cindy: How did you come up with the title?

Chrystalla: This is Book One of Elei’s Chronicles, and it documents the rise of Rex, the King who will fight Regina, the parasite that created the Gultur race. Book Two will be called Rex Cresting, as it will document Rex in its full powers.

Cindy: Tell me more about the world building/setting.

Chrystalla: The world of Rex Rising consists of seven islands. Dakru is the central one, and the other six are clustered around it. More about the islands will be revealed in Book 2. After a war between the Gultur and the other humans, hundreds of years ago, the Gultur emerged victorious and control the world – the resources and people. The rest of the humans live in poverty and misery, and there are rumors that the Gultur, who reproduce asexually (without need of men) are contemplating a cleansing of the Seven Islands, especially targeting the men.

Cindy: Who is your favorite character in the book?

Chrystalla: Elei. He goes through some very traumatic experiences but his instinct leads him right to where he can find a family in the chaos that surrounds him. I also love Kalaes and Hera. They are mad and nice in their own ways.

Cindy: What made you decide to Indie publish? Are you happy with your decision?

Chrystalla: First of all I was very curious. I heard tales from different self-published authors and wanted to get a taste of that freedom – the freedom of choosing your own cover, your price, your editor... Everything. I like the feeling of total control it gives me and the good royalty it pays. So far I do like it a lot!

Cindy: Is there anything else you would like to share about the book?

Chrystalla: I am currently writing both a sequel, called Rex Cresting, and a sort of prequel which is in reality Kalaes’ story and what went before with him before he met Elei. Finally, I have just finished writing a novelette which gives a glimpse into Hera’s story.

Cindy: What can readers look for from you next?

Chrystalla: Well, as mentioned above, more stories from the world of Rex Rising. Next in my plans is a series of vampire romance set in Cyprus, and a thriller featuring an elf.

You can read more about my stories, either published, in progress or planned, as well as samples and free stories, on my blog:


You can find Rex Rising at the following distributors:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon DE

Smashwords


8 comments:

Chrystalla Thoma said...

Thanks for having me over today, Cindy! :)

Ey Wade said...

Great interview and I love the cover. What an amazing parasite. Isn't it something to be able to learn new things on the daily and incorporate it into our writings? Best of luck on all you do.

Michael Offutt said...

I have this on my to be read list already.

Chrystalla Thoma said...

Thank you Ey and Michael! :) Parasites are just crazy... :D (and I'm a big fan of the Alien movies)

Phoenix Sullivan said...

I've got the book on Kindle! Looking forward to reading it very soon. Nice behind the scenes chat!

Susan Fields said...

That does sound good! On the borderline between science fiction and paranormal - right up my alley. :) Thanks for a great interview!

Chrystalla Thoma said...

Thank you Phoenix and Susan! :) Glad to hear from alike-thinking minds!

Short Poems said...

Great interview, thanks for sharing with us!

All the best
Marinela