Christina Maraziotis - A Thrilling Adventure Set in the Victorian Wild West
Christina was twenty-seven years old at the time she began writing Loveletting. Born and raised in Greece, she has always had an affinity for language; fluently speaking Greek, German, and English. After years of experimenting with different professions, suddenly it dawned on her: writing was the only thing that actually made sense. It all started with a simple prologue in the notes of her phone, and since then, she hasn’t missed a single day of writing and working on her very first novel series — breathing life into it, as it breathes life back into her. The primary goal as a writer is to strike certain melancholic chords in the heart while reading, pulling from deeply haunting personal experiences to create books that linger in the mind long after the story is finished. Her stories combine gothic romance, intense adventure with nerve-wracking suspense, entwined with vague and unsettling horror subplots — and a myriad of controversial subjects to challenge any reader’s views — all taking place in the historical setting of late 19th century Victorian west. Focus lays heavily on character development, as it is crucial to her and her story; for the reader to bond with the characters, and feel like they’re reading about an old friend. Her purpose is for the reader to be transported to another world, escaping from reality, and finding an eerie comfort within a haunting experience. As our Author of the Day, she tells us about her book, Haunt: A Novel.
Please give us a short introduction to what Haunt: A Novel is about.
Thank you for this opportunity! We follow a young Lady named Charlotte in her journey to find herself, and find her way through a world that isn't all that friendly to inhabit. Haunt, along with the entire Loveletting Series, is about psychology, philosophy, and the human condition down in its bones - and it uses equal parts romance, violence, terror, a dash of magical realism, and just a tiny bit of hope to tell the story.
What inspired you to write this story? Was there anything in particular that made you want to tackle this?
I've always been interested in these subjects, as we all are at some level, as we learn our way through the world. Wrapping a story around it, using partly my own life experiences and lessons along with the world that it is set within, happened rather naturally. It's not just a story for me; it's the story.
Why did you pick the Victorian Wild West as the backdrop for your story?
It's a very compelling period of our history that contains so much change in so short a time. This allows for some very interesting circumstances and plot lines that I cannot imagine working together in another period; either before or after it.
Have you always wanted to be an author?
I didn't always know I would be an author, however I was always the one to write far too many pages for an essay back in school. I've done many things in my life involving music or visual art, but absolutely nothing has captivated or fulfilled me in the way that authorship has.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
It's so peacefully addictive. I create whole entities out of thin air, along with the entire world they inhabit. I couldn't care less about the business or marketing aspects of it. I love to write for the sake of writing; if I were to win the lottery tomorrow I wouldn't change a thing.
Interesting cover. Please tell us more about it.
Thank you! My husband and I have been fine art photographers for a long time, so naturally we took this approach. That's actually him on the cover of Haunt, beneath the hat and behind the mask.
The book is also a love story at its heart. Why did you take this approach?
Love is the great motivator of life, is it not? Not just for us humans, but the actions of almost anything living can be boiled down to this. Love truly envelops everything, in one way or another.
Do any of your characters ever take off on their own tangent, refusing to do what you had planned for them?
Absolutely, and with no regard for my own safety - I just try to hang on. I spend a lot of time on character development, fleshing them out to the point where they truly become autonomous in some way even as they exist within my own brain.
What did you have the most fun with when writing this story?
The aforementioned character development is a big one, because where they take me is just as big a surprise for me as it is for the reader. Plot twists go hand in hand with this, as well as tons of easter eggs connecting otherwise distant plot lines together. My books are full of surprises, to keep both myself and the reader on their toes, and this is very fun indeed.
What was your greatest challenge?
Honestly, the biggest challenge is trying to keep the length of the story reasonable. These are long books and not for the faint of heart. Every scene is relevant; even if it may not seem so at the time, I guarantee you it is important later on. This is a bad thing for someone looking for a quick read to round out their challenge list, but very good news for someone looking for an epic new saga to lose themselves within and (hopefully) become obsessed over.
This is Book 1 of the Loveletting series. Can it be read as a standalone? How does it tie in with the other books in the series?
Yes, and thank you for helping me to clarify this. Haunt is the simplest book of the series, and it should be as the introductory chapter. It does have an ending, and Loveletting could stop there for a reader, but it is not intended to. Kind of like Harry Potter. The first book is an introduction into the world, and it does have a standalone "ending" where Harry saves the day...but to stop at book one, is only scratching the surface of the story. My loveletting series is entirely contiguous and in sequence; each book picks up precisely where the last left off, so they must be read in order to have a full understanding of the world.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
The first part of my writing day starts off groggy; usually from waking up with far too many urgent plot ideas the night before. A little bit of time with my animals, a little bit of chatting with my husband over coffee, and I am right at the computer where I spend most of my time these days as I continue this series. We live in a nice secluded area in the country so walks outside with our horses or along our lake with our dogs are nice punctuation to screen time. As for writing habits, I am fairly unusual in this regard. There's a whole world of amazing software that allows you to outline plots and storyboard ideas. I use none of it. I just sit down and the characters literally write themselves through my fingers, straight into InDesign so it looks like a book already. I think this is how I routinely manage 5-10,000 words a day. I have plenty of problems, but staring at a blank page isn't one of them.
What are you working on right now?
In general, I am midway through my first draft of book 16 in the Loveletting Series. Yep, 16. I'm currently taking a break to polish a third draft of book 3, Ghost, at the moment though. Having this 13-book lead on what has been published so far is wonderful as it allows me to go back and tie in certain things from the past with new ideas as I go along. Ghost will have a final pass with my editor, and we hope to have it to market long before the April 2024 pre-order date. We're also midway through the recording stage of an absolutely fantastic audiobook performance for my first book in the series, Haunt. We're incredibly lucky to have found the most amazingly talented female voice actor who is handling narration and female parts, as well as a male for all the varied male characters as well. A true duet performance, with a lot of heart and immersion evident already. I couldn't be more excited about everything that is happening, on all fronts!
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Definitely not out in the real world, until this series is done at least haha! The series is published wide in print, so you can find it at any retailer you prefer in softcover or hardback. Amazon has exclusive rights to the eBook versions, as I chose to enroll the series in Kindle Unlimited to make it free for readers. I'm active on Instagram (@christina.maraziotis) and we also have a new private Facebook Group called Loveletting Series News & Discussion. This is private to allow fans who have already read the series to discuss what happened, and there are quite a lot of puzzling things to discuss, so this has been a real treat to witness their interaction. So please feel free to join, but if you're new, do be careful as spoilers are inherent to the discussion group. Thank you once again for taking the time to speak with me, it's been my pleasure!
Darkly romantic and wickedly twisted; a thrilling new adventure set in the Victorian Wild West that will invade you, heart and mind, long after reading. ✦ GOLD WINNER | 2023 NEXT GENERATION INDIES AWARDS ✦ GOLD WINNER | 2023 FEATHERED QUILL BOOK AWARDS ✦ GOLD WINNER | 2023 BESTSELLERS WORLD AWARDS ✦ GOLD WINNER | 2023 LITERARY TITAN BOOK AWARDS ✦