Interview with Christina Bates

What's the story behind your latest book?
I started writing The Desert Princess and realized that there was more to the story than I initially thought. I had created this world with a lot of backstory to how everyone got to the places they start off in The Desert Princess. So I started writing The Sultan's Heir to share that backstory with my readers as well.

The Sultan's Heir blurb is:
The sultan is a dangerous man. His word is law, his rule is absolute, his lust to conquer... insatiable. The battle against Ronan that claims his father's life makes Erezhad the new sultan of Zaityra, and after years of suffering, Erezhad hopes to create a peaceful future for his people. His sister, the Princess Seraya, is dedicated to helping with her brother's goal of peace, even if it means working closely with a Ronan soldier.

But their new rule is on tenuous ground. The sheiks do not trust the new talks of peace and the people are anxious that their sultan has an heir to ensure the promised future, while the harem woman Zamaya watches and waits... and plots to manipulate the future for her own ends. The future of Zaityra depends on The Sultan's Heir.

After that, the story continues in The Desert Princess, and that blurb is:
Princess Althea of Ronan hoped to have just a few days of freedom after she snuck out of the palace in the middle of the night. Instead, she finds herself abducted and sold into slavery in the neighboring desert land of Zaityra… where she comes face to face with Sultan Ezhad.
Enamored with the wayward lady of Ronan, Sultan Ezhad promises to change her negative view of his land and keep her safe as she remains a guest in his palace.
Alone and afraid of the sultan finding out her true title, she keeps the secret that could topple an empire. But she finds herself not as alone as she thought when she discovers the Ronan spy in their midst. Together they must find a way to safely return her home without being found out and avoid the threat of war.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love thinking about grand adventures, heroes, and new worlds. I love reading about them too, but being able to craft the story myself is really very fun. And one of the best things about stories is sharing them with other people. I love being able to show others this great adventure, it feels like we were able to take it together so we can talk about what we loved and even the villains we hated.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Really, without people reading my books, it's just not as much fun. I'm a fan myself, of many great books, movies, TV shows, etc. And as a fan, I love being able to share these awesome tales with the creator and with every other fan. So my hope is that I can do that with people too.
What are you working on next?
I have three books fully plotted out and I really want to get to them as soon as I can. It's just that, as a writer, our job doesn't end at the last period typed. I will be getting to those books, but I have some work to do in sharing what I just finished writing with as many people as possible. You can however, get updates to what I'm working on by following me on as well as And I'm working on a website which I will add in here when it's done.
You can also help me get to work on new stuff faster by checking out my current books, giving them a review, and sharing with people who you think might also like them.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to enjoy the same things I love to write so I read and watch movies and TV shows a lot. I spend a lot of time with my husband, family, and friends. But one of my goals is to travel more as well.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I wrote a short story in middle school that made my teacher cry. I had told her I wasn't good with essays and she told me that I could lie. So I did and it ended up being a sad tale which she had to check with me and ask about me. I told her I had just made it up and she felt so much better and told me that I had done an excellent job. Poor dear, I didn't mean to make her cry.
The second was in high school. A teacher had us do a creative writing project during class, a short story. I stared at that blank piece of paper and the first thing I thought about was why there were no Unicorns. I think I'd heard that joke before, that they played while Noah built his ark so they didn't make it on. That's kind of sad too actually. But I wrote it really funny and I remember liking that one.
What is your writing process?
Daydreaming. That's the first part. I'm an avid daydreamer and it's usually where I come up with ideas. So I get an idea, then I start thinking about it in terms of a movie, with different scenes. I try to imagine how they would play out. Then I write those down and then I think about the rest. That's actually how my first two books, The Sultan's Heir and The Desert Princess, were written. However, my next three books I have planned out. Partially because while I was working on those two, I began to daydream about the others. So I had time to think over how they would happen. I jotted down my notes and now I'm ready to get to work on those, which I will write from beginning to end instead of all over the place. It's all still really new to me, but I love to play around with it.
Who are your favorite authors?
This is an easy question and a hard one at the same time. There are so many authors out there that I haven't read yet. But so far, Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, Neil Gaiman, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, William Shakespeare, and I'm sure there are others, but they jump out at me first.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
If we have to go way back? I remember a babysitter reading a really simple book to me when I was just a kid. And she kept making the little characters in the book talk to me and goofing off. It was a lot of fun and I still remember it to this day. I think it's one of those little happy memories you keep and I think it did get me really interested in books and reading. After that, I basically remember devouring any book that interested me that came along. My elementary and middle school had these reading programs where you earned points or stars for reading books and I remember having the most points or stars in the class. Would you guys like to see my dork card now or later?
How do you approach cover design?
I'm not sure I do. I tried, but miserably failed to create my own covers. I do however, really enjoy a good book cover and I save covers that I think are really great. They do give me inspiration for my own, but then I just have to give my ideas to a designer and trust them to do what they do best. Sometimes it's good to not have everything rest on your shoulders and trust people to do what they do best. And I ended up really loving the covers made for my books and I hope others do too.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
This is gonna sound really mushy, but, my husband. He is the person I can share everything with. Every up and every down. And I know that he'll support me and I love to support him the same way. We love to share things with each other so he's read my books and loves them (I did ask for honest and he did give me honest critiques while writing as well) so that gives him points too.
Published 2017-12-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Sultan's Heir
Price: Free! Words: 31,030. Language: English. Published: October 26, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
After a bloody battle between the sultanate of Zaityra and the empire of Ronan, Erezhad becomes the new sultan. He can finally give his people a long awaited peace and hopeful future, but it will require an heir distilled with the same values. Erezhad has friends on his side, but there are those who would manipulate the future for their own ends. The future of Zaityra depends on The Sultan's Heir.