Interview with Christine Malec

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Sure do! It was my epic masterwork, "The Six Million Dollar Cucumber." It was a writing project in grade 5, and I bound it in Bristol board and everything!
What is your writing process?
Ideas percolate well for me while I'm exercising. A lot of "Beltane" came to me that way. It was written almost exclusively between 9:00 PM and 4:00 AM. My muse is a little more diurnal these days, and I've taken to writing on the bench swing in my back yard.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Definitely: it was "Sharlot's Web." I'm blind, and that was the first audio book I ever checked out of the public library when I was a kid. I was hooked immediately by the escapism into another world. I still seek out and write genres that do this
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm a total escapist when it comes to reading, science fiction or historical fiction; I get enough of the present every day.
Describe your desk
I don't have a desk; I always write using my laptop, which always sits on my lap, and this probably isn't a good place for a description of my lap.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Years ago, I was reading a rare non-fiction book about anthropology, where I came across the idea that perhaps the agricultural revolution hadn't been an especially good thing for our race. This challenged what I'd always thought. Later, I began thinking about the role of gender in this revolution, and the ways this might have played out. All these abstractions simmered for a long time, helped along by my reading of a nice translation of "The Epic of Gilgamesh." Onto all of these, I began superimposing one of the oldest and most enduring stories, the quest myth: and I was off.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Oh that's easy! It's that magic space when ideas are at their maximum kinetic energy in my imagination, my linguistic centres are thrumming along so that the right words come out in the perfect shapes, and I'm so entirely focused on the act of creation that I'm oblivious to the passage of time.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee? The knowledge that I can slide back in in 16 hours or so? I'm not a morning person.
How do you approach cover design?
As a blind writer, this is even more of a complex process than usual. For "Beltane," I approached a friend who'd done graphics work for me before, and gave her some general themes. She came up with several designs with verbal descriptions. I amassed an email list of a dozen or so sighted friends, and asked them to comment on each option as thoroughly as they could, and to offer opinions and impressions. After quite a bit of back and forth and some pithy suggestions, we all decided on one.
Published 2014-08-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Before the Tide
Price: Free! Words: 135,150. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
(4.50)
What makes five of the most powerful witches and wizards of their day retreat from the world to teach magic? 11th Century Britain is a perilous place, even for a sorcerer. The legendary four founders are bound north on a quest of honor, and the road is full of the unexpected. Magic isn’t as stylish as it once was, and they’re faced with adventure, as well as some provocative questions.
A Wider Stream - A Prequel to Beltane
Price: Free! Words: 2,760. Language: English. Published: August 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Children’s books » Short Stories
In 16th century France, physical courage is not on the list of skills deemed appropriate for a young noblewoman’s education, and Margarete cannot understand why she is consistently encouraged to cultivate it. Her teacher is an uncommon woman who knows well its value. the means by which young Margarete begins to learn self-possession, and to first glim
Fires of Beltane
Price: Free! Words: 6,240. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Historical, Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
In 16th Century Scotland, two accomplished story tellers seduce one another with tales that range from bawdy to downright scandalous. Lise is healing slowly from violence. She and Owen use the safe distance provided by stories in order to help her regain her sense of self. This story fills in an erotic gap left near the end of the full-length novel Beltane, which is also available on Smashwords.
Beltane
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 208,710. Language: English. Published: February 23, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
(4.00)
In 1558 a young French woman sets out for Scotland with her servant/companion, to fulfill a bargain made by others: but all is not as it seems. Colin McLean has something her family wants, and they have something he wants. Caught in the schemes of others more powerful than she is, Margarete is forced to look for the sources of her own power.