How to Build a Galaxy – Guest Blogger Tina Christopher

23 Apr

The Passionate Reads authors are pleased to welcome today’s guest blogger, Tina Christopher

How to Build a Galaxy

Most authors fall into two categories: plotters, authors who outline every part of the story in fine detail, and pantsers, authors who fly by the seat of their pants. I’m a planster, a mixture between the two. I need an outline and need to know what the next big point is, but I’m never quite sure how my characters arrive there.

I also love to travel and had the pleasure of visiting and living in some amazing countries. Thinking about all the different cultures and ways of life I’ve had the opportunity to observe helped tremendously as I built my galaxy.

When planning, my favourite question is “What If?”

I have always enjoyed science fiction and fantasy, both urban and epic. When I started to play around with the outline for Tangled Shadows, I asked myself: What if I take a Vampire, a typical urban fantasy creature, and put him into space?

The question reminded me of how I felt when I arrived in the veldt of Hoedspruit, South Africa, but unlike me Nikolai took to space like fish to water right from the start. Even in space, he still had the same character traits: On the outside, he appeared charming and easygoing, but Nikolai had a darker temper and a dominant streak a mile wide underneath.

What if I put him together with his opposite? It would be like mixing my straightforward and direct early German upbringing with the very contained and controlled Japanese way of life. It would take a saint to put up with Nikolai’s dominance, so I went into the direction of an angelic creature. I didn’t want to be bound by angelic conventions, and there was this flicker of an idea at the back of my mind for a potential future story. My Naemas have power and strength (and the most beautiful wings that are great fun during sex), but they also battle with their Gifts and live in an isolationist society.

To balance Nikolai’s darker edge, Galen needed to be less volatile and more grounded. He needed to portray some of the flexibility and adjustability I learned when I moved to England. Also, his upbringing had given him an extraordinary amount of self-control.

What if these two men fall in love? How much fun could I have with breaking Galen’s control?

Who else inhabits my galaxy?

Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. I wanted my universe to mirror that, even if I didn’t show all the species in the first book. I’m a big fan of Dr. Who and he always laughs and says something along the lines of humans being everywhere. My third would be human.

I needed a way to balance the immense power of Vampires and Naemas with the physically weaker humans. By giving my Paranormals a low birth rate and longevity and humans the dominant population, I had humans in a position of power. Their sheer numbers could overwhelm the more powerful Paranormals.

Now, what if I have two powerful men and a human woman who defies all expectations? Brooke would not see herself as anything special. She’s just a space captain with a strong sense of responsibility.

What if she lost three days of her life, three days in which her ship explodes and she appears to be the only survivor? She’d have to deal with the loss of her ship and crew and the settlers on board. All of them presumed dead, except for her. Suspicious personalities like Galen and Nikolai may ask a question or two. Especially if they know that the Ferals, nasty Vampires who won’t bow down to human rules, have been kidnapping humans as blood slaves. A ship full of settlers? An all you can eat buffet.

And that was the point where Brooke, Galen and Nikolai took over and ran with my ideas. But to build their story (and galaxy) I needed the all-important question: What If?

What “What If?” question would you like to read about in a story?

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a lot of fun.

Tangled Shadows blurb:

After losing not only her ship but also three days of her memory in a freak explosion, Space Captain Brooke Deverell wants only to forget her troubles for one amazing night and fulfill her wildest fantasy.

She gets that and more from Vampire Nikolai and ArchNaema Galen. The men have long been lovers and welcome her into their world of extraordinary sensuality. For one blissful night, Brooke believes she’s found her soul mates—but her happiness is short lived when she realizes she’s actually been kidnapped. The men hunted her down under the assumption she sold her crew and human cargo to Feral Vampires as blood slaves.

After realizing her amnesia is real and of a paranormal nature, they find themselves at an impasse. To prevent a galaxy-wide war they must work together. The three discover their sensual partnership can heal her mind. But for a complete and successful union, Brooke has to decide if she can forgive the initial deception and open her heart to the two men who stir her blood and her heart.

Buying link for Tangled Shadows

Read an excerpt of Tangled Shadows

12 Responses to “How to Build a Galaxy – Guest Blogger Tina Christopher”

  1. Tina Vaughn April 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    Wow, Tina. What a wonderful post and blurb and life and…everything. : ) Like you, I’m a plantser, and I’m always asking myself, “What if” while I’m writing. Once I get an answer, I challenge myself by asking, “but what if this happened instead.” ; ) I’m amazed at your talent and creativity. I can’t wait to read Tangled Shadows.

    • Tina Christopher April 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

      Thanks, Tina, sounds like we don’t just share the name:).

  2. Marilyn Campbell April 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Great post Tina! I have been a fan and author of scifi/paranormal romance from the early days and Tangled Shadows really sounds like a fantastic read. Wishing you the best of luck with it.

  3. Missy Jane (@msmissyjane) April 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    Tangled Shadows sounds like a really hot read. Great post!

  4. Lauren Fraser April 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    Great post, Tina. Tangled Shadows sounds fantastic.

  5. rileymurphy April 24, 2012 at 7:42 am #

    Hi Tina!

    This sounds awesome! Love the premise.

    Okay, I confess, I’m a panster too. Drives my CP crazy because she’s just the opposite, but like you, I love pairing opposites. 🙂

    Much success with this one.


    • Tina Christopher April 24, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

      Thanks, Riley. My crit partner is also a pantser, so I feel for yours;).

  6. shannonemmel April 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Hi Tina!

    Welcome to “Passionate Reads!”

    Love the genre…always have!
    Had to smile when you mentioned playing, “What if?”

    I do that on a regular basis with my critique partners. LOL.

    It’s a GREAT way to “Work out the kinks”.

    Loved the post and the story sounds EXACTLY like what I enjoy reading. Can’t wait!


    • Tina Christopher April 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

      Thanks, Shannon. It’s the one question that takes you in directions you’ve never thought of;).

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