Name P. M. Christou. I have used my full name Pauline Christou for Historical Fiction.
Where are you from
I was born in Lancashire, England. As a child, I lived in New Zealand for three years and South Africa for one year. I currently reside in Cyprus. I have been married to my Cypriot husband for eighteen years and we have one daughter and two cats. I am a qualified Aromatherapist and Reflexologist.
I write fantasy fiction. I have also written a non-fiction, a historical fiction book, and also book of humorous poems.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I recently published the second book in my fantasy fairy tale series, Gothic Faerie Tale, Queen of Thorns. Also, I will shortly be going back to live in the UK.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I used to write short stories as a child and I loved creative writing at school. Although I never really took my writing seriously then, and never dreamed I would ever publish a book. I started writing again four years ago as a way to earn some income.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I has taken me some time to consider myself a writer. It was only when I started publishing and selling my books that I considered myself a “proper” writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My cats. The first book I wrote was a non-fiction book about cats, written in the POV of a cat.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t think I have a specific writing style. I do try to write within the style of the era that my book is set in, or similar to an author of the genre I am writing within.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title of the first book in the Gothic Faerie Tale series was originally titled Snow and Ice. It is loosely based on a combination of Snow White and The Snow Queen. I envisioned that the series would be four or five stand alone titles. As the story progressed I could now see the series as a trilogy with one or two prequels to add to the series. I also changed the title to Throne of Ice.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I am not sure if it is an actual message. But I did want to write a faerie tale without any damsels in distress needing a prince to rescue them. I have strong female protagonists that can fend for themselves.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
As it is a fantasy story, not much is realistic. Although many of my characters behave realistically. They are not perfect, they make mistakes and get things wrong, they have faults like we all do.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, they come from my imagination.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I have read many books, fiction and non-fiction and I have learn much from them. I can’t say that any have actually had any real influence on my life.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
At the moment I haven’t got much time to read. Over Christmas I did finally get around to reading the Hunger Games trilogy.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Kimberley Koz, she currently writes magical realism. She is a wonderful writer with an great sense of humour.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I need to get started on writing the last part of my trilogy, Reign of Fire.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My editor Gill and my Facebook friends, incidentally I met Gill through Facebook. They have been a fantastic support in many ways.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Most definitely. I hope one day to make it my full time career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would have started writing it sooner. I gave myself a very short deadline and surpassed it by a month.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I started off writing poetry and verse and submitted them to card companies. I failed to sell any of them. I eventually found a couple of content sites and started to write non-fiction articles. This was the first time I had actually earned any money for my writing, even though it wasn’t very profitable.
One of my articles gave me the idea to write the book Lilibet’s Secret Diary. A humorous historical fictional diary by ten years old Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II).
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The following is a short extract from Reign of Fire:
Eleanor sat before her dressing table. Her maid pulled a brush through her raven black locks. Wilbur entered the bedchamber. Eleanor glanced at him and detected a grave look upon his face. She dismissed her maid, picked up the hairbrush and continued brushing her hair.
“I can see from your face that you have something important to tell me.”
He drew near her. “Dear wife, with which poison have you attempted to kill me?” She stared at the reflection of Wilbur in the mirror in front of her. He stood behind her with his arms crossed; a sardonic look appeared on his face. Before she could answer him he added, “Let me guess belladonna? No, I think not. Ah, I have it, wolfsbane.”
Eleanor paused momentarily, and then continued to pull the brush through her hair. “You are mistaken, do not speak such foolishness.”
Wilbur placed his hands on either side of Eleanor’s shoulders. “Come now, do you take me for a fool?” He slid his hand up the sides of her neck. “How do you think my own dear mother passed away so swiftly? A weak heart?”
She spun round, her mouth open wide with astonishment. “You?”
He grinned. “Not me, wolfsbane. How long can a man wait until he has what he desires? What do you desire wife? Do you have a secret lover?”
Eleanor stood, folded her arms, and glared. “Do not be ridiculous. I have what I desire.”
Wilbur met his wife’s cold, hard, gaze. “You and I are not so very different, both heartless and driven by a lust for power.”
She averted her gaze from him and turned it towards the open bedchamber window. Wilbur sat down on the bed, pulled back the crisp linen sheets, then lay down. An eerie silence filled the room.
“Do not think my dear that I have no knowledge of your secret assignations. Your treason has not gone unnoticed.” He smirked, then patted the empty side of the bed. “Show me how grateful you are to me for not giving your beautiful neck to the executioner’s axe.”
Eleanor reluctantly slid into the bed and lay rigid beside Wilbur. Leaning over her he brushed back her hair, unfastened the front of her nightgown, and pushed it down to bare her neck and shoulders. Taking her head in his hands, he kissed the base of her throat and nuzzled the soft flesh between her neck and collarbone. He gave a guttural moan and whispered, “Most men would not find their wife’s tyranny an aphrodisiac. However, I am not most men.”
Indeed you are not, thought Eleanor, as the weight of Wilbur’s body pinned her to the bed.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The most challenging for me is the beginning and the end of a story. Also finding enough hours in the day to write.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have a favourite author. I read books from many different genres I would have trouble picking just one.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not really. I do a lot of research online and I suppose my imagination is where I travel.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I design the covers myself. For my next book cover I intend to work with my illustrator niece Kirsty Danko.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Keeping focused and setting myself a regular writing schedule.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I had already done some reading on myths and legends. But through research I learn a lot about folklore, tales of faeries and the Fae. It is fascinating what people believed in the past. Having already studied the Tudor period, which is the era the story is set, I though I knew enough already. How wrong I was. I still had plenty of research to do.
I also learned that a story can take on a life of its own. You can end up with something completely different to what you originally intended to write at the start.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read a lot. Write a lot. If you are an independent author don’t try to do everything yourself.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for your support. If you like my books please recommend them to friends and family. Also reviews are important and author really do value them.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first “real” book I read was The Magic Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love to laugh. My family and my cats do things sometimes that make me laugh. I am fond of satire, wit and innuendo. There are some very funny Memes on Facebook that make me laugh. People/ animal cruelty make me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love to meet Roald Dahl. He was a wonderful imaginative fantasy author with a good sense of humour. He could write for children and adults. I loved his Tales of the Unexpected. I find him a very interesting person.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Thank you. I have a lot to be thankful for.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I like drawing and painting and photography. I also enjoy making videos and I have an audio book podcast.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I enjoy comedies like Frasier, One Foot in the Grave and Fawlty Towers. I have watched Doctor Who on and off for a number of years. As I have a keen interest in time travel, I loved the series Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. Cookery programmes like The Great British Bakeoff. Nature and outdoors programmes, Spring Watch and Coast. Also anything historical.
I watch comedy, children’s, action and adventure, and fantasy films.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Food – Chocolate
Colour – Lilac
Music – I have varied tastes in music, from Classical to Rock.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have loved to have been a radio presenter.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do indeed –http://www.pmchristou.uk/p/welcome.html
Book links – Throne of Ice
Queen of Thorns
Lilibet’s Secret Diary