Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Christina Bergling. I’m currently 35 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Colorado. I live in Colorado Springs.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have more interests and passions than I have time. Growing up in Colorado, I was brought up skiing and camping and hiking and still love all those things. I have been writing since I was a child, which has resulted in constant projects and side jobs. I am a fitness enthusiast, more accurately addict. I run, very slowly. I have been belly dancing and performing since my early 20s. I also enjoy yoga and barre and have started hiking 14ers.
I live with my husband, who I met as a teenager, and we have two young children and two dogs. My children are also very active and very social, always keeping me busy.
Authoring unfortunately does not pay the bills, so I maintain a day job in IT. I am a Solutions Architect for a software company, which includes a fair amount of travel. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing, and that somehow led to technical writing then software training then software development then here.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
The latest news for me is that my first book Savages is going to be released on audiobook soon. It has been a surreal experience, listening to auditions, hearing other voices read words that started in my head. I have shamelessly listened (and loved it) multiple times. I cannot wait to put it out in the world in the new format.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in fourth grade. My teacher did a creative writing unit over several months, and I was hooked. I just knew it was always what I wanted to do.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Fourth grade. Once I knew I loved writing and wanted to write, I considered myself a writer. I have not stopped writing since.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My time as a contractor in Iraq was the main inspiration for Savages. Those experiences mixed with the surge in the zombie genre in mainstream culture (most notably, The Walking Dead) directly resulted in that story.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title for Savages felt natural. Titles so often do not come easily, especially for me. Yet, in this case, I knew the title before I even knew the full story. The tale is about surviving the apocalypse and what becomes of the survivor. It is an examination of savagery, so Savages seemed appropriate. Plus, it is nearly the buzzword in the book.
The titles of my other two books were not so easy. The Waning began as Ode to Master until the first publisher of the book retitled it. I was happy to take the suggestion because I could not come up with something I felt fit it correctly. The person who inspired the protagonist in The Rest Will Comeactually also suggested the title. She distilled the book down to the most basic message in the story, and it was perfect.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My writing style has been described as more psychological, emotional, and heavily descriptive. I thrive in the short and medium lengths, short stories and novellas. I also fixate on the emotional experience of my characters. The actual plot events are just catalysts for what happens inside the characters.
I write almost exclusively horror, a genre that poses many challenges. One main obstacle for me is pace. In horror, people expect a certain amount of action (gore, death, fear, etc.). It is difficult to balance that expectation with character and plot development. Too much and people get bored and put the story down. Too little and the story devolves into torture porn. It is a fine line to walk.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Most of my books have extracts of reality. Savages contains stories I was exposed to in Iraq. Not a single one is completely fabricated. Every horrible detail is something someone told me directly or a report I read. I have also been accused of being the narrator.The Rest Will Come is based off the awful dating experiences of many women in my life, one in particular. I even placed myself as a supporting character in that book. The Waning is really the exception, where the premise and characters are completely fabricated.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I do not have to travel to write. Mostly, I write after I put the kids to bed while I watch TV with my husband. Since I spent so many years writing for work, I learned how to write in all circumstances. I can write over distraction. I can usually press through writer’s block or motivational drop.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The covers for all my books were designed by their respective publishers. Currently, Limitless Publishing for The Rest Will Come and HellBound Books for Savages and The Waning. The art for both Savages and The Waning is by my very talented friend Phil Beachler (Graphics Smith).
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In Savages, I want the reader to question who we are as humans. Are we truly civilized or really savage under it all? What would we be if the world around us fell apart?
With The Waning, I want the reader to think about what they would do when confronted with real horror. We all say we would fight the killer or run out the front door, but with true terror throbbing in our veins, would we be so smart or so bold? Perhaps our psychological decline in the face of fear would surprise us all.
The Rest Will Come is more humorous. However, the deep message in my mind is about learning to abandon your expectations and find happiness in yourself and in possibilities you never considered. To find contentment, you have to know and accept yourself. Then the rest will come.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I recently just finished You by Caroline Kepnes. I adored her use of narrator voice to add character to the story. It was fascinating to develop the narrator through what he said, didn’t say, and saw.
Stephen King will probably always be my favorite author. However, authors like Eliot Perlman, Chuck Palahnuik, and Richard Matheson definitely influenced me deeply.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I have what we call a commune of friends. My husband and I have created a chosen family in addition to our biological ones. Every person in my commune, as well as other close friends, have always been there to support me, encourage me, beta read my works. I could not have published anything without all of them. My fourth grade teacher also initiated this entire journey, and my college Creative Writing professor helped me find my voice.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love for writing to be my career. I enjoy my work in IT and the more logical challenge it presents my brain, but writing is my passion. I would love to be able to focus on it fully one day.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The Rest Will Come was published most recently. If I ever were to rework it, I think I would slim down the development in the middle to increase the pace getting to all the violence at the end.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
The Rest Will Come taught me a lot. It is my first full length novel. The length was challenging at times, especially being accustomed to shorter works. Also, it is so infused with real life inspiration. I had to learn to balance to reality with fiction, to take inspiration and flesh it out into something else.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For Savages, I could see Emily Blunt as Parker. For The Waning, perhaps Zoe Saldana as Beatrix. And for The Rest Will Come, Katherine Heigl would make a great Emma.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep writing! Even if it sucks, even if it gets rejected, keep writing. It is the only way to develop your craft and produce something great. Keep writing and submitting and getting rejected until it happens. Never forget that you write because there is something inside of you that needs to get out.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you. If you gave any one of my books or stories a chance, thank you. If you finished it and told someone else about it, thank you even more.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am about to start Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay. I don’t really have the time to “read” these days, but I adore books, so I listen to audiobooks while I run and drive.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I don’t remember the first book I ever read. I know Where the Red Fern Grows and The Hobbit were in there. Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards was the first book I read repeatedly. My childhood was then filled with Stephen King and R.L. Stine. I still have my Goosebumps collection, which I have passed on to my children.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Everything, honestly. I am supremely emotional. But, more than anything, my children. They make the happiest, saddest, and most scared I have ever been in my life.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would like to meet Stephen King. Reading his works, I have seen into his imagination. I would like to see how that manifests in the man.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I have all the hobbies. Most of them are physical activities. I run, dance, hike 14ers, do yoga. I also enjoy photography, both taking pictures and posing for them as a horror model. I love art. I enjoy traveling. I want to do all the things all the time, making sure I milk every second of life for all it could be worth.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love horror movies. From the terrible slashers to the artistic slow burns, I indulge them all. My favorites include Silence of the Lambs, Se7en, and Scream. Of course, I also watch horror series and crime documentaries on television. Beyond horror, I like twisted dramas or suspense. In short, I like to be disturbed by my media.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
My favorite foods are all Asian. Sushi, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai.
My favoritecolors are black, orange, and red. So cliché, I know.
My musical tastes cover a wide range. I prefer rock and metal but also really enjoy rap, R&B, and classical. I can find songs I love in every genre, except country.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Ew. I guess I would have more time for my day job and all my hobbies, but I imagine I would feel entirely unfulfilled and be much more crazy.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
In my last 24 hours, I would be scrambling to squeeze in every possible experience I could. And I would be dragging all the people I love along with me for the ride.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Here lies Christina Bergling. She truly did suck all the marrow out of life. Until she overdosed on it.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Amazon Authors Page USA https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Bergling/e/B00R9364N8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
For the books, here are the links:
The Rest Will Come https://www.amazon.com/Rest-Will-Come-Christina-Bergling-ebook/dp/B0748ZKNPH