Interview with Christiane Allison

Christiane Allison

Fantasy/Sci-Fi Focus (FSF): So, tell me when you knew you wanted to be a writer, and a little about the journey that led to your publication of Infinitus?

Christiane Allison (CA): In the seventh grade, our English class did an anthology project and I started writing my first book. That book was never completed, but coming from a family of storytellers, I’d caught the bug. I took creative writing classes in middle school, high school, and college. After entering the workforce, I took a break from writing for a few years until I realized I could no longer live without it. Then in the middle of my MBA program, I dove back in with abandon and completed my first novel-length story.

I decided to become a professional writer when my circumstances pushed me into a corner. I have a debilitating genetic condition called hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS), and although I was successful in my regular job, eventually my health deteriorated to the point that I could no longer consistently work enough hours to keep a job. After leaving my job, I realized writing was my real passion, and that no matter how much pain I was in, as long as I could speak, I could write. That’s when I started writing my first published book.

Infinitus was a story that landed on me many years ago, but I only began writing it in 2016. I published 3 other books– 2 children’s picture books and a novella– while I worked on finishing Infinitus and building the world around it.

FSF: So tell our audience a bit about Infinitus and why it should be their next click.

CA: The Infinitus Saga is a series of cyberpunk adventure novels following the Mallorey family’s struggle to survive in a world run by the Global Fellowship and their Global Reform Interface and Database (GRID) computer system. The series is jam-packed with futuristic technology, tech-savvy rebels, and genetic animal-human hybrids known as chimeras.

Infinitus itself is the saga of Gina Mallorey. When an explosion forces her into the GRID, something goes horribly wrong with her GRID session and powerful forces make her a target on all sides. Hawk Warrenson, the Community operative sent after her, hides a genetic secret of his own, but only time will tell if he’ll choose to be friend or foe.

FSF: Do you write with an audience in mind, or do you write for yourself and hope people will come along for the ride?

CA: I would say that I write true to the story. I don’t focus on the genre when the story is revealing itself to me. Instead, I focus on the characters and the influences driving the plot and find out where the story is going to take us.

I’d also say that I tend to write sagas. My stories follow a set of characters over a very long period, and they’re not going to face a single obstacle. If you love the characters, you’ll get to see much more of them.

FSF: That’s awesome. So how much of your characterization comes from yourself and those around you in real life?

CA: All of my stories have some kind of influence from my real-life experience, whether that’s as simple as understanding the mentality of a character in grief, or making that quirky character from a mash-up of several colorful characters I know.

In The Infinitus Saga, the Mallorey family has the same genetic condition I do — hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). When you read the story you’re drawn into their struggle not only with outside forces, but against the complications from their own chronically ill body.

FSF: What were some of the influences that found their way in to your novel. These can be authors, directors, books, films etc?

CA: Many of the influences in the book actually came from scientific articles or documentaries on technology and science as it’s evolving today. For example, in the book, Gina’s eyes are regrown after an accident using bioelectricity, and the process described in the book is an advanced version of a technology that is already being experimented with. I also read and watch an incredible amount of science fiction and dystopian works, but much of the inspiration for my books came in the form of music. I have a Spotify playlist for each book in The Infinitus Saga that everyone can check out for free. The Global Fellowship (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6LMddZgNXAYn9I2tjo6kK7?si=95703d011afa4810) and Infinitus (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0BKAuaRNW01kKwIHAJI92Q?si=1d4583bb8caa4a78).

FSF: So what takes up most of your time when you aren’t writing?

CA: In addition to being an author, I’m also a criminal justice reform activist and public speaker. My husband was wrongfully convicted in 2015 and his case was overturned in 2019. During the entire writing of Infinitus, I was actually separated from my spouse through unjust incarceration. I have spoken with the public at events like town halls, and to legislators and other public officials to influence change. In my activism, I fight both for criminal justice and prison reform, and aim to give prisoner families a voice.

Additionally, I’m the President of the local Alaska Writers Guild, and much of my time is taken up planning out content for other authors as professional dvelopment opportunities.

FSF: How important is reader interaction to you and an Indie author. How do you most prefer to network with your readers?

CA: I LOVE interaction with readers. There’s nothing better than getting to hear what someone enjoyed about one of my stories, or how it affected them. I encourage readers to contact me through social media or even drop me an email. My website is www.AllisonPublishing.com. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Wattpad.

FSF: So what’s next for you? When can we expect a sequel or any other releases from you?

CA: I’m currently working on the sequel to Infinitus, Chimera Rising (The Infinitus Saga Book 2). In this book, the chimeras make a move to form an independent nation while my main characters continue to be hunted across the globe. I’m in the early draft of this book, and plan to release in mid-2022.

FSF: Awesome. So to end things off I’d like to know what one piece of advice you could offer to new and aspiring authors?

CA: Join a local writers group! I started out attending the annual conference for the Alaska Writers Guild and I am now President of that organization. I’ve also been a member of the local chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the national Independent Book Publishers Association. These organizations have provided me with a wealth of information on the craft of writing, traditional and self-publishing, marketing, and other important topics. They also provide a means of connecting with other writers and authors in your area, and networking with a group of support people who will help you through your writing journey. There are also groups online with incredibly valuable information. Just find a place to get connected, and learn everything that you can.

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