Hey everyone I have another special treat, a Guest Blog Interview with Tina Traverse, author of “Forever, Christian” and “Destiny of the Vampire”. We’re going to talk a little about the subject of Autism dealt with in “Forever, Christian” and her Fantasy books.
Gen: Hello, Tina, thanks for visiting my blog and talking a bit about your book “Forever, Christian” and the subject of Autism; it’s a real honor to have you here!
Tina: You are welcome, but the honour is all mine!
Gen: First, can you tell everyone a little bit about the genre and premise of “Forever, Christian”?
Tina: Forever, Christian is of the Family and Relationships/Children with Special Needs genre. Forever, Christian is about my then nine year old son who was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism in October 2009. This was after a nine year long frustrating and heart breaking journey of knowing deep down there was something ‘not quite right’ with our son but having a variety of medical professionals telling his father and I that there was nothing wrong, that it was a stage. Finally, it took one teacher to recognize the symptoms that lead us to the proper professionals and the diagnosis. Forever, Christian is the story of the journey.
Gen: What made you decide to write a book about your family’s experience with Autism?
Tina: As you probably imagine, nine years is a long time for a diagnosis when you know deep down there is something not quite right from infancy, my family and myself were feeling so many emotions after the diagnosis including the feeling of being alone before the diagnosis that I did what I normally do, and wrote it all down. My feelings, the journey itself, in the hopes that someday if I should publish my thoughts into a book, that my readers would walk away knowing that they are not alone, that there is someone out there who has been through something similar.
Gen: How long did it take you to write “Forever, Christian”?
Tina: Forever, Christian was a labour of love that took three years from start to finish.
Gen: Are you traditionally published or Indie? What made you decide to go that route?
Tina: I am an Indie, and proud of it. I decided to go Indie because I have spent years being rejected by the traditional publishers and with so many story ideas running around in my head screaming at me, I discovered that Indie publishing was the one thing to shut them up.
Gen: Did you know very much about the Autistic spectrum before you had your son?
Tina: To be honest, no, shamefully, I never heard of it until Christian was diagnosed. I know it may seem mainstream now with so many books and other media featuring autism, but there is still a lot to learn about it and understand, I feel.
Gen: What has been the single most difficult thing in your journey as a family?
Tina: The single most difficult thing in our journey is how long it took before we knew what was going on with Christian, the reason for the screams, the self punishment, self injury and the unknown silent pain that he was going through that we did not understand, what others did not understand.
Gen: What would you say has been the most rewarding thing?
Tina: Now that we do know, we have the proper supports in place and watching Christian thrive, discovering his talent, his gift and self confidence.
Gen: What advice would you give to families struggling to help their Autistic child deal with the overwhelming nature of our world?
Tina: Wow, that is a hard one. First thing is to remember that each child, no matter what their abilities, are different from one another. Second, what we do with our son is we treat him like any normal boy as we can, within his limits. He has chores, he gets disciplined when he has done or said something inappropriate with an explanation to what he did and why it was wrong and why the punishment. He socializes with a variety of children, some “normal” and some who are Autistic like him so he is familiar with different types of social situations. Christian thrives on routine, so I make sure that his routine stays the same when possible. Christian knows he has Autism and is learning how the outside world works day by day.
Gen: Do you plan on writing any more books on this topic?
Tina: No, at not in the foreseeable future.
Gen: You’ve also written “Destiny of the Vampire”, would you tell us a little bit about that and any other books you have written, or are planning to write?
Tina: Sure. Destiny of the Vampire is my first Indie published novel, inspired by an interview I saw on a talk show with the actor, Paul Wesley who plays Stefan Salvatore on my favourite show The Vampire Diaries. He gave the general synopsis of The Vampire Diaries, stating that it was about two vampire brothers who were in love with this one teenage girl. A thought came to my mind, I wanted to take the vampire out of the romantic setting and put the vampire in a different setting, in a different situation. Where vampire brothers would not be in a love triangle, but will find themselves in a situation in which they would use human resources, rather than the supernatural to get out of it. My vampire brothers, Declan and Sebastian St.Clair (who were inspired by Damon and Stefan Salvatore of The Vampire Diaries written by L. J. Smith) start out on an ordinary fishing trip with their father. When their boat gets capsized by a sudden storm, their father perishes and they end up on a deserted island. For five months they fight to survive and find a way to escape on the island, but die in their attempt. They are brought back to life by the island’s leader and turned into vampires; but when Declan is caught having an affair with the leader’s wife, Declan and Sebastian are forced from the island. The brothers travel the world, enjoying their freedom but when Sebastian and Declan experience a devastating event, they both turn to human, destructive methods to cope. Declan turns to alcohol and sleeping with a variety of anonymous women, while Sebastian turns to a highly addictive drug I called blood wine, which is a combination of three powerful street drugs. During a party both brothers find themselves in a dangerous situation in which they are arrested and sentenced to rehab where they meet their counselor, Hope, who happens to be a past love for one of the brothers. While Hope struggles to help Declan and Sebastian to recover and uncover their dark secret, an ancient evil from their mutual past resurfaces and threatens to destroy them. The ending will be gut wrenching.
I also want to say that beyond making my vampires more human as my own personal twist on the genre, I also addressed two types of vampires that I feel that are not represented in this popular genre too often, one a drug addicted vampire, and the other… well, I cannot say, I’ll just let your readers find out for themselves!
Destiny of the Vampire started out as a stand alone novel, but after it was finished and published, I had several requests from local fans of the story to continue the Sebastian/Declan/Hope story line and now I have a trilogy planned, with part 2’s first draft already finishing and in the editing process.
Gen: Wow! Sounds interesting! I know what you mean about a group of characters and a story that take hold and turn into more than one story. And thank you again for sharing your experience with Christian with me, Tina!
That’s it for today, folks! You can find Tina’s books here:
and at her blog: http://www.tinasdestiny.com/