Christine E. Mackenzie grew up in Bavaria/Germany and moved to the United States in her mid-twenties. Having started out as a journalist for magazines, she later received a job offer writing for Australian Consolidated Press, based in Sydney/ New South Wales, owned by media baron Kerry Packer. By then already married to a world-class Polo player, she travelled all over the world with him, 2 young children in tow. This lifestyle was extraordinary and inspired her to write this very book.
1.Why storytelling? What made you yearn to tell a good story, and how long was this story within you before it came out?
My grandfather told great, compelling stories when I was a kid and inspired me to do the same. I did not write this, my most epic novel, until I was an older adult. I carried it inside for many years.
2.What is it about your genre that speaks to you?
Action and adventure turns me on. I have partly lived this story. The editor in chief at RANDOM HOUSE, Robert Loomis said to me; “write what you know.”
3.Without giving any spoilers, what is your favorite thing about this book?
4.What character from your book fills you with hope?
Joanna. She overcomes several tragic events but manages to stay positive.
5.What character from your work frightens you, makes you feel dirty to write?
Julio, because his childhood was so incredibly horrible and his uncle so ruthless, he too turns out to be cruel, totally over-sexed and mentally deranged!
6.Your main character walks into a bar. What happens?
Steve would order a cold beer and more less keep his head down.
7.What is the most fascinating thing about your main character?
8.If I were stuck in a room with your main character, what would we be doing?
Talking about ranch life….
9.When you are writing, tell me about the emotions that are running through you and what it takes to work alongside them.
I feel mixed emotions while putting myself into my character’s shoes.
10.How do you police your production? Do you have a word quota, or a page goal, maybe you work for a set amount of time? Do you place demands on yourself when you’re working? How do you meet those demands?
As a fairly strict disciplinarian (when it comes to my work), while writing a book, I finish up to five or six pages a day.
11.Describe your workplace.
Messy…full of notes.
12.Describe your muse.
Music. Different kinds…
13.If you could choose any other writer, living or dead, to be your mentor, whom would you choose and why?
Cormack McCarthy, because he literally paints with words. I just love his style of prose, lack of commas, exclamation marks and sometimes even punctuation. He composes long, descriptive sentences that run on like a murmuring brook runs through a meadow but always move the storyline forward.
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