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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

When I’m not writing… with Christina Henry



I was very happy when Christina first contacted me, because even though I hadn’t her much about her first book, Black Wings, at that moment, its description got me curious! So she happily sent me a review copy (Which I really need to read, so many books so little time *sad panda*) and I got her to share some elements of her personal life with us! Hope you enjoy!



When I’m not writing I like to run. And I don’t mean a casual jog. I like to run long distances, the longer the better. This will sound strange to non-runners, but after a couple of miles my brain enters a semi-meditative state. I’m still aware of all the other things around me – the lakefront path on which I usually run, the other runners and cyclists and inline skaters puffing past me, the geese and ducks splashing in the cold waters of Lake Michigan, the next song on my iPod. But my mind gets into a drifting state, where I don’t concentrate on any one thing but just let thoughts occur to me as they will.
    This has probably been the single best tool for my writing, even more than disciplining myself to reach a daily page goal or making sure to read lots and lots of other books (and I do both of those things).  Some of my best ideas have come up when I was running and I wasn’t consciously thinking about whatever story I was currently working on.  There are definitely times when I feel like I’m pushing too hard and the writing isn’t working, and I stare at the blank screen in frustration, wondering what to write next. It’s at those times that a good run clears my head, and usually as I’m sweating it out the next plot twist or next bit of dialogue will occur to me without any effort.
    There’s something about the discipline of running that is like writing, because if you love running and commit yourself to a goal you’ve got to have the will see it through, just as you do when you write a book.

I’ve run two marathons and ten half-marathons, and the experience is a lot like writing a novel. You have to do a little bit every day to meet your goal. When I am training for a race I make up a schedule and stick to it – I do sprint intervals on this day, hills on that day, 8 miles this day, 15 miles that day, cross-training here, strength training there. Every piece of the puzzle is carefully formulated so that if I complete all my tasks then I should succeed at my race.

When I write, I set daily goals and weekly goals. When I’m in the thick of a book, the daily goals involve writing a minimum number of pages per day. The weekly goals usually mean making sure that certain scenes get put in over the next chapter or two.

I don’t outline my books, so a lot of times I can’t see what’s going to happen more than a couple of chapters down the road.  But I know the overall arc of the story, and what ultimately has to happen at the end. When I run, it’s the same way. When I’m at mile 2 I can’t see what’s waiting for me at mile 13. But I know that if I trained hard and stuck to my plan that it doesn’t matter if I can’t see what’s going to happen next. I just know that my feet will take me there.


That is such a great analogy Christina! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I know it’s sounds stupid, but inspiration often comes to me while brushing my teeth, it’s such a mindless daily thing that my mind always wonders to different subjects.

Here’s a bit more about her book, Black Wings.

Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Ace (November 30, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0441019633

ISBN-13: 978-0441019632

Escorting souls into the afterlife leaves Maddy little time for socializing-until devilishly handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in her building. But when demons start appearing on Maddy’s front lawn, she realizes there’s more to her new tenant than meets the eye.

“A fun, fast ride through the gritty streets of magical Chicago, BLACK WINGS has it all: a gutsy heroine just coming into her power, bad-ass bad guys, a sexy supernatural love interest, and a scrappy gargoyle sidekick. Highly recommended.” –Nancy Holzner, Author of DEADTOWN

Christina generously offered a copy to one lucky reader!

All you have to do is write a meaningful comment below & a way to contact you!

you can earn 1 extra entry for being a follower.

Open US & Canada

Ends Dec 21st, 2010.


Enjoyed this post? There will be more “When I’m not writing…” posts in the future!

Please visit This Page to find out who my future guests are, and a chance to suggest authors you would like to see featured!

Authors, you would like to visit and share with us?

Please email me at TyngaUF(a)gmail.com

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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40 People left their mark' :

  1. I'm a follower :)

    I can't wait to read this book, it looks great. I wish I felt that way about running--it sounds fantastic.

    thejoyofthejoyofcooking at hotmail dot com

  2. I've been hearing so many great things about Black Wings. I'm delighted that Mandy has a sarcastic gargoyle sidekick. I can't wait to read the story, I know I'm going to love it.

    GFC follower

  3. I love how the author spends so much time running and using it as a personal achievement as well as a way to think. I believe it's a great way to clear your mind and really search through your thoughts and come up with great ideas!

    I'm a follower!


  4. Wow, this book sounds very intriguing!

    I love your analogy of running. I don't run - asthma + running = not fun - but I swim. Doing laps in the pool allows me to relax and my mind just goes onto something of an autopilot.

    I also love hearing about an author that doesn't plot ahead of time!!! Some of my fave authors say they don't, and since I don't, I always find it encouraging, lolol.

    Good luck with your writing and running!!!

  5. Oh, haha, and I am a member and a way to contact me is bibliocrazed(at)gmail(dot)com :)

  6. I have never enjoyed running, but I use to lift weights and found it to be equally satisfying. Sadly life got in the way and I had to stop, I miss the daily challenge though and would love to get back to it. Great guest post Thanks

  7. It's amazing to me to hear about people who enjoy running, since it's something I just can't do. But a colleague of mine at work runs marathons all the time, and gets up super early each day to train. I guess you really gotta love it to do it.

    I'm a follower.

  8. The runner's high, if we could bottle that stuff . I don't like to run long distances, but I love aerobics, spinning and what not. It does take you to a wonderful place. I have been reading about your book all over the blogs and it is on my TBR list.

  9. forgot to say I am a follower!

  10. I've seen this book around. It's definitely on my list! I am very intrigued :D
    I am a GFC follower

    natasha AT likeminds.ca

  11. I don't run, but I do aerobic exercise 6 days a week and I definitely get into "the zone" sometimes. It's a great place to be. I wish I could bottle that feeling and give it to everyone who doesn't like to work out, because I think many people would be encouraged to do so if they could just feel it once.

    Looking forward to reading this book.
    +1 Follower

  12. I can't understand why people enjoy running since I don't. But whatever helps her write.

    +1 followe
    sgiden at verizon.net

  13. I'm always looking for new authors to read, I've been hearing alot about this one! I'm also a follower! tWarner419@aol.com

  14. I used to run all the time, I miss it. Hopefully I can back into the routine soon. It does wonders for clearing your head! :)

    I've heard about this book so I'm very excited for this, yay!! I'm eager to read it :D

    I'm a follower +1

    Vanessa Martinez

  15. Im a follower.

    I am intrigued with the novel. It sounds like a good read.

    I been postponing going out for a run. I live in NY and I get pretty lazy when it gets cold. ;]

  16. With the reviews I've been seeing through the blogsphere, I have been wanting to read this one.

    GFC follower
    Books (dot) things (AT) yahoo (dot) com

  17. I give you so much credit for being a runner. I'm a walker, at best, and slow at that. I'm trying to get myself motivated to get out and walk every night, but I always find an excuse. Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed reading your post.

  18. Great post! My inspirations usually come during the shower. So I totally get the teeth brushing thing!

    Thank you for the contest.

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  19. I admire Christina- it takes a lot of dedication and discipline to be a novelist and a runner! Though makes me feel pretty lazy...


  20. This book sounds really great!
    I really enjoy reading the when I'm not writing posts!



  21. I admire runners, my son does it for stress relief. I hate running but I get an endorphin rush from a great aerobic workout. It's never given me enough focus to become a talented writer (i wish) but that really takes talent anyway. :)

    waitmantwillie at hotmail dot com

  22. Forgot to mention I'm a follower.

  23. I heard alot about this book and I can not wait to read it! I have to add it to my to read pile. Im a GFC follower too.
    tishajean@ charter.net

  24. Loved the post! And I'm sooo looking forward to reading Black Wings. It sounds awesome! Thanks for the giveaway!

    I'm a follower (A'lina)

    linaramz at yahoo dot com

  25. What a great analogy. To be able to compare and contrast running and writing is fascinating. I wish I could be so disciplined Meditative states are great for so many aspects of life, from writing a novel, or figuring out a budget for your business. I now need to find something that will give me that state. Running isn't going to make it with me as I am a wuss.
    linda at gordonvalley dot com

  26. I am really not a runner, but I think its a great exercise and relaxing for those that can do it.

    Thanks for sharing! I have been reading a lot of great things about your book and am looking forward to reading it.

    Im a follower

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  27. Keep hearing so many good things about this book! Need to add this to my list that just keeps on growing!

    I'm a follower


  28. This book sounds like a great read. I've heard so many good things about it and I am looking forward to reading it.
    I am a follower
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

  29. I've read so many good reviews on this book. Plus, as much as I love my vamps, I'd like to branch off to other areas, and the idea of the angel of death really intrigues me.

    +1 follower


  30. I've never been a runner. I prefer low-impact exercises. This book looks great.
    +1 GFC follower.

  31. I have this on my wishlist - can't wait to read it!

    smaccall @ comcast.net

  32. I have seen this book floating around and can't wait to read this one.

    I have to say I am not much for exercise - though I probably should

    I am a follower

  33. I'm a follower.

    I can definitely relate. Some of my best ideas come from when I'm in the shower. I have my routine and generally I don't need to think about it. I'm on autopilot which allows my mind to wonder. Thanks for the awesome post!

    spettolij AT gmail DOT com

  34. This book sounds fantastic. I have heard so many good things about it. Count me in on the contest. bpatrick64113@sbcglobal.net

  35. I am a follower

    I have been hearing about this book and really want to get a chance to read it.

    Now that you have started a series in the urban fantasy genre, are there other genres that you would like to conquer.

  36. Wow it is amazing that you get so much movement and writing into your day. I cap out on the 2 mile walk a day, but great perseverance in all of your adventures. Thank you for coming on and doing an interview. The book looks great!

  37. I am a follower- great excerpt I admire people who can stick with an exercise or can work on a schedule in their writing. Great Job

  38. I've been seeing this book around a lot and I am so interested in reading it!
    Follower =)

    Happy Holidays!

  39. Wow, it sounds like running is a vital part of your routine. I love your comparison to not knowing what's going to happen next due to the fact that you don't outline is a lot like running, you never know where the next turn will take you. You just know that you'll get there because you're prepared for it.

    Black Wings looks like a fun read and something I'd probably really enjoy. Thanks so much for sharing a bit about yourself with us.

    +1 GFC Follower

    babyfro97 at gmail dot com

  40. I've previously seen good reviews of this book, and have been waiting to read this title. Was very excited to see a author giveaway on this site. Liked your "author talk".