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Writer Wednesday: Christina Philippou

Christina Philippou's writing career has been a varied one, from populating the short-story notebook that lived under her desk at school to penning reports on corruption and terrorist finance. When not reading or writing, she can be found engaging in sport or undertaking some form of nature appreciation. Christina has three passports to go with her three children, but is not a spy. Lost in Static is her first novel, published by Urbane Publications.

Christina is also the founder of the contemporary fiction author initiative, Britfic.

1. Why did you want to become a writer? 
I've always loved writing - and, when I was an awkward teen and I told my grandmother that I loved writing poetry, she told me a wonderful story of how she used to do this while watching the goats (she grew up in a secluded village in pre-WW2 Greece). That one story conjured up so many images and inspired me for life, taking me from being someone who writes to thinking of myself as a writer.

2. What's the toughest part of the writing process for you? 
Editing. I’m an intricate plotter (I love my spreadsheets – please don’t judge!), and first draft writing flows well once I know where I’m going, but the editing... Ugh! It doesn’t help that I’m a grammar and factual accuracy pedant, which means hours of trawling my scripts for inconsistencies and wrong word usage.

3. What's the most enjoyable part of writing? 
Plotting. I love sitting down with a basic idea and adding layers until I have enough for a multi-faceted story with complex characters and a normally serious (despite the levity in my writing) theme.

4. Out of all the amazing books out there, which book do you wish you had written and why? 
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. It’s raw, it’s pacy, it’s complex, and it’s so beautifully written that, if you weren’t paying attention, you could miss the beautiful writing that underpins the (OK, OK, very dark) story.

5. If you could only save one of your characters from fictional calamity, which would you pick and why?
Hard question. I think fictional calamity serves its purpose and strengthens my characters so I’d probably leave them to it as most come out OK (if a little scarred) in the end.

6. If you could spend the day with your favourite literary character (not from your books), who would you spend it with and what would you do? 
Just one??? I’d probably go solve a mystery with Sherlock Holmes, although I’d probably regret it when he made me look stupid. I have a thing about flawed characters, and a drug-taking, paranoid, overly-self-centred genius fits the bill perfectly.

7. What can we expect next from you? 
My next novel is somewhat darker, although some of the levity is still there…

8. Is there any particular writing advice you wish you'd been given at the start of your writing career? If so, what is it? If not, what advice would you give to someone starting out? 
I wish someone had bothered telling me to ‘stop procrastinating and just do it’ and I would have probably written my first novel far sooner. Know the writing rules and then consciously break them is another.

9. Tell us what a typical writing day involves for you. 
There is no typical writing day. There is a ‘squeeze in some writing at some point between looking after three small children, doing a full-time job, and managing everything else going on in my life’. It sometimes works. 

10. Finally, what are you reading at the moment? 
Balancing fiction (Half Wild by Sally Green) with non-fiction (Fraud, Corruption and Sport by Graham Brooks, Azeem Aleem, and Mark Button).

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Sometimes growing up is seeing someone else's side of the story. Four stories. One truth. Whom do you believe?

Callum has a family secret. Yasmine wants to know it. Juliette thinks nobody knows hers. All Ruby wants is to reinvent herself.

They are brought together by circumstance, torn apart by misunderstanding. As new relationships are forged and confidences are broken, each person's version of events is coloured by their background, beliefs and prejudices. And so the ingredients are in place for a year shaped by lust, betrayal, and violence...

Lost in Static is the gripping debut from author Christina Philippou. Whom will you trust?
Follow Christina on Twitter | Buy Lost in Static on Amazon |
Like her on Facebook | Visit her website

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