Author Interview: Chrystalla Thoma

This week, Rex Rising author and sci-fi/fantasy joins me (Landra) in a quickfire 5 question interview. Without further ado here she is!  

1. I expected to get the willies when reading the story due to the parasites, but I didn’t… luckily ;). What I really want to know is what research on parasites did you have to conduct for the story? 

Glad to know the parasites didn’t creep you out. 🙂 I was interested in parasites before I wrote “Rex Rising” – they are fascinating creatures that can alter behavior, the function of one’s body, even the DNA and reproduction modus. They are so complicated that it is only recently we have started to decipher how they move from host to host and how they make their host do their bidding. I read everything on parasites that I could find, looking for ideas on what my parasites could do.

Being a cat lover, one of the parasites that interested me a lot is toxoplasma gondii, a cat parasite that can also be transmitted to humans and which alters our behavior. It has been found to make women more flirty and outgoing, men more paranoid and macho, and to sometimes lead to schizophrenia. From there, it was an easy leap to my parasites.

2. With all the action and conflict you only get a bit of each character’s backstory, but I was still wondering more about Hera. In book 2 will readers get more Hera and more information about who she is in the grand scheme of things?

Yes, absolutely, we do learn more of each main character’s backstory in book 2 (and more in book 3) – Kalaes’ and Hera’s.

But if you like Hera, she has her own novelette, called (what else?) “Hera”. This novelette takes place a couple of years before the events in “Rex Rising” and shows us where Hera comes from and how she decides to join the resistance.

3. Did you plan on a trilogy with Rex or did the story mutate into trilogy status? 

Rex Rising has a peculiar story as a…story. *snicker* I wrote its first draft many years ago, and it was a very different story, but some of the world building was done then. I picked it up again more recently, about 4-5 years back, and realized I wanted to keep the world and write a different story. So I worked on my characters’ backstories and characteristics, decided what the story was, and set down to write it. It was a short novella, which I then lay aside as I was working on something completely different (an epic fantasy with dragons). About 2 years ago, I picked it up again and decided I wanted to work on it. I cleaned it and expanded it and saw again the whole story in my mind, and realized it didn’t end with “Rex Rising”. I immediately made the outline for the next two books and have been working on the trilogy ever since.

4. Book 2, Rex Cresting is now available on Amazon but could you tell readers when we can expect book 3? And you mentioned a book from Kalaes point of view on your website?

Yes, “Rex Cresting” is available, and book 3 (Rex: Equilibrium) should be out sometime this summer, probably toward its end. And yes, I very much want to write a book from Kalaes’ point of view – exploring again backstory, seeing what happened to him in the past which led to him being as he is and to the events of “Rex Cresting”.

5. Finally, what do you want readers to take away from reading the Elei Chronicles?

This is always a tough question. Each reader will take away something different, I believe, but if you’re asking whether there is an underlying message – maybe just this: trust in your heart; it knows when someone cares for you.

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