Saturday's Seven (on a Tues.): Tenner Christy Raedeke

Today I welcome fellow TennerChristy Raedeke whose very cool book, Prophecy of Days, was released in May. Full disclosure:  I've not yet had a chance to read it -- too many books on my nightstand -- but I'm really looking forward to it. A Scottish castle, Ancient Mayan prophecies, an origami monkey -- what's not to like?! Welcome, Christy.

What's your favorite flower and why?My favorite flower is the Peony. Is there anything better than a handful of spring peonies in  a vase?I adore peonies too.  In the Victorian language of flowers, they mean shame or bashfulness, but the Chinese meaning is good luck.  Let's go with the Chinese this time!Is there a quotation you live by or have posted at your desk?I’ve always loved this Emerson  quote:What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.Which book do you wish you could live inside?Frances Hodges Burnett’s The Secret Garden wins by a mile! One of my biggest recurring dreams is finding a door and discovering some wonderful space behind it—I think that has been entirely inspired by reading The Secret Garden as a child and wanting that so badly!That's one of my favorites too, as you could probably guess. Who's your favorite dead writer and what book of his/ hers would you recommend?My favorite dead writer is Herman Hesse. I love, love, love his coming of age novel, Demian and Siddhartha made a huge impact on me as a young person.What book have you read more than any other and why?It’s a tie between East of Eden, Damien, and The Fountainhead. I’m so over The Fountainhead now but for years I’d read it every fall!How do you structure your writing time? I have two kids, a husband, and an intense full-time job, so unfortunately “structure” and “writing time” are not words that are usually uttered in the same sentence! I write when I can steal the time, usually at night after the kids are in bed (which really cuts into my trashy TV watching time). My favorite way to write is to go to my family’s cabin for the weekend—no phone, no internet, no interruptions! I set the time for 40 minutes (a trick I learned from author Teri Hall) and write without stopping, then take a 20 minute break. I can do this for about three hours then I need to nap or take a walk before sitting down to do it again. I can get a LOT done in a weekend away.That cabin sounds wonderful, and I'm might borrow Teri's trick too.  How did you become interested in Mayan mysteries? About ten years ago, I read a book called Secrets of the Talking Jaguar by Martin Prechtel, an American guy who moved to Mexico and ended up becoming a Maya shaman. That book introduced me to Maya cosmology, and once I dug deeper into that I discovered the Mayan Calendar mystery of 2012. There wasn’t much written about it back in 1999, but it completely captivated me and became the engine for what would become Prophecy of Days.Love the origami-making monkey and the Feng Shui master. Did you intentionally give the novel an international feel?I think we write about what we love, don’t you? We have to spend so much time with the material it would be difficult to write about things that we were not passionate about. I love travel and anything that has an international feel so naturally that was a big part of the book.Why did you decide to set the novel in Scotland?Well, mostly because I love everything about Scotland! I was inspired by the Isle of Skye and the big/boxy Dunvegan Castle that sits on it. I wanted a setting as far removed from the Mayalands of Mexico as possible, and a place that had a rich history with ancient cultures, sites, and symbols.

Dunvegan Castle, Scotland

Dunvegan Castle, Scotland

What are you working on now?I’m taking a short writing break! I have another finished manuscript, completely different from Prophecy of Days, that I need to do a bit of revision on but I’m trying to enjoy the summer and my kids before I go on lockdown. I’ll be getting my editorial letter on Prophecy of Days, Book two: The Serpent’s Coil any day now and once I get that I’ll be on a serious revision schedule. I’m also in the dreaming stages for the next book. I have two ideas and am trying to figure out which one I’d be more passionate about writing. One would take a lot of research; the other would take some intricate plotting. I guess I’m weight the advantages/disadvantages before diving headlong into writing.Thanks so much for the interview, Amy!Thanks for coming by, Christy, and hope you have a wonderful summer! You can find out more about Christy and her novels here or at her blog.