My Interview with Chimia Hill-Burton!
Welcome, Lady! I am so happy to be able to interview you today. There are so many things I want to ask you, and I just find you to be such an interesting person. I cannot wait to read your books – I am sure my readers will feel the same after learning more about you!
1. I like knowing how people see themselves because it gives insight into their mind. Therefore, I always begin by asking: please, tell us how you’d describe yourself?
Always an interesting question to be asked. I am an open minded person in general. I have a very unique personality, meaning I adapt well to any surroundings. I can be calm cool and collected or out of this world crazy if I choose. I feel that having this type of personality keeps me grounded and open to creative ideas.
2. This first set of questions will be directed toward you as a person and a reader. Considering you have lived in Germany, as well as the United States, I think you will have a unique view of the literary world… and life, in general. J
· Though you were born in Tennessee, you were raised in Germany. At what age did you move, and when did you return to the States?
o My step father was in Army and we moved Germany during the conflict of the Berlin Wall coming down. I was probably around six going on seven years old.
o We lived in Gessin, Germany until I think 1991, then moved back to the states.
§ Do you consider yourself an avid reader, and was it your love of reading that led you to writing?
· Actually, the weird thing is I am not. I really do not care for reading that much. I mean, if the story is interesting then I will give it a go, but just having books upon books… No, I can’t say that was one of my interests.
· It was not what got me into writing.
§ Do you think your life would have taken a different path had you been raised in the United States instead of in Europe? Why, or why not?
· Yes, I do believe that it would have. I would not be as open to new places, ideas and people for that matter. Travel has made me see the world in a whole new light.
Ø What do you think was the best part of growing up in Germany?
ü The culture for the most part. I loved Germany, even though I was young at the time and probably couldn’t fathom the issues brewing around me.
ü I grew up with an open mind and heart for people. I didn’t have issues with color or racism then. I grew up, the early parts, in a village with other Germans.
ü We were well liked there, the experience gave me insight to what a community looked it. Everyone pretty much knew everyone, and as long as you respected their culture, they welcomed you with open arms.
Ø What experiences did your friends and family have in America that you lacked in Europe, but wish you’d had?
ü Nothing really. I mean, maybe some junk food.
Ø In contrast, what experience do German kids have that you wish American kids had?
ü I mean all the festivals and the food! I mean, the food in German was fresh and homemade.
ü Oh, and of course the walks to the castles. You have never seen a more beautiful view.
· How was literature different in Germany than in the United States? I mean, did you notice a difference in what was popular amongst readers, both in and out of school?
o No, I was too young to understand the concept of literature. One of the things I do hate that I did miss.
§ What sort of books were on your school reading list? Did you notice a difference between what American students were reading compared to German pupils?
· Well, at the time, we had a German teacher who would teach us basic German, but we had mostly American teachers and American-style reading material.
· Are you fluent in German, and if so, do you read or write in German or English? Why, or why not?
o No, unfortunately. I use to be, and I can still understand some. I was almost there once. However, when we moved back to the States, it was not practiced, so eventually, I lost it.
3. I read you began writing at the age of twelve. I am going to focus these next questions on you as a writer. I am curious to learn about the things that inspire you, and what your writing style is like. I’d also like to learn how you came to being published.
· What do you consider your muse(s) for writing?
o LOL Boredom. Nah, let me be real. There are various things that can be a muse for me when I write. I do not have one thing that makes me write.
o Writing for me is a natural thing. It does not take much time for me come up with a story, or to write it, if I have the time to actually do it.
§ I know you’ve written poems, short stories, and figurative writing in the past. Do you have a favorite writing outlet, and if yes, what is it, and why do you prefer it?
· No, I do not. To me, if a character show to mind and starts to speak, I will write about it until the voice fades. Same with a poem or figurative writing – it just has to come to me.
§ I know Edgar Allan Poe has a special place in your heart. I know his work has been a HUGE inspiration to you. How did you discover him, and what do you love most about his writing?
Ø When I was in high school, we read Poe. I love the dark side of him. The Cask of Amontillado is my favorite story.
Ø What influence do you feel Edgar Allan Poe has had on you as a writer?
ü I fell in love with first person writing a while ago, but he made me believe that I could write like that. I could tell twisted tales and still feel human.
§ What other authors and books call to you, and why?
· Zane - I like all of her twisted tales, too. I like the way her character reveals things that is human about people, but maybe not morally correct in society.
Ø Which books do you return to, reading again and again, and why?
ü None. Again, I do not read that much. I am not a person who likes to read others works as much as I like writing my own.
Ø Are there authors you wish to emulate with your own writing? Who are they, and why do you like their styles so much?
ü No. I want to become my own type of Author.
· What inspired you to go from being a writer to a published author?
o Well, it was not me who pushed for the published part. I have people in my life who have read my work. They really liked the stories and wanted to know why I had not done anything with them.
o Writing is still a hobby for me. I love the freedom of listening to my characters and writing their lives.
· Have you always self-published, or do you have experience with a publisher, literary agent, or small press?
o I decided to self-publish because I wanted my book out.
o Sometimes, I feel that big time publishers can’t see past the dollar. Yes, that is their business, but this is my art. And like anyone else’s art, I want to express it freely. I do not need them telling me it’s not good enough. It’s fine to me and to others who have read it before I published it, so it’s good enough.
§ When you were looking into the way you wanted to pursue publishing your work, did you compare the options you might have had between the United States and Germany? Why, or why not?
· No, I didn’t. The reason why is because the whole process was new to me. I didn’t know where to start, but I just did some research and found a way to get it done.
Ø Do you feel there are more opportunities in the United States or in Europe, and why do you think that is?
ü I have not been to Europe in a long time, but even then, I felt more ahead then in the United States. I mean, there are advantages to living aboard. You feel things differently, you see things differently and you become more one-with-the-world as a whole. You open your mind to new ways of thinking, and seeing the world.
Ø What do you think are the benefits for being self-published, and do your connections to Europe help with sales there?
ü Self-Publishing makes your dream a reality and not just a possibility. You can actually get your book out there, instead of waiting for someone else’s approval.
ü No, I have no connection still in Europe. So it did not help my sales. However, I did make friends with people who are in Europe and they helped my sales.
· Do you use professional services for your books? If yes, what are they, and why do you choose them?
o I used Hotbookcovers.com for my cover art. They are amazing, well they like my ideas and can make them reality.
o Shutterstock, for some of my art work that is used on my covers. They have pretty good selection for royalty-free art.
o I do like having licensing so I do not have to deal with any issues.
4. What do you think is the most surprising thing you encountered as a published author, and how has it impacted you and your career?
The most interesting thing I have encountered about being published is how much marketing you need to get exposure. Just having so much support is out here. I have been bless with all the people, who have come into life. They have helped me to show off and revamp my creativity.
5. What can we expect to see from you over the coming year?
Well, I have been working on multiple projects. I have the last book for the Beautiful & Hero Series. I am working on the next book for my Confessions in Whispers series.
· Do you maintain an annual writing strategy or do you sort of “wing it”, based on the characters and stories that dominate your mind?
o Now, that is a good question. I usually just “wing it” depending on the characters and the emotional attachment to the story. I can write on anything I want, but if it does not catch me, then I will just forget about it.
· What is your current WIP?
o Beautiful & Hero The Infringed Heart
o Confessions in Whispers Darker Endeavors
Thank you for sharing your time and thoughts with us today. I wish you great success, and I look forward to delving into your novels!