#MondayMusing with Guest Author: Christina Philippou

A product of contemplation; a thought: "an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas).

Today I would like to welcome Christina Philippou to the blog. She has recently had her first novel published. She has written a piece about her writing and her route to publication. Many thanks to her for doing this and for being so supportive and sharing on social media. 

Lost in Static

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?

Lost in Static is available from, amongst others, Amazon UK, Amazon US, and direct from the publisher, Urbane Publications.

Happy Monday! Delighted to be on Reflections of a Reader today, musing away on ‘the journey’ to publication – thank you so much for having me J

So who am I and why am I here? Well, I’m just fresh from the release of my debut novel, Lost in Static, which tells the same story from four students’ (sometimes very) different points of view. But apart from that, I’m fairly normal. I have a job and kids and a very hectic life…

I wrote Lost in Static while on maternity leave with my second child. Completely overwhelmed and frazzled with my life, my husband sat me down and told me I needed to find some time for myself. I laughed. Then I cried. And then I decided he was right and registered on an online creative writing course ‘for fun’.

I’ve always loved different structures of narratives. Lawrence Durrell’s The Alexandria Quartet had impressed me as a younger reader, along with books that played with perspective and reader expectations, like The Turbulent Term of Tike Tyler by Gene Kemp or Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. And so, when I started to draft a story, I decided that I, too, would play with perspective.

But it wasn’t that simple. People always recount the same events slightly differently, and I wanted to show that through my writing. My biggest fear wasn’t that people would disagree with the multi point-of-view (POV) narrative style (more on that later), but that they would think that the characters sounded the same. I needn’t have worried too much about the latter, but the former was actually the biggest sticking point when it came to publication.

Most multi-POV narratives ‘pass the baton’, so that the story moves along as the characters take the story onwards. I didn’t want that – I wanted to show the four different versions side-by-side, so each chapter is one event retold by each character present, with each retelling revealing a little more of what happened.

Once I’d finished writing and editing, the real work began. I believed in the novel so I submitted to agents, but the ones that discussed my work were worried about the structure, thinking it too risky and different, and suggesting a less complex style or a third person narrative. The editing service I used, on the other hand, loved the structure but thought that most publishers would want me to change the ending. I started to wonder if I should self-publish instead of trying to find a traditional publisher that would want to change what I considered the fundamentals.

And, while I was debating this, I went to a writer’s day and met Matthew Smith of Urbane Publications, an independent publisher who talked about taking risks on new authors and interesting books. I submitted to Urbane and I was delighted that the publisher not only offered me a contract, but was also happy with both the structure and the ending of the book. And, after another year of editing, Lost in Static was published in September…

Author Bio

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.

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

You can connect with Christina on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Google+.

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