Ask the Author: Christina Hagmann
What would you like readers to know about you?
I’m just a small-town girl, who didn’t stop believing. Just kidding. Those are lyrics from Journey. But no, I really am a small-town girl who had a unique upbringing that helped develop my creative side. My sisters and I grew up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. There wasn’t much to do but run around, climb trees, and make up stories. We made up stories, made scary movies, and were constantly using our imaginations.
I also began reading at a young age and just loved making up the stories that I wanted to read, the ones that weren’t out in the world yet. Most of my family is into horror movies, and I loved reading books that scared me. When I was in elementary school, there was a book publishing competition. I entered a 25-page horror story. It was the first major piece of writing I’d done, and I was so proud of it. The librarian read it and told me no one would want to read it because it was too scary. I’m stubborn so that just made me want to write all the more.
Last May, my debut novel, Stratagem, was released into the wild and received great reviews while being a #1 New Release on Amazon. I have two books coming out with Rhetaskew Publishing, The Brothers Finn and Touch. I’m excited about these two projects because they take place in the same world, but Touch takes place 200 years after The Brothers Finn. I’ve always loved authors who connect their worlds, and it’s something I’ve been working on with my books. I’m also currently working on the sequels to both Stratagem and Touch. I’m pumped to keep telling these stories and I hope people fall in love with them like I have.
What is your book about for those who haven’t read it?
My debut novel, Stratagem, is about a young girl put in an unfortunate situation. She is taken from her family and forced to work as a shapeshifting spy in a shadowy organization called The Agency. While on a high stakes mission, she is kidnapped by three teenage boys who are seeking revenge.
What has been your inspiration for writing it?
I’ve always loved shapeshifters and spies. I like thinking about stories from different perspectives. Meda, who is a spy and because of that, may have unknowingly acted in a way that hurt others, could be considered the “bad guy” but once you learn about her situation, you realize she has her own reasons for doing what she does. There’s a lot of action and twists, and those are the books I love to read, so I wrote a book that I would enjoy.
What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write?
The twist scenes are my favorite, but I also like to write the scenes in which Meda shifts. Besides that, Isi, who is a side character, might be one of my favorite characters I’ve written. You have to meet her in order to appreciate her. Seriously. She’s pretty rad.
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
So many! I’ve always loved reading, but my true passion as a reader came when I first discovered Stephen King in 5th grade. My mom told me not to read it, but I did anyway and I was hooked. From there, I jumped on the Dean Koontz train. He is such a prolific writer that it was easy for me to hop from book to book. I loved how his books made me feel equal parts horror and fascination.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
Write the dang book. Write a few books. I truly believe everyone has a book in them, you just can’t be afraid to fail and you can’t be too hooked on perfection, especially in the beginning. Write a horrible draft, and then make it better, word by word. Also, join some online writing groups, play the writing prompt games on Twitter, and just surround yourself with others who love writing. Soon, you’ll see yourself as a writer rather than an “aspiring” author. Do the work. Put in the time.
Stratagem is available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Orange Hat Publishing Website.
Visit my website, www.ChristinaHagmann.com, for more about my books and follow me on Social Media!