Today I am interviewing Rinah Lidonde, author of Star Bright under her pen name Christina Ow.

Rinah studies and resides in South Africa, but Kenya is her home country. She holds a Diploma in Law and is currently pursuing a BA in International Studies and Communications and Media Studies. Rinah is a last born child and a twin.

Rinah wrote her first manuscript in 2010. Besides writing, she is also passionate about singing, drawing and designing.

Rinah lives in her imagination and considers herself a very creative person.

Thanks for joining us today, Rinah. Can you tell us a bit about your books – what genre do you consider them to belong to?

All of them are romance, that’s the one thing they share. Then there are elements of thrill, suspense, crime, contemporary, fantasy and paranormal.

Wow, that’s a broad spectrum! I admit I’m not a fan of pure romance, but I do love a good romantic subplot. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
           
My love for reading novels started a very long time, about when I was 10 or 11. I was in awe of how a person’s imagination could just take form and fill up pages. I loved the fact that I would read the words and watch it play out in my mind. Some of the books became way more interesting than watching TV!
I’m a person who lives in her head more than the outside world because off all the stories in my head.  So I figured maybe I should put down all the stories I had in my head on paper, and share them, see if everyone else loved them as much as I did.

I hear you. I’ve been reading since about 9 and read way more than I watch TV. Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Yes. I hate killing characters, but for the book, Love Forever After, to have some deep emotions and for the other characters to grow, it had to be done.

For Star Bright, it was writing Maria’s abuse. But I wanted the readers to say her happily ever after was long overdue. That they were happy for her and her new life and the new strong person she’d become.

Now you’ve got me worried I’m the only writer who has no problems doing terrible things to her characters. Eek! Tell us, how did you come up with the title?

I try to sum up the entire book in a handful of words.  In the beginning of Star Bright, Maria sees herself as a teen mother betrayed by the men in her life, but in the end she becomes more than she ever thought possible – a mother, a daughter, a friend and a wife, and I wanted the title to reflect that. Behind all the clouds of hardships that covered her, she was an emerging bright star.

They do say you should be able to sum up your book in 25 words or less before you even put pen to paper and it’s a brilliant way to identify your core theme which, in my experience, lends itself to the title. Are you working on anything now?

I just finished Fatal Jealousy. The title speaks for itself but the intrigue comes in when sibling rivalry between twins takes a fatal turn.  And a valentine’s special, Love Forever After, that is completely out of the norm of what valentine’s books are supposed to be. All I’m going to say about it is, husband, dead wife and baby, you’ll just have to read the book when it’s out!
  
And there is the Fate series. It’s a fantasy paranormal love story between two emotionally scarred individuals. One just happens to be Ashat, a werewolf, a man filled with vengeance and hate because of the slaughter of his family, and the other is Lee, a girl who lost everything including her family because of Ashat. To stay together they are faced with many personal challenges and an enemy who wants them both dead. And then as the series progresses, Lee finds out an entire history about herself that her mother had buried when someone from her past pays her a visit. I’ve finished the first two and currently writing the third.

Wow, that’s a lot of books! And fantasy paranormal – now that’s a little more down my alley. Who designs the covers for your books?

Viola Estrella! She works with 5 Prince Publishing, I just love her! Describing a picture you see in your head with words is the most difficult thing ever. I didn’t think she’d make sense of it until I saw the cover. I love it! It’s beautiful and the entire story is also in the cover! It’s incredible!

Now that’s what you want in a cover artist. Many authors have day jobs as well as their writing – are you one of them?

Yes and no. I am currently a student at Monash University South Africa, pursuing a double major BA in International Studies and Communication and Media Studies and a minor in Literature.

I’m also a fashion designer. In the midst of all of this, I’m prepping my fashion label. Hopefully by next year it will be up and running

And I thought I was busy…. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep writing and keep querying. It was a long year of querying and about twenty five rejections before Connie Kline said yes.

Very sound advice. Now, for a few non-writing questions to give us a little insight into who you are, if you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, whom would it be?

Delphine from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s book, Dream Warrior. She’s a bad ass and very crazy! Not every woman would take a heart from someone else to save the man they love!

Yikes! I haven’t read them but they are kind-of on my TBR list. She sounds like my kind of gal. If you were an animal what kind would you be?

A tiger. I don’t know why but since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to be a tiger!

Tigers are pretty cool, I don’t think anyone could argue with that. Thanks for joining us today, Rinah. If you’re interested in reading Star Bright, you can buy it here, or if you’d like to look Rinah up, you can find her at:


Twitter: @christina_ow


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