Subscribe to Schulze’s FADBooks Review!

After some debate, I’ve decided to try the whole author newsletter thing again, but this time, I’m starting off slow with a quarterly release to see how things go. With my busy work schedule and such, quarterly option might work best for me. The newsletter will include info on my upcoming publications, writing advice, info on my quarterly give-aways, and more! I’d also like to create a section where folks can ask me questions and I can get to know my readers more.

To sign up, just click my Subscribe tab above, or just click this here link: http://eepurl.com/b-hGDb

The first issue will be released this December!

Book Review: Puzzle of the Two-Headed Dragon

dragon_frontHullo, readers!

I am happy and honored to share the latest review for one of my children’s books, The Puzzle of the Two-Headed Dragon. Below is my favorite snippet from reviewer Aimee Ann:

“The Puzzle of the Two-Headed Dragon is one of the most well-developed children’s stories I have ever come across, and so I am so happy I have discovered this book because books with such a high quality such as this one are rare to come by!”

What high and humbling praise!

Feel free to read the full review here:

https://redheadedbooklover.com/the-puzzle-of-the-two-headed-dragon-christine-e-schulze/

Thanks very much to Ms. Aimee for taking the time to read, so thoroughly enjoy, and review my work.

God bless, happy reading, and may you all be inspired!

 

Updates Regarding Book and Art Give-aways

I’m going to be changing my monthly give-aways on Instagram and Facebook to quarterly give-aways. The reason for doing so is several-fold:

1. To be able to focus more of my time and resources into creating more quality books and connect with more readers.

2. To create better-quality give-aways; I think it’s better to host four bigger give-aways a year that folks really get into, than to do one every month because I feel like I *have* to.

3. To be able to focus more on digital give-aways; I LOVE print give-aways, but digital will allow me to budget better and reach more new readers.

The give-aways will run each March, June, September, and December.

These give-aways will still run @christinee.schulze and @fadbooks on Instagram, as well as on my Facebook page, Christine E. Schulze. I will also start hosting them here on my blog.

Thanks so much, dear readers!!

Doing Diversity With Respect

I’d like to take a moment to clarify that while including diversity in my books has always been important to me since I was a child, it has never been with a selfish or disrespectful intent; rather, quite the opposite. I don’t do what I do to make money or because it’s what’s “in.” My stories are all about inclusion and acceptance and equality, because I believe people from all walks of life should see themselves represented in fantasy and to go on grand adventures.

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That being said, as a white woman, I would never presume to know what it’s like to be African American, Native American, Hispanic, Asian, or any other race or ethnicity. That’s where the beauty of fantasy comes in, to help me fulfill my purpose and inspiration in a respectful manner. I can create my own fantasy races who physically represent real races and ethnicities, but since my races are fictional, I also create my own histories and cultures for them. In this way, I aim not to disrespect any real cultures or undermine the importance of African Americans writing African American protagonists or Asians writing Asian protagonists, etc. I’m still able to include diversity which is important to me on a personal and moral level. African Americans can experience characters who look like them through the Carmennans or Water-skipper Elves, two of my dark-skinned races with similar features. Hispanics can see themselves represented in the Spaniños, who likewise have Hispanic features. But since these races are of my own creation, I’m also not presuming to understand what it’s like to grow up as an African American or Hispanic or be in their shoes. I’m constantly interested in educating myself, but I acknowledge that I can still never “be” them.

This past weekend, I attended a craft fair where I had a table signing and selling my books. A lady came up to me and said, “I teach a twelve-year-old girl who doesn’t have the best self-esteem on her looks. I’d like something that helps show her how pretty she is. She’s Hispanic. Do you have anything?” I was pleased to show this lady The Crystal Rings and explain that in the first story, there is a princess who goes on an adventure, and while all of my races are made up, her race and look is inspired by Hispanics. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable directly calling my character Hispanic, because my character really isn’t Hispanic. But it felt great knowing that perhaps I had created a story and characters that could help someone see the beauty of their own ethnicity. I really hope that girl finds at least some inspiration and encouragement from reading my book.

cover3I’ve since also become more passionate about including characters who have disabilities; I’ve been inspired to do so by my day job at Trinity Services in Mascoutah, IL; there, I help folks with autism and other disabilities live more independent lives. I would never presume to understand what it’s like to be blind or deaf or autistic or in a wheelchair. But I do believe it’s important to include these characters in fantasy to show others how they are just as capable as anyone; if they can go on grand adventures, they can do anything in the real world. But I would still not seek to take away from their power; they should be empowered to do their own writing and creating and tell their own stories.

Page0I hope this helps my readers understand who I am as an author and what my purpose is: to represent people of all backgrounds and include characters that many different people can relate to, without causing any offense or disrespect. I absolutely think that other races and cultures should be the most prominent voices when writing about their own cultures and races. In the meanwhile, I can embrace and support acceptance and equality for all through the creation of my fantasy worlds.

 

 

Book-signings and Nature and Gypsies–oh my!!

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Well, per the usual it’s been a couple of months since I’ve posted, but at least I can say I’ve been busy during that time!! The past couple of months have been a fun whirlwind. Every author needs a break now and then, so my writing has been on hold till I’m ready to go ahead with my lovely editor, Kira Lerner, to finish editing The Gailean Quartet. I’m hoping to release the first book sometime next year, early 2019 at the latest, but as this will be my first remastered series, I’m in no rush. I mean, I am, but I’m not. I want it out there, but only in its top form!

Screenshot_2017-10-25-18-27-36-1-1In the meantime, I’ve mostly been enjoying life. Hiking, immersing myself in nature…I was a sickly child but now that I’m older and have been able to tackle many of my allergies and other health issues, I’m determined to make up for as much of that lost time as possible and just enjoy exploring God’s nature. I also had the pleasure of attending my first Renaissance Festival in Wentzville, MO (near St. Louis) with two of my besties, Adam and Loryn (also literally the cutest couple to ever BREATHE), and as you can tell, the belly dancing gypsies were definitely our favorite.

Screenshot_2017-10-25-18-27-13-1I’ve also done a book-signing here or there and had the pleasure of meeting some brilliant fellow Indie authors, including Leigh Savage and John W. Smith, seen in the photos here.

As far as what’s in the works, as I said, I’m taking an editing break, though as cold weather moves in, I can tell I’m getting the “itch” to get started again. Meanwhile, I’ve been working overtime to finance a special project of mine, an illustrated edition of One Starry Knight. I hope eventually to do the same with Bloodmaiden, it being my first published book, as well as a readers’ fave. For the One Starry Knight book, I’ve hired various artists to read the book and depict favorite scenes. Here is shown an illustration by Karen Swartz, who also illustrated one of my kids’ books, The Puzzle of the Two-Headed Dragon.Screenshot_2017-10-25-18-27-26-1

Well, that’s my life right now. This weekend will involve hanging with some bats and lots of hiking. More updates coming soon, but in the meanwhile, feel free to keep up with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads. Just search for my name; far as I know, I’m the only “Me” in the world thus far, I’m not too hard to find. 🙂

As always, God bless, happy reading, and may you all be inspired!!

~ Christine E. Schulze

 

FADBooks Bookstore Officially Open!!

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My FADBooks store on Etsy is finally, officially open!

I will be selling both regular and autographed copies of my books. Autographed copies have the option to be personalized, so if you’re wanting to give a book to a child, friend, family member, lover, whoever, just let me know when making the purchase and I will add a personalized autograph for that person! Shipping is FREE in the U.S.

Also, 25% of all profits will go to ALFA, a charity helping adults with autism and other developmental disabilities living in Southern Illinois live more full and abundant lives!

The store can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/fadbooks

As always, God bless, happy reading, and may you all be inspired!

~ Christine E. Schulze

Let the Summer Adventures Begin!!

Heya, readers, friends, and fans! FINALLY, my first true post in a while. Been a long time coming, but I’ve been working on a lot of various projects behind-the-scenes, so to speak, keeping busy as ever! I have a slue of fun lil summer plans in between editing, publishing, doing book-signings, collabing with artist Stacey Hummel to create my graphic novel series…and boy, am I pumped for it all!!

Here’s what I’ve been up to the past month, author stuff and adventure stuff included:

Finishing Puca, my newest children’s book: Every year I determine to finish a new children’s book by the time of my workplace’s annual Strawberry Fest, where they always graciously grant me a table to sign and sell my books. This year, the children’s book I completed was Puca, which I wrote for the lovely lady on the left, a co-worker whose grandson passed away last year from brain cancer. The book is inspired by him and dedicated to his family, and was written so that other children and their families who are going through the same experience can find hope and peace.

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Book-signing at Lebanon’s May Market: For those who aren’t familiar, I sell my books at the Tiadaghton House in lovely little historical Lebanon, Illinois. The Tiadaghton House sells work from about 70 local artists. Well, this year, they invited me to participate in Lebanon’s annual May Market, and of course I was excited to snatch up a spot ASAP!

Despite roads being flooded due to recent torrents of rain, the turn-out was fair. I met some new people, made some new readers, and had a blast hanging out with Codiya, Squal, The Emma, Mumsie, and various of my other friends who stopped by and made the whole day super fun and enjoyable.

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The Lion King Live!: The day after May Market, me ‘n’ Squal had tickets to go see The Lion King live at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis with our mums. Alas, Squal’s mum took ill, but I was able to quickly find replacements for the tickets, including my dear friend Codiya here, whom Mom and I took along with us personally. It was a beautiful performance, truly worth the wait! One our favorite parts was the giraffes; kudos to whoever was up on them stilts, workin’ some skillz!

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Special Editions, Coming Right Up: Soooo, originally, I had this idea to create a graphic novel version of Bloodmaiden, but that idea eventually dissolved as I decided to write The D.N.A. Sequence as a graphic novel series. I will be focusing all my time and resources into getting that series created over the next couple of years, but in the meantime wanted to do something special with Bloodmaiden, as well as One Starry Knight. So instead, I will be creating “Special Editions” of each of these young adult fantasy novella, including illustrations and, for One Starry Knight, a photo shoot. Below are a couple of character sketches from One Starry Knight, with Kaos on the left, noble yet brooding as ever, and the chipper Jay on the right. #prayforjaysinn

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Book-signing at Trinity Strawberry Fest: As mentioned above, every May I get to do a book-signing as part of my workplace’s annual Strawberry Fest. I work at Trinity Services which provides residential and day program services for adults with disabilities in the Southern Illinois area. It’s always a blast getting to spend the day with my co-workers and clients while meeting new people!

Also, for those of you who don’t know, 25% of ALL my books sales goes to ALFA, a local charity that provides volunteers and funding to many of Trinity’s program. Please consider buying one of my books from Amazon or Barnesandnoble.com and support adults with autism and other disabilities in the process!

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Nature Geek Chic: I love nothing more than exploring nature, even if it’s just a stroll through Lebanon’s McKendree University grounds and their magic fairy fountain! Immersing oneself in God’s creation recharges the soul.

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Rubbing Zac Efron’s Abs…Uhh…I Mean, Hittin’ Craptastic Movies With Squal: This month’s films included Get Out, which was really flippin’ weird but good, and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The only good thing about the latter movie really was rubbing a cardboard cut-out Zac Efron’s abs, and I’m not even an Efron fan. Yes–Squal and myself, aka Glaz, conclude the movie was THAT BAD. It has some nice imagery, but pretty much zero emotional connections to any of the characters, too many wtf moments to list here, and despite all the action was surprisingly boring. Ties Snow White and the Huntsman: Winter’s War in terms of awfulness…perhaps even surpasses it… *shudders*

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That’s all for now, folks. Stay tuned for further updates on my books and personal adventures. Till then, God bless, happy reading, and may you all be inspired!

~ Christine E. Schulze