I’m welcoming debut author Christina Philippou today to chat to us about her interesting inspiration for Lost in Static plus much more.
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 (I highly recommend you follow posts which are inspirational and share great content).
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise Lost in Static in 20 words or less.
The same events of betrayal, lust, and violence told from four students’ slightly (occasionally very) different perspectives…
What was the inspiration for your novel?
My husband and I had a ‘disagreement’ over how we got together, and then a few days later, I was talking to a friend about an event we had both attended and realised that she and I had completely different interpretations of it. It got me thinking about how easy it is to misunderstand people’s actions when we’re not in their heads, but also how differently everyone sees the same events. And so Lost in Static was born.
(my two sons have totally different perceptions of the same family experiences when they were younger – always fascinates me!)
What scene did you most enjoy writing Christina?
There’s a misunderstanding scene (one of many in the book) where one character is upset that another (female character) slams a door in his face in hatred while, in reality, the character in question is desperately embarrassed and doesn’t want him to see what she’s holding… It was a lot of fun twisting the perspectives.
Does Lost in Static tackle any social barriers?
Although misunderstandings is at the heart of the book (how people’s interpretations and perceptions of the same events affect each other, sometimes very negatively), I also explore themes of loneliness, sexuality, and unconscious gender and race bias.
Do you have a favourite place you go to for inspiration or a favourite activity?
Nothing beats a walk for inspiration – although how the walk is carried out (in the countryside, in town, with music, without) depends on what type of scene/ story I’m trying to write.
Panster or plotter?
A pedantic plotter. I like to know where I’m headed and what I’m covering in each chapter before I start. I don’t think Lost in Static could have been written without meticulous plotting because of the interwoven stories – it would have unravelled pretty quickly if I had pantsed it.
Which authors have influenced your writing?
Too many to count. I used to read a lot of crime, so the classics (Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) have infused some mystery into my contemporary fiction stories. Then there’s Kate Morton, with her beautifully woven characterisation. But my old job, which required writing succinct reports, has probably been the biggest influence on my writing style.
What about a favourite book? Do you have one Christina?
Just one? Impossible. But my top ten would include The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.
Do you think movie adaptations do books justice?
Rarely. My biggest disappointment was The Beach by Alex Garland – complete destruction of the book. My favourite was BBC’s adaptation of Persuasion – it was brilliantly done.
Finally, if you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be …
Talk to each other, and try to do it honestly… to avoid a lot of misunderstandings and drama.
Thank you for sharing Christina.
Wishing you success with all your writing projects.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Urbane Publications (15 Sept. 2016)
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 to purchase from: