The Constant Search For Wonder And Awe: Kendall Reviews talks to the brilliant Christina Sng.

Christina Sng is the Bram Stoker Award®-winning author of A Collection of Nightmares and Elgin Award nominees, Astropoetry and An Assortment of Sky Things. Her poetry, fiction, and art have appeared in numerous venues worldwide, including Apex Magazine, Dreams and Nightmares, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, New Myths, Polu Texni, and Space and Time.


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KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and I am very fond of poetry, art, resilient plants, beautiful notebooks, and Planter’s Cheez Balls.

KR: What do you like to do when not writing?

I love to garden and paint. Well, thats the official story. My secret indulgence is reading a great book while eating my favourite snack.

KR: What is your favourite childhood book?

My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards. The one with the Spotty Child. I was also very intrigued by the girls at St Clares and longed to join a boarding school in England. Alas, I was sent to a convent here at home.

KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing? 

Generally, I prefer to write in silence or when there is an impenetrable wall of background din. Recently, Ive been mesmerized by Ramin Djawadi‘s Game of Thrones soundtrack, particularly Light of the Seven and The Winds of Winter.

KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?

Deep Rising has been my stalwart favourite since I was young (and it has been so long ago, I cant remember how young). I’m a huge fan of giant monster movies and really looking forward to MEG. As for directors, I’ve long admired the work of Wes Craven.

KR: What are you reading now?

My to-read pile is so tall that it forms a wall. I’m always concurrently reading a few books whenever I can steal time which isn’t very often. Right now, I am reading Christa Carmen’s Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked. The moment I picked up her book, I became an instant fan of her gorgeously languid prose.

KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?

Robert R. McCammon and Sylvia Plath, who showed me that prose and poetry can be beautiful. Swan Song and Ariel are absolute masterpieces. If I could only bring two books into space, it would be those two.

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KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

After two decades of swirling story fragments, I finally have this three-book horror-fantasy novel completely mapped out in my head. Countless iterations have come and gone without an outline, some several hundred thousand words discarded and years given to writing it during every free coherent waking hour. But it wouldn’t come together until I spent time just thinking about the story and where I want it to go, essentially outlining it, and then it fell together. So now, I know how it starts, how it ends, who lives, who dies. I just have to sit down and write it.

With short fiction and poetry, I dont outline at all. I let the story lead me. What I write, is usually my adventure for the day.

KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I can take years researching a book or waiting till I understand the concepts behind the science, which explains why no novel has been completed yet (nor short fiction collection).

With a poem I often spend an entire night looking up a topic. For a haiku, I’d pore through the thesaurus and usage samples to make sure the words I use are accurate. It is critical for me to get the facts right.

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

I have no writing day, so to speak. Brief moments when no one is demanding anything of me, I try to sneak in a haiku. Unfortunately, I need to be immersed in a state of flow to write and that is rare.

Only when everyone is asleep, laundry folded, bills paid, and work is done do I try to write.

KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that youve written (published or not)?

Quite a few! The first short story I ever published, Red, a modern retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and her dark origin story, is currently out in Space and Time #131; Little Red, a fairy tale poem where Red is a survivalist sharpshooter; Starlight, my idea of how the world will probably end; and my ultimate favourite poem, After the War, where storybook characters from our childhood go to war.

KR: Do you read your book reviews?

Yes, with much courage. 🙂

KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?

Keep writing. Write for yourself. Take critiques with appreciation and gratitude. Often, they can be hard to hear but these are the pieces of advice that can really level up your writing. Read widely and be inspired. Search for wonder and awe every day.

KR: What scares you?

The capacity of cruelty in a human heart.

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?


KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?

My latest book of poems A Collection of Nightmares contains the best of my published poetry since 2001 and features seasonal creatures, bone carvers, listless gods, vengeful angels, and post-apocalyptic survivors, spanning the beginning of life to the end of all things good and evil. A Collection of Nightmares won the Bram Stoker Award® earlier this year and has been nominated for the 2018 Elgin Award. I am still in awe and very, very grateful.

KR: What are you working on now?

I have a haiku collection and a children’s speculative collection I need to finish, a horror poetry collection to compile. A massive science fiction poetry tome. A short fiction collection. That novel I mentioned earlier which will encompass fantasy and horror, and perhaps even some science fiction if I go with Plan B for the ending. At the moment though, life commitments are keeping me pretty busy.

KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?

You can choose

a) One fictional character from your writing.

Bella, a Star Chaser and Bounty Hunter (she can open wormholes–imagine the fun!) from my soon-to-be-collected space epic.

b) One fictional character from any other book.

Daenerys Targaryen. She comes with three very large dragons.

c) One real life person that is not a family member or friend.

This is a tough one. Let me get back to you on this.

KR: Thank you very much Christina.

You can follow Christina on Twitter @ChristinaSng

To find out more about Christina please visit her official website

You can check out Christina’s Facebook page here

Hold your screams and enter a world of seasonal creatures, dreams of bones, and confessions modeled from open eyes and endless insomnia. Christina Sng’s A Collection of Nightmares is a poetic feast of sleeplessness and shadows, an exquisite exhibition of fear and things better left unsaid. Here are ramblings at the end of the world and a path that leads to a thousand paper cuts at the hands of a skin carver. There are crawlspace whispers, and fresh sheets gently washed with sacrifice and poison, and if you’re careful in this ghost month, these poems will call upon the succubus to tend to your flesh wounds and scars.
    These nightmares are sweeping fantasies that electrocute the senses as much as they dull the ache of loneliness by showing you what’s hiding under your bed, in the back of your closet, and inside your head. Sng’s poems dissect and flower, her autopsies are delicate blooms dressed with blood and syntax. Her words are charcoal and cotton, safe yet dressed in an executioner’s garb.
    Dream carefully.
    You’ve already made your bed.
    The nightmares you have now will not be kind.
    And you have no one to blame but yourself.

You can buy A Collection Of Nightmares from Amazon US & Amazon UK

You can buy Astropoetry from Alban Lake Publishing

A Constellation Of Songs is due for a reprint in 2018 via Allegra Press

Catku is due for a reprint in 2018 via Allegra Press

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