Please welcome the next guest in my Meet Some UtopYA2015 Lovelies (Unofficial) series.
I couldn’t wait to meet Christina Marie this year. She reviewed Fractured Glass and loved it, and she has such a presence. I began following her blog and watching her YouTube videos and fell in love with her. I’m thrilled to say she’s even more amazing in person. She’s a bright ray of sunshine and always opening her arms for a hug.
|Christina with me & Jo Michaels|
Thanks for hanging out on my blog today.
CM: Of course, Tia! I’m excited to be here!
When did you decide to share your love of books through a blog and YouTube channel?
CM: It was actually three years ago on July 19, 2012 that I started both my blog and my YouTube channel, but I didn’t decide to start sharing my love for books until I read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green back in April 2013! I felt the need to express my feels in a different way and book blogging & book tubing became my home that year!
When I watched your YouTube reflections on UtopYA, I was thrilled to find out you are a writer at heart. I truly believe the best writers love to read. Can you tell us what your book is about?
CM: Yes! I can. I am finally confident and comfortable enough to tell people that I am writing something! My book is about a young girl, Brette, who is abandoned by her mother at a very young age, and so she’s raised by her father. One day her father gets into some trouble and disappears, leaving her to fend for herself as a teenage girl. She becomes homeless because of this — until she is saved by a man that turns out to be her mother’s new husband. So, she’s thrown into this new life and new family with a mother that she’s hated all of her life. My book is about her adapting to all of that, while learning how to love her mother again and fall in love with her new family.
It sounds amazing. I can't wait to read it. I loved the story you shared with me at UtopYA about Marissa Meyer’s influence on you at a young age. Can you share that here? Oh, and tell us how it felt to meet her in person.
CM: Oh gosh! Marissa Meyer was a part of my childhood. When I was about 10 years old, I started watching Sailor Moon when I was at summer Day camp and fell in LOVE with the show — and anime in general. I found myself — really, my mother — buying the soundtracks, the dolls, the manga, everything Sailor Moon related. I was THAT in love. But then I also found myself mentally rewriting the episodes in my head. That was right around the time my mom started letting me on the computer and using the internet, so I found out what fan fiction was. And I happened upon a lot of Sailor Moon fan fiction. It was amazing! I used to print out the stories and keep them in a binder near my bed. I loved reading people’s re-imaginings of characters and episodes that I’d seen.
Anyway, there were about 3 fanfiction stories that I loved so much that I kept reading over and over again. They were by a person with the pen name Alicia Blade. I loved reading her stories. I just loved how real she made these characters feel to me. I still have those stories to this day… those stories got me through really bad days. When I just wasn’t feeling like myself, especially during my teenage years. (Fun Fact: I even wrote my own Sailor Moon/Digimon fan fiction because of Alicia Blade… and I may still have it *wink, wink*)
Turns out, Alicia Blade is none other Marissa Meyer. I love that woman. I love The Lunar Chronicles — they’re some of my favorite books. So, I almost cried when I found out that she and Alicia Blade were the same person!
When I found out she was going to be at UtopYA, I could NOT wait to meet her and tell her about everything she’s done for me. Well, funny story, I almost bulldozed her over when I was looking for her. But she and I got to talk for quite a while about what her writing, published and non published, meant to me.
It was seriously one of the BEST conversations I’ve ever had with an author. I was literally starstruck. I think I was more starstruck at the fact that I was talking to Alicia Blade, as opposed to Marissa Meyer! haha
I really do love that story. So, you and Ethan Gregory, of One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads, are attached at the hip. I’m also featuring him in this interview series. How did you two become friends?
CM: Funny thing — he and I just talked about this. Ethan and I met in Des Moines, IA at a book event. We had a mutual friend who sent us both there with books we needed to get signed for her. Ethan had to give me the book he had gotten signed, so I could mail them back all together.
According to him, he didn’t like me at first. He thought I was intimidating… Ha!
But, interestingly enough, our closeness came from a growing distance with our mutual friend. It was one of those “some relationships are only for a season” kind of deals. And he and I bonded over the loss of a mutual friendship. Through that bond, we learned how similar we are — with opinions, with music, etc. We started partnering together on projects — and we’ve been good friends ever since!
So sweet. I think you are both amazing. I've been asking everyone so far... What is your favorite inspirational quote? Why?
CM: I’m a music girl. It’s where my creativity stems from. So, when I think of a quote, it’s always from a song.
“Your love will be my last — until my life runs out”.
It’s from my favorite song called “Where You Are” and it’s by Gavin DeGraw.
When I first heard that line, I cried. Because it’s what I call “my life verse”. When I love, I love hard. When I’m passionate about something, I am all in. And I try and live my life that way.
My love for music, for the written word, for people, for life in general runs deep — it will continue to be fast and hard, slow and steady, strong and constant until I take my last breath on this earth. That’s how I want to be remembered. Life is so short; I want to love everything I do and everyone I know with every fiber of my being.
You know what... you totally come across that way, which is why everyone is so drawn to you. I loved meeting you in person in Nashville. What do you think makes UtopYA, renamed Utopia for its fifth year in 2016, so special?
CM: Utopia is seriously the field of dreams. It’s a magical reality. It’s where ideas go to become tangible. I have never felt a better energy and a better support system than Utopia. For it being my first time, I didn’t even feel like I was new! I felt like I knew everyone and that everyone was my family. I didn’t feel like a spectator or a “fan” meeting “celebrities”, like I’ve felt a many other conventions.
I felt… home. I felt welcomed. I felt included. I felt important. I felt known.
That is what makes Utopia special.
|Christina with Mindy Ruiz|
✮✮✮✮✮ Quick Answers ✮✮✮✮✮
Last Movie you Saw: Forrest Gump (my all time favorite film)
Comedy, Romance, Drama, or Horror? Romance (I’m a hopeless romantic)
Last book you Read: Shades of Treason by Sandy Williams
First Job: Cashier at Old Navy
Gift cards or Cash? Cash!
Favorite Vacation Spot: Rome, Italy
More about Christina
The name name “LuLo” comes from “ scious and vely”, which is the name that this site originally possessed because it was primarily a beauty/fashion site. But in 2013, I decided to expand my focus on ALL things that interested me, not just beauty. Not just fashion. So “LuLo” was born.
“Fangirl” was added in 2014 as my personal statement. A statement of ownership. Of pride. I used to get made fun of for being too excited about books or makeup or fashion. And I used to hide it. Not anymore. I wear the term as a badge of honor. I am a fangirl. And screw what you think.
LuLo Fangirl is a place for those who yearn to be understood. To squeal unnecessarily about the latest Cumberbatch photobomb or the new Cassandra Clare book. It’s for the fangirls to just fangirl; but it’s also for me. This site gives me permission to just be myself and I hope you enjoy me.
Other media outlets:
Please visit often for more UtopYA2015 Lovelies (Unofficial) interviews,
and check out the announcement post to see
the schedule and links to past interviews.