Christiana Nehmsmann just graduated from Spring Grove Area High School, but she’s not letting her young age hold her back. At 17, Christiana just published her first novel, “Collide” — and won Story of the Year in the online writing community Miss Literati.
We caught up with Christiana to hear more about her novel and post-graduation plans.
Book Buzz: You recently published “Collide.” What’s it about? Where did the story idea come from?
Christiana Nehmsmann: “Collide” is a fantasy novel. It’s about a boy named Shay Pierce, who doesn’t have a very good life. He has an abusive father, his mother doesn’t stand up to him, it’s just not good. So he meets this girl named Avalon, and falls head over heels in love with her. But he realizes, it’s probably only going to make things worse, an even greater mess. And because it’s fantasy, there are a lot of magical twists that go along with that.
I was emptying the dishwasher and listening to a song by my favorite band, Asking Alexandria, and the emotions in the song made me think, ‘What kind of emotion would make someone feel that way?’ In about five minutes, I had Shay’s character. It was just a matter of typing it down.
BB: The story won first place in Miss Literati’s Story of the Year competition for 2013. What’s the community like? How did you begin with them?
CN: It’s a writing community that started for teenage girls to share their stories with other people. It turned into a lot of fan fiction, but there’s still some original fiction on there. I’ve been (writing on the site) for a little over two years. I was already writing on my own, and I was looking for a place to share my work. I found an ad in J14 magazine, and it seemed perfect.
BB: What was the biggest challenge of writing “Collide”?
CN: It took me about three months to write the first draft. (The hardest part was) the motivation to keep going. At some point, it was kind of like sharing a head with the main character. When he wasn’t very happy, I wasn’t very happy. So, it was kind of hard to keep going.
BB: Is there a specific genre you enjoy more than others? What are you reading now?
CN: It’s typical for me to write romantic fantasy. It’s my favorite. I really like the fact that fantasy allows me to break the rules. I have more fun writing about things that are magical. Where’s the fun in writing about reality, I live it every day. Fantasy is (also) the main thing I read. Right now, I’m reading “The Archived” by Victoria Shwab. But I haven’t picked it up since I was in finals for school.
BB: You recently graduated from Spring Grove Area High School. What’s next for you?
CN: I am planning on going to HACC for general studies and transferring to a university. And, I started writing a new novel. I’ve had the idea since March, it’s just taken a while to get it off the ground. It’s called “The Seventh Gate,” and is inspired by the local legend in York County of the seven gates of hell. It’s still in the beginning stages, so it’s very difficult to describe. Basically a girl goes to the seven gates of hell and lets out something very evil into the world.
“Collide” is available through Amazon as a paperback and an e-book. Christiana chose to publish under her pen name, Forever, because her Miss Literati readers were more likely to recognize her that way, she said.