HomeChildren’s BookMeeting with Christina Collins, writer of THE COMMUNITY WITHOUT MIRRORS

Meeting with Christina Collins, writer of THE COMMUNITY WITHOUT MIRRORS

Meeting with Christina Collins, writer of THE COMMUNITY WITHOUT MIRRORS


From The Mixed-Up Documents of Middle-Grade Authors invites Christina Collins, writer of THE COMMUNITY WITHOUT MIRRORS (Sourcebooks, Feb 2023). Collins is New England birthed however presently stays in Northern Ireland. Her launching middle-grade book, After No, was an NCTE Notable Kid’s Publication in the Language Arts, as well as she holds a PhD from Queen’s College Belfast as well as an MFA from George Mason College, both in innovative writing.

Below, Collins talks with MUF factor Andrea Pyros regarding the difficulties of composing a dystopian tale for middle-grade visitors, the magic as well as convenience of analysis as a middle-schooler, as well as what she reads– as well as enjoyed– recently.

Mixed-Up Documents: Inform us regarding THE COMMUNITY WITHOUT MIRRORS.

Christina Collins: THE COMMUNITY WITHOUT MIRRORS is my 2nd middle-grade book, embeded in a modern-day optimistic community called Gladder Hillside, where mirrors as well as electronic cameras are prohibited, words like “lovely” as well as “awful” aren’t in the thesaurus, as well as twelve-year-old Zailey has actually matured recognizing every face in the area … other than her very own. There’s no talk of just how individuals look, no body reproaching … Seems great? It could not be as optimistic as it appears. As well as Zailey has concerns– in addition to a guilty trick that might obtain her as well as her grandma kicked out if she were found … I’ll quit there so I do not offer excessive away!

MUF: What influenced you to create this tale?

CC: Everything began when I took an interesting dystopian literary works training course in grad college a while back. I was an imaginative composing trainee, so I had the choice to create a narrative instead of an essay for my last task. At the time, I was additionally right into romantic reimaginings, so a concept stood out right into my head concerning Snow White’s “gladly ever before after”: Suppose Snow White intended to outlaw mirrors from her kingdom as quickly as she ended up being queen? She would certainly nearly passed away at the hands of a mirror-obsessed stepmother.

After that I started to visualize what such a culture would certainly resemble– one without mirrors or any type of trusted means of recognizing what your face resembles. I composed it as a narrative for the course, however the principle stuck to me. That’s possibly due to the fact that body photo was such an individual subject for me (as well as that hasn’t had problem with body photo eventually?). I additionally reviewed a fascinating pattern that had actually been prominent circa 2012, called “mirror fasting.” I at some point junked the Snow White angle as well as began covering the concept in such a way that really felt extra pertinent: as a middle-grade book with a modern setup. This really felt right not just due to the fact that body-image problems so frequently arise in youngsters around middle-grade age, however additionally due to the fact that the contemporary globe provides numerous chances for physical contrast. The unique expanded from there!

MUF: There are some severe motifs in this unique, however you’re composing for center quality visitors. Can you discuss just how you stabilize the subjects in such a way that benefits this age?

CC: Great concern. To be truthful, it’s not something I believed knowingly regarding while composing guide. As I discussed above, intermediate school is a time when numerous children (consisting of past me) start to truly contrast themselves to others as well as have problem with body photo– for some, it unfortunately begins also more youthful– so composing this tale for a center quality audience really felt rather all-natural.

The secret for me was to come close to the motifs with the eyes of a twelve-year-old; Zailey might not completely comprehend every one of the severe concerns referring to the objective of Gladder Hillside, however she is definitely interested, expanding extra mindful, as well as asking concerns. The subject of consuming problems does show up, however the tale really did not ask for clearly reviewing it, just discussing it quickly. While the unique attributes severe motifs, I additionally intended to make certain it was an amusing tale with some enigma, journey, as well as a feeling of hope at the end, which I assume assists with equilibrium.

MUF: What makes you delight in as well as wish to create for MG visitors specifically?

CC: I keep in mind the magic as well as convenience of reviewing fiction when I was an MG viewers myself. It strikes me as a specifically prominent as well as developmental time in a viewers’s life, as well as there’s something so unique regarding belonging of that as a writer. And also, I such as assessing as well as covering the age that floats in between youth as well as young the adult years– all the exhilaration as well as complication as well as marvel of it, chock-full of tale opportunities.

Author Christina Collins

Christina Collins. Image: Kalie Reid

MUF: You were birthed in Massachusetts and now stay in Ireland. Does the experience of being an immigrant notify your writing, as well as if so, in what methods?

CC: I composed my launching book as well as understood for my 2nd unique all prior to I relocated, so I assume the experience hasn’t had excessive impact on my initial 2 books. Currently that I have actually been in North Ireland for 7 years (!), I think it will certainly affect my composing increasingly more.

It’s amusing– when I conceptualize originalities, I frequently locate myself failing to a United States setup, perhaps partially due to the fact that it maintains me really feeling linked to where I’m from, as well as due to the fact that covering residence as well as the acquainted can be calming when you live a sea far from a lot of your friends and family. At the very same time, I’m ultimately really feeling all set to blog about the experience of relocating to as well as residing in Northern Ireland; I have some tale concepts because respect as well as can not wait to see where they take me.

MUF: What’s your writing procedure like?

CC: It differs with each task, however I normally such as to reach completion of an initial draft on my very own, without the impact of any type of outdoors responses. I begin by composing a type of tale pitch; this aids me find out if I have sufficient of an understanding on what I desire the tale to be regarding general as well as whether there’s a solid adequate hook. From there I flesh it out right into a synopsis, and after that I often tend to create till I have a total initial draft that I have actually gone through as well as gently changed a minimum of as soon as on my very own, prior to sending it to my representative for her ideas as well as ideas.

MUF: What are your preferred dystopian books (for any type of age)?

CC: Ooh, numerous! The Handmaid’s Story by Margaret Atwood is certainly up there for me; that publication blew my mind when I initially reviewed it in my very early twenties, as well as it’s one I return to. Various other faves consist of the YA book Just Ever Before Yours by Louise O’Neill as well as the MG books Alone by Megan E. Freeman as well as Lacking Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

MUF: What are a few other current middle-grade publications that you’ve taken pleasure in?

CC: Woman (In Reality) by Tamsin Wintertime, This Last Journey by Ryan Dalton, as well as Brilliant by Brigit Youthful are all current checks out that I extremely advise. As well as I’m presently reviewing as well as caring Jennifer Chan Is Not The Only One by Tae Keller.

MUF: What are you intending on working with following?

CC: I have numerous tale concepts, so the obstacle for me is selecting one I feel great adequate to stick to. As I discussed previously, I would certainly enjoy to establish a middle-grade book in North Ireland where I live, so I’m intending to concentrate on that following.

MUF: Where can individuals locate you online?

CC: You can see my site at www.christinacollinsbooks.com as well as locate me on Instagram as well as Twitter as @stinacoll, although I do not utilize Twitter much nowadays.

Andrea Pyros on InstagramAndrea Pyros on Twitter
Andrea Pyros

Andrea Pyros is the writer of both middle-grade books, PINK HAIR AS WELL AS OTHER HORRIBLE SUGGESTIONS as well as MY YEAR OF LEGENDARY ROCK. Go to http://andreapyros.com to figure out extra.



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