Today’s guest is Shaina Cilimberg
Tell us about your latest project.
Crowded (Deep River High) is about three teens trying to live for God and the mistakes they’ve made along the way. There’s a rivalry between Josh Summers and Cole Martin. Cole made a mistake that cost his girlfriend, Emily Davis’ trust. Josh is the new kid at school and he has a crush on Emily. So, Cole is trying to win Emily back and Josh wants her for more selfish reasons. Cole gets abused at home and Josh bullies him. Josh has a great home life, but a tragic past. He used to be popular, then became unpopular at his old school. You find out why in the book. The boys are such grey characters. Cole is a genuine, sweet guy and probably the guy you want as a boyfriend. He regrets what he did and he is sincere in his apologies and tries really hard to be kind to others. Josh just gets under his skin. Cole doesn’t get how someone could be so conceited and still be a Christian. I prefer Josh, but I totally get where Cole is coming from. In Josh’s defense, he never lies to Emily about Cole. He has good qualities. He loves his sister, who’s a year younger than him so much.
Emily is torn between all of this. She knows it’s wrong to enjoy having two guys fight over her, but she still does and is conflicted by that. She’s not so sure what to think of either boy.
What inspires you?
Tv shows, books, movies, personal experience, curiosity, my love for God, teens and writing, music, reading about past events, Youtube (Hey, don’t judge me. They have videos with good info on there!!!)
Which do you prefer, paper books or ebooks and why?
Ebooks because you can read them when it’s dark out if your in the car at night.
Do you intend to bring your ebook out as a print book as well at any point or just stick with ebooks?
I think I’ll stick with e-books for now.
When did you start writing and why?
I started at eleven as pen pals with my aunt, then it came as enjoyment. I was like half this girl who’d do anything to be popular (except for sex and drugs lol) and half this girl who wanted to write plays to do with my cousins and I wrote one. Then I decided I wanted to write to bring people closer to God or to God and kind of express how I felt and questions I had. I also wanted to show ppl that the bad things the characters do is not the way to go but there’s always forgiveness. That’s not saying sin is ok because you’ll be forgiven anyway. I’m saying for people who truly want to turn from their sins, they can. I also wanted to touch on topics that are relatable to other teens.
Well at 21 I realized baptism is required for salvation so I was baptized for the forgiveness of sins and gift of Holy Spirit at 22. I still write for the reasons above and I write based on past personal experiences and what I’m curious about. It was that way as a teen and that way now. I also put a little of myself in every character. I think ear to shoulder length hair is short on a guy. If you read the Bible as a whole, go to the Greek, then Biblos.com you will see that it’s not saying guys should have crewcuts. It’s saying it shouldn’t hang loosely around the shoulders like a veil. So, that’s probably an inch past the shoulders and when you look at different versions some say “no such custom neither do the churches of God” which means its okay for a guy to have long hair. I think the verse was more about a woman’s hair and it was just saying for men to not wear their hair like a woman’s. Nothing wrong with long hair on a guy in and of itself.
I love Christian rock music, so I mention some bands in there. I like to stay relevant. None of my characters are gonna be anyone’s stereotype of what a Christian is. My characters have a goal of being more Christlike and better people. They have questions, they make mistakes, they get mistreated, they laugh, they cry, they can be clumsy and aren’t always the brightest. I write to convey a message too. I write about how people should treat others as opposed to the way they are being treated, I write how people should act. I feel like my characters are real people.
What book do you wish you had written?
What are you planning on doing next/What else are you up to?
Well, I am working on the next book in the series. I also am doing schoolwork and studying. I also read the Bible and would like to be more active in church.
Do you intend to stick to the Christian genre or try other genres as well?
I think Christian.