Meet Christi J. Whitney (@ChristiWhitney) – #BFIVoyager

ChristiJWhitney_Head-ShotTell us about yourself:

My name is Christi J. Whitney, and I write fiction for the young and new adult market. I also have a background in theatre, including acting, scriptwriting, and directing. I worked as a high school English teacher and drama director before becoming an author. I’m a super big geek and have been my whole life. I adore fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, Disney, and costuming.

Tell us about your latest book:

GREY is a YA urban fantasy adventure series where a secretive clan of gypsies pull 18-year-old Sebastian Grey into a world of secrets, tales of gargoyles, and a destiny he cannot escape.

What sparked your love of Sci-Fi?

I grew up on so many awesome films in the 1980’s and 1990’s (E.T., Back to the Future, Flight of the Navigator, Star Wars, Star Trek) and all of those sparked a love of the genre. Stumbling upon really cool classic films during late-night television as a teen was also critical to developing my sci-fi interest. I remember discovering a marathon of the Planet of the Apes movies when I was in high school. But I have to credit my local public television station here in America for showing reruns of Tom Baker as the Doctor when I was thirteen years old and introducing me to a whole new amazing world.

Your favourite Sci-Fi film (s) and why?:

Not simply one film, but the entire Star Trek franchise. Star Trek has been so innovative, especially in those early years, and traveling to “strange new worlds” is something that has always appealed to me. And, even though it’s not film, I have to say the entire Doctor Who franchise. As an American, Doctor Who was so unique to me as a kid. It was this completely foreign British magic that captured me and didn’t let go. And the thing was, not too many Americans were familiar with the show when I was younger. I didn’t know a single person who watched it besides myself. So when I would sit down in my living room with the TARDIS and the Doctor, it was like my own private world, my own special, secret place where I could go anywhere in time and space.

Book v film?

Some sci-fi is just made for film, plain and simple. I enjoy books and film for completely different reasons, and both give you completely different experiences.

Greatest Sci-Fi book character?:

Speaking from the realm of young adult fiction and from my recent YA reads, probably Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games trilogy.

Greatest Sci-Fi film moment?

I’m going to go with an iconic moment from the first science fiction movie I saw in the cinema as a young child: The scene in E.T. the Extra Terrestrial when Elliot and his friends escaped with the alien on their bikes, and E.T. made them fly. That moment resonated with me for a long time.

Sci-fi or Science Fiction?

Sci-fi is more user friendly perhaps.

Is there a Sci-Fi book you’d like to see made into a film?

I think we live in an amazing time where so many of the books I’ve loved over the years are being made into really excellent movies. The film industry finally has the technology needed to bring them to life in a believable way.

Which fictional planet would you like to live on, and why?

I think I’m going to just stick with Earth, but a futuristic Earth with the technology to travel to other worlds or times would be amazing. I would love to experience new worlds, but I like the idea of being able to come home.

Favourite technology from science fiction that you wish had happened?

Without a doubt, the TARDIS. I’m still waiting for the Doctor to show up in my yard with that amazing blue box, honestly.

Advice for any young people starting their Sci-Fi journey – essential viewing/reading?

There is so much out there to delve into. When it comes to film and television, I recommend Joss Whedon’s television show Firefly. It’s only one season, but it’s an amazing run! The movie version Serenity is also great. The reboot of Doctor Who is something I recommend to American teens looking for cool and different sci-fi, beginning with series 1. You also can’t go wrong with anything Star Trek, in my opinion. For reading, The Giver by Lois Lowry was my first journey into dystopian worlds as a pre-teen, and it’s still a great read. The Hunger Games trilogy is a good example of YA sci-fi with a strong female character, which I really like as well.

Your 3 dream dinner dates from the world of Sci-Fi (alive or dead):

If we’re talking sci-fi characters, then my dream dinner dates would be the Doctor from Doctor Who (preferably in his fourth and twelfth regenerations together, which shouldn’t count as two, right?), Kurt Wagner from the X-Men franchise, and Captain Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager.

Outside of literature and film, what inspires your writing?

Music is a huge inspiration to me when I write, especially soundtracks and film trailer music. I also find inspiration just traveling around and observing.

Are you on social media?

Absolutely. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Christi’s latest novel, GREY, is out now.

 

Want to join some of the finest science fiction writers, screen-writers, designers and scientists for this weekend’s virtual #BFIVoyager sci-fi festival? Sign up free here!

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