Friday, July 9, 2010

Christa Polkinhorn-- Love of a Stone Mason

Christa Polkinhorn, originally from Switzerland, lives and works as writer and translator in Santa Monica, California. She divides her time between the United States and Switzerland and has strong ties to both countries. She has a degree in English with a minor in German and French literature. Her poems have appeared in various poetry magazines. She is the author of Path of Fire, a collection of poems published by Finishing Line Press. Love of a Stonemason is her first novel.

Love of a Stonemason
: Love of a Stonemason is a story about the struggle of two artists with their past, their family, their creativity, and their love for each other. Told from the point of view of Karla, it depicts the world through her painter’s sensibility. It takes the reader on a journey full of sights, smells, tastes, and sounds from the south of Switzerland to Italy and the Peruvian Andes.

1) What about your book might appeal to readers?

Love of a Stonemason is a story of love, art, and relationships with a global appeal. It takes place in three different countries and on two continents with diverse cultural backgrounds. The core of the novel, however, is love in its many forms: passion, compassion, and forgiveness. It’s a rich tapestry of sensuous details and intense feelings. The language is accessible and vivid.

2) Why did you go indie?

I sent out about twenty queries, trying to find an agent. That’s not many, I know. The general response was “bad economy, we prefer to stick with our established authors, not for us, etc. etc.” - or no answer at all. Then I found authors who went into self-publishing. I came across websites such as Smashwords and Amazon Kindle. Since I have some background in computers, I wanted to play around with formatting an ebook, and before I knew it, I was all excited. I am in the process of creating a paperback copy for Amazon’s CreateSpace.

The biggest problem about self-publishing is, of course, distribution and getting your book noticed. Since my only other full-size publication is a small volume of poetry, I am practically an unknown author. I am working on a second novel, so perhaps, with time, more readers will find me. Self-publishing is an experiment for me. Struggling to find an audience can be a challenge and can get you down occasionally. But so can trying to find an agent or a publisher. All in all, I haven’t regretted the path I chose. I love the fact of having control of all aspects of my book. I have my own business as a freelance translator and I like to be independent and do things my own way.

3) Who are your favorite writers?

That’s a difficult question. I am an avid reader and I read across all genres and books as diverse as Harry Potter and James Joyce (his early works) as well as Swiss, German, French, Swedish and Spanish authors. Here are a few of my favorite authors, but that’s just a minute sample. I love Joanne Harris, Olaf Olafsson, Ann Patchett, Gabriel García Márquez, Audrey Niffenegger, Orhan Pamuk, Scott Nicholson (he also edited my novel), Donna Leon, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Martin Suter, Urs Widmer, Milena Moser, Alex Capus, Max Frisch, . . . and many more.

Web site:
My Author's Page on Amazon:



  1. "The core of the novel, however, is love in its many forms: passion, compassion, and forgiveness."

    "I have my own business as a freelance translator and I like to be independent and do things my own way."

    *thumbs up*

  2. Thanks Jess and Daphne for your comments.

  3. I'm going on holiday to France next week and Love of a Stonemason is waiting on my Kindle as my holiday reading. I'm really looking forward to it.

  4. Hi Daphne,
    Have a wonderful time in France!

  5. Just to let you know that I am three-quarters of the way through and as well as being absorbed in the story I am enjoying the references to painting and sculpture - you obviously have a profound understanding of what it is to be an artist.I will give a full review on Kindle Boards when I have finished.

  6. Thanks, Daphne, I'm so glad you like it. How was (or is) France?

  7. Christa, This book sounds delicious! So much more interesting than some traditionally published novels I could name. -- Lindsay

  8. I put up a review in the Book Corner on Kindle Boards yesterday, so far read by 20 people. I hope some of them are inspired to go on and enjoy the book as much as I did.

  9. Thanks Daphne and Lindsay for your kind words and thanks Daphne for your great review! I am so glad you liked the book. I would love to have that review underneath the book itself on Amazon. More reviews helps the ratings go up. I seem to be stuck at 5. Kindle Boards is a great place though and I didn't even know about it!