Author Interview: Christina Philippou


Today I am delighted to welcome Christina Philippou to my blog. Christina is the author of ‘Lost in Static’ which I review here.

1. You have done what so many writers dream of and had your novel published. How have you found this experience?

Amazing! It started slowly – I decided to get back to writing (which I used to love) whilst on maternity leave so as to keep the brain functioning. Somehow this morphed into a novel which morphed into a publishable novel which morphed into a published novel thanks to Urbane Publications…

My journey to publication, like most people’s, was filled with ups and downs, but it’s all been worth it to see the final version of Lost in Static and the lovely reviews that have come with it – I’d recommend the experience to everyone!

2. Urbane require collaboration with authors in marketing their books. Has this worked out as you expected?

I didn’t know what to expect, if I’m honest! I’ve heard so many horror stories about having everything dictated to you (from those with large publishers) to being ignored (from those with some independents), but I’ve found working with Urbane a joy – I’ve had a say in my cover, edits, and marketing suggestions. There’s been a bit of a division of labour, with me concentrating more on the online side and Urbane on the traditional side, but it has worked well so far.

3. Have you done many live author events and, if so, do you enjoy them?

My debut has only been out a couple of months and my participation in live author events to date has been in the audience or as a volunteer at the Guildford Book Festival, so not much to report there! However, my non-author working life involves a large amount of public speaking (I’m a university lecturer, mainly teaching forensic accounting), so I’m happy to entertain people live as well as through the printed page.

4. What is your approach to the on line reviews of your book?

As a book blogger myself, I know the importance of reviews for both authors and readers, and I read all reviews of my book that I am aware of. I appreciate that not everyone will enjoy Lost in Static, and that’s absolutely fine (in fact, part of the book’s message is designed to grate with certain readers).

Overall, it’s been a great experience, reading reviews of my book (especially as the vast majority are very positive), but it’s also been interesting. As Lost in Static is written from four different students’ points of view, there are inevitably four protagonists with very different personalities at its heart – and I’ve been fascinated by how different readers have identified with or lauded different characters. It’s made me realise even more the importance of communication, as people are so diverse in their thoughts, ideas, and preferences!

5. When asked what you do, do you describe yourself as a writer?

Good question! Depends on the company I’m keeping at the time, I suppose. Saying I used to be an accountant and now teach accounting sounds far less exciting than ‘author’ to most…

6. Are you going to do this again – is there another novel in the pipeline?

Yes, yes, yes! I’ve got the writing bug now and, of course, I know that I can write a whole novel that people will enjoy (or hate). I’m currently whipping the very originally named ‘Novel 2’ into shape – it’s darker than Lost in Static, but still plays with perspective (this time age).

Where my readers can find you

Website: Christina Philippou | Writing round the block

Twitter: Christina Philippou (@CPhilippou123)

Facebook: Christina Philippou

Instagram: Christina Philippou (@cphilippou123)

Google+ Christina Philippou


Christina Philippou’s writing career has been a varied one, from populating the short-story notebook that lived under her desk at school, to penning reports on corruption and terrorist finance. When not reading or writing, she can be found engaging in sport or undertaking some form of nature appreciation. 

Christina has three passports to go with her three children, but is not a spy. Lost in Static is her first novel.



Lost in Static is published by Urbane Publications and is available to buy now.



Book Review: Lost in Static


Lost in Static, by Christina Philippou, tells the story of a group of university freshers during their first year living away from the constrictions of the family home. As a parent of two students it made for disturbing reading, but it is a brilliantly constructed story that held my attention throughout.

There are four pivotal characters and the academic year is chronicled from each of their points of view. They arrive at halls on the first weekend of Fresher’s Week determined to engineer a new start, to put the preconceptions and expectations of those who have known them since childhood behind them. At university they can be themselves as they are now, freed from the judgements of those who regard them as their parents’ children rather than independent individuals.

Callum is handsome, public school educated, and eager to hide the fact that he has famous parents. Yasmine is blandly beautiful, interested in designer clothes, and appalled by the run down state of her new abode. Juliette has escaped the confines of her deeply religious upbringing but retains the guilt drummed into her since childhood. Ruby is eager to embrace her freedom, a sports fanatic who wishes to be regarded as more than just one of the lads.

The book opens with an incident that happens later in the year. Thus the reader knows that the nervous but excited first day students are going to encounter potentially deadly group tensions. They will develop as individuals but reinventing themselves is not as easy as some may hope.

In many ways this story plays on the stereotypical impression often portrayed of students. There is much socialising, heavy drinking and other mild drug taking. There are sexual encounters both desired and regretted. There is jealousy, the sharing of secrets, perceived betrayal. Each incident is related from the differing perspectives of each of the four hall mates.

The tension of these scenarios is maintained by taking the reader inside the heads of young adults burdened by their upbringing and battling conditioned insecurities. Unused to social freedom they turn to their newly found friends for support when problems occur, largely unaware that these friends are also struggling to cope. Narcissism and self entitlement lead some to attempt dangerous revenge on those they blame for thwarting the acquisition of what is coveted. There are few brakes applied on their behaviours.

Within the hothouse bubble of university life it is difficult to step back from the pack. Rumours must be lived with, adversaries faced. Issues are exacerbated when parents become involved.

This is a multi-layered story exploring nature, nurture and group dynamics within a social setting that has the potential to protect from class and culture yet which cannot prevent them insidiously leaking in. The assured writing keeps the reader’s attention focused as unsettling events unfold. Can anyone ever know what another is thinking within the privacy of their own head? How actions are making them feel and the reactions that will result? I found this an engaging and fascinating read.

My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher, Urbane.