About me

About me page 1My name is Cristy Zinn and I’m obsessed with stories.

I write speculative fiction (just a fancy term for fantasy and science-fiction) for children and other humans. You can download a whole bunch of free speculative story collections on the Other Stories page. My first book, The Dreamer’s Tears, came out in April of 2015 with Fox & Raven Publishers (now defunct – but that’s a whole other story)…

You can find out more about The Dreamer’s Tears here.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember but I never thought of becoming a writer. Instead, I studied English and Drama at University – probably because those subjects were full of stories. I taught both those subjects at high school level for a few years.

In 2011 I published my first short story, Five Sets of Hands, in an anthology called AfroSF. I was privileged to do a video Q&A on this story with the students of a first year class at Miami University in 2015. It was one of the highlights of my career.

Now I work as a graphic designer and freelance writer – so that I can make enough money to do what I love: write stories.

I’m part of the South African Writers’ Circle who are a fantastic bunch of writers (of all ages, styles and genres) who encourage and inspire me to keep at it. I learned very quickly that every writer needs a bunch of people who agree that it’s acceptable to run out of the shower, dripping all over the carpet, just so you can write down an idea.

I took part in Durban’s inaugural Book Dash event on the 7th of November 2015 and with a team (an illustrator, Mary Anne Hampton, and a designer, Julie Smith-Belton) I helped make a picture book called What if?  This organisation deals with illiteracy in South Africa and I am ecstatic to have been a part of this.

I love talking about writing so if you have questions, feel free to e-mail me: zinn.cristy@gmail.com

I live in Durban with my husband and two children (AKA, the little Zinns), who graciously endure my obsession with stories and my lack of cooking skills.IMG_2950


More random and only mildly interesting things about me:

I am overly fascinated by doodling, sketching (which is why it shows up in my novel), and Chris Riddell’s ridiculous genius.

I love trains – probably because I rode them in Cape Town for three years and read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings on those long, lovely journeys. (Add science-fiction to trains, like Philip Reeve did in Railhead, and I’m done!)

I re-arrange my music playlists for hours because I think it is extremely important to have the right music for the occasion (and in my case, the right music for the story I’m writing at that moment).

I secretly write poetry when I’m too emotional to write an entire story.

I also sing and write songs – probably for the same reason I write poetry.

A perfect day would be a cold, rainy day with nowhere to go, a good book to read in my favourite chair, and a lot of coffee.

A perfect night would be a cloudless one, with a full moon and bright stars, with some appropriate instrumental music playing because staring at the night sky is SO good for my soul.

I’m not a huge fan of people… unless they’re nice and interesting (luckily I have quite a few of these in my life – I like to call them friends).

I’m pretty sure that by now I have a degree (possibly a Masters) in what Chris Riddell coined ‘Advanced Musing’ – ask any of my friends.

Some of my favourite authors (in no particular order) are: Neil Gaiman, Philip Reeve, Brian Farrey, Jeanne DuPrau, Chris Riddell and Paul Stewart, JK Rowling, Patrick Rothfuss, Julie Bertagna, Jeffrey Overstreet, Jaliegh Johnson, C.S Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Madeline L’Engle… the list goes on but don’t worry, I’ll probably blog about them when I get a chance.