Posted on 6/20/2017 |Featured Columns & Series
Geanna Culberston is an award-winning author and sponsor of Girls on the Run Los Angeles. Through her books, The Crisanta Knight Series, Culbertson tells stories of a strong female protagonist who is defining her own destiny. The first two books in the series are Crisanta Knight: Protagonist Bound and Crisanta Knight: The Severance Game. The third book in the series, Crisanta Knight: Inherent Fate, will be released September 1, 2017.
Tell us a little bit about your books, The Crisanta Knight Series.
The Crisanta Knight Series is about the children and younger siblings of fairytale characters who live in an enchanted world called “Book” where they train to be the next generation of main characters in stories. In this world, a mysterious prophet known as “The Author” selects which realm citizens will be protagonists, and the people who aren’t chosen are ensemble characters. Children chosen to become protagonists attend one of two special schools that train them for their eventual main character roles: Lady Agnue’s School for Princesses & Other Female Protagonists and Lord Channing’s School for Princes & Other Young Heroes.
The series, which will consist of eight books, follows Crisanta Knight, the daughter of Cinderella. Crisanta, (a.k.a. Crisa) is a bold, sassy, headstrong girl with very little in common with her mother. Despite the wishes of the people in charge of her world, she does not mesh with the princess archetype that is her main character designation, and actively fights against it. As the series goes on, Crisa strives to define her own destiny amidst a larger than life plot that spans across multiple realms and involves antagonists, dreams of the future, wicked Fairy Godmothers, and a slew of fairytales new and old.
What messages from your books do you think are important for young girls?
Some of the key messages in my books that I think are important for young girls are the importance of change, taking charge of your fate, and self-acceptance.
The overarching theme of my series, which is present in every novel, is change. This manifests in a variety of ways—the change you create, change in relationships, change in yourself, and more. It is a theme that is very important to me because I am a firm believer in the power of change, specifically in the potential every person has to change. There are plenty of stories out there that bolster the notion that people can’t change. But I don’t believe that’s true. I think every person, just like the world in general, has the ability to change. It’s a difficult endeavor, but if you want it enough and are willing to put in the work it requires, then it is possible. I wake up every day trying to be a better version of myself—striving to change into a better version of myself by tapping into my potential. Because like GOTR, I believe in “a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.”
How did you get involved with Girls on the Run?
Honestly, it all started with a chance encounter. About six years ago, I was in a store when I saw a promo flier for GOTR. I donated at the time, but the information also stayed with me—stored in the back of my mind for later. In college, a couple years after that, I ended up doing a mock presentation for a PR Ethics course about great opportunities for non-profits to work with corporate sponsors. My topic was Girls on the Run.
Flash-forward another two-ish years, and around Christmas time I was in the final phase of production on my first book, which was due to be released in May. And then it hit me. The Crisanta Knight Series is driven by a heroine who is strong, smart, and bold—ready and willing to defy the traditional fairytale realm in favor of carving out her own destiny. In looking up GOTR, I realized that my series shared the same core values and target audience as the organization. They were natural partners aimed at boosting the confidence and strength of young women. I made the call and have been a happy and proud sponsor of GOTR LA ever since.
Girls on the Run helps girls boldly pursue their dreams. Who has helped you pursue your dream of becoming a writer?
The main answer to this question is my parents. At the start of all my books under the dedication section is the following insert: “This book, like everything I shall ever accomplish, is dedicated to my mom and dad. You are my heroes, my coaches, my best friends, and I am thankful for you every day for more reasons than there are words in this book.”
I have this in every one of my novels because those sentiments are the absolute truth. The unfortunate reality is that in life there are way more people who will try to tear you down than boost you up, but if you have confidence in yourself and a few key people who are truly on your side, you can push past obstacles and come out shining on the other side. My parents are two such people to me. Their support has helped me boldly pursue my dream of becoming a writer—and all of my other dreams for that matter too.