About CHRIS BIRDY:
I am the award winning author of the Pajama series. The Girl in Black Pajamas is the second book in the series.
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, I did a four year stint in the Middle East. When I returned to the States, I settled down in the Boston area and became a true Bostonian by collecting college degrees while raising my family.
For more than twenty years, I did investigative work for Boston law firms. Being an avid mystery fan made me either fearless or foolhardy while working in rough neighborhoods and housing projects. I know how it feels to have a gun stuck to the back of my head…and that was in a courtroom. I know how it feels to have an angry client walk in my office and point a small gun at me saying, “I want my money!” That was when I opened my desk drawer, removed a large gun and drew back the slide while aiming it at him. “Have a seat!” I said.
There is no substitute for experience.
I live outside of Boston with my husband. We also have a place in Palm Beach where we escape to hide from the snow.
What inspires you to write?
I have always written in one form or another. That’s how I express myself. I write to entertain myself, and I’m a tough, critical audience. If no one read my work, I’d still write.
Tell us about your writing process.
My work is character driven so the most important thing to me is to develop characters who are so firm in my mind that they’re like family. They each have strong points and weak points. Once I have the characters lined up, placing them in the story is easy because I already know how they will react to things. My main character, Bogie McGruder, was developed over a period of six years.
First I think of a strong story line, then do a loose outline. When I start to write, I have the begining and end firmly in my mind – it’s the middle that surprises me sometimes..
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I think about my characters when I’m not writing. I imagine them in different situations. I do scenes. Before I sit down to write, I go over and over the scenes in my mind. My writing is all those scenes strung together to form a story.
What advice would you give other writers?
Believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, you will work tirelessly to reach your goals.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After receiving scores of rejection slips (they weren’t even letters) from agents, I felt discouraged. I didn’t stop writing. I just stopped sending out letters and chapters. One day a friend, who was a teacher, asked if she could read my first story. She read it and encouraged me to publish it, and so I did.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Publishing is a tough business. It’s changing and evolving into more and more e-books. The competition increases each day. But as the old saying goes, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: mystery, suspense
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print