About Christa Nardi:
Christa Nardi is and always has been an avid reader. Her favorite authors have shifted from Carolyn Keene and Earl Stanley Gardner to more contemporary mystery/crime authors over time, but mystery/crime along with romance are her preferred choices for leisure reading. Christa also has been a long time writer from poetry and short stories to the Cold Creek series, Christa has joined many other reader/writers in writing one genre she enjoys reading – the cozy mystery. The series started with Murder at Cold Creek College; Murder in the Arboretum is the second in the series. Christa Nardi is a pen name for a real life professor/psychologist from the Northeast who is well published in nonfiction and technical venues.
What inspires you to write?
Life is all about interactions and often we are not aware of the effects we have on others or that others have on us. Writing is one way that I reflect on interactions – mine and those of others – with a license to emphasize the potential we each have to make a difference.
Tell us about your writing process.
I start writing with an idea – usually who gets killed and what might have caused someone to be so angry to kill another person – since I’m not writing about serial killers or war, the motivation of the murderer or villain is key. You might say I create a psychological autopsy on the deceased, a character sketch that is then salted throughout the story. My heroine also has a character sketch that includes not only her personality, her work style, but also her history. Depending on how major the role of a character is, the sketch is fuller and deeper. I also figure out who I think the murderer will be – sometimes as I write, this changes. We interact with many people, some more than others – some are just passing through but may be filled out in a later book. Although I don’t start with an outline, eventually, I use one. So far I’ve found that I can do what I need on a spreadsheet but I may try one of the specialized software programs some time in the future.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Yes and no. I created them so most of the time, they “behave” the way I expect. Sometimes, though, I find as I put a character in a situation and they react in character, that reaction isn’t quite what I expected. Then I have to listen to what the character is telling me and how that can move the story forward.
What advice would you give other writers?
Just write. The hardest part is getting anything down on paper. Also, be flexible. As you get more of the story written, it’s important to go back and read it fresh to be sure that it follows – and don’t be afraid to rewrite. Get feedback from readers in advance and edit, edit, edit.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I opted to self-publish. It is very difficult to get an agent and many horror stories out there about vanity publishers. The process is complicated and can be a less than positive experience if you don’t check everything carefully. Self-publishing is fairly easy although there are still a lot of decisions to be made, including which platform(s), distribution, and marketing. But all those decisions are yours, not your agents. On the other hand, they do the lion’s share of the marketing…
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think we will continue to have paper – too many people like paper – and I have whole walls of bookshelves! I do think getting books out electronically will continue to flourish with probably more platforms to come – some better, some not. I think more people who dreamed of being a writer will write and publish with the ease in which it can be done.
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Mystery/Suspense
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Link To Christa Nardi Page On Amazon