Christine Kling has spent more than thirty years living on and around boats and has cruised the waters of the North and South Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. Christine‘s articles and stories have appeared in many boating publications including
Sailing, Cruising World, Motor Boating & Sailing, and The Tiller and the Pen. When she was married, Christine helped her husband build a 55-foot custom sailing yacht. They sailed through the Panama Canal to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands where they chartered their yacht for over two years. While in the islands, Christine received her 100-ton Auxiliary Sail Captains license.
It was her sailing experience that led her to set her first suspense novel, SURFACE TENSION (2002), on the New River in Fort Lauderdale. Featuring Florida female tug and salvage captain, Seychelle Sullivan, the first book was followed by CROSS CURRENT (2004) and BITTER END (2005). The fourth book in her series, WRECKERS’ KEY was released in February 2007.
Christine holds MFA in creative writing from Florida International University and her short stories have appeared in Gulfstream Magazine and in the anthology MIAMI NOIR.
In 2011, she retired from her position as an English professor at Broward College to write and cruise full-time aboard Talespinner. Her fifth novel, CIRCLE OF BONES (2013), a big sailing thriller set down in the Caribbean, was recently published by Thomas & Mercer.
An avid dog owner, Christine now sails the waters of the Bahamas and the US eastern seaboard with her new pup, Barney, an 11-pound Yorkshire Terror.
What inspires you to write?
It’s an incredible thrill to have people read my work and enjoy it. I’m inspired by the desire to make others happy, to give them an enjoyable experience, and to make them think.
Tell us about your writing process.
This question makes it sound as though there is some sort of method to my madness, while in fact there is not. I don’t write at the same time every day and I don’t always write every day. But I do write better when I write every day. The longer I am away from a story, the harder it is to recreate that fictional work in my head again. Right now I am on my boat in the Bahamas anchored out so that people need a dinghy to come to my home. The solitude is good for writing. I work at it about eight hours a day.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do both. I think writers who claim that their characters “come alive” are being just a little dishonest with themselves. I recognize that I am the one writing and speaking through these characters. Yes, it’s true that sometimes I wish a character say one thing and instead he says something else, but that’s just my inner logic having got to know a character so well, I know he would say something out of character.
What advice would you give other writers?
Read, read, read. Read in your genre and out. Read books about the craft of writing and read blogs about the changes in the world of publishing.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I finished my first novel in 1999. At that time, I did not contemplate self-publishing. The world was different then. I got an agent and I was very lucky to have my agent sell my first novel to Ballantine Books. I did four books with them, but none of them became best sellers. At that point, I sort of withdrew and decided to reinvent myself. I wrote a very different book and it took me five years. The world of publishing changed in those five years, and when I finished it, I hired a developmental editor and a copy editor and a cover artist. I formatted my book myself and I self-published. Again, I was very luck. Six months later, I was contacted by Thomas & Mercer and they bought the rights to that book and reissued it and they contracted me to write two more for them. In the meantime, I got the rights to my backlist titles and self-published them.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think this is the most exciting time to be an author. I love having control over my books and my business and I love working with Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer. They are forging a new path for traditional publishers to follow. They treat authors and readers with respect, and they genuinely care about the needs of both. They want to keep prices low for readers and make payments higher and more regular for authors. By making both these parties happier, they can really up their volume. The arrival of ebooks has been a game changer in the industry and savvy authors will be doing everything they can to stay current with the industry’s (r)evolution.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
mystery, suspense, thriller
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print