The first thing Christine does when she’s getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She’s addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.
What inspires you to write?
I’m inspired by everything around me . . . people I meet, news stories I see, stores I pass, names I hear, my own experiences, and everything in between. I’m constantly emailing myself during the day with things that have popped into my mind for a story I’m currently writing, or even new ones. Mostly I get inspired to write the sort of things I like to read about.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing style is a little bit seat of the pants and a little bit planned. I usually like to make a vague outline in a notebook of big events I want to happen in the book from beginning to end. I spend very little time outlining. When I’m ready to begin writing, I open a new Scrivener file and start adding some inspiration photos for characters and setting so I can access those as necessary. As I begin to write, however, a lot of it I discover as I go. I know my main destination for my story, but the journey isn’t set in stone. Sometimes I find that a character and plot take me in a direction I hadn’t planned. Those directions are always the most fun.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to my characters. I imagine different versions of dialogue or various reactions in my head before I decide which one is the right direction for my character, but I’ve never actually talked to them. Perhaps it’s because I’m a bit of an introvert and prefer to watch and listen than interact.
What advice would you give other writers?
My first piece of advice is to read. Read read read. That is the number one rule and the most important one. If you don’t read, you have no business writing. Secondly, start writing, even if you don’t know the exact story you’re going to tell. Write blog posts, do writing prompt exercises, write about a dream you had. The more you write, the better you’ll get. You don’t have to be an expert right out of the gate, you just have to write. Get the first draft done, and then when you edit, that’s when the magic happens.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried finding a literary agent and even though I had some success with requests for full and partial manuscripts, I got discouraged by the length of time it took for agents to initially respond to the query (6-8 weeks) and then to the manuscript (8-12 weeks). By only sending to a few agents at a time, an author can invest a lot of time into the unknown. After nearly a year of sending queries, waiting, sending partials, and waiting some more, I decided to try self publishing. I still haven’t given up on traditional publishing, and will try again with my next book, but I’m glad I self published. Self publishing is both satisfying (because you have control) and challenging (because you have to do all the marketing yourself). It has been a good experience for me whether I sell ten books or ten thousand.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think self publishing will continue to grow in popularity and that there will be more companies that develop to help readers discover the best in indie writing. However, I think traditional publishing will always have a place in the world.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
Young adult, new adult, dystopian, contemporary romance, fantasy, paranormal, science fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print