About Christine Simolke:
I am a former middle school language arts teacher/group cycling instructor with a master’s degree in English education. I’m married and have two sons, two dogs and two cats. I love to read, run, take group exercise classes, dance with my husband, and cook. When my youngest son entered high school, about 7 years ago, I quit teaching to work on writing full time.
What inspires you to write?
I am inspired by reading about and talking to interesting people, watching the news, and spending time running or outdoors in a quiet place.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process: I’ve tried both: making detailed outlines and a more organic approach. Intuition works best for me. I have a basic story in mind and think about a scene and then let it take me where it will. It’s like a movie playing in my head with the characters taking a scene as it comes with a natural progression of events based on their personalities and the prior events in the story. As for character sketches, I develop those during the process and keep notes about each character, the setting, events – to keep the personalities of each from veering off in a crazy, unauthentic direction.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I suppose I do listen to them and let them led the story based on what “they” would be most likely to do in a scene. Sometimes they surprise me.
What advice would you give other writers?
1.) Try to set aside time each day to write, even if it’s only 20 minutes.
2.) Read a lot, especially in the genre in which you like to write.
3.) Read about the craft of writing- “On Writing” by Stephen King is one of my favorites
4.) Edit/Revise your manuscript after setting it aside for a week/month or more & have it professionally edited
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I really wanted my book to be traditionally published. I couldn’t find a literary agent who was interested in representing me, so I queried small presses, who do not all require agent representation from their authors. This took a great deal of time and research, but it was worth it for me, because I was able to connect with a publisher that I liked and who liked my novel. If you have the time, I would recommend starting with querying agents, then looking for a small/independent press, and then finally self-publishing. I don’t think there is a best way to publish, as I’ve heard horror stories on all fronts. Just do your research and choose the route that suits you, but realize it takes a great deal of effort, maybe even more than it did to write the book. Hang in there if you believe in your story and want it out there in the reading world.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’ve read that print books are still 60% of the market, with e-books at 40%. I used to think that e-books would completely take over, but many readers, at least over the age of 40, still seem to like a printed book. In the publishing world, a traditionally published book, especially those released by the big NYC publishers, still gets the most exposure. There are many good self-published and independently published books, too. Maybe it will increasingly become easier for these to reach readers as well, but it seems like an uphill battle. In the U. S. alone, there are between 600,000-1,000,000 books published annually. With a market that flooded, I’m not sure how most authors will get more than a just a relative few to read their books. And yet, I’m willing to try; so if you believe in your story, you should, too!
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Historical fiction for adults, YA and middle grade
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Christine Simolke Home Page Link
Link To Christine Simolke Page On Amazon
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All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.
Charlotte Paul says
Dear Christine, I read about your new book in the Sunday, Nov 13, NewsObserver. My great grand parents also came from Italy, what a wonderful addition they were to my young life. I am 70 years old now and I still remember Sunday dinner at their house. I am a new resident of NC and I went to the Durham library and asked for your book. They said that they didn’t have it and that I should write to the library on the computer and ask them to get it. So I did and they wrote back and said that they would get it for all of their libraries. I really look forward to reading about your family’s experience.
Christine Simolke says
Dear Charlotte, I’ve just seen this comment. Thank you so much! I am very appreciative of your comments and that you contacted the Durham library. You have made my day! I, too, had Sunday dinner with my Italian family every Sunday when I was growing up. Please contact me (email@example.com) when you’ve finished reading “Children of Italy.” Would love to hear about your family’s experience. I hope you’ll like living in North Carolina. I have lived here for 24 years and love it! Really love it when readers contact me and it’s especially wonderful when they are Italian Americans like you! Buona Lettura! Christine