Continuing the theme of Favorite Authors week..I would like to introduce everyone to one of my favorite new authors....
Please welcome author of Divorced, Desperate and Delicious, THE FABULOUS Christie Craig!!!
Hi Christie! I am SO happy to have you here on my blog! Thank you so much for doing this interview. I absolutely loved reading this book!
Thank you, Rachael, for asking me to appear on your blog. I’m still almost in a state of shock about my book sales and about DD&D being so well-received. For over a year now, I’ve been walking around saying, “Somebody pinch me.” Then again, I have stopped saying that in front of my husband. Not because his presence increases my sense of security, or because I suddenly believe it’s real, but because he pinches really hard.
Please tell everyone about your new novel, Divorced, Desperate and Delicious.
DD&D, as I refer to it, (I really need to start choosing shorter titles) is a romantic suspense. It’s a tad eccentric, a tad over the top in the humor department. It’s a story about an animal-loving, slightly-quirky woman who has had her heart broken and has given up on men. Then Chase Kelly, a cop being framed for murder, and feeling ever so desperate, stumbles into her life and makes her doubt her men-avoiding path. But trusting in his innocence is was one thing, trusting herself not to fall head over heels in love is another.
What inspired you to write this book?
After almost seven years of only writing non-fiction for magazines, I was suddenly hit with a bad case of the Wanta disease. I wanted . . . really wanted to go back to writing fiction.
Finding my “writing” voice after so long wasn’t easy. I knew I had changed as a person and as a writer. I started listening to the masses of writing experts. So many people told me that a suspense novel couldn’t and shouldn’t be funny. Or they would tell me that your main characters couldn’t be funny, to give that honor to your secondary characters. But I loved humor and I loved suspense. And it didn’t feel right giving all the humor glory to my secondary characters. So I decided to shut off all my censors and write the book the way I wanted to write it.
Will there be future books featuring Chase Kelly and Lacy Maguire?
In DD&Delicious, Lacy has two also-divorced friends, Sue and Kathy. I plan to give each her own story and have Lacy and Chase reappear and give my readers a peek into their lives. In December of ’08, Sue and Jason’s story, titled, Divorced, Desperate and Dating, will be released. Kathy’s story is in the plotting stages. I’m still trying to figure out how I can get her and her hunky plumber together. LOL.
What are you currently working on?
Can you believe this is the hardest question you’ve asked so far? And, duh, how difficult should that question be? But I have so many irons in the fire.
Because the number one rule in publishing is…don’t quit your day job, I’m still writing for the magazines. I recently finished an intriguing and educational article on . . . toilets. Yep, the royal flusher! Because I always try to use my nonfiction research in my fiction, look for a book soon that showcases some fancy johns. (I bet it’ll be something I can use for Kathy and her plumber. LOL.)
As for my novel projects, I working on doing the PR for next release, Weddings Can be Murder which is June release. And like I said, I’m busy plotting Kathy’s story. (Poor girl, I’m coming up with all sorts of situations for her to face.) I’m also busy polishing another proposal, a humorous romantic suspense, to get to my agent. And there are some humoruous non-fiction projects, too. As soon as I have details on those to share, I’ll let you know.
How did you come up with the idea of talking appliances for DDD?
Well, like I told you, I always try to use my non-fiction research. I was writing a piece on quirky high tech’ appliances that included a refrigerator that you could leave voice messages on, a microwave that would take voice commands, and a recliner that could cool you down, heat you up, and offer a back rub. Anyway, I got to thinking about what type of a person would have all these odd appliances in their home. I had also been plotting a story about a cop who was being framed. The two ideas sort of bumped into each other as they were running laps in my mind. Just like when peanut butter met jelly, the two ideas came together so nicely, that I knew I had to write it.
When you write sex scenes do you use your own experience to write on or do you make them up out of your head?
Okay…Rachael, what kind of question is that? :) All I’m gonna say is that my husband thinks he’s very lucky that I love my research.
How do you pick the names for your characters?
Okay…you’ve hit on one of my sore subjects, a real nerve. My writing partner on my non-fiction books, Faye Hughes, claims that I suck at the art of name selection/name calling. She claims I mostly use one syllable names and I need to think bigger. I have since called her a few names and some of them even have more than one syllable. Okay, I admit I’m not the most creative name giver. Sometimes, I resort to even picking up the telephone book.
What is your writing routine?
Well, let’s see. I’m looking at the time on my computer screen and it reads 4:41 AM. The truth is I love what I do, and spend way too much time doing it. I’m usually at my desk anywhere between 4:30 to 6:30 AM.. I pause to see my hubby off to work, my son off to school. I go for three-mile walks most days, I’ll grab a quick lunch from the fridge, take the time to love on my four cats and one dog, then I generally work until it’s time to make dinner. I enjoying cooking, and eating, so it’s not a hardship. After dinner, hubby cleans up the kitchen -- hey it’s only fair because I cooked. A lot of evenings, I will steal an hour or two of writing time, depending on what deadlines I have on my plate. Generally, one day a week I take a break to have lunch with my girl friends.
I don’t always take the weekends off like I should, sometimes deadlines push me to work on those days as well—okay most of the time—but I’m trying to schedule myself more play time.
What authors and genres do you enjoy reading?
Most of the fiction I read is either women’s fiction or romance. Making more time to read, and reading in other genres is one of my goals this year. As for in the romance genre, I still enjoy historicals, I love a good scary romantic suspense—although I don’t want any that are too dark or what I consider depressing. If an author makes me laugh, I will usually become an instant fan. I enjoy reading fun paranormals. I do read a lot of nonfiction. I’m a how-to book junkie. I love learning so I read a lot of writing books.
What is the last book you read?
Nonfiction, I just finished Writing For Emotional Impact. By Karl Iglesias. Fiction: I read Colleen Thompson’s The Salt Maiden, and Deadly Gamble by Linda Lael Miller. On my books to read: Lori Wilde, Once Smitten, Twice Shy. Nina Bangs, One Bite Stand, and Real Vampires Have Curves by Gerry Bartlett.
What would readers be surprised to know about you?
Okay…there’s a few of things, some I can’t share ☺ but a few I can.
That I’m not bald under my hats. I wear hats at every writing convention because I wore one at a conference right after I sold my very first book years ago. My editor was there and when she saw how everyone recognized me because of the hat, she told me that I was never to go to any writing event without a hat. It became my trademark. People seriously remember me year to year at conventions because of my hats. And while I do like hats…I don’t wear them when I write, unless it’s a baseball hat and I’m having a very bad hair day. I don’t wear them when we go out unless it’s a writing associated event.
I’m a terrible writer. No, I’m serious. My talent isn’t in the written word, my talent lies in storytelling. Diagnosed in the third grade as “learning disabled,” I struggled with reading, writing and concepts.
Oh, I was good at reading people, by the third grade I could tell you that Billy Bob had a thing for Mary Sue, even though he swore he’d rather eat dirt than have to sit next to her. I could tell you when the teacher must have had a fight with her husband, or that my math teacher liked it when the principal, a nice looking gent’, came into our room. I could tell you the names of the teacher’s pets, and where I was on their favorites list—never too high mind you. When encouraged, I could entertain people with either my observations of what was happening around us, or by concocting some tale with just enough truth in it to make them believe. But let’s just say my report cards were never anything to write home to mom about and I never looked forward to taking them home to her either.
Today, I’ve overcome a lot of my obstacles. Spell and grammar check help, but then I have critique partners who are wonderful at proofing. It wasn’t until my son was diagnosed with Dyslexia that I had a name for my own struggle. But you know, I don’t think I’ve achieved what I have in spite of the dyslexia, but maybe because of it. People who deal with dyslexia are know to be very intuitive, and that is one of my writing strengths.
I really am a nutcase. Raised to believe anything could be dealt with through humor, laughter at our house is a constant. Between my animals and the assortment of eccentric friends and family, we seldom take life too seriously. Nor do I take myself too seriously, I consider myself extremely blessed to actually get paid for something that is truly my passion. Shhh…don’t my editors or agent, but I would do this even they didn’t pay me.
That I’m not an overnight success--unless your idea of a night is thirteen years. I actually published a book in ’94 with Silhouette Romance. After not being able to sell that second or third book, I focused on my non-fiction magazine career. In 2000, I finally decided to return to my love of writing fiction. It took a lot of rejections, six years of biting and scratching my way back in (I do apologize to that one editor) some serious head banging, and a few failed attempts at blackmail, before I finally sold.
I also write nonfiction books with my writing partner, Faye Hughes. Our book, The Everything Guide to Writing Romance Novels, published by Adam’s Media will be out in September of ‘08.
Is there anything else you would like to tell your readers?
That I hope anyone who has a dream will never give up in trying to achieve it. I don’t care if it’s running a marathon or being the best Elvis impersonator down at the karaoke bar, if you have a dream, never, ever give up. Never miss a thing.
Buy Divorced, Desperate and Delicious on Amazon
Visit Christie Craig's blog at Killer Fiction
Thank you so much for this interview Christie! Christie will be giving away a copy of Divorced, Desperate and Delicious to one very lucky commenter. She will also be answering any questions about her book and writing in the comments section.
Christie will be coming by on Friday January 18th to answer readers' questions. Feel free to start posting all your questions now. The contest will end Saturday January 19th.