If you could change anything in your last book what would it be?
The timing and submission process. Since I independently published my first two books I didn’t have a clue how long the traditional publishing process would actually take. Now, I have a complete and thorough understanding and can time my submissions more appropriately.
How much of a factor is your faith in your writing?
It’s the start, the middle, and the end of my writing. In my conversations with God I throw a couple of ideas around until I sense which topic holds the most importance. If I get lost in a scene and it’s not working for whatever reason, I take my dog, Rudy, out for a long walk. By the time I return home, the scene is clear, in fact, there are times I’ve actually went from a stroll to a fast walk to a run to get back to my computer and hammer out the details that appear as vivid as a movie in my head.
What is the biggest challenge in writing?
Letting the work go and calling it “done”. When you take an idea, give it the characters with their problems and goals, create a setting and other characters, weave the faith statement – the whole point to the story – throughout the scenes, work in cliff hangers and conflict and joy and an ending and then begin editing and polishing over and over again. It’s extremely difficult to let it go and present the story to the world. It almost feels like losing a best friend.
Any advice to new writers?
One of the best steps I took as a young writer was to join a large critique group through a community college. It allowed me to bring in my story, chapter-by-chapter, read it aloud and listen to feedback. By doing this, although a little scary at first, I grew as a writer and as a person who could deliver a sound critique.
Anything on the horizon for you?
Actually yes. In September, I finished a romantic novella entitled, A Perfect Fit, a spin-off romance from A Christmas Kind of Perfect. The story steps into the life of a young woman who typically chooses the wrong kind of man until she turns the decision over to God. But it’s not always easy letting go, even of behaviors that hurt us.
Presently, I’m working on A Perfect Ending another spin-off romance from A Christmas Kind of Perfect with intentions on finishing that work by summer 2018. This story peeks in on a woman with a professional career. Her intentions are to keep moving forward and achieving more and more success until God places her in an unexpected situation and turns her world upside down.
A peek into Christine’s new release, A Christmas Kind of Perfect
Conrad Hamilton thought his life would be easy. A great job running his own construction business, living in his hometown in Door County, Wisconsin, with Lila Clark by his side. He planned on marrying her as soon as she returned from her Chicago internship but it never happened.
Lila never expected to become a successful writer nor did she plan on spending the last decade in New York. But she did.
Can the magic of Christmas turn two hearts back to one another again or is it too late to capture that special kind of perfect?
Lower Manhattan, New York
Lila almost tripped over her suitcase as she swept into her apartment. Hand to chest, she willed the panic to subside. It seemed that everywhere she went lately, she saw a tall, broad-shouldered man who reminded her of…him. Her first love. He was even showing up in her dreams.
Taking a deep breath, she locked the door and kicked off her high-heels. She dragged the suitcase to her bedroom and quickly unpacked as if by doing so she could set memories from ten years ago back in the closet of her mind where they belonged.
It hadn’t mattered where her book signing was or that she’d been out on the west coast working on the movie versions of her books, Conrad haunted her.
Ah, the mind of an author was a terrifying place at times. She’d been working too hard. At least that’s the excuse she gave herself. Settling into more comfortable clothes she headed to the kitchen.
Lila walked to the window of her apartment cradling a cup of chamomile tea sweetened with honey. She watched the street traffic below, which reminded her of a busy ant colony. How she wished the city would sleep, if only for one night. Oh, the blessed silence. She’d walk for miles. Better yet, she’d run. Although Lila feared the attempt wouldn’t be easy. Like so many other activities she used to enjoy doing, she’d abandoned running since moving to the Big Apple years ago.
She padded over to her favorite chair, a chaise longue in dire need of new fabric, and snuggled in like a fat cat finding its spot. The chair stuck out compared to the eclectic-themed room, but Lila refused to reupholster the piece despite the persuasive arguments from her friends. In an odd sort of way, Lila drew comfort from the inanimate object. They shared the same flaw—an inability to fit in with their surroundings.
Lila’s bones ached. Now that she was back in the city, her life would return to normal. She’d hibernate for the next few weeks and start outlining her next book. Ugh. At this point, she’d much rather clean her uncle’s morning catch of fish.
Goodness, what had made her think of her uncle? He’d died years ago.
Reaching for the remote, she flicked on the receiver. Sounds from an acoustic guitar filled the room. Ooh, much better. She placed her emptied cup near her phone on the end table, leaned her head back on the cushion, and stared up at the ceiling.
Her smartphone buzzed. Ahh. The phone always seemed to ring at the worst of times, scaring her half to death. The clock had barely moved five minutes, and she’d bet her last chocolate donut that her agent Andrea was calling with another idea for a book tour. Lila swiped the call through. With tired eyes and a worn-out spirit, she forced a pleasant tone. Sounding irritated was not how Lila wanted to present herself. “Hello.”
“Hi, I’m calling for Lila Clark.”
Lila’s heart stopped as if she’d skidded on ice and slammed her vehicle into a fire hydrant. This wasn’t Andrea. She recognized the sing-song melody in the caller’s voice, so reminiscent of someone from the past. Was her memory going as well as her stamina?