Well, it was a scorcher yesterday in Oz, but today, we are in cool, rainy Ireland. Christina and I are rugged up on the window seat and I’m just going to put my book away to have a chat with her! Welcome Christina!
As always, I like to start the interview off by asking you to tell us five things about yourself as a person and as a writer (genre, hobbies, personality, are you a little on the quirky side?)
I’ve always called myself a “behind the scenes” person. I’m not comfortable being center stage but prefer to remain in the background, putting things together and making sure things work. I’m quite the introvert, so needless to say, writing holds tremendous appeal for me. I love spending hours alone in my little writing room...just me and a cast of characters I’ve created for the story I’m working on. Although I love music, I also appreciate quiet, especially as I’m writing. Unfortunately, we have a very noisy Amazon parrot who doesn’t understand the meaning of “quiet”.
Haha, I have a whiny mini foxie. So I understand you frustration completely hehe.
So when did you first start writing, Christina? Was it just an unbridled urge to write or had it been a matter of ‘it’s now or never’?
I wrote my first story -- a ridiculous fantasy about space travel -- when I was about four years old. My first novel, scribbled on a note pad, came along a few years later while I was hospitalized for a week. It was about a girl and a horse. How original, huh? It wasn’t very long, either. I composed a terrible poem about the same time and hid behind the piano when it was published in the school newspaper and read aloud -- thanks to my best friend who stole a copy of it and gave it to the teacher to put in the paper. Hey, what are friends for, right? I’ve written throughout my life and have published essays, inspirational pieces, confession stories and other romantic short stories. A few years ago, I turned to writing full-length romance novels. I wasn’t finding stories on the bookshelves that appealed to me. Most were too violent or too unrealistic for my taste. I’m not into supernatural creatures or paranormal stories, and erotica doesn’t appeal to me. So I decided to write the sort of love stories I wanted to read.
And a writer is born! I’ve heard of this kind of urge to write. You’re looking for that one story and either you stop looking, or you realize that story is yours. Such a wonderful way to become a writer!
Is there a reason as to why you write? And what’s your favourite part about being a writer?
I write because life is too good to keep to myself. My favorite part about being a writer is that I learn a lot about myself each time I sit down and write a new story.
I’m a firm believer that our characters are not only a figment of our imagination but often, apart of ourselves however small or big.
What inspires you? The novels you read? Other authors? Life itself?
Inspiration comes from all around me...things I read, things I see, things I hear, things I feel. Whenever something strikes an emotional chord with me, I want to share it with others. Writing is the way I do that.
When did your writing dream become a published reality?
As mentioned above, my first published piece was a poem I wrote in grade school. After that, I had other poems and essays published in various school papers. Later, as an adult, I had poetry, essays, confession stories, and other short pieces published in a variety of magazines, from True Confessions to Science of Mind.
That’s quite a history! Well done!
So with all your experience, what is the hardest part of the publishing process for you?
Things are much easier now than in years past, but I’ve always struggled with proper formatting.
Do you have any inspirational words for aspiring writers?
Write what’s in your heart, not what others tell you is popular. There will always be readers who appreciate heart-felt stories, and yes, readers can tell if your heart is in it when you write.
Words that hold too much truth. I know so many people who are afraid to write what they want.
Do you mind pitching your current release to us in ten words or less?
SUMMERTIME: A summer of hope and dreams, a summer of passion.
Who is your favourite character in SUMMERTIME?
Ed Ferguson, the hero of the story, is my favorite character. He’s told he’s too nice, and he worries that his honesty might also be a fault, but isn’t that really the sort of man we want to fall in love with?
I do like them honest. Even if I am asking them is my butt looks too big. :P
And what’s next for Christina Cole!?
In mid-October, Sweet Cravings Publishing will be releasing “The Wrong Woman”, another historical romance, and in January, Secret Cravings will release “Not the Marrying Kind”, so I’ll have both “sweet” and “steamy” coming up in the next few months.
Lovely! Can’t wait!
Now, for all writers, there’s something magical about creating a novel. What is your favourite part of creating a novel? Are you a Happily-Ever-After kind of writer, a cheeky black moment maker, or a first-sight-and-first-kiss kind of writer?
I love conjuring up characters, digging around in ther pasts, and uncovering their secrets.
Now last but not least, let’s talk about your muse… I think of my muse as some being. An alter ego of sorts. Tell us about yours. Are they male or female? Can you describe three of their personality traits?
My muse is male. His name is Dickins -- not to be confused with Charles. He’s just a “li’l dickins”, you see. Think of a cross between Groucho Marx and Big Bird, and you’ll have a fairly good picture of him. He’s a packrat, insists on having his own way, likes to joke around a lot, but always taps me on the shoulder and lets me know when it’s time to stop playing and finish up a project.
Haha, love it!
So that’s all the time we have today! I hope you’ve enjoyed your stay Christina and now I think it’s time for me and my readers to curl up with a book! Perhaps… a copy of SUMMERTIME?
GIVEAWAY: Christian will be giving away one e-copy of Summertime to one lucky comment in their desired format! So let’s chat! Do you have a special Summertime memory? A romance? A guilty indulgence? Share it to win!
SUMMERTIME is the story of Linn Sparks, a young woman who wanted more than rural Kansas could offer. A talented singer, she craved fame, fortune, glamour and excitement. She found it all as a star of the stage at the Crown Theater in San Francisco.
It’s also the story of Ed Ferguson. For him, life was far less complicated. All he wanted was Linnie Mae, but she left him standing alone at the altar seven years before when she ran off to pursue her dreams.
Now, it’s 1914. War is breaking out in Europe, and Linn Sparks has come home to Brookfield, Kansas. She plans to stay only a few days – just long enough to help negotiate the sale of her parents’ farm.
At first, it seems that nothing has changed in the quiet little country town, but Linn soon learns otherwise. She’s surprised to find that Ed is now spending a lot of time with Polly Washburn. An even greater surprise comes when she meets six-year-old Thaddeus, Ed’s son. But perhaps the greatest surprise is that the town of Brookfield is now building a theater to honor Miss Tabitha Ann Collier, the spinster music teacher who helped Linn make her dreams come true.
Now that she’s come back, surely she’ll be offered the lead in the theater’s first production — a musical penned by Tabitha Ann herself. But staying in Brookfield means facing a lot of unpleasant realities. Between her strained relationship with a father who never wanted her, a mother whose grasp on sanity is slipping away, and the feelings she still has for Ed, Linn is overwhelmed by emotions.
She must also find a way to deal with Polly, the woman who was once her closest friend but who now has her eyes on Ed. And how can she handle Quentin Loonsfoot, the obnoxious son of the man her father crippled in a hunting accident years before? Quentin is determined to make her feel guilty — and to make her pay for her father’s mistake. Most painful of all, she must accept the truth about Ed and his relationship with Rachel Johnson, the woman who gave him a son.
Ed has a lot to deal with as well. He still loves Linnie Mae, but he knows she won’t stay. How can he spend the summer being near her and not get his heart broken again?
It’s a hot summer in Brookfield…a summer of hopes and dreams, a summer of passion. Could it also be a summer of forgiveness?
You can find Summertime at the following online booksellers:
Connect with Christina:
Christina’s Blog: Seasons of Love
Follow Christina on Twitter @KCChristinaCole
Christina Cole’s Love Notes (Facebook)
Cover art for Summertime attached in separate file.