CH: I joined SARA in 2014. I joined because I wanted to hone my skills and move to greater frequency in publishing with other like-minded writers. I’m active with other writers critique groups, but felt I needed to work specifically with other romance writers.
SC: What sub-genre of romance stories do you write?
CH: I am currently in rewrite with two novels. One is a contemporary women’s fiction and the other is a sweet romance that I intend to submit to Harlequin’s Love Inspired line when I feel it’s ready.
SC: What about the romance genre appeals to you?
CH: The lyrics from an old song said, “Love makes the world go round.” Almost all stories have some sort of love aspect to them – even if it is self-love. What I love about the romance genre is that it has so many facets.
SC: Do you consider yourself a romantic?
CH: The first national writing contest I won was one whose theme was to write about a romantic date. So, I guess I would consider myself a romantic, as is my wonderful husband. Winning that contest skewed my thought process about writing. I thought I’d win on a regular basis. I quickly learned that wasn’t the case. I’m still writing and receiving acceptances, but more often rejections.
SC: What are your ultimate goals as a writer?
CH: I would like to be writing and publishing two books a year.
SC: What is the best book you’ve ever read about the craft of writing?
CH: Hands down, it would be Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell.
SC: Do you have a writing routine? What does it involve?
CH: I do my best to write daily at night when it’s quiet and I don’t have any distractions. I also work out plot ideas in my heads while driving or going for walks.
SC: Do you have any writing superstitions?
CH: None at all.
SC: What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hidden talents?
CH: By day, I’m a real estate agent and have done this for decades. Any SARA’s out there who want to buy or sell a home? I’m here to get the job done.
SC: What is your favorite part of the writing process?
CH: I’m terrible at doing outlines because I don’t always have the full plot points in my head. My favorite part of writing would be mid-point of my story where I know my characters, where they’re going and I can’t wait to get them there.
SC: What would happen if you didn’t write?
CH: I tried not writing for a while and found I really missed it. I will continue to write because I’m always plotting something new whether it’s a poem, short story or full-length novel.
SC: How do you know when your research is done?
CH: Research is ongoing in my stories as my plots take twists and turns. I’ve had to figure out how to handle a medical emergency, how a police department responds to ongoing investigations and what restaurants are like in Paris. Thank God for the internet and SARA expertise!
SC: Name one thing you absolutely can’t write about.
CH: I do not read, write or critique anything vampire, werewolf or erotica. I know many others enjoy these genres, but they are not for me.
SC: Name one of the challenges you had writing or as an author and how you met that challenge.
CH: I have a monthly goal of sending out at least five pieces of writing a month as either submissions calls or contests for short stories. I also write inspirational and children’s stories. I have a calendar on my computer to remind what my deadlines are. Since I tend to be a procrastinator, I always show the deadline as a week earlier to make sure I get it done.
SC: Wow! I wish I could be that organized. Thanks so much for sharing with us, Christine. And good luck with your writing!
Article by Mary E. Brand