Christie Answers Your Questions

Last week I answered some of the questions I’m asked most. I also asked you to post some questions for me, and I would answer them. So, her goes.

1.Do you have a writing playlist or do you prefer to write in total silence? 🙂 (Leslie)

I don’t play any music when I write. I find it’s too distracting.  Don’t get me wrong, I love listening to music, but once I’m finished for the day (preferably sipping a glass of red wine).

2. A lot of my favorite writers always wrote on their blogs that they write every single day, that they always show up for it no matter how their schedule is. Back in the time when you were not a professional writer, did you write every single day? How did you do it then? Because I always feel so exhausted after class… If I do not write everyday does that mean I will never be a writer? It just terrifies me. (Sarah)

No, I didn’t write every day before I decided I wanted to be a writer. It was only after I made that decision that I tried to write every day. Some days I didn’t write that much (I had a small daughter), and other days I wrote a lot, and there were days I didn’t write at all. But the commitment and intent was there. Sure, things happen some days and you can’t find the time, but every day is a new day, and every day you commit to write.

3. I noticed you said you studied other authors and writing when you began. Did you discover a book or author that really resonated with you or changed you for the better that you would recommend? (Courtney H.)

I read and studied some of my friends who were published: Janice Hudson and Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Nora Roberts. They all had a profound effect on my writing. I learned how to give the readers what they really wanted—an emotionally satisfying ending.

4. I just wanted to know if you have weird and secret writing rituals. Like put on some warm cat socks and have a cup of hot chocolate before you start writing or something? What helps you to be “in the mood” for putting on your writing pants?  (Sarah)

I’ve said this before, but writing is my job. I go to work every day just like millions of other people. It might just be going down the hall to my study, but I arrive, coffee cup in hand, ready to go to work. I write for an hour or so, then I usually go walking with a writer friend. Then, back to work until about 5 PM, only with a quick stop for lunch. Unless I’m on a tight deadline, in which case I’ve been known to work late into the night.

5. When will we get more details on your new upcoming series? (JayCee) AND Do you have any information on your newest upcoming book? Release date, title, synopsis, etc? (Gabrielle)  AND Are you going to write anymore books like Shadow Falls? (Mia)

Soon, very soon. What I can say is that I have already finished another book, and while it doesn’t involve Shadow Falls, it is like my Shadow Falls books because it is about friendships, has a little paranormal, a bit of mystery and a whole lot of heart.

6. Are you still planning on turning Shadow Falls into a movie? If so which actors do you see playing the main characters? (Selina) AND Will there be a movie? I would love to see this series come to life! (Jaden)

I would love to see a Shadow Falls movie. The truth is, I sold the rights to CDS a while ago. They were working on a script, when they were sold to another company. So, now I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but as soon as I learn anything definite, I’ll post it on this blog. So, be sure to read this every week.

kylie1As for a dream cast, well, it would kind of depend on when the movie would go into production. I could say who I’d like to see star in a Shadow Falls movie, but I don’t know when or if it will get produced, and the actors might be too old by then. So, I hesitate to say at this point. However, if you go to YouTube.com, you’ll see several videos posted by fans that show their dream casts. Who would you like to see as Kylie, Lucas, Derek, Della, Miranda, Holiday and Burnett?

FAQS

I get a lot of emails. Many of them ask me certain questions over and over. So, I thought Id just answer the most frequently asked questions right here on my blog.

  1. Where did I get the idea for Shadow Falls?

Well, I was writing humorous romantic suspense novels when an editor from St. Martin’s Press contacted me. She asked me is I’d consider writing a young adult series. She thought my humor and smart a$$ style would translate well to that genre. She even said she had an idea: a paranormal camp. That was it. That’s all she said. Now, the idea of writing in a new genre scared the beegeezus out of me, but on the other hand, I love a challenge. I started thinking about her idea, and my imagination went wild. Before I knew it, Shadow Falls Camp, Kylie, Miranda, Della and their friends were born.

2. When did I decide to become a writer and how did I get started?

I was in my early 20s when my husband suggested I go back to school and become a teacher. I thought about it, and told him I didn’t want to teach, I wanted to be a writer. He told me to do it. No arguments, no reality check, just do it. Like the Nike commercials.  You see, I grew up telling stories in Alabama. Story telling was valued in my family, and I’d learned to tell a good story from an early age. However, being dyslexic, I’d always had a hard time reading and writing. So, the idea of me becoming a writer, well, that was a long shot. But my husband believed in me, and I really wanted to give it a try. I also knew I had a lot of work to do. So, I enrolled in every writing class I could, studied my favorite authors, but most of all, I wrote and wrote and wrote. Now, it took me years to get my first book published and another 10 years to get published again. But then I sold 4 books at once!

3. How does one become a writer? How does one get started?

Well, you just read how I got started. It was a lot of hard work. Writing for a living is a tough business. It’s a job, and you need to look at it that way. You show up ready to work every day. I don’t wait for inspiration to strike, I sit my butt in my office chair every morning and I write, even if I don’t feel like it. And I don’t make excuse about things happening in my life. I’ve written while waiting in hospitals, flying on airplanes, even while on “vacation” at the beach. When I have a deadline, I have to meet it. That’s all part of being a professional writer. I’ve written entire blogs filled with more specific writing advise. You can read them all here: http://cchunterbooks.com/blog/?s=writing.

Okay, those are the most frequently asked questions I get. Do you have any other questions you’d like to ask me?

Facebook Likes

Boy, I’m beginning to think Mark Zuckerberg is really onto something with Facebook. J Initially designed as a networking tool for Harvard students, today Facebook has more than 1.59 billion global users. That’s 22.9% of the earth’s population!

I love Facebook as a way to keep in touch with friends, stay connected with my fans, and as a business tool to promote my books. But I also love Facebook because it makes me feel good and makes me laugh. Who doesn’t love an adorable dog video? It’s so easy to “like “ pages that share your interests or pages that post uplifting content. These are a few of my favorites.

Then there are all the FB pages of my favorite authors. If you like and author, look them up on Facebook and like their page. It’s a wonderful way to keep up with their releases and book signings. Not to mention giveaways. I hope you have liked my pages. If not, here are my links.

What are some of your favorite pages that you have liked on Facebook?

See you online!

Male Beauty

What makes a guy attractive to women? Oh, I know, our tastes vary. Some of us like muscular guys, some like slender guys, some long hair, others like their guys with short hair. Maybe you like a strong jaw or a certain color eyes, or full lips or a rugged completion. But there are certain generalities for each era that were thought to make a man generally attractive. Looking back, we only have painting and sculptures as evidence. But generally, throughout the ages, the ideal man was muscular (and a bit more muscular during the Middle Ages to be able to support the weight of a suit of Mr-Darcy-matthew-macfadyen-as-mr-darcy-10471702-500-333armor) with classical features. In short, men were manly men. But things started to change in the 17th century when clothes became very elaborate and men sought to look fleshier in their clothes as a sign of prosperity. The 18th century took that further and added faces painted white with rouged cheeks and a powdered wig. And yes, men wore heels. With the 19th century came the dandy with corsets, heeled shoes and padded calves. (And you thought women invented padding their assets!) And don’t forget those tight breeches—think Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

I found an interesting YouTube video to show the different looks thought to be attractive in the 20th century through 2010. It’s all the same guy, who is cute, but it shows the different looks.

I remember the hippie, metro sexual, and the feminization of the male. But now, we’ve CowboyHotgone from the man bun (does anyone like that look?), to full bearded, lumberjack look. And it doesn’t end here. Our idea of ideal beauty will continue to change and evolve. Me, I like manly men, and I love a Texas cowboy—the real thing! What do you find attractive in a male?

V DAY and TBR

valentines-dayHappy Valentine’s Day! Yup, the day dedicated to romance is here. And, as you know, I love romance. After all, it’s what I write. All day long, I surround myself in stories of love. So, it’s no surprise that I love Valentine’s Day. Do you? Don’t have a Valentine? Don’t despair. There are 119 single men—never married, widowed or divorced—in their 20s for every 100 single women of the same age. But if you’re single and happy that way, you can celebrate Singles Awareness Day on February 15th.


Everybody has a TBR (To Be Read) pile, right? Well, I’m no exception. I have a huge TBR stack of books. It only seems to get higher the more I write, because my free time gets more and more scarce. But wait a minute! Reading is important. Let me repeat myself: reading is important. Even as a writer–especially as a writer. You need to keep on top of what’s popular and selling. Plus, I have so many awesome friends who are authors and I always look forward to reading their books. So, I thought I’d share a few at the top of my list, in no particular order. Some of them aren’t even out yet, but you can be sure, I’ve preordered them!

Susan C. Muller’s Autumn Secrets

51zcqYBDRAL

The harvest moon has arrived and homicide detective Noah Daugherty is drawn into one final, harrowing case when the search for clues leads him to the middle of a killing field. Desperate, he enlists the help of a woman from his past. Together they discover a serial killer, hell bent on reaping his own depraved version of social sanitation.
As Noah continues his urgent search for justice, the demented madman seems to stay one step ahead, taunting him and threatening everyone he holds dear.
Can Noah put a stop to the killing, or will he be buried along with autumn’s secrets?

 

 

 

Kerrelyn Sparks’ How To Tame a Beast in Seven Days 

51y6GbRi8NL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_As one of the Embraced―one born with magical powers―the beautiful, innocent Luciana escaped certain death after her father hid her away on the Isle of Moon. Now, to save her father, she has to marry a man feared throughout the land.

Luciana  agrees to wed the Beast―Lord Leo―in order to save her father. Soon she learns that her betrothed is also one of the Embraced–his immense power strikes fear into the hearts of men. . .and his mere touch can put an end to a woman’s life. But Luciana cannot deny the passion that burns between them. How can she resist the man who makes her feel intoxicated with desire―even if surrendering to him could destroy them both? (This one doesn’t release until March 7, 2017, but I can’t wait to read it!)

 

Colleen Gleason’s Beyond the Night

Beyond-the-Night-CoverFive men emerge from the remnants of destruction with extraordinary new powers. They are humankind’s last hope, but they cannot survive this devastated world alone. When Dr. Elliott Drake emerges from a cave after traveling fifty years through time, the world as he knew it in 2010 is gone. But Elliott has acquired an extraordinary ability–the power to heal. Jade Kapiza, who was once imprisoned by the immortal beings, has been in hiding for years. She can trust no one…but when Elliott comes into her life, he pushes at her defenses and begins to tear down the walls she’s built so carefully. Yet the mysterious doctor seems to have secrets of his own. Can Jade trust Elliott with her heart, even as they risk their lives to save a band of innocents? And can Elliott find a new place for himself–a home–in this new, ravaged world?

 

Diane Kelly’s Death, Taxes and Sweet Potato Fries: A Tara Holloway Novel

51nH9IcXxRL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_SHE HAS AN APPETITE FOR JUSTICE.
But this time IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway is in over her head―and challenging every dietary law in the book. . .

When the IRS is tasked with assisting the border patrol in pursuing unscrupulous “coyotes” who’ve transported illegal immigrants across the border, Tara finds herself at odds. Not only must she investigate Brett Ellington, her old flame whose landscaping business employs such workers, but now Tara has to convince her new romantic partner in crime, Nick Pratt, that she doesn’t still carry a torch for Brett.

 

 

Lori Wilde’s Million Dollar Cowboy

51VTFrVTqvL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_The illegitimate son of a Texas ranching dynasty, Ridge Lockhart left home ten years ago with one goal: to become more successful than the father who never accepted him. Mission accomplished, but now he’s back at the Silver Feather Ranch for a wedding—three days of best man duty until he can hightail it out. Then he spies Kaia Alzate, and suddenly leaving isn’t quite so appealing.

Kaia Alzate grew up the daughter of the ranch foreman, servants to the mighty Lockharts in the mansion. Back then, she followed Ridge around like a puppy. Now, she’s fighting the attraction she feels for this sexy CEO. She’s determined not to make a big mistake—but when Ridge takes her in his arms she’s stunned…could he be the man she’s waited for all along? (This one is comes out March 28th, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!)

Those are just a few books I can’t wait to read. I think I’ll start reading one tonight!

What books are in your TBR pile, and which ones are you most looking forward to reading? Do you have any recommendations for an author or book I should read?

Winner!!

The winner of last week’s giveaway is Brandi.  Congratulations! Brandi, you can pick any one of my books and I’ll send you an ebook to you. So email me at christie@christie-craig.com and be sure to tell me which book and if you want the NOOK or Kindle version.

 

It’s Not All about Winning

FailureYou know, in everything you do, you are going to win some and lose some.  That said, if you even just try for anything, you also win.  I know it sounds like some inspirational crap, but I’ve seen it so often in my own life and in my career. I hadn’t sold a book in over ten years, and I was writing humorous romantic suspense.  An editor told my agent, if Christie would write paranormal, I would buy her books.  So my agent asked me to write paranormal. I didn’t want to do it, because I’d never written paranormal.  But I started writing a book about witches.  I needed to write three chapters and send it in to the editor to see if she actually would buy it.  So, I finished the three chapters, and right before I sent them to my agent to send to the editor, my agent called.  The editor had phoned her and told her she was excited to see my proposal, but to make sure it wasn’t about witches. WHAT?

Einstein0So, I had to start over and write about faes. I spent another two months writing three chapters about faes.  My agent sent it out and the editors loved it, they almost bought it—but then they didn’t.  Ugh!  I felt like a loser.  I had spent four months trying to do something and failed. I wasted all that time.  I was so upset.  Right after that, my humorous romantic suspense books sold.  And I remember even thinking that I could have been writing another humorous romantic suspense instead of working those paranormal ideas that gotten me nowhere!!!  Ahh, but flash forward four years.  An editor at St. Martin’s Press was looking for some new young adult authors.  And she remembered an author she’d read that she really liked who wrote a funny book about faes.  She hadn’t been able to buy the book on Faes, but she really liked my work.  And that, my friends, is how I was asked to write Shadow Falls.  And it all came about from something that at the time, I saw as a complete, devastating failure.

Website Series Graphic dd (1)When you try something, put your heart and soul into it, when you learn something, you may not walk away with the blue ribbon, but you walk away with an experience and who knows what that experience will lead to.  So remember, It isn’t just about just winning and losing, there is also trying.  Can you think of how you tried and didn’t win the blue ribbon, but still walked away feeling like a winner?  I’ll give away one of my ebook to one person who leaves a comment.  (Sorry, this giveaway is only for US residents. If you;re reading this on Goodreads, you must leave your comment on my website blog to be entered in my giveaway.)

 

 

Winner!!

The winner of last week’s giveaway is Tracy Wisenburg. Congratulations! Please email me at christie@christie-craig.com with your mailing address AND t-shirt size.

 

Dogs or Cats? Or Both?

Most people (if they like animals) will either prefer dogs or cats. Some like and have both. According to Thought Catalog, about six percent more US households own dogs than own cats. Not only that, but in surveys dog people often outnumber cat people five to one. Why do you think that is? What are the differences between dogs and cats?

Dogs

355-happy-dogDogs are people pleasers. They want to make their masters happy and gain their approval. When you call them, they generally come to you. They enjoy playing with their masters as well as with other dogs. They require more care. You have to let them out or take them for walks.

Cats

terribly-cute-pic-cat-attitudeCats are more independent. They are as concerned with pleasing their masters. When you call them, they may or may not come to you. They also enjoy playing with their masters and with other cats. They are better suited to apartment living or living in a small house. If you have a little box, you don’t have to let them out.

 

 

I’m writing two books right now and they both have dogs in them. In my romantic suspense novel, there is a dog named Devil. He’s big, wiry in places and hairy in others.  He terribly ugly, but a sweetheart.  In my YA book there is dog named Lady—named after my own dog.  She’s a puppy, and her soft love is so healing to my characters.  I’ve used animals in my books–remember Socks, the cat? I enjoy animals in movies, too. I just read A Dog’s Purpose and loved it, and I cant wait to see the movie.

Personally, I’m an just animal person.  I love them all.   We have three cats who, because of my husband’s kidney transplant, have to live outside, but they have a dog trot and little house.  My husband accuses me of being more a dog person, and I can’t deny I might relate a little more to dogs, but seriously, I love any animal.  And the reason I use them in my books, is because I seriously believe animals make us better humans.   So tell me about your pet.  One person will win a Born to Read T-shirt. (Sorry, this giveaway is only for US residents. If you;re reading this on Goodreads, you must leave your comment on my website blog to be entered in my giveaway.)

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Goodbye to Shadow Falls

When Midnight Hour was released on Oct. 31, 2016, this interview appeared on Jennifer Mary G’s blog.  I thought you might enjoy my interview with her. I think it will mean more to those of you who have read Midnight Hour.

1.Midnight Hour is the last book in your Shadow Falls series. On your blog, you talk about the difficulty in saying goodbye to the characters. With that in mind, I wanted to ask…Which character(s) are you the most attached to and why?

It’s like in real life.  I’m attached to the characters for different reasons.  They all have parts of me in them, they have some of my traits, even some of my flaws. I spent five books with Kylie Galen.  I can honestly say, she’s more like me when I was young than the other girls.  Like Kylie, I’m an internalizer.  Even when young, I had a tendency to think something to death before I acted on it.

Della, however, she’s more like the person I’ve grown into, and often the person I wish I was more like.  She’s speaks her mind, calls it like she sees it.  I love that about her.  Ahh, but the very thing I love about her is what sometimes drives me crazy.

Miranda is smack dab in the middle of these two.  She’s kind, but can speak her mind when pushed.  But deep down she’s so insecure.  Dyslexia can do that to you.  I know, because we both share this trait.  I feel a special bond with her for this reason.  I loved watching her find herself in Midnight Hour.

But I must say, when I think about the three girls, I can’t help but to think of the boys they love.  Lucas, Chase and Perry. They all stole a part of my heart.

Then, there’s Burnett.  I love, love that guy.  In every book, I felt like I learned more about him.   If you think I have a soft spot for guys who are hard on the outside and marshmallow in the inside, well, all I can I say is guilty.

Every one of these characters feels like family.  I know, even though I won’t be writing about them, I’ll find myself mentally taking short visits to Shadow Falls.

2. The book trailer for Midnight Hour is so cool. Did you come up with the concept? Who worked behind the scenes to make the trailer come to life?

My behind-the-scenes person is R.M. Brand.  She’s a gamer, a graphic artist, a writer, an amazing and talented person and a friend.  We always begin working on a video by spending time talking about the book.  I’ll tell her the feel, the vibe that I want expressed in the video.  She takes that, uses her magic and always comes back with a winner.  She’ll pull something together and show me.  I usually offer suggestions to add an image or take an image out.  Then, we work on the script together.  And I can say, I’ve never been disappointed.

3. Miranda’s growing tattoo in Midnight Hour appears after a near-death experience. Is the symbolism of the tattoo more magical or spiritual…or is it a mix of both?

I think a little of both.  The tattoo symbolizes the birth of confidence, of acceptance.  It signifies the greatness we all have in ourselves when we move past our insecurities and learn to embrace what makes us different. It’s about discovering our inner strengths and moving past the stigma of how others perceive us.

Honestly, I do not write stories to send messages or teach lessons.  I don’t think of symbols while I write, and I don’t write to preach.  I write to entertain.  But when you get into a character’s skin, their character arc, their story always comes with an underlying message.  For Kylie, it was struggling with an identity crisis.  For Della, it was acceptance of change and dealing with those who can’t accept who and what we become.  Miranda’s message is finding self-esteem, discovering confidence and accepting our flaws.  This dyslexic witch learns that every flaw can be turned on its head and when dealt with properly, it can offer us gifts and talents.


So tell me, do you have a favorite Shadow Falls character? Why are they your favorite?

Favorite Foods

pizza2Everyone has a favorite food. I do. I absolutely love Pizza.  My favorite is veggie.  I like a thicker crust, but I know a lot of people are fans of thin crust.   I’m not a fan of Chicago style pizza with the sausage on top.  I cook my own pizza probably twice a month.  But we also order out.  I used to work at Pizza Hut so I admit it might be my favorite, but because I can only get Pappa Johns delivered, I eat a lot of it.  My son loves pineapple and jalapeno pizza.  There are some pretty weird pizzas out there. How about Mac & Cheese Pizza? Or Carrot Crust Pizza, Butternut Squash and Crispy Sage Pizza, or Spaghetti Pizza? The creepiest pizza pic I came across had scorpions on it. Surely, they can’t mean people eat that? No, I prefer mine with lots of normal pizza veggies: green pepper, onions, mushrooms, olives, etc.

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Spaghetti-Pizza

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I love Pizza so much I added it to my book Texas Hold’Em, put the recipe in the back and called it Austin’s Pizza.

Austin’s Thick Crust Pizza

Pizza Dough

1 cup lukewarm water (105–110 degrees F)

1 envelope yeast (fast-rising, if possible)

2 tablespoons sugar (3 or 4 tablespoons if sweeter dough is preferred)

1 tablespoon olive oil

¾ teaspoon salt

2 to 2 ½ cups flour

Directions

  1. Stir warm water, yeast, and ½ teaspoon of the sugar together, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand 5 to 6 minutes until yeast is dissolved.
  2. Add the oil, remaining sugar, and salt to above mixture.
  3. Slowly add flour until stiff.
  4. Knead dough 5 minutes, then cover with cloth.
  5. Let rise in warm place 1  to 1 ½ hours until it doubles in size.
  6. Poke down and use or refrigerate (dough can be frozen).

Pizza

½ cup of pizza sauce (more or less, depending on taste)

Pizza toppings: fresh veggies and meat should be lightly sautéed before garnishing pizza

Nonstick spray or 1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 ½ to 2 cups shredded pizza cheese blend or mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 475–500 degrees F.
  2. Put pizza dough in a slightly greased 9 x 11 glass or metal casserole pan or a round deep-dish pan of equivalent size.
  3. Spread pizza sauce on dough.
  4. Spread ½ cup cheese on pizza crust (bottom cheese will help keep toppings from falling off).
  5. Garnish pizza with desired toppings.
  6. Add remaining cheese on top.
  7. Cook for 9 to 12 minutes on lower rack of oven. Remove pizza when bottom crust is brown and dough is fully cooked.

Enjoy!

So, what’s your favorite food? Oh, and if you try my pizza recipe let me know if you liked it.

 

 

Favorite Gifts

I had a wonderful Christmas. I hope you did, too. My family knows me so well, they know what I like. So I got some perfect gifts, gifts that have become some of my favorite things.

18254I got some fuzzy socks and PJs from my daughter, the kind of PJs you want to spend the day in. I love writing in my PJs, especially when the weather is as chilly as it has been in Texas.

 

 

 

18245Chocolate was a big theme this year. Hey. I’m not complaining! Who doesn’t love some Godiva chocolates? The candle makes my entire house smell like I’ve been baking brownies.

 

 

 

18241My friends know on a cold night, I like to sip on something that warms me from the inside out.

 

 

 

 

18237Who doesn’t love something to snuggle up in? Yes, winter finally came to SE Texas, but it’s usually short lived. Still, you need something to keep you warm for those days.

 

 

 

18233I also got a foot cleaner (it tickles!) and a massager to loosen up my tight shoulder muscles after a day of writing. And I’m on  a deadline crunch right now—but I can’t really talk about that just yet.

 

 

 

17768Ahh..What can I say? My son and his girlfriend know me too well!

 

 

 

 

18229And this is what I bought for myself for Christmas. I ordered it online. I knew I’d have a good use for it, and guess what? I was right. I use it constantly!

 

What’s your favorite gift you received for Christmas?

 

 

 

Winner!!

The winner of last week’s giveaway of a Christie Craig book of your choice is Elaina. Congratulations! Please email me with your mailing address and your choice of one of my books to christie@christie-craig.com.