I'm delighted to have my first RWA Conference Roomie, Christina Wolfer, on the Veranda today. We met online via the RWA matching service and the 2009 Conference was our debut conference. Christina was a fabulous roomie. And we've become friends because of our shared love of writing. I'm excited to celebrate her debut novel, TWO BROTHERS, with all my friends. Please give her a warm welcome. I know you'll enjoy meeting her!!
Welcome to the Veranda, Christina. *Pop* Sizzle* Pour * Sip. How did you end up becoming a writer?
Saying I ended up as writer kinda makes it sound as if I made a conscious decision to be a writer, and I’m not sure that’s completely true. Yep, I did choose to pursue getting published, but the writer in me was always there, years before. I think I was born with or learned early on, a love and passion for creating stories. Writing drew less attention than talking in front of people and if I ever wanted the stories inside my head to have voice then I would have to do one or the other. Writing was a better option for me.
I'm so glad you listened to the voices in your head and wrote their stories. What is your favorite genre to write?
Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense. With each new story, I’ve become increasingly more suspenseful with my writing, and my last one is more of a murder/mystery.
Ooh, I love both genres. When you write them are you a plotter or do you follow the muse?
Somewhere in between. If the muse isn't cooperating, I plot it out.
It's a "Hybrid" type of writing I understand all too well. When you're finished writing, how do you relax?
Well, since my day job tends to interfere with writing, I write when I get home. When things are flowing, I write until it's time to go to bed, so sleep would be how I relax.
I admire all my friends who have day jobs and who write at night. Wow. That's dedication. What do you read? What are your favorite genres? Who are your favorite authors?
I read a little of everything, but tend toward romantic suspense and contemporaries. I enjoy Carla Neggers and Robyn Carr, but my favorite author is Nora Roberts. I think she has a wonderful art of building characters that pull the reader into the story.
I love all three of these writers. Nora Roberts has more stories in her head than on paper. How about you? What is your current project?
I've got two projects in the works. I'm in the final re-write before I begin querying my novel, Emotional Warfare, which touches on love after loss, finding internal forgiveness and has a twist of international crime. I'm also working on my first novella, Undercover, about a female officer sent into an inner city high school as a student to bring down a drug dealer and ends up finding love in the unlikeliest place.
Both your projects sound fascinating. I love the Novella idea. I'm already curious about UNDERCOVER. Do you have any new releases? (For later)
My 2nd novel, The Daughter, will be released in January 2012.
Happy Dance! Where do you get your ideas for your stories?
Life. Imagination. Dreams. Wishful thinking.
Wishful thinking and dreams are what lead to publication. How long were you trying to get published before you got the “call?”
That answer can be a bit deceptive. In 1995, I wrote a novel, joined RWA and submitted a query letter to Harlequin. I got a rejection letter, stopped writing and didn't renew my RWA membership. Then in February 2008, in the San Diego airport, on my way home from a week long business trip, my muse hit me, although I didn't know that's what it was called at the time, and I wrote the first two chapters of Two Brothers. I finished the manuscript in June and went to my first RWA chapter meeting in July. So a knowledgeable, serious pursuit of publishing was about 3 years, but if you ever got a hold of my journals, you'd see I pondered the question of one day being published when I was fourteen.
I remember that conference *grin*. We both agreed we'd get there one day. I'm so glad you got the call!! How did you celebrate the "call" and new book contract?
Well, I got the call five days before Christmas, so it was a busy time, not much room for celebrating a book deal. But with all the family gatherings, it made it easy to let everyone know. It didn't seem real and I did not react the way I had imagined I would. And in-between getting the call and receiving the contract, I kept thinking they’d probably change their mind. So, I’m not sure I ever truly celebrated the call or contract, not in a memorable, definite way.
When I see you in person, we shall celebrate in style!! What encouragement can you give writers who face rejection?
It's a fact of a writer’s life. If you write and submit, you will get rejected. We’ve all read a book or saw a movie because someone told us how great it was only to find ourselves wondering what the heck that other person was thinking. We have different tastes, another fact of life. It’s the same with publishing. You have to find the agent/editor/publisher that has the same or similar taste as you, that someone who gets your writing. You won’t find them if you don’t put your work out there. And rejection won't necessarily stop once you get published. I know not every reader is going to like my story and my biggest fear is getting that first bad review. It’s just another form of rejection. So, I’ve been working on developing some thick skin.
Very wise words, Christina. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Having the confidence and belief in my own ability as a writer.
Yes. It takes courage to push through our doubts. What is the most surprising thing you discovered after you received the call?
The first surprise was how many people think you're going to be instantly rich and famous because you're getting a book published. I've been asked several times when I'm going to quit my job. I can assure you, it won't be anytime soon. The second surprise has been the response and support from the guys where I work. I thought they'd be, "Oh you write those kinds of books." Instead, they are eager to read, ask frequently when the book will be released and ask if they'll be in my next book.
Thanks so much for joining me on the Veranda, Christina. One of our commenters will receive a copy of your book TWO BROTHERS. Turquoise Morning Press is the publisher so there's a print or digital option available.
Here's the blurb folks:
At eighteen, Amanda Riley got her first lesson in love when Jacob Henderson broke her heart. But then she made the biggest mistake of her life – she ran off and married his younger brother.
Ten years later, she’s divorced and moving back to her small hometown. She’s made a name for herself in the cutting horse industry. That should count for something… Right? But decade old mistakes won’t be easily forgotten by everyone in town.
When Amanda and Jacob are thrown together to help an abused horse, old desires ignite and past truths are revealed. And just when they think they’ll get a second chance at love, the younger brother comes home.
I know you will want to read the whole book after reading that blurb!!