We all know people who have worked hard writing, who have finished manuscripts, who have taken classes, joined groups and have diligently pursued this publishing avenue. And we all know they are about 2 seconds away from getting that first contract otherwise known as 'The Call.'
Today our Somebody is---------------------------
I met Christy at a GRW meeting. I firmly believe the meeting was orchestrated by God. I wasn't sitting where I usually sit, in the front of the room and I heard someone ask her what genre she wrote. She said inspirational and they led her over to me and introduced her. We've been fast friends ever since. This girl has a ton of talent and I can't wait for everyone to read the words she pens. I asked Christy a few questions.
Lindi: What genre(s) do you write?
Christy: Most of my manuscripts have been contemporary romance. However, my current work in progress is a historical romance set in 1903. I enjoy reading historical romance because I love that escape to a different place and time. I’m discovering a new voice for my characters as well as new adventures in this piece I’m writing. The story takes place in my hometown. I don’t need to travel too far for research, and I’m discovering the town’s history has magical qualities… or, the kind I’m making up .
Lindi: How long have you been writing?
Christy: When I was about 10, I became obsessed (well, that may be too dramatic) with Gone With the Wind. I loved the movie. I began collecting the large picture books that depicted the casting search for the actors. Scarlett, in my mind, is Vivien Leigh. I can’t imagine Scarlett having been played by any other actress. I feel the same about Rhett. Rhett is Clark Gable. With all of that being said, I wanted to create that kind of book. In my 10 year old mind, I thought if I sat down at my sweet Granny’s brown electric typewriter, that I could create some of the dream and magic that Margaret Mitchell did. What happened was I copied the first page of GWTW onto the typed pages. There was no original writing done back then.
In middle school (I loathed 7th grade) I began a murder mystery about 5 or 6 friends that had to solve the murder of one of their friends. (I was reading a lot of Christopher Pike novels back then, too). That was my first attempt at a contemporary story. I didn’t write anymore until my late twenties, when I discovered I loved reading so much (Thank you Nora Roberts, Luanne Rice, and Nicholas Sparks) that I wanted to write my own stories. Plus, I had scenes in my head that had to be told.
Lindi: Do you have an agent?
Christy: Not yet. I’m actively seeking
Lindi: Do you enter contests-if no, why not? If yes, what is the most helpful aspect of entering contests?
Christy: Yes, I do enter contests. I’ve always been choosy about what contests to enter. I consider the status of the contest among writer communities. I also pay close attention to who the final round editor or agent will be. I’ve been impressed this last year how more CBA editors are the final round judges. Now, we not only can attempt to get our work in front of Harlequin editors, specifically Love Inspired, but also large houses like Thomas Nelson and Bethany House. Very exciting!
The feedback I’ve received from contests has always been very useful.
I will say, it’s a hard pill to swallow if the feedback isn’t positive. Usually, I will put the comments away for a few weeks, then come back later and realize the judge was spot on. You have to have a thick skin to be in this business. Entering contests is one way to get tough.
Lindi: Do you attend writer’s conferences? If no, why not? If yes, why would you suggest conferences for authors who are seeking publication?
Christy: Yes, I attend conferences. I love going! I love writing and I love to talk about the craft with others and help motivate others to keep writing and keep working hard toward their dreams!
I don’t get to attend conferences as much as I would like. The 9-5 job that is a “must” to pay the bills and support my writing “habit” is an important thing that doesn’t allow me to be away a lot. Also, my children are still young and I find it’s harder to travel and leave them behind. My husband and our parents are very supportive, but I find that I have a better time if I am closer to home and choose local conferences to attend.
I always encourage new writers to attend any conferences they can. There are many one-day workshops out there. The wonderful thing about conferences – not only the workshops and teaching – but also the opportunity to sit down across from an editor or agent and pitch your novel! Meeting them in a conference setting is going to show them you’re serious about publication. It puts a face with that cover letter. It’s beyond a blind/boring query letter. If you’re serious about writing, do what you can to attend a conference.
Lindi: What is your favorite aspect of creating a novel. Character development or learning the story?
Christy: Hmmm…. Very good question. I love both aspects very much. I love to brainstorm and plan a story. The hard part is actually writing the scenes!! My stories usually begin with a character and an issue or situation. I find I have to be more structured that when I first started writing. I only write in snippets of time and I need a map to remember where I need to go. Initially, I would start with an idea and see where it took me, but then I found in the end I was all over the place. I believe my books are more character driven and I enjoy creating deeply wounded characters so they can have a happily ever after.
Lindi: Tell us something fun about you!
Christy: I love listening to music way too loud in the car. I jam out when I’m by myself. I love to sing and dance, although I don’t feel I do either very well. I sing to my children quite often and make up silly songs about them. I can’t stand to be tickled, although I love to laugh. I’m finding the best days of my life are right now. I know who I am, where I’m going and where I want to go. I’m not inundated with what someone thinks about me. I’m more confident than I’ve ever been. All of this is attributed to finally giving God the glory in all that I do. I became free when I realized His love for me. I hope one day the stories I write will serve and glorify Him, and will encourage others.
Christy: Lindi, Thanks so much for having me here today!! I love the themes you have going during the week. So fun!
Thank you for being here! Feel free to ask Christy a question or two. She'll be checking in.