DEB: Christi can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
CHRISTI: I spent years performing in musicals, singing about love and giving people a happy ending in every performance. Then as a wedding planner I spent every day immersed in romance. Now I write it! Act Like We're in Love is my second published book, and I am now writing my fourth.
DEB: Tell us a little about your new book, Act Like We're in Love?
CHRISTI: It is a backstage peek at love in a theatre.
DEB: What was your inspiration for this book?
CHRISTI: I spent much of my life performing in musical theatre and opera. There is a wonderful intimacy inherent to being in a cast that lends itself to romance. I wanted to share with the world the absolute joy of being on stage. And the 'disdain' theatre actors have for movie/tv actors is very real, which gave me a conflict to work with right off the bat.
DEB: Have you always written about finding love and romance?
CHRISTI: Yes. I started writing romance as a summer project in the ninth grade - a perfectly horrible 60 page historical epic called, Alyssa's Last Look. I'm one of those mushy/gushy people who truly believe that love makes the world go round, and I can't imagine writing anything else.
DEB: Why type of research did you do for your book?
CHRISTI: I often joke that it's a good thing the government isn't checking my web history. For my first book I had to research poison's readily available in gardens. My last book I tracked down the history of several islands, as well as the drug trade history in the Caribbean. For Act Like We're in Love, I already knew all the background on musicals, so all I really had to be stringent about researching was the comic book character, Aquaman and the layout of Minneapolis neighborhoods. All in a day's work!
DEB: What is your normal writing day like? Do you have things that have to be in place for you to write comfortably?
CHRISTI: After years as an actress, my creative juices kick into gear after 6 PM. I do my plotting during the day - well, whenever the idea strikes, which is often when I'm either at the gym or the symphony, oddly enough. But the bulk of my writing takes place between sunset and midnight.
DEB: What was it like when you got the word that your first novel would be published?
CHRISTI: Magical. Wonderful. And I enjoyed it for all of a day until I opened another information sheet I had to provide to the publisher, requesting the idea for the cover art. Aack - no idea at all what to do, and I tumbled into a maelstrom of worry and horrible, horrible brainstorming (This cover was much easier to design)
DEB: Do You have any advise for new writers?
CHRISTI: I'm going to steal from NIKE and say, Just Do It! Put your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard. Treat it like a job, with expectations and goals and force yourself to write. Persevere. Oh, and have fun - because you have to really love it to keep going.
DEB: When you're not writing what kinds of books do you like to read? Do you have a favorite author?
CHRISTI: I devour romance. Also have a weakness for mysteries and thrillers, along with the out-of-the-box titles my two book clubs force on me (right now we're reading a book all about what happens to cadavers). My favorite authors - can't pick just one - would be Nora Roberts, Christie Ridgeway, Richelle Mead, Lisa Kleypas, Eloisa James and Stephen White.
DEB: What are you working on right now?
CHRISTI: My first trilogy (and yes, it is very scary and three times the work!). The first book, Planning for Love, centers around a wedding planner - lots of room for bridezilla horror stories and hijinks!
DEB: Tell us one thing people may not know about you?
CHRISTI: For five years I decorated my hometown's Rose Parade Float - my favorite part was climbing the scaffolding and hanging upside down to apply flowers.
The author is generously providing a digital copy of her release, Act Like We're in Love to one lucky winner. The rules are simple:
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