Monday, November 1, 2010

Interview & Giveaway with Christi Barth

Please join me in welcoming, Christi Barth author of Act Like We're in Love to Debbie's Book Bag today. The author is generously offering a copy of her book for giveaway to one lucky winner. Please see the details at the end of the post.

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.

When two people make beautiful music together onstage, can their love survive once the curtain falls? Linnea Larson is willing to do anything to keep her family's Minneapolis dinner theatre from going under. Anything, that is, besides accepting a date from the Hollywood hunk her father hired to inject a dose of star power into their production of Guys & Dolls. It's a toss up whether his greatest claim to fame is playing a superhero on screen, or a super stud off screen. Neither fact convinces her he's got what it takes to share her stage. And thanks to a life long pact with her best friend, she never dates actors.

Luke Powell has fame, fortune, and an endless string of women, but also a lingering dissatisfaction with his picture perfect life. Looking for a change, he escapes to his theatrical roots. What he finds are wary cast mates, a nervous best friend convinced the show will ruin Luke's career, and an adorable costar who stubbornly refuses to go out with him. Suddenly singing and dancing aren't the only challenges he'll tackle over the summer. Far from the spotlights of Hollywood, can he find happiness in the footlights of a tiny theatre?

Despite Luke dragging her into his daily paparazzi nightmare, Linnea can't deny her mounting attraction to his irresistible charm. And even if she's crazy enough to chance getting involved, their fling would have a guaranteed expiration date. He's leaving at the end of the run, and she's tied to her family's theatre. Why risk the inevitable heartbreak? Their job is to act like they're in love, but will they decide it's worth the leap to fall in love for real?

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:

1.) You must be a Google Friend Connect follower to participate.
2.) Since this is a digital copy, INTERNATIONAL entries are welcome.
3.) The giveaway deadline is Midnight EST, November 15th.
4.) Please leave a comment on this post in appreciation to the author for providing the giveaway copy.
5.) You must fill out this FORM to be entered.

EXTRA ENTRIES: (will be asked on the Form)

+1 for following me on Twitter (sidebar)
+5 for being an old follower
+3 for being a new follower
+5 for entering any other giveaway on my sidebar
+5 for putting this giveaway on your sidebar
+10 for adding my button to your sidebar
+10 for subscribing by e-mail (sidebar)
+25 for getting the word out about this giveaway, blog post, facebook, twitter etc.


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

This sounds lovely-Guys and Dolls is my favorite musical so I'm always happy to see it incorporated in to a novel.

Pink Panther said...

Wow! Thanks so much for making this fabulous giveaway international! :)

Atta Girl said...

I've just read the synopsis... and I am HOOKED. Thanks for the lovely giveaway!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the giveaway. The book sounds wonderful.

Christi Barth said...

I'm so glad you all sound excited. And yes, the musical is definitely incorporated - scenes, costumes, etc. I promise you'll love it!

Emma said...

Good interview.This book sound wonderful.Have a great week.

Book Loving Mommy said...

I can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the great giveaway!

Jasmine1485 said...

I enjoyed the interview and thank you so much for this giveaway (and for it being international, I'm in Australia!) :) I love to read about experiences I've never had myself and I know almost nothing about theatre, so it'd be great to get a taste of it through this book.

Kate1485 at

Hannah Marie said...

The book sounds wonderful! I've added it to my TBR pile, whether I win the giveaway or not. My old roommate was a Theater gal, and she happened to date a costar. Guys and Dolls is also a personal favorite of mine. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! And I can't wait to read the novel!

Sara said...

SOunds like a really good book!! I'm definitely entering this contest! :)

Kulsuma said...

thank you for the international giveaway!

*yadkny* said...

Sounds like a great story! Sounds like you've some more great stories coming up too:)