I’m delighted to have you as a guest on The Heart of Romance.
I’d like to give a big thank you to The Heart of Romance for allowing me to host their blog. I truly appreciate them sharing their readers with me today!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Why writing? Why not nursing/teaching? Artist/nurse or whatever?
I had a career in the television (I wrote commercials and a weekly, local show for a CBS affiliate in Minnesota) but when I became pregnant with our twins I chose to leave my television career to raise them. Being an author allows me the best of both worlds; I work while they’re in school and after they’re asleep, and get to be there when they get off the bus until they go to bed.
What persuaded you to write in your chosen genre?
The idea for Along the Way Home came to me while on a cross-country road trip. Allow me to set the scene:
My fiancé (now husband) and I were travelling from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Marysville, Washington.
We’re driving my 1992 Hyundai Excel (compact car) and the backseat and hatchback are loaded to the windows with all my worldly possessions. As an extra bonus, my husband is 6 feet 4 inches tall. Plus it’s February, and since the middle of winter in the Midwest is brutally cold we’re sporting layers of long underwear, flannel shirts, and puffy coats.
We decided to take our time and stopped off at a number of landmarks, including Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, and Wall Drug.
By the time we reached the Montana border my hubby was ready to rip out the front seat and drive from the back one and I was beyond bored. Around mid-Montana I started whining about how long it was taking, how there was nothing to do but sit, and how the scenery never changed.
Mid-complaint it hit me—we were travelling in one hour what would take nearly three days to accomplish in the 1800’s. (Recall we’d just come from Wall Drug in South Dakota so I think “the old times” were fresh on my mind.)
I whipped out my notebook and the ideas just started flowing. Soon I had pages and pages of notes and ideas about a possible book.
Here’s the actual first line that started it all: A fantastic idea just occurred to me in light of the journey I have just taken…
And from that moment, a story was born.
Do you base your characters on friends, family or acquaintances, and if so, do you tell them or do they recognised themselves in your books?
My lips are forever sealed on this question :-)
If you were a car, what model would it be?
1969 Chevy Chevelle. Fast, clean lines, and the engine has a low rumble that is beautiful to hear. (My brother is a mechanic so I grew up around cars in all stages of creation/demolition). My son happened to wander in the room as I was answering this question, and he wants to answer it too…he would pick to be a Red and Black Firebird, because, “It’s fast.”
If you were a flower, which one would you chose?
I would pick daisy, because it is simple, yet very useful. (Recall the popular game, “Love Me. Love Me Not”) My daughter happened to wander in the room as I was answering this question and she wants to answer it too…she would be a Pink Rose because, “My favourite color is Pink and roses are pretty.”)
What is your favourite colour and why?
Green. I think perhaps because I like to go for walks in the woods and trees are green? I like brown for the same reason, but green just a bit more.
I gather you have moved many times, so… what is/was your favourite place to live and why?
I really enjoyed the time I spent living in Minnesota. The Midwest is a wonderful place to live and raise a family, and the only reason we left was so my husband and I could be closer to our families. We still keep in touch with many of the friends we met while we lived there, and hope to get back soon for a vacation so we can show our twins everything we loved about living there.
Is there any place you have not been, that you would like to live?
I’ve lived in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, so I’d be open to trying the East Coast or Deep South to see what life is like down there.
Tea or coffee? Coffee.
Summer or winter? Winter.
Autumn (fall) or spring? Fall. It’s my favorite season of the year so right now I’m very happy!
City or countryside? I love both equally, so I’d have to say that it depends on what activity is going on.
What is/was the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
Revisions are going to take as long as they are going to take. Don’t rush to get them done because you’ll just end up going back over them. Really take your time and be meticulous in getting absolutely everything right, or you’ll end up regretting it.
What advice would you pass on to an aspiring writer?
Never ever EVER give up. On your path to publication you’re going to hear horrific things about your writing and your storylines, you’re going to get rejection after rejection and then a bunch more, but if you keep going in the face of those criticisms and continually strive to learn all you can about the craft of writing, and you NEVER QUIT, you will succeed. Because all it takes is one person to say yes.
I had over 50 rejections on the day I queried Astraea Press. I got many more after I signed the contract (publishing is slow and agent response times are even slower), I got two rejections the week before it released, one more on release day, and then yet another on the very day I hit Number One on Amazon’s Top 100 list for Hot New Releases in Westerns.
Imagine if I had taken all those rejections as a sign I shouldn’t be a writer and gave up!
What is your writing goal for 2014?
Write another book :-)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Along the Way Home is a “sweet” historical romance set on the 1843 Oregon Trail. It is available in ebook formats now at the following locations.
(Print available on Amazon)
Barnes and Noble:
Astraea Press (my publisher):
OmniLit: Along the Way Home Back Cover Copy:
Kate Davis is intrigued when her father reveals his dream of starting a horse ranch in Oregon Territory. Settlers out west value a strong woman, and though she manages the financials of her father’s mercantile her competence earns her ridicule, not respect, from Virginia’s elite society.
Jake Fitzpatrick, an experienced trail guide, wants land out west to raise cattle and crops. But dreams require money and he’s eating dandelion greens for dinner. So when a wealthy businessman offers double wages to guide his family across the Oregon Trail, Jake accepts with one stipulation—he is in complete control.
Departure day finds Kate clinging to her possessions as Jake demands she abandon all he deems frivolous, including her deceased mother’s heirlooms. Jake stands firm, refusing to let the whims of a headstrong woman jeopardize the wages he so desperately needs—even a beautiful one with fiery green eyes and a temper to match.
Trail life is a battle of wills between them until tragedy strikes, leaving Jake with an honor-bound promise to protect her from harm and Kate with a monumental choice—go back to everything she’s ever known or toward everything she’s ever wanted?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I’m addicted to coffee, sticky notes, and the Oxford Comma. I live in a small town in Oregon with my husband and our twins. Our home’s location was especially inspiring as I wrote Along the Way Home because the view from the back door is a hill travelers looked upon years ago as they explored the Oregon Territory and beyond.
Social Media Links:
When I’m not writing I love chatting with readers and writers alike. You can find me in one of the following locations:
Facebook: Christi Corbett—Author