Honestly, if I had a dollar for every time I’m busy in my office and my hubby calls out from the kitchen, “What’s so funny?” I’d be a rich woman. Here's the thing, though. I love to laugh. Laughter is a constant in the Craig household. I come from a family of jokesters and storytellers. We laughed when things were good, and we laughed even harder when times were stressful. And I’ve carried on that tradition in my own family. What's more, I’ve given this trait to all my characters. Laughter is healthy, it’s my coping mechanism. And I personally believe that falling in love should be fun. Yes, I might keep a reader on the edge of their seat, toss in a little murder, and all my characters have a ton of baggage to deal with, but they all know how to laugh through the tough times.
Lisarenee: I imagine writing a story is a little like baring your soul to others. It's like giving your readers a front row seat to yourself--your humor, your wit, etc. Have you ever second guessed something you've put in a novel or been nervous about how something will be received?
CC: I’ve often compared writing to standing naked in front of a crowd. Maybe it's not this way with all writers, but for me, all my best kept secrets are exposed in my books. From what I find seductive in a man to my morals. To the food I love, to the kind of off-colored jokes I find funny, and to how I might kill someone if I really decide to go there. Sure, it’s fiction, but when something is pulled from a person’s imagination, you can bet there are some elements of truth in it. And yes, for some authors those truths are not so evident in their personality. I was once told by an Australian bookseller that she is often disappointed with she meets authors, because, by reading an author’s work, she begins to picture that author’s personality. Then when she meets them, some don’t fit the bookseller’s personal image of them. However, she told me I didn’t disappoint her. I was just exactly what she thought I was. And considering the crazy things I write about—like dead guys in porta potties, dogs that pass gas, characters playing strip scrabble—I thought that was pretty darn scary. LOL.
Lisarenee: What is your favorite part of writing a book? Is it completing it and letting it go, coming up with the idea and seeing it make its way to print, or something else entirely?
CC: My favorite part of writing is getting that first draft down on paper, not worrying about spelling or grammar. When the story seems to flow from my fingertips and I’m in that creative zone where the ideas, the funny dialogue just start spilling out of me, it's like magic. It's the greatest feeling in the world, too. I guess you say that my favorite part is the storytelling.
Lisarenee: What is the hardest thing about being a writer? Is it deadlines, negative reviews, keeping your stories 'fresh' and fun, etc or does it come easily to you?
CC: Now, deadlines can be stressful. But I can usually deal with those. Negative reviews? I can’t lie; in the beginning of my career, they stung. But I have since learned that reading is selective. It’s sort of like ice cream. Some people only love vanilla, and wouldn’t think about touching a banana sundae flavor. Not everyone will enjoy my flavor of books and that’s okay. But, the hardest part about being a writer, for me? Well, if storytelling is my favorite part, the hardest thing would be polishing the story. Getting those words perfect is like pulling teeth without the laughing gas. I’m dyslexic, and writing perfect copy is hard. I leave out words, get words backwards. I know how to spell for the most part, but when I write, I sometimes use the wrong word, like "right" for "write." Or I will leave out one letter in the word and I just can’t see those mistakes when I proofread my work. I have critique partners who help me. But sometimes I’ll tweak a manuscript and send it in without having them look at my last minute tweaks. And I have gotten in trouble. Before I was published, I entered contest and in one of those I had written a perfectly good sentence. He looked down at his bloody shirt. My hero, a cop on the run, had been shot and beat up and was hiding behind a shed at my heroine’s house. And he’d been there for several hours. The mistake I made was to leave out one letter. The "r" out of shirt. Let’s just say the comments were very interesting from the judges. i.e. So he had internal injuries, too, huh? LOL.
Lisarenee: One of the things I noticed on your website that surprised me was to learn you have dyslexia. I tried to access the link to the video on your website, but it didn't work. What would your advice be to anyone who would like to attempt a career as an author who might be dyslexic or have a similar condition that might hamper their writing? My daughter has an auditory processing disorder and I am always trying to find new ways of encouraging her that she can overcome anything associated with it. I usually tell her that she may never be a spelling bee champion, but she shouldn't let that keep her from writing.
CC: Sorry the link isn’t working. I need to take that off. It was supposed to be up forever and the paper changed their mind and I can’t get them to respond to me about getting a copy. Please tell your daughter and anyone out there to not let their disabilities hinder them from doing whatever they want. Does it mean it will be harder? Probably. But it didn’t stop me and it shouldn’t stop anyone. I seriously believe that I didn’t achieve my success in spite of the dyslexia, but in large part, I achieved success because of it. Most dyslexics are very intuitive and I believe this helped me write emotional characters. I think a person with disabilities can sometimes have gifts. She might be very creative, or have a real knack at writing emotions. She doesn’t have to spell to be a writer!!! Storytelling is so much more important. She can get help proofing her stories. If she’s a gifted storyteller, she can help other writers with the art of storytelling and plotting and they can help her with her typos and misspellings. Never, ever give up. It was my motto, it wasn’t always easy, but it was so worth it. I recently hit the New York Times and the USA Today best-sellers lists—not bad for girl who can’t spell "shirt." LOL.
Thanks again for inviting me here to your blog. If your readers want to know more about me and my books, they can find information at my website, www.Christie-Craig.com. For a little taste of my Hotter in Texas series, watch the video below. I hope you enjoy!
Lisarenee: Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to join us.
|Blame It On Texas|
by Christie Craig
Zoe Adams has always been content with her quiet nights at home, watching TV alone-until her life turns into a real-life episode of Unsolved Mystery Hunters. The story of a kidnapped girl triggers unexplained memories, and Zoe is dead-set on figuring out why. Her search leads her to one of the Lone Star State's richest families-and to sexy PI Tyler Lopez.
Tyler has sworn off women, especially redheads with killer curves who poke their noses into his clients' private lives. Still, he can't deny the attraction any more than he can deny that some of Zoe's crazy story makes sense. But when she becomes a hit man's target, this cold case starts heating up. Suddenly, Tyler will do anything to protect Zoe-even risk his heart.
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