Kat's Blog

Kat's Blog

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 11!

Today I welcome the wonderfully amazing Chistine London to the party. Thanks for being here. So let's fire up the grill and get to it!

1: When did you first begin writing?

First keystroke July of 2005, first contract October 2006 and first book released in June 2007. This is pretty much considered lightning speed in the publishing world. I feel very fortunate indeed.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing?

Real life mixed with my imagination seems to yield the best work. I think using life experience lends an air of realism to any work of fiction. In the case of my first novel, a film and its lead actor inspired a story that kept me writing half the night for six months to finish. When a writer is struck with an idea, it can be a powerful force indeed.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

I rather like to have water, coffee and sometimes a small dish of bittersweet chocolate chips right next to my laptop so I can replenish physically without having to get up. Other than that, the computer pretty much calls my name from the moment I awake. Always excited to see what new e-mails there may be, new opportunities, new friends and colleagues with which to interact; I pop open the old laptop even before I get breakfast.

To get back into the flow of my work in progress, I re read the previous day’s work, do minor edits, then take off from there into the next scene.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

Panster. I begin with an idea, a concept if you will. From there, I dive right in. The only time I have allowed plotting to enter into the picture is when I write a suspense or more recently, a trilogy. There are some works that simply are too complicated not to have some notion of where you are headed, so I write a couple sentences about each chapter to spur me on. Keeping a character map is also helpful to remember facts —physical descriptions and personal history. This ‘map’ usually is built, as I write, not before. Once again— this is the mark of a dyed in the wool pantser.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is my all time fav. Before I began writing fiction, I was not a fiction reader. Rather, I read self-help and non-fiction in the realm of psychology. People have always fascinated me, so when I was struck with this idea for a story in 2005, I drew on all that knowledge to make my characters more interesting and real.

Reading my colleague’s work is always fun. I belong to Los Angeles Romance Authors or ‘LARA’ Chapter 25 of Romance Writers Of America. They are the most wonderful supportive writers, many of them published. What a marvelous discovery to be able to see the working of their minds through their words. They have been inspirational, educational and entertaining.

6: Are you currently reading anything?

There I go again---slipping back into self-help reading. I recently finished It’s All Too Much: AN Easy Plan for Living A Richer Life with Less Stuff By Peter Walsh. It has helped me let go of a lot of ‘stuff’ after the recent passing of my Mom and Dad. So many emotions are tied up in the clutter that fills our homes; it was great help to unravel the feelings and memories from the physical items.

Best recent fiction read? The Art Of Racing In The Rain By Garth Stein. If you are a dog lover and wondered what your best furry friend is thinking, this book will surely melt your heart. Tears and laughs abound. What more can you ask from a great read?

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

I write. Even if it is not on my work in progress, if I continue to bang away at the keys I can either accomplish the ever time consuming task of promotions and administrative chores and/or write a short story that gets the writing juices flowing and provides some free reading material for my blog or website. Failing that, I push on from where I left off in my work in progress or one of the one or two other ideas that are coming down the metaphorical pike. Something always ‘clicks’ and moves forward. There simply is no excuse not to forward your writing career each and every workday. If you look upon it as a profession and ‘show up’ just as you would at a day job, you are going to make progress in one form or another.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

Travel to research new settings and people, sing in my five person vocal jazz group, bake killer cookies and death by chocolate brownies for friends, jog/lift weights to keep fit and meet new friends online/ at conventions/workshops. There never seems to be enough hours in the day. One thing I cannot understand is someone saying that they are bored. There are simply too many wonderful places, people and things to explore in this world to spend one moment feeling bored.

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

I’ve been very fortunate in being able to travel extensively in Europe. Australia is another locale I was able to visit all too briefly two years ago. I would love to see more down under.

My favorite place to return again and again, my home away from home is the United Kingdom. I spent a year of study there and ever since have missed it. Even though I make my home in Los Angeles, I am a dyed in the wool Anglophile.

Scotland has a special draw, a sort of mystical magic to its stark beauty that makes me feel as though I belong. So I would have to say Scotland.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Persist. If you love this profession, you will hang in through thick and thin. It is the tenacious that win the prize. We all improve our craft over our careers, authors no different. So keep writing, submitting and learning from colleagues.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

As in unusual stuff?? Hmm… Here’s a brief list from a recent blog I wrote:
-(Shhhhh….) I never read a romance novel before I wrote one.
- I won the first and only 5K footrace I ever entered. (Beginner’s luck)
- Chocolate ought to be outlawed. Too good, too addicting. I love it. More please.
- I’m not ticklish at all. (awe, she’s no fun , I hear you thinking)
- I attend insider Hollywood events as an outsider. (Some rather fancy the blogs I write about them, but I’ll never compromise celebrity’s privacy)

My Blogs are located both on My Space and “London Blog” hosted by blogspot:

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

I have five electronic books, three of which have gone to print. Two more novels are contracted through Muse It Up Publishing of Canada for 2011 release. You can learn more about me and my books on my website

My most recent release is titled “Leap Of Faith”

Film student Faith Holmes is on an Italian holiday bought and paid for -- a familial inducement to finding an Italian husband. She wants none of it. Boredom and curiosity make for a volatile mix and Faith is lured into the heart of the island of Forio's exclusive international film festival not as guest, but crasher.
Hollywood's premiere publicist Hunter Jameson has more than enough on his plate when his client, English film sensation Alex Winslow decides he's departing from the straight and narrow. One American party crasher should be the least of his worries. He has no idea that Alex's growing feelings for Faith rival his own. The only thing for certain is his life will never be the same.

Leap of Faith
Christine London
Release date: May 3, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-58749-735-3


Thanks so much, Kat for this opportunity to chat and share with you and your readers.

Warm Regards,
Christine London


Emily Pikkasso said...

Hey Christine, Great interview. Diana Gabaldon is a favorite of mine too. Wasn't this a great idea Kat had, to host a summer bash?

Viviane Brentanos said...

Great interview. I see you kept your on-going romance with Gerard Butler a secret. I promise I won't tell.


Kat said...

Thanks Emily.:-) I appreciate the compliment.

LOL Viv. My secret crush is on Alexander Skarsgard. Shh don't tell anyone.

Lin said...

Hey all. Great invterview Christine. Can't wait till I can spotlight you and your cover on my blog, your's too Viv. Emily and Kat yours are coming up soon.

I'm envious of your travel history. You have so many known backgrounds to place your stories in and do so without extensive research first.

Both Kat and I dream about going to Scotland...until then my baby Bro and Kat's uncle keeps us Laird of the Keep satiated with the many phots he takes form his Montana keep in his kilt. (He says it makes the females swoon...and even though I am his big sis, who I am to refute his senilty?:>)

Christine London said...

Emily--yes! Love the summer bash idea. I heard Diana is going to be at the Surrey writers conference in the fall.
Viv-- *forefinger to lips* Shhhh!
Lin---You have one heck of a great summer bash of your own going over on your blog. I can't wait to get a cover or two as well. (And yes...Scotland is mystical)
Kat--Thanks for hosting me today. It was fun!


Karen McGrath said...

Christine, you are too fun! Thanks, Kat! :)