We love brand new authors here at The Book Pushers! Fresh new voices in our favorite genres gives us another person to cyber-stalk and glom onto! We figured since there are always new authors getting published through both the big New York publishers, as well as the smaller digital first publishers, we should take the time and hunt them down and introduce them to you!
Today we’ve got Christine S. Feldman here to talk about what it’s like being a brand new author!
Thank you very much for having me! It’s been a very exciting year.
Explain to us your journey to publication:
I’ve loved writing since I was around seven or eight years old and would crank out short stories that were my versions of Black Stallion adventures. Hey, it was cheaper than actually buying a real horse, and nobody had to muck out any stalls. Win-win. Over the years I would do a little writing here or there, but it always seemed like “real life” kept getting in the way, and I kept thinking, ”I’ll write when I have more time.” And then one day it sank in that there would never be time to write unless I started making time to write. So I started writing on the weekends and in the evenings after my teaching job (kindergarten; now there’s some interesting fodder for a book…), and I completed a couple of novels and screenplays. Then I started submitting the novels to publishers and the screenplays to various screenwriting competitions and—yay!—I placed in and even won a couple of contests and received an offer to publish.
What’s your first published book about:
My debut novel—Hee! I just love saying that!—is a stand-alone contemporary romance about a woman who returns to her hometown and to her first love years after leaving both behind her. Here’s a summary of Coming Home:
It’s a name that Callie hasn’t spoken in years, even if the man to whom it belongs has never really been all that far from her thoughts. Or her heart. But now a twist of fate will bring her back to the childhood home she left behind years ago, and to the hometown boy for whom she secretly longed.
When her mother takes a bad fall and breaks her hip, Callie leaves the bright lights of New York City to fly back west and help with the rehabilitation. It’s a tense homecoming due to a long time estrangement between mother and daughter, and it drives Callie to confront both a painful personal loss and her unanswered questions about the father who abandoned her when she was just a child.
It also brings her face to face with Danny again, and Callie quickly realizes that old feelings die hard.
But for Danny, it’s new feelings that are a problem. Callie is not the young girl he remembers but a woman now, and a very desirable one. They both have reasons to fight the growing attraction between them, but the temptation may just prove to be too much to resist, despite some very real risk to their hearts. The past casts a long shadow over the future, though, and Callie will have to overcome it or else face losing the one man who means the most to her.
Do you have anything in the works?
I’ve got another contemporary romance that I’m almost finished polishing up featuring an awkward, tomboy heroine and the former heartthrob of her high school years. I’ve got a screenplay that has done very well in competitions, so I’m thinking of writing a full-length novel version while I try to shop the screenplay around. That one’s a paranormal thriller (think haunted house) with an element of mystery and a little bit of romance, too, because a little bit of romance always seems to find its way into whatever I’m writing. Just can’t seem to help myself! I’ve also got a rough draft of the first book in a fantasy series with comic undertones, outlines for a couple of other romances, and a few more ideas percolating in my head.
What are your overall dreams, goals and expectations for your future as an author?
I’ve always loved reading many different genres, and I enjoy writing in different genres, too. Romance, fantasy, science fiction, suspense…sometimes they blend together, too. And screenwriting is also something I hope to continue to explore. Mainly I just want to always be writing something, whether it’s novels or screenplays or even snappy greeting cards, because writing is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done.
What’s your writing process like? Has it changed from when you first started writing?
I like to plan things out rather than just sit down and start writing; I’m pretty uptight that way, what can I say? I’ll start with a really basic outline and then slowly flesh it out, and sometimes doing general research on a topic/setting will generate ideas that become plot points. After that I sit down and start writing, editing as I go so it will be absolutely perfect. Aaaah…
Then I let it sit for a while, and then I read it over, and then I usually cringe and say, “Aack. What was I thinking? This stuff is awful.” And then I rewrite it. A couple of times. At least.
The only thing that’s really changed since I first started writing is that now I do a lot more of the rewriting. I hope that’s a good thing. Well, I guess you tell me, right? :)
When did you start writing? What was your very first story about?
Hmm. I don’t think I can remember my very first story because I started writing when I was a pretty young kid. I wrote lots of short stories about horses, magic, and adventure. I even remember trying to write a choose-your-own-adventure story because I was a big fan of those, too. Remember those? Didn’t finish it, though. Sigh. Those things are hard to put together!
My first actual novel was a very tame contemporary romance, and it was NOT very good. The writing itself was, well, not great, and I was also very young and didn’t have much personal experience to draw on for a romance at that point, so the story seemed a little flat. Now I’ve got my husband for my muse, though, so things are looking up…
Who were some of your inspirations for becoming an author?
Every author of every book I ever read as a kid, I suppose. I loved books, from picture books to children’s novels like The Secret Garden and The Black Stallion. The Swiss Family Robinson led to lots of make-believe games with my sisters about shipwrecks and deserted islands. Books fed my imagination back then, and they still do. And when your imagination is well-fed, it starts wanting to create stories of its own.
Give us the story about when you got “The Call”
I didn’t actually get “The Call;” I got “The Email,” which works just as well, really. And it has the added advantage of allowing you to squeal with delight without hurting your editor’s eardrums.
I had gotten back into writing after not doing much of it for years and missing it a lot. I decided that I had to make time for writing, so I did, but after a couple of years of working my day job and trying to find the energy after that to write at night, it was hard to keep it up and not feel a little discouraged. It can take an awfully long time to hear back from some publishers, and when their answer is “No,” it can be pretty depressing. Was I wasting my time? Was it silly of me to think I could ever be published?
And then I got the email from Crimson Romance…
Who is the author you would most like to meet living or deceased and why?
There are so many wonderful authors I would love to meet, but if I had to pick just one it would be J.R.R. Tolkien. He created a fascinating world and populated it with unforgettable characters that I go back to again and again, and I think it would be amazing to sit down and talk with the person who dreamed up something so rich and timeless. Plus he could give me lessons in Elvish.