Monday, July 17, 2006
FEATURED AUTHOR: Ann Christopher
SORMAG: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.
Ann Christopher: I’m a lifelong Cincinnatian, and I think everyone should visit our beautiful city and have some LaRosa’s pizza, Montgomery Inn ribs, and Graeter’s ice cream! After college and law school at the University of Cincinnati, I married one of my law school classmates and practiced law for several years—some litigation and a lot of divorce work. When my second child was born, I quit working to stay home with the kids. I always joke that practicing law was easier than raising kids full time, but I didn’t know that at the time, LOL. A year later I started writing romances. It took three-plus years to get an agent, and several months after I signed with her she sold my second completed manuscript, TROUBLE, in a two-book deal with Kensington/Dafina. I’ve also sold two books to Harlequin’s Kimani line, and the first of those will come out sometime next year.
SORMAG: Tell us about your current book?
CHRISTOPHER: Here’s the premise: what would happen if two brothers fell in love with the same woman? Obviously, this would create a lot of tension over the turkey, sweet potatoes and macaroni and cheese at the Thanksgiving table. Would the hero be noble and loyal to his brother, or would love win in the end?
SORMAG: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
CHRISTOPHER: I’m not sure I have any universal theme, other than the standard romance book theme, “love conquers all.” I do want readers to escape into the story, get to know several complex and, hopefully, interesting characters, have fun with them, cry a little with them, and see them overcome their problems and live happily ever after. Oh, and then there’s the sex, of course. LOL.
SORMAG: Do you ever have a hard time letting go of a character after the novel is finished?
CHRISTOPHER: Er … no. I lived with these characters for over three years while I wrote, re-wrote, and edited the dumb book. I joked in my blog that I often wished they’d all have a tragic car accident in chapter two and spare me from having to deal with them any more. So I was very glad to send them on their way and give them my best wishes for a long, happy, fruitful life together, somewhere far, far away from me. For the manuscript I just turned in to Kimani, JUST ABOUT SEX, which is about a sex therapist, my editor wanted me to write an epilogue, and I had a tough time getting back into those characters’ lives.
SORMAG: What do you feel is the key to writing convincing characters?
CHRISTOPHER: A writer has to create well-rounded characters, and by that I mean that a writer has to show the good and the bad. Sure, the hero’s handsome, but is he quirky? Is he a little too cocky? Is he filled with self-doubt? What baggage does he have? Were his parents mean to him? These are the things that draw the reader in. I’m a reader, and I love to see how characters grow, change, and overcome their obstacles. Think about it: what could be more boring than a handsome, smart, nice, sexy man who’s kind to animals and is anxious to get married, who meets a woman with all those same qualities? There’d be NO sparks, no chemistry. What a dull book that would be!
SORMAG: What makes your writing style unique?
CHRISTOPHER: Hmmm … this is one of those questions that’s not for me to answer. Readers should probably answer it. I can tell you what I’ve TRIED to do. I’ve tried to create a story that’s emotional, sexy, and funny.
SORMAG: What are you doing to promote your book?
CHRISTOPHER: A lot. Probably the biggest thing, besides maintaining my website and blog, was mailing bookmarks to bookstores and book clubs around the country.
SORMAG: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
CHRISTOPHER: How hard and frustrating it could be. Transcribing the story from my brain onto paper was really difficult, even though I love to write. It’s hard to pick the right words, describe the scene, create sympathetic characters, create believable dialogue, etc., etc. Plus, there are many, many, many, many, many … well, you get the idea … setbacks on the road to publication. I think writing is really a journey of self-discovery. You have to dig deep inside yourself, work harder than you thought you could work, and think you CAN. You have to believe in yourself, even during those times when the words don’t want to come and believing in your writing ability seems like an idiotic thing to do. Aspiring authors: don’t give up. Like Winston Churchill said: “Never, never, never quit.”
SORMAG: What do you do to make time for yourself?
CHRISTOPHER: Well, writing, of course, and reading whenever I can. I used to practice yoga, before my schedule went crazy, but I still exercise most days because it helps keep me sane.
SORMAG: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
CHRISTOPHER: I love to hear from readers through my website at http://www.annchristopher.com/.
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