I originally created this blog to keep track of the books that I read throughout the year, but it has definitely become so much more for me! The title may say Historical Fiction Obsession, but I do read & review ALL genres of books. I am a lover of historical fiction & just reading in general!
Treasure Me is the only novel I’ve ever written that simply arose from my subconscious. I awoke one morning with this very amusing image of a young woman—a thief—dangling from a window trying to escape from the man whose pocket she’d picked. I’d already written Second Chance Grill several years earlier, and knew that this new book would also take place in the small town of Liberty. So the supporting cast was immediately in place: the town’s feisty matriarch, Theodora, who carries a Blackberry and a pistol; her nemesis, the fluttery Ethel Lynn, and all of the other characters who are an integral part of the town’s only restaurant, The Second Chance Grill.
What would you like readers to take away from the novel?
That “family” isn’t so much something we’re born into as something we create and nurture. The people you choose to love and who love you—day in and day out—are life’s only treasure.
You’ve written four other novels. Can you tell us about them?
Second Chance Grill will appear on Amazon in June. It’s a “prequel” of sorts depicting the love story of Dr. Mary Chance, the town’s doctor, and Anthony Perini, a single dad with a very precious daughter. Of course the feisty women of Liberty—including Theodora—will be featured. You’ll learn a little more about the “bad blood” between Theodora and Ethel Lynn. Their battle was “fur and feathers” in Treasure Me. In Second Chance Grill, they’re even wilder.
The third novel in the series, The Impossible Wish, will arrive on Amazon in late autumn. It’s the story of Birdie’s infamous mother, Wish Kaminsky. The hero and heroine of that novel are nothing like Birdie and Hugh: think “clutzy female scientist” and “Mad Greek.” And, heaven help us, the evil Wish kidnaps Theodora. Don’t make me give anything else away. I’m striving for laugh-out-loud comedy from start to finish.
The other two novels are stand-alone books that will appear on Amazon this summer. I’d tell you the titles but I keep changing them as I polish the chapters.
What are the pros and cons of releasing a novel in e-format?
I can’t speak for other writers; my greatest difficulty has been the allocation of time. Many hours are now spent promoting my novels. Those long, lovely mornings, when I woke at dawn and spent hours writing, have disappeared. At least for now.
The greatest benefit? Reaching out to readers directly. Receiving virtually immediate feedback. Already some of the comments I’ve received on Treasure Me have impacted the books I’m polishing, and my new work-in-progress.
Who is your favorite author?
It’s impossible to choose a favorite. Sue Monk Kidd, Nora Roberts, Fannie Flagg, J.K. Rowling, Toni Morrison, Sarah Gruen—the list of remarkable talent is varied and virtually endless. I’m not a “genre” reader. If a novel is good, it’s in my TBR pile.
What prompted you to start your writing career?
I can’t recall a time when I didn’t write. When my mother was alive, she swore I taught myself to read at the age of two. Now, I’ve met enough toddlers to know that’s unlikely.
Still, writing was always an obsession. I completed my first novel at the age of nineteen. Today the 600-page tome sits dusty and unloved in my basement. Later on, when I worked in PR, I was always striving to reach the day when I’d write fiction. In 2004, I decided it was now or never.
What led to your decision to self-publish?
After I finished my first novel I worked with two agents, each for about eighteen months. Random House was very interested in Second Chance Grill. A division of Penguin considered bringing out Treasure Me, and the other Liberty books, in hardcover. Then Wall Street melted down. The interest fizzled, and I decided to self-publish. By then I’d read enough success stories to realize that New York no longer had a monopoly on the publishing game.
If I may, I’d like to tell young writers: Believe in yourself. The world is made all the more beautiful by literature’s wide variety of voices. Find critique partners you can trust to help you nurture your distinctive brand of fiction. When you write that first draft, turn off your internal editor—it’s more important to get your idea down on paper. Later, revise. And revise. And revise until you’ve polished your manuscript to a diamond-bright brilliance.
Readers can reach Christine at http://christinenolfibooks.blogspot.com/