Today I’m delighted to welcome Christy McKellen to the blog. Formerly a Video and Radio Producer, Christy now spends her time as either a slave to her children or her muse. When she’s not writing spicy romance, she can be found stomping around the South West of England, glomming her to-be-read pile or escaping from real life with her rather delicious husband. Lovely to have you here, Christy, do tell us something of your journey as a writer. How did it begin?
I’ve enjoyed writing all my life, but I really started to get the bug whilst travelling around the world with my husband in 2001. I’ve written on and off since then, initially for my own pleasure, until after my second child was born (I have three of them now and fit my writing around looking after them full time.) After I decided to write with publication in mind, I read every craft book I could get my hands on and got involved in the online romance community as well as joining the RNA New Writers’ Scheme. It’s been a long, but wonderful journey.
What was the hardest challenge for you in getting published?
The hardest thing for me was finding the time to write and send my stories away. My children are still young and take a lot of my attention – and energy – so I’ve had to write in the evenings and during stolen moments in order to get stories finished. Luckily, I have a very supportive husband!
Which author has most influenced your work?
I think every writer whose book I’ve read has probably influenced me in some way. I read widely and can honestly say I’ve found value in every story. If I had to choose one writer who has truly inspired me though, it would be Kate Atkinson.
Writers are always asked where they find their ideas. Would you like to share any tips with us on what inspired you to write this novel?
Overcoming the effects of emotional abuse is something a good friend of mine has tackled and thankfully beaten. She’s such an inspiration to me and her story was the catalyst for my heroine, Ellie’s, journey. Most of my ideas for stories are rooted in reality; things that have effected either me or my friends in some way.
I know you are a busy mum, do you ever find yourself writing in odd places, like the bath? Where and when do you escape to write?
I write wherever I can find a space, usually in amongst the debris on the kitchen table or with my laptop propped on my knee in bed. I tend to carry a notebook and pen around with me too so I can jot down any ideas or lines that come to me when I’m out. I’ve been known to write whole chapters in that notebook while my children play at the park.
You write contemporary romance, what do you enjoy most about your particular genre?
My favourite part of writing contemporary romance is the lead up to the first kiss. The bit where the characters take that step over the cliff of want into the chasm of need. I also enjoy reading and writing about strong female characters; women who aren’t afraid to go for what they want.
Do you take advice before sending your baby out into the wide world? If so, who from?
I have a wonderful critique partner who is absolutely brilliant at picking up on inconsistencies/plot holes/major boobs and very gently and kindly pointing them out to me. My stories wouldn’t be as strong – or make as much sense – without her.
What was your most romantic Christmas?
Hmm. They’ve all been romantic in their way. I adored Christmas as a child and have very fond memories of those times. Nothing specifically romantic has happened at Christmas, but I love being able to spend that magical time with my family. Before we had children, my husband and I would divide our time between our parents’ houses, but now we have everyone to us instead. It’s always a busy, but enormously fun time.
Is your family supportive of your writing, or do they think you’re a crazy person?
My family are great – although I suspect they secretly think I’m a little bit crazy. As I’ve already mentioned, my husband is very supportive and has been a huge help during the ups and downs of my journey to being a published writer. My oldest daughter thinks it’s wonderful I have a book out. She’s a total bookworm and I often find her reading under the covers at night when she’s supposed to be asleep. It seems so wrong to stop her so I usually pretend I haven’t seen it.
So what next? Can you tell us a little about your work in progress?
I have three other stories on the go, all jostling for my attention. I think the next one to be completed will by my South of France story about a wanderer and a workaholic. I love these two characters; they’re totally wrong for each other, but oh so right.
Six months ago Ellie Holdsworthy’s life was all planned out - kids, wedding, happy ever after - until her boyfriend dumped her for another woman. Now her best friend, Penny - an heiress to a small fortune - looks set to run off with a gold-digger, and Ellie is determined to save her from certain doom . Unfortunately, the only person who can help is the one person she’d rather not ask...
Little does Ellie know, persuading her brother’s best friend - commitment phobic, playboy businessman, Gideon DeLancy - to hold an intervention at his beautiful Georgian manor would be the easy part. Keeping her hands off him is a whole other matter.
Gideon doesn’t intend to fall for his friend's snarky sister, and he sure as hell doesn’t expect their weekend to develop into a full-on sex-fest. When passion takes a strangle-hold, their differences don’t seem to matter. After all, a torrid weekend affair should be the easiest thing in the world to walk away from, so why are they finding it so difficult...?
Published by Crimson Romance on 7th January 2013.
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