Monday, January 25, 2010

Author Interview ~ Christine D'Abo

Okay, I’m going to get this out the way again... I am going complete fangirl on our guest author today. I already did it when she contacted me to request an interview… I was SQUEEEEEEing all over the place. But she’s charming and gracious and laughed right along with me. Today we are lucky enough to have on our blog, one of my all time favorite authors, Christine D’Abo. I have loved her work for a long time and I was soooooooooooo excited to have her on our blog!

So, let’s get this party started: Where are you from?

I am a proud (if not slightly nutty) Canadian. I am from the East coast originally, but I now live in Southern Ontario, not too far from Toronto. I had the pleasure of living in Virginia Beach for a few years and to this day miss it…especially in February.

It’s interesting when you leave comfortable places and find yourself in places that do become comfortable there… but you make it comfortable wherever you go. When and why did you begin writing?

I sat down to write my first novel when I was home on maternity leave. We’d just moved to Virginia, I was alone with two babies under the age of 2, and needed an escape. After having read everything I could get my hands on, I thought I’d take my turn at writing one. Eight months later, my will-never-see-the-light-of day historical novel now lives happily beneath my bed.

LOL, I’m sure we all have manuscripts that will never see the light of day if we have anything to say about it. How much of the book is realistic?

Oh…not a lot. Though my husband claims to be the 7 foot tall alien from The Bond That Saves Us. I just hand him the measuring tape…

Lol, yes, well, sometimes they need those illusions. And we can either play to their vanity (it it’s well-earned, mind you) or set them straight (which works much better than one would think. What book are you reading now?

At the moment, I’m re-reading Mary Balogh’s Slightly series. People are often surprised to hear that I read historical romance more than I read futuristic romance. A lot of that has to do with needing a break from the genre. Also, I find I learn a lot from the historical writers. The amount of world building they do is amazing, and I take tips and apply it to my own stories.

For me, Mary Balogh is one of the best at this and her Slightly series is my favorite hands down. I read all seven books (I include A Summer To Remember in this) at least once a year.

I don’t read her as often as I used to, but I find new authors all the time. What are your current projects?

I just sent off to my editor my very first m/m futuristic, it was excepted and I am now waiting for a release date. This one I set as a challenge to myself to see if I could do the subgenre justice. I really wanted to portray two strong male characters in an action environment, but show their sensitive sides develop between them despite events. I also didn’t want there to be any issues around them being two men. Putting this into a futuristic setting allowed me to focus on other concerns.

Like I told you before, sounds interesting, and I just know that you can do justice to M/M… looking forward to it! Do you see writing as a career?

Nope – when I was a kid I wanted to be a movie director! I loved telling and making up stories and thought films was where I wanted to flex those creative muscles. Then I went and fell in love at the age of 14 to a guy who was an entrepreneur. Love won out over ambition.

Amazing how these thing work out in the end. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I always learn something from every book I write. Sometimes I finally am able to correct a particular writing quirk that’s been bugging me. Other times, I simply streamline my writing process. I make it a point of trying to take away as much as I can in everything I do. Learning opportunities are everywhere.

What a wonderful way to look at it! Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you. Seriously, I do love writing, but it means so much more to know that people read and enjoy these stories.

I agree! How long does it take you to write a book?

It totally depends on the book. At least two have taken me less than six weeks to get out. A few others have taken six months or more. I’m greatly impacted by the events going on in my life at the time, and like most people who write and work a day job, the writing sometimes has to be pushed off.

LOL, sometimes that’s what happens. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I tend to grab my writing time where and when I can. I’ve been known to get up at 5am for several weeks in a row, write on my lunch break, and then write well into the evening. My husband knows when I get into a mode like that to simply throw chocolate my way and keep the coffee flowing.

HUH, it’s always interesting to see what everyone’s schedules are. What does your family think of your writing?

Everyone in my family is incredibly supportive of my writing. My husband proudly tells everyone who will listen. Both my parents and my sister promote my writing wherever they can. Even my kids thinks it’s cool, even though they’re not allowed to tell anyone my pen name.

How funny! How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

To date, I have nine books published, with one under consideration and two more waiting in the wings. There are things about all my books that I really enjoy, but my favorite total package is The Bond That Consumes Us. I don’t know what it was about that story, but I can actually read it without being overly critical of myself.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I don’t hear from readers often, though it always makes my day when I do. There is always kindness and positive thoughts, which really keeps my motivation up when I’m having a bad day. I keep every email I receive and I respond to every one. Writers work so much in a vacuum, it means a lot to hear from the people who are buying our work.

That’s right, I was one of your fangirls! LOL Now for the “absolutely-nothing-to-do-the-interview” questions: What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

This is a tough one! I have both a cat and a dog, though I love them for different reasons. My dog’s reaction when I come home from work is priceless. Captain Jack (yes, I’m a Torchwood fan) is my best friend and totally loves me unconditionally. My cat is a snob. But when I she chooses to cuddle with me, it’s because I really need it.

It IS a touch decision, but they all have their ups and downs. Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

HATE!!! I’m never one to step willingly in front of the camera. Unless it’s something like this. I’ve never photographed well, though I can’t for the life of me tell you why. I’ve always been self-conscious.

Not everyone can look good, but I think it’s all in your imagination. What is your strangest habit?

I both lift my feet when driving over railroad tracks and hold my breath when I drive through an intersection. I’m a very superstitious person.

LOL, nothing wrong with that. Except we touch a screw in the van if we can find one in the van. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

You know, I don’t think I’d get rid of any of my experiences, good or bad. They have all had a part in shaping the person I am today. I like that person quite a bit. 

That’s a good reason not to change anything. When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

Good god, your hair looks like crap.

LOL, how nice of you to diss yourself first thing in the morning. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Sleeping. Normally, I’m reading or writing, but I’ve been fighting a cold the past few weeks.

Ahhhh… sleep, I would love some of that… *sigh* What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from ?

I tend to say, “excellent”, “dude” and “bite me”. I obviously grew up in the 80s.

LOL, I say “really? I mean… really?” Have you ever eaten a crayon?

I have. Strangely, the while the orange one didn’t live up to expectations, the purple one was surprisingly good.

I’d say why? But you probably don’t have an answer. Somehow, though I’m not surprised. What is your favorite animal?

Platypus! Freakiest creature in the world. I have a really cute stuffed version sitting on my desk next to my Doctor Who toys. Yes…I’m 35 and have Doctor Who toys. I’m trying to get a Ianto and Captain Jack figurine next.

LOL What do you want to know about the future?

Will we ever get the flying cars? I mean, they’ve been promising them for years now and have yet to deliver! I know we’ll get cures for most diseases in time, but flying cars…I’m not so sure.

That’s a good question to ask. What is your favorite pizza?

BBQ Chicken Pizza…lord I want one now.

I like pizza but that’s not my favorite kind. Are you a morning person or a night person?

I’m an insomniac, so I’d have to answer yes to this question. 

Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? If so, which do you prefer?

I really can, but I don’t drink either. I find they upset my stomach too much, so I stick with ginger ale most of the time.

If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

For my girls to grow up confident enough to chase their dreams. As a parent, I can’t ask for anything more.

Thank you, Christine for coming to hang out with us today. It was great fun getting to know you better. :-D

No Quarter by Christine d’Abo

When bounty hunter Gar Stitt is on the trail of his mark, everyone knows their days are numbered. When he is given a simple locate and retrieve mission, he’s convinced it is a waste of his skills.

There isn’t a more prolific space pirate in the galaxy than Captain Faolan Wolf. When he walks into a bar with a proposition heavy in mind, he’s not expecting anything to go wrong.

Forced from his solitary existence to work with Faolan, Gar can’t deny his attraction to a man who he should put in prison. When the hunter becomes the hunted, Gar must learn to put his faith in a man he doesn’t know, or run the risk of ending up dead.


Amy Ruttan said...

Great interview!!

So Christine holding your breath eh? Is that why you sometimes turn blue when driving in the city? I often wondered. LMAO! Just teasing.

Christine d'Abo said...

Thanks to the Menagerie Authors for having me over today!! I was blushing like a fool after all the nice things you said about me. *tackle hugs*

I'll be popping in and out today if anyone has any questions you'd like to to answer. Please post them in the comments. :)

*does a snoopy dance*

Kealie Shay said...

LOL, Amy, thanks for stopping by. :-D

And, Christine, I'm glad I could make your day. You certainly made mine. I'm still all kinds of excited about having you here on the couch today.