Monday, June 14, 2010

Author Interview ~ Christy Poff

Hey all, today we have on our couch (that we just had to have reupholstered, and no I won't tell the story right now). Anyway, our guest for today is Christy Poff! Let's all give her a nice warm welcome.

Welcome to The Menagerie Christy, Megan
:::Megan waves::: and I are so glad you could join us! I always love to just let Megan take over at this point.

We’re nosy and we want the dirt. Where are you from?

I live in Southeastern Pennsylvania near Valley Forge. It’s weird because I grew up in the heart of Revolutionary War history but have an intense interest in the Civil War instead.

Ooh, ghostie soldiers!

Yes, and we all know how Megan loves ghost stories.

Plus I love the Pennsylvania landscape. What inspired you to write your first book?

We had taken a family day trip to Gettysburg after watching the movie with Martin Sheen, Tom Beringer, and an amazing all-star cast. Spending the day there taught me so much about the time, the events and the war and my first book—The Hastings Saga #1: Chase for an Angel—began to take shape leading to its sequels. Andrew and Jessie are my first characters and truly my favorites as are the others who were major players in the books.

Wow, sounds amazing. Then again, those areas already are.

Did you get great pictures? I loved visiting Gettysburg. So, who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

This is difficult to answer because I actually have several so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. When I was young, I stuck my nose in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books and read the entire collection during my summer vacation. Doyle could really spin a mystery without being farfetched. W.E.B. Griffin writes a series on the Philadelphia Police Department which is amazing because he bases everything in actual locations in the city and surrounding counties. I love Jackie Collins because she can really pull you into the book and still leave you wondering who she based her characters on and Christine Feehan's Dark Series has kept me riveted since I read the first one. I love authors who can really get you into their characters which all four of my favorites do.

Quite a spread of authors; nice.

I know, right. You know how many I read, Wendi. LOL How long does it take you to write a book?

That depends on the book. If I’m writing Civil War, the research into the area or battle takes longer because I want to get things right as well as finding some tiny bit of info that might be trivial to the story while it makes it unique as well. Some books come straight to the paper once I start them (yes, I did say paper because I write everything long hand thanks to one too many losses thanks to the computer having a hissy at the time.) Others have sat for a while either because of writer’s block or the story wasn’t working out at the time or something happened in my day to day life which made me put the writing aside for a little bit. Generally though, I’d said a couple months average.

You’re a quick writer. I love the way the words look written on the page, though. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I really have no set schedule when writing as I tend to work it around my family and what’s going on at home. My husband works a weird schedule so if he’s sleeping during the day, I’ll try to get some done then. Usually, it depends on how the story is going and if my characters won’t leave me alone until I get them written. I’ve had some that literally have woken me up in the middle of the night and kept at me until I got something written.

Stories that demand to be written are why we are sometimes called schitzophrenic. :-D

Ooh, I love the stories that demand to be written, even when it’s 4 AM. That said, what were you doing at midnight last night?

Watching the Russian-Latvia Men’s Hockey game from Vancouver. When the Olympics begin, I watch as much of them as I can and this year with the stiff competition in ice hockey, it’s been really interesting.

What a violent sport, but so fun to watch. What is your heritage?

My dad’s side of the family is German and Pennsylvania Dutch while on the opposite side, there is English, a bit of Irish, Norwegian and Danish. I tried tracing family trees but kept falling off various branches of them both when I came to dead ends. I have learned my one grandfather was the youngest of 15 boys and they lived in and around Blacksburg, Virginia while one grandmother was a seamstress in Queen Victoria’s court.

My mother was a seamstress, but not in Victoria's court. Phew.

A seamstress. Huh. I should ask if you inherited her talents and can sew. I won’t. But I will ask, have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

Ladder 49 with John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix. My husband and I are both firefighters and the funeral did us in. I walked out of the theater in tears.

Man, that was a tough movie to watch for that exact reason. I’m so with you on that one Maybe we better switch subjects. Do you like thunderstorms?

When they are directly overhead—no. As they approach, it’s neat as the air smells like rain coming, the lightning and the effects it has on the skies. I think the neatest place to experience a thunderstorm is in Wyoming because so many things happen with the different areas (mountains, flatlands, cities) plus you can see the difference in intensity from the center of the storm out as the rain falls from the clouds. It’s something we don’t see back East.

Yes, the smell of the rain is quite intoxicating. Almost as nice as running in the sunshine. Now for the fun question: can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? If so, which do you prefer?

Definitely there it a difference and I go for Coke every time.

Christy Poff lives in southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two kids - her daughter (a college student) and her son who serves in the Army National Guard stationed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania plus his little one–his infant daughter who has proven to her that she’s forgotten so much over the last twenty years.

Previously, she wrote news articles for local newspapers and regional firefighting publications. With her articles, she added photography to her pieces. Writing for several years, she has a deep respect for the Civil War and has done extensive research into the times. This love and research have resulted in several Civil War novels including CHASE FOR AN ANGEL which was born from this love and released in March, 2006. Others will follow.

She loves old cities with history like Charleston and New Orleans, the wide-open spaces of Wyoming and the Dakotas, the beauty of a Maine sunrise plus seeing the rest of the U.S. and western Canada.

A volunteer firefighter for over thirty years, she’s been able to use her experience in several published works for others and even in some of her own work.
People wonder what she writes to – Brooks and Dunn, Gary Allan, Linkin Park, Nickelback, Harry Connick or whoever strikes her mood at the time. She loves to watch Top Gear, Torchwood and Doctor Who on BBC America, CSI:Miami and reruns of Nash Bridges, Miami Vice, Night Court and JAG.

Link to my journal page:

At Cross Ends by Christy Poff

Mark Kincaid owes Graham Cross for two years captivity in the hands of Central American terrorists and the loss of his team. He accepts a presidential assignment unaware of his enemy’s involvement.

Riley Devane becomes an unwilling pawn in a madman’s game of revenge against first her father then his enemy. She falls in love with the man sent to rescue her but there happiness is short-lived.

How long with they be at cross ends before someone finally stops an international criminal?

1 comment:

She said...

Nice interview. I live in western Pennsylvania. It's beautiful through the whole Commonwealth. Sorry the Flyers lost to the Blackhawks. I was hoping the Pens would repeat again. Your book sounds good.