Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I have Christa MacDonald! I can totally imagine the small town where Christa lives in my mind and would LOVE to walk the streets! And, I love her advice for aspiring writers. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a native of the Northeast, living on the east coast of Massachusetts currently. I’m married with three children, the oldest of which is off to college next year and the youngest off to middle school. We live in a converted carriage house in a small town with a whole lot of tourists in the summer. It’s a beautiful place and we’re blessed to be here.
Tell us about your current release. The Redemption Road is a contemporary, Christian romance with a wee bit of suspense. Set in a small town in the North Woods of Maine, it tells the story of Alex, a game warden who came north to escape a mistake that haunts him. He meets Annie, the owner of Coffee By The Book and is instantly drawn to her, but believing himself toxic, beyond redemption, he tries to keep her at a distance. Annie can see him struggling and decides to help him whether he wants it or not. As they draw closer together, his past catches up to him and both their lives are in danger.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? I have felt the pressure to reach a larger audience for sure. It usually hits when I tell someone I meet about my book and as soon as I get to the “Christian” part I see their interest fade. I’ve learned to remember that my purpose on this planet is not to become a best-selling author but to lead others to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. I write with that in mind.
How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher? Oh, this is hard. Critique partners and beta readers save the day on this one. Having their feedback is the only way I’d probably get anything out there.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I’ve always wanted to be a writer. In college, I had a few pieces published, but after graduating I got sidetracked with the need to work and pay back those student loans! It wasn’t until after my kids started school that I felt the urge to dedicate the time to it. My debut novel was written maybe two years later? It was my third finished work. The other two are sitting in a drawer where they belong (they were awful).
How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? I knew right from the start that I did not have the time or talent to do all the marketing of the book on my own.
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I outline before every book, but I follow the story where it wants to go after that. Often the final product with all the detail and fleshing-out is quite different, but the bare bones are the same.
Do you have a pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? Yes, 80k for a contemporary romance.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Try doing NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. It’s free and there’s a lot of good advice and encouragement in the program. Once you have something finished, find a critique partner or writing group. Beta readers are great and completely essential, but you’ll also want critical feedback before you try to query an agent or publisher.
What is your preferred method of writing? Computer. I type so much faster than I can handwrite.
Here is where you can find Christa online:
Christa is giving away a copy of her book The Road to Redemption to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway