Chris is a Chicago native. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was in her late teens where she later studied at UCLA. She graduated with a Business Degree. Her father was a history professor and her mother a voracious reader. She grew up with a love of history and books.
Her parents were also passionate about traveling and passed their passion onto Chris. Once bitten with the travel bug, Chris spent most of her adult life visiting the places she'd read about and that fascinated her. She's had the good fortune to travel Europe extensively, the Near East, and North Africa, in addition to most of the United States.
After college, Chris spent the next twenty-five years in law enforcement with two agencies. Harboring a strong desire to write since her teens, upon retiring from police work, Chris decided to pursue her writing career. She currently writes three different series. Her historical romance series is called, Knights in Time. Her romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters, and he latest book, Silk, is book one in her mystery/suspense series, The Bloodstone series.
She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five wild and crazy rescue dogs.
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Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Silk. What was your inspiration for it?
A: Classic British mysteries set in the Victorian era and, believe it or not, Phantom of the Opera.
Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.
A: He's a war hero who doesn't think of himself as a hero. What Queen Victoria deemed extreme valor in battle, to his way of thinking he was only doing what was necessary in battle.
Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?
A: In many ways this was a story that flowed easier than any of the others. The protagonist was so strong in my mind, I knew everything about him. I knew from the beginning what he'd say and do and believe. I also had a good grasp of the killer. He surprised me now and then but the two together were a powerful inspiration for me.
It took several months as I had a lot of research on the period to study. Also, this was before forensic science was available to aid detectives in investigations. I had to consider alternate means for my hero detective to solve the crimes.
Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?
A: I try to have the protagonist and the antagonist do or say something out of character, unexpected, something that makes the reader enjoy the surprise move whether it's foolish or dangerous, or a random act of kindness. I also like to really round out the important characters, give them likes and dislikes, and friends and/or associates, that sort of full life picture.
Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it?
A: No, not when I first start. I get anxious midway in the story if I think my word count isn't what it should be. I begin to question whether I will meet the count I set in my head. No matter what my critique group says to calm me, I'm a worrier by nature.
Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?
A: I can't write in the morning. I'd sound like a blithering twit. I use that time to do my grocery shopping, cleaners, doctors and other business errands. Around noon I start to write. I try to work through to 4 or 5 and usually do. Then, I quit for the day. I spend the rest of the evening with my husband usually watching television. I don't have children at home, which allows me more time to myself and my writing. I also will take a break a couple days a month and go to lunch with friends.
Q: How do you define success?
A: The fact I fulfilled what was just a daydream when I was a teen—writing a book. I think success, for me, was also having the courage to put my book out for others to read.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?
A: That's a tough question. I've been so lucky in my life with parents that encouraged me to try new things and were big boosters of letting one's imagination run free. My husband is the same way. He's been a rock of support since the moment I said I wanted to write a book. For someone who hasn't that luxury, I can only suggest they try and convince their partner of how we start with so many dreams when we're young and so few come to fruition, that writing is one within their grasp and to please feel good for their effort.
Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree?
A: Yes. The weird thing is even on the days we tell ourselves we're not going to write that day, that we're going to have fun and put characters and dialogue and scenes from our mind, it's impossible. The only escape the characters have is for us to put them on the page and they constantly remind us of it. For the writer, there is no escape!
Q: Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
A: Don't write a story to fit a popular genre if it isn't a genre or storyline you'd normally read. If you like science fiction and books about space travel then write one of your own. Don't do a vampire romance because they sell. If you're not writing what your love, it will show on the page.
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