Inspiration and where it comes from…

Reader Question:  Christine, where do you get your ideas for your characters and stories from?

Answer:  Mostly from real life. True. I remember when Reckless Nights In Rome was first published, a reader said that she couldn’t believe any girl would jump out of a window to avoid the blind date from hell and that she preferred REAL LIFE. Well, it DID actually happen to a close relative of mine, not once but twice. When I was told the whole sorry saga, and after I’d stopped laughing, I remember thinking that it would be a great hook for a story… and the rest, as they say, is history. And no, I’m not telling anyone her name.

Anyhow, to get back to the question where my ideas/inspiration comes from…

I write things I’ve been through, seen, understand, lost, loved, hurt, hated, endured, and I place all of those life experiences inside a world that does not exist but mirrors the real world. Does that make sense?

I use those experiences to build and create real characters readers want to root for and care about, even when they make the wrong choice to try to fix a problem (especially the guys) and end up in an even bigger mess. And along with mirroring real life my characters are fun, sometimes insane, and when they make me laugh out loud, I can be pretty certain they’ll make a reader laugh, too.

In the old days when I was submitting stories, I remember an editor telling me to tone down the laughs, the family with the kids and the dog. Hmm. I hope she’s read SEAN because you guys laughed out loud at all that.

Most of all, I write from the heart.

I write about family, whether created by non-blood friends (like Nico and Bronte who embrace many into their fold), or the vampyres who are battling the greatest evil to save our world. At the core of all my books is the bond of family.

Speaking of family, we’re on the road to wellness after pneumonia and getting better every day.

Big hugs,

Christine X

Good News – it’s been a Witch of a day!

Big Trouble In China in Amazon's Best Seller Paranormal List

Big Trouble In China in Amazon’s Best Seller Paranormal List

Good morning, boys and girls!

Today’s been a good day in the hectic life of this author. I was alerted by a fan that Big Trouble In China, book 1 of the Vampyre Legal Chronicles has hit Amazon’s Best Seller Paranormal list for Witches and Wizards at #8 in the top 100!

 

It’s doing well on Barnes & Noble and iTunes too. 
To update readers on book three of the series – I’m way behind – Gia’s Song will be out at the end of May.
At the moment I’m knee-deep in edits for The Trouble With Coco Monroe, book 4 of The Ludlow Hall series. I’ll keep you posted on when she goes live. Then I’m working on the re-write of Desert Orchid as well as working on Book 5 of The Ludlow Series, The Fall of Jacob Del Garda and book 4 of The Vampyre Legal Chronicles, which doesn’t have a title yet.
All of the above is why this blog has been neglected and for that I ask your forgiveness!
Do you get the feeling I’ve bitten off more than I can chew?? 🙂
If you visit iTunes, check out the review numbers for Reckless Nights In Rome, book one of The Ludlow Hall series – I’m thrilled that it’s now received 336(!) 4.7* reviews. Woot! And on Barnes & Noble Reckless has 103 4.6* reviews. And as you know it’s finalled in the Indie Romance Convention Readers Choice Awards for 2013. Voting is open until the end of April – the link is on the right hand side of the blog. So if your fingers are feeling twitchy, please feel free to vote and spread the word. I’m up against some big guns. But to be nominated at all has been the highlight of this amazing journey.
One of the things I’ll never, ever forget was the night almost a year ago to the day when we pressed the button on Amazon for the book to go live. I’ve never been so terrified; sweaty palms, palpitations, excitement, dread and that, ‘What the hell am I doing? It’s not good enough. It needs more work. Mwahahaha!’ feeling. It’s been a roller-coaster ride and it’s still going.
Talking sales numbers is something I avoid, but I can say that sales on Barnes & Noble over the past four months are in the five figures. Amazon I hit four figures last month alone as I did in the last quarter with iTunes. Downloads in Reckless Nights In Rome are in the hundreds of thousands across five distributors and cover something like fifty countries. Big Trouble In China is rocking too, as you can see.
I’d never in my wildest dreams believed it was possible for an independent author to do this. To reach hundreds of thousands of readers, to meet them live on-line, to have them email, FB message, Tweet me or for wonderful fans to set up a street team for me. I still can’t believe these wonderful women take time out of their busy lives to care so much about the books that they promote them far and wide. If you’d like to join The Ludlow Girls street team just click HERE or send me a message. It’s a closed Facebook group and we have a lot of laughs and fun, plus I give them out takes of the stories, character inspirations, cover reveals/choice, competitions and news. But I also want to say that every single person who’s emailed or messaged me will also receive alerts when the next book goes live.
But none of the above happened without a support team. First up is H, he does all the IT technical support including all formatting, dealing with the distributors, keeping an eye on trends, the financial side, spreadsheets, and he does the covers! I have a team of editors and beta readers who are amazing.
I’m a member of fabulous writer’s groups, WANA – We Are Not Alone – run by the awesome Kristen Lamb just click on the link if you want to learn more about the craft and social networking, Kristen is the hot mama to go to.
I’m also a member of DeeDee Scott’s amazing The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing WG2E author group. WG2E also has an awesome Facebook Street team for authors. It is a closed group, so again if you want to join just message me.
However, the people who are at the front and centre of every single thing I do is you, the reader. Without you none of this would have happened. The way you’ve embraced my work has thrilled and humbled me.
I love you guys.
Christine xxx

RUN ROSIE RUN Soundbite #6

ROSIE SAID

ROSIE SAID

 

A very good point, Rosie. And so typical!

We’re reading Run Rosie Run on all the Ereaders. Interesting how what can work fine with one doesn’t work for another. And I’ve a notebook crammed with polishing changes which will be done later tonight. A final read through and then we’re (hopefully) good to go!

Feedback on these sound bites has been great, so thank you guys!

Christine X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDWARD WHO?

 

 

As you know I’m a sucker for a well written burning hot vampire.

My perfect vampire hero would be a bad boy who takes the heroine right to the edge. And guys, do I have a doozy for you.

Meet Kane Malloy and boy is he bad to the bone. Woo Hoo!

My hardcopy of Blood Shadows arrived last Friday and cannot tell you how excited I was to receive it. This series first found traction during the New Voices romance competition where for two successive years author Lindsay Pryor reached the final four. I believe her reader comments during the competitions numbered in the high hundreds. For a paranormal author this was an amazing breakthrough where hard-core romance readers crossed romance genres to fall in love with Kane. And that says a great deal about the quality of Lindsay Pryor’s writing.

 

Since the fall of 2010, where I first read Lindsay’s work, I’ve followed her progress with huge interest. Lindsay had never let anyone, and I mean anyone, read her work before she entered the first competition. What she had been doing over fourteen years was to learn her craft and guys, she learned it well.

I finished Blood Shadows at 3.30am this morning. Yep, I couldn’t put it down and as for ‘Who’s Edward?’ I’d say, ‘Who’s Christian?’ because Kane Malloy kicks that bad boy’s ass (or as Kane might say, ‘arse’.)

Here’s the blurb:

For vengeance – would you trust a vampire?

For justice – could you betray your family?

For love – are you ready to question everything you believe in?

Gifted with the ability to read the shadows of ‘third species’ beings, Caitlin Parish is the Vampire Control Unit’s most powerful agent. Despite that, her mission to hunt down Kane Malloy – a master vampire – comes with a death wish. Many have tried, but few have survived.

For Caitlin, tracking Kane is about more than just professional reputation. With her parents both mysteriously killed 7 years apart to the day, Caitlin knows that without Kane’s help she is next.

She has four days to make a deal with the wicked, the irresistible, the treacherous Kane Malloy. The vampire who despises everything she stands for.

Or die.

Blackthorn: Book One
Brought to you by Lindsay J. Pryor – powerful, absorbing, intense paranormal romance.

“Lindsay J. Pryor easily earns a place alongside Paranormal Romance’s best writers!” Michele Hauf

“An incredible voice for paranormal.” Rhyannon Byrd

Now as you can see Lindsay’s already found an impressive list of famous fans.

I’m not famous but I know a literary diamond when I find one and Lindsay’s a shining, brilliant new talent in the paranormal genre. Her writing is fluid, lyrical with sensual descriptive prose which hits the spot. The dialogue between Kane and Caitlin sparks.

Here’s an example:

 

 

One of the most challenging aspects of a paranormal author’s work is world building. And a dark dystopian world is a particularly tricky thing to pull off. Lindsay’s lived with her world, her characters, for many years which means she writes them with a confidence, an authority, that makes the reader believe they are real and the events which happen plausible and feasible. And that skill is what makes a talented writer a great one imho.  And Blackthorn is a dark, claustrophobic, almost gothic world where nothing is as it seems.

What struck me when I first read Lindsay’s work and especially after reading this book from cover to cover is the intelligent exploration and development of the love story. It’s hot, it’s passionate and it’s compelling, it’s even fiercely intense, but most of all Caitlin’s vulnerability and her courage in the face of that vulnerability – and how Kane copes with it – make this a fabulously valid emotional arc.  I loved it.

And there’s more to come, thank goodness.

To say I’m utterly thrilled to be able to write this today is an understatement. My emotions are all over the place; pride, joy and a lovely tickle in the gut that I was RIGHT, lol!

Oliver Rhodes of Bookouture (for authors click the link) has done a great thing by publishing Lindsay, a great thing, and he should take a bow while I give him a round of applause. Oliver’s had many years in publishing romance. The man knows his onions and he’s bridging a much needed gap between self publishing and publishing and given Lindsay the freedom to tell her story her way. A man of vision one might say and I for one wish him every success.

So what’s next for Lindsay Pryor? Want to see what she looks like? Here she is. I think she looks cute but she tells me she was channeling her evil side. Nope.

 

Book two, Blood Roses is out in the Spring of 2013 and Book three is out in the Fall of 2013.

And she’d better be well on the way with books four, five and six or I’ll want to know why – no pressure!

And finally, here’s my daughter (she’ll kill me for posting her but I do it with love) with her copy of Blood Shadows to buy it just click any of the title links:

 

 

I’ll keep you all posted on Lindsay’s progress, but if she doesn’t end up with a film/tv deal tripping along the red carpet with the rich and famous then my crystal ball’s faulty. And as you all know, there’s nothing wrong with my crystal ball!

I’ve missed you guys, but Rosie’s well, just being Rosie!

Have you found a new writing talent?

Big Hugs,

 Christine X

AM IN MAURITIUS

Okay, perhaps not literally.

Today, I’m a guest on the beautiful blog of writer Zee Monodee who lives in the stunning island of Mauritius. HERE

The island is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The perfect spot for a romantic interlude – just say’in.

Now I’ve actually been to the island four times a few years ago when we lived in East Africa.

Please stop by and say hi and you might learn something about me you don’t know.

Zee asked for photos of the event and I promised her I’d post them here once Hugo’s scanned them – they were taken a few years ago.

Do you have a place you’ve visited that’s caught your breath?

Share it with us – we demand to know! And if you’ve a romantic tale to share too, even better.

Christine

FIND US HERE http://zeemonodee.blogspot.co.uk/

BEHIND THE QUILL – I’M A GUEST WITH THE LOVELY JENNIFER OLIVER

 

A Stormy Spring

A Stormy Spring

Hello, my darlings,

It’s been a busy week.

Today the lovely Jennifer Oliver forced invited me to her blog to torture interview me since she’s under the delusion I know something about writing romance.

When I read the list of questions I thought, ‘This girl knows how to winkle out the nitty gritty.’

So please, I beg you, (I need all the support I can get) drop by and leave a comment – it doesn’t even have to be a nice comment and it’s not often you’ll have me on my knees before you so I’d make the most of it if I were you.

You can find us HERE and did you really think I’d not have something to give you? Yes, a lucky commenter will win the grand prize of a copy of A Stormy Spring! I know, it’s bribery and I have no shame whatsoever. I always admit to my many failings.

Christine

WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO MY BURGLAR….

 

Good Monday morning, my darlings!

In the incredible journey of life, we’ve been burgled twice.

The first time was when we went on holiday for a couple of weeks with my girls when they were small. Because of a spate of thefts from garages, we brought our petrol lawn mower into the house thinking it would be safe there. In those days petrol lawn mowers were terribly expensive and we had a large corner plot with much grass so we were very attached to the machine (which was a temperamental bloody thing with one of those cords that you pulled. Never started for me but batted its eyelashes at Hugo and leapt to attention when he pulled it. I called it The Bitch) but I digress.

We took all the usual precautions before going on holiday, cancelled the milk, the neighbours had a key and they picked up the mail and switched on the lights and kept a general eye on the place. Anyway, the low life scumbags – forever known as LLSB’s – entered via a side window (I won’t tell you how they did it in case some wannabes read this – why give them help? and they should remember payback’s an evil witch called Christine.)

So when we came back from a break in Ibiza all bronzed and mellow with our livers pickled in Sangria it was to find my dear friend and neighbour, Linda, in tears and totally devastated. (For that alone I hope Karma has inflicted mucho pain.)

After forensics had made an even bigger mess, Linda asked the boys in blue (police) if she should clean up the place and do a bit of tidying because she couldn’t bear for me to come back to the disaster that was my home and they said to go ahead. I should mention at this point that I’m known as the woman in whose house you can eat your dinner off the kitchen floor, just say’in

So although it was a shock it could have been worse. The LLSB’s took my late grandmother’s engagement ring which was all I had of her. She died shortly after I was born. Along with various other bits and pieces of jewellery. The LLSB’s had piled packets of flour, sugar, salt and tons of other things on the kitchen work surfaces – apparently in readiness to trash the place. The boys in blue surmised that they’d been disturbed by something and had left the way they came.

The fingerprint teams were the one thing that seriously spooked me because they’d been all through my underwear drawer – where I kept valuables and items special to me. I’m a girl, we do stuff like that – and the black powder took days to clean off. I felt totally and utterly violated that the LLSB’s had been through personal letters, bank statements (this was in the days before online banking) and other items.

But do you know what really, really &%%£$$!! me off?

The LLSB’s had gone through every single CD and took all MINE and left HUGO’s. How the hell is that fair? Not only did I lose The Corrs, Enya, Elton John, David Bowie, Roxy Music, Enigma, Paula Abdul, Bon Jovi (I cried over him) Meatloaf, Whitney Huston (bless her) and Mariah Carey.

But they left me with Delbert McClinton, Waylon Jennings, The Nitty bloody Gritty Dirt Band (!) Garth Brooks and The Texas Tornadoes … the list is endless but you get the picture.

This was the last straw that broke this camel’s back. I cried. I wailed. I sobbed like a baby with Hugo rocking me telling me to ‘Hush.’ And that ‘Everything would be fine.’  To this day I feel bitter. GIVE ME MY MUSIC BACK YOU S.O.B’S.

Sigh. So come on, what have you had purloined from you? Share and we can all heal together. And let’s see if we can beat last week’s amazing comments – you were all totally awesome!

The second time we were burgled is a whole other long story and you’ll need a box of tissues for that one.

Oh, and just in case your wondering, The Bitch was untouched. Snarl.

GOALS! WHY OH WHY?

Via Lynne Carmichael

Hello, my lovelies!

Today we’re talking goals. Losing weight, getting fit or accomplishing our writing goals isn’t as easy as it sounds otherwise we’d all be skinny, lean and mean writing machines.

First of all we need to decide about what we want, then work out how we’re going to get there. Sounds easy doesn’t it? But it’s not, especially if you’re new to attempting weight loss, getting fit or writing a sentence never mind writing a novel.

Via media-cen.pinterest.com

This week, I’ve fallen off the writing wagon and I’ve plenty of excuses as to why. A friend was buried. The brick wall my writing crashed into isn’t even cracked never mind damaged. My hero is being a stubborn B******d! And my heroine needs a smacked bottom – no, it’s not kinky (looking at you Myndi, Deborah, Rachel FH and Karen McF) so it’s been shoulder rolls and knuckle cracking time to sort this pair out. The emotional tension needs ratcheted up and he needs less simpatico and more edgy/attitude as well being empathic – not a lot, just a little (I don’t ask for much from my heroes, do I?) And this is at the end of the first draft so why I expect the thing to be perfect God knows – see what I mean about expectations? I know all first drafts are crap so why do I expect mine to be perfect? Why?

Having goals and working towards them is fantastic. But we need to prepare for the unexpected. So we need to constantly re-evaluate our goals and ask ourselves these questions.

  1. Are they realistic?
  2. Are they adaptable?
  3. Are they workable?
  4. Are they achievable?

We can never stay motivated 100% of the time. We need to block out our inner critic and it’s harping voice of negativity. We need to think about what we HAVE achieved and to do that we need to keep a log of what we write/research/mull-over every single day. Keep a diary, or jot it on a wall planner, of your progress and make a note of how what you’ve done, foods guzzled, yards walked, word count etc. Then, when times are tough we can look back and see what we’ve achieved already. Seemples!

And we need to build ourselves a team. Which those of you who are members of We Are Not alone (WANA) already know (link here for you guys who’ve never heard of the Queen of Blogland, Kristen Lamb.) Weirdly, she’s just been talking about teamwork – spooky or what – I think she could be a witch BUT DON’T TELL HER I SAID THAT.

Don’t underestimate the importance of having friends! They help you to celebrate the highs and hug/kick ass during the lows. Remember true friends do not envy you your success – they support you. Teammates can help you with the ‘sticky bits’ on our journey to weight loss, better fitness or publishing success.

And remember 90% of people give themselves IMPOSSIBLE goals, so make sure yours are baby steps. And once you’ve achieved your goals. Do Not Give Up. Keep Going. Set a new goal, even if it’s maintaining what you’ve already done. The wonderful James Scott Bell has written The Art of War for Writers and it’s brilliant for keeping us on track. I love that man.

Are you adaptable with your goals?

Are you part of a fabulous group of like minded people? If so, who are they and can we join too?

Do you wanna be part of WANA? Join here!

Do you celebrate the good times as well as the bad?

I adore hearing from you guys. Seriously, I get all warm and fuzzy when someone stops by and says hello. And sob heart brokenly into my pillow if you don’t. (I’m not above a bit of emotional blackmail.)

Christine