Welcome to another edition of Fall Fiction Frenzy!
So, I have to introduce you to my friend Christa Banister. She's another one of my fellow Scribble Chicks and she's got one of the coolest jobs in the writing industry - she's paid to go watch movies! Granted, she's not just sitting there with popcorn (that I know of).
I'm so glad Christa decided to drop by today!
Me: Ok. We have to know. What's your favorite kind of cheesecake?
Christa:Pumpkin and any Italian cheesecake where they use mascarpone instead of cream cheese. It makes it so much lighter in texture and so incredibly delicious.
Drooling now. Tell us a little bit about how you got started writing.
I've been obsessed with writing ever since my grandfather started reading to me. I think my first "book" was about a turtle named Buddy who went to a birthday party. Why that wasn't the biggest book of my career, I'll just never know! Ha ha. In all seriousness, I knew I wanted to be a writer when I read my first Judy Blume book, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I figured if Judy got paid to write crazy imaginative stories for a living, well, then that's exactly what I wanted to do. So I wrote for the school newspaper, treasured every creative writing class I took, read everything that even remotely interested me and eventually majored in Journalism. After college, I moved from Minneapolis to Nashville and started working my way up at the magazine I always dreamed of writing for. After five and half years there, I launched my own freelance writing company and review movies, music and books, write for several magazines and had my first two novels published in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
Oh! I loved Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing! Fudge. That was the brother, right? Speaking of, Chocolate Chip or Oatmeal Raisin cookie?
Mmm, can I have an oatmeal raisin cookie with chocolate chips in it?
Why not? So, any new books coming out or in the process of coming out?
I'm working on my third novel, Tuesday Nights in Italia, as we speak, which has been totally been this labor of love. After working on a couple different book ideas, this was the one I fell in love with, and I love seeing the story unfold day by day.
What a great title! What is your least favorite part of writing?
Transcribing the interviews that'll eventually be the quotes in my articles.
Tell us a little about the genre you write in. Why did you pick that route?
I write what I call romantic comedies in novel form. I love to play with this format because it's a perfect match for my voice, plus it's a genre I enjoy reading myself. The title I'm working on now, however, is more in the woman's fiction category, and I love the freedom it's given me to switch things up, which has been a refreshing change of pace.
I love that - it's so important to write something that you would enjoy reading. So, what is your favorite part of writing?
Well, everything. Characters. Dreaming up crazy plot lines. Creating the perfect setting. Finding the perfect word to encapsulate what you're thinking. Yeah, I'm a total writing geek.
Ha! :) Favorite character you’ve ever written?
Probably Lucinda Buffington, the boss of Sydney Alexander, my protagonist in Around the World in 80 Dates andBlessed Are the Meddlers. I love her warped sense of reality and how high-maintenance she is. But at the very core of her (and really, only a few people have ever seen this side of her), she's a decent human being with the same hopes and fears as everyone else. But her voice is just so much fun to write because she's sort of ridiculous.
Got any advice for prospective authors?
Read. A LOT! Great writers are readers, so read everything in the genre you want to write in and put your own spin on it. Also, don't be afraid of rejection—it's even happened to your favorite author. Everything worth doing is worth fighting for, so if you want to write a novel, work on it diligently and don't give up!
GREAT advice! Ok. You’ve got one minute to grab whatever you can at Target and money is no object. What do you buy?
Wow, how did you know that I'm a Target-o-holic? I'd head over to the section with all the dishes, candles and homey-type things and grab all the latest patterns. They always have the cutest stuff for your home at Target, so I'd go crazy and redecorate a bit.
Love it! Thanks so much for the interview, Christa!
Christa is being WAY generous and giving away a copy of her book, Around the World in 80 Dates today! Every comment gets a chance to win - and don't forget the rules! One comment per person, please. And remember, every comment over these next two weeks gets you a chance to win the Old Navy gift card!
Today's comment question: If you had to pick, would you want a star or a street named after you and why?