1) First of all, tell us a bit about your new (or latest) book. How was it inspired?
Being jilted at the altar is not a new idea in novels, but I thought…what if the groom intended to be there all along, but something unexpected happened. So, if there’s an accident, well, that’s understandable. But, what if the accident didn’t happen as the groom was headed to the church? That would be curious, right? I honestly don’t remember when or how the idea of a baby gift popped in, but when it did I was grateful to the writing gods!
2) What is your writing routine like? Where do you write?
Routine??? Ack. You’d think after seven novels, I might have developed one, right? Well, not so much. And I’m not proud of that…AT ALL. So, for now, it’s mostly wake up, have coffee and breakfast and sit my butt in the chair. I have an office, but since my husband’s been retired, well, it’s marginally quiet. I probably need to move myself upstairs because between the husband and the dog, the distractions abound.
3) What are you favorite things about writing and least favorite things?
When that zone happens, where the celestial choir sings and the muse envelopes you in her arms and you write as if your fingers are on fire---that’s the sweet spot.
Otherwise, when what I write sounds like BLAHBLAHBLAH, clunky and dumb, and I’m ready to bash myself over the head with my laptop, and wonder why the hell I’m torturing myself, and do I know how many books are published a year, and how many other writers are blowing out the New York Times bestseller list while I’m slogging away…well, that’s the sour spot.
4) When did you know that you wanted to write? Was it an "aha" moment or something that slowly dawned on you?
In my bio, I tell people that I couldn’t draw, sing, play an instrument, paint, play sports, or make sculptures out of pipe cleaners, used car parts and kitchen appliances. I tried writing about all those frustrations. For years, I simply journaled. Then, my husband gave me a laptop years ago and the excuse gig was up…
5) How do you come up with your ideas? Are they real life inspirations, dreamed up or perhaps a little bit of both?
I shop at the ideas store, and I have idea elves on payroll. At least that’s what my kids think. Mostly my ideas are a combination of real life, things I read and outrageous imaginings.
6) Do you have another book you're working on now and if so can you tell us a little bit about it?
Yes, and it’s engaged in mortal combat with me right now. Every time I think it’s finally waved the white flag, damn if it doesn’t sneak up behind me and blow me the hell out of my chair.
7) Someone asked me this and I hated the specificity but then found it was interesting. One book. You can pick one single book as your favorite. Go.
Okay, if I must…today I would say Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It was my first encounter with an author who is the master of magical realism. His writing enchanted me. One of my all-time favorite and compelling and lovely quotes from that novel is :
“…human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”
Since she couldn’t sing, paint, dance, play sports or the piano, Christa Allan decided she’d become a writer. She’s the author of five women’s fiction titles, one historical novel, and one rom-com novella. Her latest novel, Since You’ve Been Gone, has been an Amazon best seller. Christa grew up in New Orleans and lived there until a year ago when she and her husband moved to Houston to be closer to her five children.
Ellyn Oaksmith writes contemporary romantic fiction about smart women going places. Join my book club for updates!
How do I find ideas?
They find me. We date for a while & if things work out, we marry. For one year. Best books for writers? Stephen King On Writing Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.