Monday, April 8, 2013

Introducing Christine S. Feldman!

Today is my pleasure to introduce new author Christine S. Feldman! Christine is joining us today to tell us a little bit about herself and her very first published novel, Coming Home. Please join me in welcoming her!


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sure!  I’m an avid reader and writer, and I enjoy doing both in multiple genres.  I’ve been doing some screenwriting, too, and I’m thrilled to say that over the past year I’ve been fortunate enough to place in—and even win—a few screenwriting competitions around the country.  I’m married to a wonderful man (we met through a ballroom dancing class), and we’re just getting started on putting in this year’s vegetable garden.

When did you first realize you wanted to write?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, even when I was a young kid of about six or seven.  It started with short stories based on my favorite book characters (the Black Stallion featured prominently in most of them) and moved on from there.

You recently had your first novel published by Crimson Romance—Congrats! Can you tell us all about your newest release?
Well, it’s a contemporary romance that has to do with first loves, unrequited love, and friends-turning-into-lovers.  How’s that for packing a lot into one little ol’ book?  The heroine, Callie, returns to her hometown after years of being away and encounters the man for whom she carried a torch during her teenage years:  her older brother’s best friend, Danny.  She never told him how she felt about him then, but now old feelings rekindle, and Danny begins to see her in a whole new light.  Callie has some unresolved issues from her past, though, that complicate things and threaten her budding relationship with Danny.

From where did you get the inspiration/idea to write this story?
Friends-to-lovers has just always been a favorite of mine (blame John Hughes and movies like Some Kind of Wonderful, I suppose…).  I like the idea of two people who share a lot of history together even before the romance blossoms because I think it makes for a rich connection.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I use an outline because I like to know where I’m going and to feel confident that there really is enough story to get me there.  I start with a very general overview that just includes the biggest plot points and then go back and flesh it out further.  I usually do that a few times, and each time the outline gets more detailed and things just seem to fall into their natural places.  But if I’m in the middle of the story and something seems like it needs to veer off course, then I don’t let the outline hold me hostage.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I’d say the biggest challenge was actually persevering with getting the writing done.  Can’t publish anything if it isn’t written!  For a long time I let life get in the way and told myself that I’d write when I had more time, but then I finally realized that if I didn’t find a way to carve out time for writing, it would never happen.  So I used evenings and weekends over the past few years to write, and it feels wonderful to have writing be a regular part of my life again.
Of course, once I had a couple of manuscripts written, then I had to learn to be patient (some publishers take a LONG time to get back to you because they’re so swamped with submissions), and I had to learn that rejection is a natural part of the process and shouldn’t make you give up.  Chocolate and ice cream did a lot to see me through that part.

Will you have a new book coming out soon? If so, what is it about?
Crimson Romance just accepted a second manuscript tentatively titled The Bargain.  The release date hasn’t been set yet, but here’s a brief synopsis from my website:
An awkward wallflower pursues her former high school crush by enlisting an unlikely ally–his estranged ne’er-do-well brother–in a wary bargain that ends up transforming them both.  
Shannon Mahoney is a lot more comfortable with power tools than she is with high heels or lipstick, and she often wishes she could reinvent herself and finally tell her perfect boss that she has had a crush on him since high school.  But when his ladykiller older brother Michael returns to town–a former bad boy looking for redemption–Shannon starts to realize that maybe love isn’t about reinventing yourself after all.  It’s about finding your perfect match.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Read, do most any kind of ballroom dancing, garden, play with my beagle, play with my husband… ;-)

What kind of films do you enjoy?
I like a little of most everything:  comedy, romance, drama, family, action-adventure, classics (I love Cary Grant)…Most recently I’ve enjoyed Silver Linings Playbook and The Hobbit.  I’m really looking forward to the next Hunger Games movie, too.  I love movies with a strong heroine.

What kind of music do you listen to?
Ooo, that depends on my mood, I guess.  Sometimes I like to listen to classical works, like Bach, but sometimes I feel like I could use some good old Southern rock, like Lynyrd Skynyrd.  I love to dance to Latin music, and I have to say that I’m a sucker for anything Celtic.  I’ve lost count of the number of CDs I own with the word “Celtic” in the title.

What is your all time favorite book?
The Lord of the Rings.  

Do you have any writing quirks?
Only if you count stressing over whether to continue editing as I go or to knock it off already and just finish the first draft so I can go back and edit it when it’s actually DONE.  I like to think my tightly-wound nature is part of my charm.

Describe yourself in five words.
Well, I already used tightly-wound so…creative, homebody (it’s true, I don’t get out much), natural, tenacious, quirky.  How’s that?

Where can your readers stalk you?
Well, I live at—oh, wait.  You meant cyberstalk, didn’t you?  I would love to get reader feedback at my website http://christinesfeldman.com and I’m building an author page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChristineSFeldman so I would love to hear from folks there.

About the Book:
No woman ever really forgets her first love. Callie Sorenson is no exception. Hers was tall, tanned, and—as her older brother’s best friend—completely off limits.
Danny McCutcheon.
It’s a name that Callie hasn’t spoken in years, even if the man to whom it belongs has never really been all that far from her thoughts. Or her heart. But now a twist of fate will bring her back to the childhood home she left behind years ago, and to the hometown boy for whom she secretly longed.
When her mother takes a bad fall and breaks her hip, Callie leaves the bright lights of New York City to fly back west and help with the rehabilitation. It’s a tense homecoming due to a long time estrangement between mother and daughter, and it drives Callie to confront both a painful personal loss and her unanswered questions about the father who abandoned her when she was just a child.
It also brings her face to face with Danny again, and Callie quickly realizes that old feelings die hard.
But for Danny, it’s new feelings that are a problem. Callie is not the young girl he remembers but a woman now, and a very desirable one. They both have reasons to fight the growing attraction between them, but the temptation may just prove to be too much to resist, despite some very real risk to their hearts. The past casts a long shadow over the future, though, and Callie will have to overcome it or else face losing the one man who means the most to her.
Please enjoy this excerpt from Coming Home:
It was clear that she didn’t want to be here. She sat stiffly in her seat and looked everywhere else around the sports bar but at him.
“You can pretend to watch that baseball game if you want to,” he said dryly, opening up his menu and looking it over, “but don’t think for a minute that I’m buying it.”
“What?” she returned. “Maybe I like baseball now. For all you know, I could be the Yankees’ biggest fan.”
“Fine,” he said without looking up. “Then tell me what a ground rule double is.”
She mulled it over. “Oh, shut up,” she muttered finally.
He grinned at her then, unable to help himself, and she reddened.  But she smiled a little, too.  He felt a sweet stab of pleasure at the sight and told himself not to ruin things by saying anything else.
Their waitress stopped by their table and turned her attention immediately to Danny. “Ready to order?”
“Steak,” Danny said. “Medium rare.”
“The same,” Callie echoed. “And a side order of onion rings.”
“Anything to drink?”
“A beer.” He glanced at Callie.
“Make that two.”
The waitress upped the wattage of her smile, and Danny returned it politely but only for a moment, and she left.  “Quite the appetite,” he observed.  “I remember you as more of a soup and salad kind of person.”
“There’s a lot you don’t know about me anymore.”
“I suppose so. It’s a little unnerving.”
“Really?”
“Don’t look so pleased.”
She smiled again, and he felt a little more of the tension between them melt away.
“So tell me,” he asked, careful to keep his voice casual, “what else don’t I know about you now?”
Their waitress delivered their beers and the onion rings, smiling coyly at Danny again. “Anything else I can get you?”
“Thanks,” Callie said with a pointed stare.  “We’re good now.”  She waited until the other woman left before answering Danny’s question.  “Hmm. Let me think…I’m unemployed now.”
He nearly choked on his first swallow of beer.  “What?”
She shrugged in an apparent lack of concern and sampled an onion ring.  “My choice.  I’ll find something else when I’m ready.”
“When you’re ready?”  He thought he felt his blood pressure rise on the spot.  Did she not have a practical bone in her body?  “Callie, jobs aren’t just—”
“Have an onion ring,” she interrupted, thrusting one into his open mouth.
“Callie—”
“And don’t talk with your mouth full. It’s rude.”
How could she make him want to shake her and laugh with her at the same time?  He considered himself to be a laid-back sort of person, but she brought out tension in him that he hadn’t even known existed.  No one else made him worry quite like she did.
She took a drink and leaned back in her chair.  “What else…I’m addicted to salsa.”
“The condiment?”
“The dance. Oh, and I’ve been mugged a couple of times.”
“You were mugged?  Why didn’t you tell anybody?”
“Oh, come on.  You haven’t truly experienced New York City until you’ve been mugged,” she said.  “And I’ve got a tattoo, a pimp, and a coke habit, too.”
“What?”  He watched as a wicked grin spread across her face, and his eyes narrowed.  “You little sadist.  Was any of that true, or was it all BS?”
“The tattoo part was true.”
Picking up his beer, he put it to his lips to stop himself from asking where the tattoo was. Bad enough that images were already popping into his mind of inked artwork in intimate places…


About the Author:

Christine S. Feldman writes both novels and feature-length screenplays, and she has placed in screenwriting competitions on both coasts.  She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her ballroom-dancing husband and their beagle.  Visit her at http://christinesfeldman.com or say hello on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChristineSFeldman.


5 comments:

MK McClintock said...

New authors are always fun to meet! Great interview ladies, and congrats on the new book Christine.

Christine S. Feldman said...

Thanks, MK! By the way, I like your site!

And Kimberly, thanks again for having me on your blog today!

Kimberly Lewis said...

Thanks for stopping by MK!

And it was a pleasure hosting you Christine! Stop by again! You're welcome anytime :)

Kim said...

Christine... You are so funny. I hear your personality coming out in your interviews!!! I LOVE that! You ALWAYS put a smile on my face!!!

Christine S. Feldman said...

Thanks, Kim! I'm about as awkward and bashful as they come most of the time, but I'm trying to let a little of my inner goofiness fly free once in a while. Nice to know it's proceeding well... :)