Welcome to today's blog and thanks for popping by!
I cannot believe a week has passed since our last Awesome Aussie Authors feature but as they say time flies when you're having fun...or running around like a headless chicken trying to shop, entertain the kids and prepare for Christmas!
Today I have the awesomely talented, witty and kind hearted Christine Stinson with us. Her two books, Getting Even with Fran and It Takes a Village are absolute page turners and occupy a very special place on my bookshelf. It is feel good writing at its very best and being set in Australia makes it that much more magical!
Welcome, Christine, I’m so thrilled to have you here.
Where were you born, raised, schooled and what was the most mischievous thing you did when you were a child?
I was born in Sydney, the middle child of three, and grew up in the southern suburbs. My parents sent me to the local primary school, which I loved, except for my second class teacher who used to cane me with a map pointer for making a mess of my ‘modified cursive writing’ practice sheets. Too many inkblots – and swollen knuckles only made me messier! Mum used to walk us the mile to school each morning and for a week, I beat her home again, refusing to go to school. After a week of that, she finally believed something was wrong, spoke to the teacher and the beating stopped. I went to a day/boarding school for high school and didn’t particularly love it, but it did have a great library. I was always in trouble for reading books under the desk during class.
How long did it take you to get published and how did you feel when you were told you had a contract?
I’ve been writing stories since I was in third class, so I guess you could say it’s taken me most of my life. I was over the moon when I was offered a two-book contract. Had to read the email three times then get my husband to read it, too, before I could take in the fact that there was no ‘but…’ That was such a happy day, particularly hearing my children say how proud they were of me for sticking with it through the rejections.
What time of the day/night do you prefer to write and where do you like to write?
I write anytime, but probably prefer to write in the morning. I have a study, a little room off the kitchen with a desk, bookcase, day bed and a mat for Benny the Beagle who loves to keep me company while I work. I don’t always enjoy his company quite as much – he’s developed a bit of a flatulence problem over the years…
Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming book? And what date it will be released?
My third book has the working title of “Epiphany”. It’s about two-thirds finished and there’s no release date as yet. It’s a story about friendship – and how far you’d go to save someone you love.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
The inspiration always comes from life. Writers are busybodies by nature, I think, always wanting to know the how and why of everything. For “Epiphany”, I needed a new ‘career’ for my main character: all I know is teaching, since I was a high school teacher for a lot of years. I have a friend who’s a conductor, currently living and working in Hamburg but also conducting – or ‘making music’, as she calls it – all over the world. I asked if I could use her ‘job’ for the heroine of book 3 and was thrilled when she said yes. She’s been a tremendous source of information and, naturally, inspiration! But like the first two books, book 3 is set in Australia. After all, it’s the best setting in the world! (Totally unbiased opinion.)
What is your favourite meal?
Seafood is always a winner, particularly if it’s a seafood meal shared with family and good friends.
Who is your favourite Australian?
I had the privilege of meeting Nancy Wake some years ago and was mightily impressed by her spirit and courage as well as her wicked sense of humour. “The White Mouse” is an absolute ripper of a book, too.
What is your favourite Aussie saying?
Wouldn’t be dead for quids!
Where would be your ideal place to holiday?
Somewhere with beaches and mountains for swimming and long hikes. Since this is my dream place, there would be a self-contained apartment, big enough for the whole family. That way we could cook – my children love cooking as much as I do – as well as go out for the occasional meal. There would be just enough peace and quiet on offer to read a book a day. And write…it wouldn’t be the perfect holiday if I didn’t do a bit of that, too.
Thank you, Christine, for giving us a peak into your world, and what a wonderful world it is! I love the title of your upcoming book, Epiphany. It has me intrigued! What a wonderful name. And once again, congratulations on It Takes a Village winning cover of the year at the RWA awards this year. It is one of my favourite covers too :)
You can visit Christine at her website…
Thought for this week
“Listening to your dreams is a great way of keeping in touch with your soul”
Next week Anna Campbell will be our guest….how thrilling!
Until then, keep smiling and dreaming