Author Christina Sinisi Visits!

I am so happy to have fellow Anaiah Christmas author with us today! Let’s meet Christina Sinisi and learn more about her new book, Christmas Confusion.

Hi, Christina! Welcome!

First, what sparked your interest in becoming a writer?

First, I want to thank you so much, Melinda, for hosting me. I truly appreciate you!

I have always wanted to be a writer, almost literally as soon as I could write. In my Virginia farm community, there was no kindergarten. So, I learned the alphabet and how to write in first grade. By third grade, I was writing poetry and by fifth grade, I wrote my first play. I was and still am an avid reader and simply am in love with the world of story.

What was the first romance novel you read that made an impression on you?

In high school, I would stay with my Grandma Zimmerman for a month or so in the summers. She herself had only an eighth grade education, but there were books in a back bedroom. I found one by Victoria Holt, The Mistress of Mellyn. The combination of murder mystery and romance haunts me to this day. I still like there to be a story within a story.

I love that your Grandma had romantic suspense! 

What is your favorite scene in your new release?

Surprisingly, the epilogue is my favorite scene. It was an add-on at the suggestion of my editor, Kara Leigh Miller. I won’t give away the content because I don’t want to spoil it for the reader, but I will say I get teary-eyed every time I edit it. There is a raw need for the Lord on the part of the hero that strikes a chord with me. We all have worries and fears, and then there’s the joy when God brings us out on the other side of our fear.

Oh, I can’t wait to read the epilogue! I always enjoy seeing the couple in their happily ever after. 

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

A few years ago, I saw Nora Roberts speak at a Romance Writers of America meeting. She said simply, get your butt in the chair. Treat writing as a job. Just show up.  That advice has gotten me through the many years of waiting for something to happen.  Many, many people have also stated that you write because you can’t not write. If you can do anything else, do it. If you love writing, so I’ll write no matter what–which is a good thing in this tough world of sales and competition for people’s attention.

And what about the worst writing advice you’ve ever received?

This isn’t writing advice per se, but life advice. I’ve had many, many other people state that they didn’t understand how I kept writing. They would have given up long ago. My thought was what else was I going to do? Make candles? Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with making candles, but I’m passionate about writing and when something’s your passion, you don’t give up.

I totally get it! I think most of us writers get to a point of wanting to give up. Giving up is the easy part. Continuing with a difficulty is what makes the difference.

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?

My family is supportive. My husband is a history professor and has published several academic books. My son is a hopeful writer as well and posts fanfiction on Reddit that is very good. My daughter can write, but art is more her thing. At the same time, she was the first to post on Facebook when The Christmas Confusion came out saying how proud she is of me. Further, my church family has been incredibly supportive–the church book club is reading my book in December and they featured the cover in the monthly newsletter. Oh, and do they read my books? Do they have a choice? 😉

Thank you again, Melinda, and I hope everyone has a wonderful, blessed Christmas!!

Thank you, Christina! Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!


Readers, Christina’s book, Christmas Confusion, can be found at the link

behind the book image. I hope you pick up a copy and enjoy the season!

Blessings,

Melinda

Welcome Delaina Netherland Smiley, author of One More Santa!

I’m happy to have fellow Anaiah Press and Texan author with me today to talk about her new Christmas novella, One More Santa!

What was your favorite scene in your book?

I really enjoyed writing the scene where Talent, Cassie, and Ruby created the Christmas rainbow with their bows and arrows. My son is a competitive archer and I, being his #1 fan, enjoyed using his expertise in my writing. Plus, it was something I haven’t read before so I loved getting to be creative.

Best writing advice you ever received:

“Don’t wait until it’s perfect, or even published to share your writing with the people you love.” That advice came from my late friend, Monica Barter, and I wish I had heeded it much sooner. My close friends and family were my catalyst to putting content out in the world and I’m so grateful.

Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

I usually have an idea for the main character, but the rest of the cast and crew develop around that person. I did have a head start on “One More Santa”, though, because I wanted to use the names of my grandmother and her three sisters: Rosemary (my grandmother), Cassie, Betty, and Brenda. That made it easy because the characters suddenly took on a life of their own once named. 

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?

I think they love it. They have been so supportive through both the writing process and then the final products. They share everything and talk about the books when they’re out and about. I’m grateful they are so supportive!


Welcome Laura Nelson Selinsky, author of Season of Hope!

I’m so happy to have fellow Anaiah author visiting today. Her Christmas novella, Season of Hope, released last week, and you don’t want to miss it!

What sparked your interest in becoming a writer? I’ve been a passionate reader since I was a little girl, I studied and teach literature, and my husband, children and their partners are all academic writers…writing was inevitable for me. That I write fiction is the plot twist.

What is your favorite scene in your new release? My favorite scene in Season of Hope is when *Nick rescues Grace from the icy fire escape, endearing himself to the protagonist Claudia, who is Grace’s half-sister. The idea of that little girl falling thirty feet frightens me when I read it, and I’m the one who imagined it.

*Yes, I wrote a Christmas novel in which I deliberately names a character “Nick.” Feel free to chuckle.

Best Writing Advice You’ve Ever Received– “Write what you know.” Season of Hope is set in a community I know well and love. I could see every inch of the setting from the moment I began writing.

Worst Writing Advice You’ve Ever Received “Write what you know.” The first piece I published was a Lovecraftian horror piece that illustrated a theological concept. Trust me when I say that I didn’t know that world and I hope I never will. So many of the best literary worlds come from imagination. We’d be pretty bored if my heroes Tolkien and C.S. Lewis limited themselves to writing about post-war Oxford.

Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing? This is not exactly an object, but Marie, a secondary character in Season of Hope, is a fabulous cook. I loved writing her food masterpieces; I even composed recipes for them.

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books? My family has been emotionally and financially supportive. Most important, my husband has helped me find the time for writing; not easy when I have a more-than-full-time job teaching students with significant learning differences. My children and nieces have beta-read my fantasy novels—Season of Hope is the first long piece that none of them read until it published.

Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you? For ten years, I’ve belonged to a wonderful critique group under aegis of Pennwriters. It’s an open group, but there is little turn-over. Visitors are often surprised at how much commitment and time is required to prepare helpful critiques, and that’s in advance of the meetings. The group critiqued early drafts of Season of Hope and of everything else I’ve published. More important, we keep each other going when the rejections hit the double- and triple-digits. Seek out such groups through regional and national writers’ organizations. For example, if you write YA or children’s book, SCBWI can help you find a good critique group. If any writer has the opportunity to participate in a group like mine, joining is worth the effort.


Thank you for visiting and pick up a copy of Season of Hope today!