Friday, November 6, 2015


Thanks for being here today, Christy. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?

Thanks for having me! I’m Christy Gissendaner and I hail

from the great state of Alabama. I’m a busy wife, mother, office manager, and romance author - or author(s), as the case may be. I write under two pen names, but I’m here today as Christy. 

Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person? 

Oh my gosh, yes! Very, very shy and introverted. I’ve grown out of my shell a tad bit as an adult, but if I’m ever in a new situation, I revert back to the shy, introverted gal of my youth. 

In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career?
Online, I’m not shy AT ALL. In fact, I would almost say the opposite. Where being shy has hindered me has been at conferences and promotional events. I hesitate to put myself out there and do anything that comes across as “look at me”. Book signings are the worst! I stare at the table, unable to make eye contact with anyone. In fact, I still can’t make eye contact, even in my day to day life. 

In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career?

Hmm…that’s a hard one. Being shy also hindered me when I began to write sex scenes, which let’s face is a necessity in romances today. So I really don’t fell being shy helped me in any way. 

What’s the hardest part of this business for you?

Finding the time to write. Hands down. 

Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life?

My day job requires me to give a financial summary at our monthly Board meetings. Even though it’s a small number of people, I absolutely dread standing up and speaking in front of people. 

What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you?

It’s okay to be shy. Not everyone can have the “big” personality! 

Would you please share a short blurb of your book and where my readers can buy it?

CHRISTMAS SPIRITS (Available now!) Kia May has little time for anything as her lifelong dream of being a fashion designer comes to fruition. For Christmas, she takes time out of her busy schedule to visit her family, where her grandmother reveals a secret of her Baoule heritage. 

In Baoule, located on the Ivory Coast of Africa, the people believe in spirit lovers, which you are separated from at birth. Tedros, Kia’s lover from the spirit world, appears to her and reveals that he is there to assist her in finding a mortal lover.

Elliot Melton, the brother of Kia's new sister in law, is also invited to share the season with the family. With the help of a meddling grandmother and an otherworldly spirit, Elliot and Kia soon find out that Christmas is the best time to fall in love.
Where can my readers find you on the web?

Visit me at

Thanks for having me!!

More about Christy:

Christy Gissendaner is a paranormal and contemporary romance author who believes laughter and love should go hand in hand.

Christy lives in Alabama with her husband and three sons. She’s always hard at work on her next novel, but in her spare time she loves blackjack, karaoke, and anything resembling a vacation!

To find out more, please visit

Thanks so much for coming on today, Christy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My new baseball romance is finally out!

LEAD-OFF BRIDE is book one in my brand new Take Me Out to the Wedding series. If you like weddings, baseball and happy endings, I think you'll like this book.

iBooks | Kobo | Nook | Kindle

Friday, July 17, 2015

Stepping out of my comfort zone

As an introvert, I like to stay tucked inside my comfort zone. But occasionally, I force myself out of it, in big or small ways. 

The other day I did something I never do: I posted some photos of myself demonstrating exercises for a writing loop I belong to. 

Now, you might think this is no big deal, but if you know me or are friends with me on Facebook, you'll see that I rarely post photos of myself. If I do, they're just parts of my face, rarely my whole face or body. If I find a photo I like, I use it for years. 

I'm a personal trainer in my day job. If you saw me in person, you might think I don't look anything like you might have expected a personal trainer to look like. I'm 50 years old, and I'm far from a size two. I'm very fit, but I'm certainly not "skinny." In fact, like many women my age, I have a few extra pounds I struggle to lose. I post a lot on Facebook and my blogs about fitness, but I've never used photos of myself demonstrating exercises, because I know what people's expectations are, and I'm just not comfortable sharing photos like that.

But the other day, I did. I was trying to explain some exercises and finally thought, "Screw it. I'll just have my hubby take some pictures. That'll make it much easier." So I did. And you know what? The world didn't end. The internet didn't blow up. In fact, nobody even commented. So basically I was worried about nothing. 

Sometimes, we just need to do it. Push aside our discomfort and do it. Whatever "it" is.

What about you? Have you done anything recently to push yourself out of your comfort zone? Let me know in the comments so I can give you a virtual high five. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Starting From Scratch, Part II

This is an ongoing series on my process of writing a new story from start to finish. 
You'll soon see that my process is a complete mess. But it is what it is. I am working on a novella, Christmas in Stilettos (Book 4 in my Red Stilettos series) that will be part of Passionate Kisses 3: Under the Mistletoe, a boxed set with nine other authors. It will release in October.


I am two weeks into the month, and I'm supposed to have this novella written (the first draft anyway) by August 1. I took the first week to plot and plan as much as a nonplotter and nonplanner can. I tried to figure out who my characters are, what they want, what the main conflict(s) will be. I thought about the setting, what my characters look like, who they are, where they live. 

Finally, four days ago, I started to put down words... and soon learned that everything I plotted and planned means jack shit.

I'm about 4500 words into what I expect will be a 20-25,000 word novella. And it totally sucks so far. I'm so not kidding.

Here's my problem (well, one of many): As hard as I try to figure out who my characters are and where the plot is going beforehand, I can't figure those things out until I actually start writing.This is super frustrating to me, because I know I'd finish projects much faster if I could figure things out in advance. I can actually write a pretty fast first draft, but it's always such a mess, it takes forever to clean up and polish.

I've been fighting my process for years, reading every plotting book out there, attending any plotting/planning workshop I could find. I've learned a lot. If my brain actually worked like a plotter, I'd be set. But it doesn't. Yet I keep hoping. I keep trying to plot and outline before hand, hoping with one of these projects, it'll magically come together for me.

Here's how my process usually goes (despite any attempts to
tweak it): I will crank out a really, really shitty first draft (note: if you haven't read Anne Lamott's book Bird by Bird where she talks about shitty first drafts, you must. In fact, click that link now and go get it. Seriously. I'll wait.). I've realized that whether I write my first draft really slowly and agonize over every word, or whip that puppy out as fast as I can, it will suck in equal measures. So I might as well write that suckage quickly, eh? [Check out these 10 Rules for Writing First Drafts]

So that's what I'm doing right now. I'm just cranking out the words. I call my first draft my discovery draft, because it's really more like a crappily written outline than a tangible first draft. I'm discovering new things about my characters and story every time I sit down to write. In fact, I often talk to myself on the page. I turn the font color red and just start "talking to myself" until I figure out what to write next. If I write total gibberish (like below), I'll just delete it when I'm done with my writing session. But if I actually come up with something useful, I cut and paste that snippet into another file to look at later during revisions.For instance, here's a snippet of Chapter One:

She shrugged and her blush deepened. Really need to figure out where home is, etc. For each of them. Where is "home" for her. Colorado? Nevada? Some small town. He grew up in Seattle. I think. #@% I just flipping can't figure out who these people are! This is so stupid. What the hell comes next. what is she thinking right now? I don't care, which means my readers won't care which means I'd rather eat chocolate than write this shit.

He knew why she hadn’t called them. It would’ve been awkward. Because she thought his family knew about their situation. “Yeah, about that…” He cleared his throat. "They assume you're coming with us.”

Anyway...that's where I am now. I just reached the first turning point of the story where everything changes. The draft is total and utter crap at this point. But I'll keep going and eventually--I hope and pray--I'll start to figure out who the characters are and what their story is. 

Until next time... keep writing!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Starting From Scratch--Part I

Part One
Along with some of my Passionate Kisses boxed set sisters, I will be doing #HoNoMo in the month of July. That means HOliday NOvel in a MOnth. In my case, it's a novella not a full-length novel. In order to meet my deadline and not get backed up on my other projects, I need to write the entire first draft in July. I thought you might find it interesting to follow my progress. I will post an update when I have progress.

Speaking of serial killers...this one sits on my desk.
Not much in this world is both more terrifying and exciting than starting a new story from scratch. (Well…serial killers, spiders and clowns are more terrifying to me, but they’re not the point of this post.)

I have a Christmas novella to write in July for a boxed set (anthology) with nine other writers that comes out in October. All I have for it is the premise I’ve come up with: “A divorcing couple pretends to be happily married when they go home for Christmas.” I also know Francesca is the heroine and the title of her story is Christmas in Stilettos. (She was a minor character in Dancing in Stilettos, my novella that releases in late July if the sun, moon and stars align.)

That’s pretty much all I know. I am not a plotter. I am not a pantser (someone who writes by the “seat of her pants” without a plan). My process is somewhere in between and it ain’t pretty. Every time I sit down to write a new book, I think it’ll be easier, especially if I’m “just” writing a novella or short story. But it’s not. Every book is harder than the last one to write. Every new book convinces me that I’ve forgotten how to write and will never, ever, EVER figure it out again.
My messy process.
If I was a big drinker, I’d be swigging tequila about now. But I’m not. I am a chocolater—and chocolate does nothing for my creativity and only makes my bum bigger. But it does make me happy.  I’m eating a Linder ball as I type this.

Back to the point of this post… Starting a project from scratch. The first thing I do when starting a new story is jot down everything I know, everything that’s been flitting around my head. In this case, it’s not much. I know the heroine’s husband has been deployed in Afghanistan and they decided before he left to split up. I know they have twin toddlers. I don’t know where they’re going “home” for Christmas or why they have to pretend to be happily married.

In my files, I have a bunch of forms I’ve saved over the years from various plotting and character classes I’ve taken. I also have a bazillion books on plotting and characterization (because reading about writing is WAY easier and much more fun than actually writing the damn book). At this point in the process, I use Story Safari and Discovering Story Magic to start figuring out who my characters are. I can’t start writing until I know their basic GMC (goal, motivation, conflict). The problem for me is that I can’t figure out the characters until I’ve written some of the story. See my dilemma? My process is a mess!
The basket I carry my process in...

But it’s my process and I’ll cry if I want to.

The goal is to get to the point where I feel I must begin to write. Once I “see” that opening scene in my head, I’ll start. I’m not there yet, but I hope to be soon, because my calendar says: July—write draft of Christmas in Stilettos.

Anyway… that’s where I am right now. I spend a lot of time staring into space, thinking about my characters.  A lot of time walking my dog, ignoring my neighbors and thinking about my story.  One of these days—I hope!!!—I’ll be ready to start the actual writing because the clock is ticking.

What’s your process? I will love you forever if it’s messier than mine, because it will make me feel slightly superior.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My apologies and news

Boy, I've been lame-OH! in keeping up on this blog these past few months. I go in spurts where I'm really, really good and devoted to keeping it updated, then spurts where all you hear is crickets when you come on here. Where did everybody go???

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I'll be starting a series of posts called Starting from Scratch, where I'll take you through my totally effed up process of beginning a book/story from scratch until it's ready to go to my editor. For this project, I'll be working on Christmas in Stilettos, which will be part of the Passionate Kisses 3  boxed set (PK 2 hit the USA Today best-seller list, if you remember). I have on my calendar that I'll be writing the first draft in July. Some of my PK sisters and I will be doing #HoNoMo (Holiday Novel in a Month) with Camp NaNoWriMo, to spur each other on, so I'll keep you posted on how that's going, too.

Here's some other news--my new boxed set Summer on Main Street just released with five other authors. It has six sizzling small-town romances. I've include the links if you don't yet have your copy. It's just 99 cents!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fabulous Firsts with... KATE HILL

First Five Sentences of... 

Blair remembered the day he first met Grace. He was working as a stable hand in the home of a wealthy lord. She was the blacksmith’s daughter and had come to the stable to fetch her father because her younger brother had taken ill. Blair had fallen in love with her at first sight, but being a young man and wanting to see the world, he had recently joined the army. They had little time together before he left and was soon sent to war.

Available now!

* * * * *


What was the first romance you ever read?
I was in grammar school and it was an old Harlequin called My Tender Fury. If I remember correctly, the hero was a teacher. Even way back then I thought the romance was a little too sweet, but I enjoyed it. :-)

Tell me about your very first kiss?
I'm afraid this first wasn't so fabulous. :-) My first kiss was so disgusting it almost turned me off ever kissing again. Not the right person, not the right moment. Nothing about it was right, except that it showed me what I didn't want in the future.

What’s the first thing you do when you start writing a new story?
The first thing I do is start getting to know the characters. I spend a lot of time thinking about them, taking notes and imagining how they would react to different situations.

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels.

When she's not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out and spending time with her family and pets. Kate also writes under the pen name Saloni Quinby. She enjoys hearing from readers and she can be contacted at

Find Kate online here