My featured guest author today is the gorgeous and very talented, Christie Ridgway who happens to be one of the best contemporary romance authors I’ve had the pleasure of reading.
I met up with Christie at the RWA Conference this past week as she was one of the speakers for our Women’s Fiction mini-conference. She was awesome! I adore her books, her writing and her sparkling and delightful personality. Her stories are full of charm and dazzling warmth and it’s always fun to see her. She’s such a treasure and I’m thrilled she’s taken time to be with us today to talk about writing…
What do you love most about being a writer?
I love telling romantic stories like the ones I’ve enjoyed for so many years. It’s thrilling to be fulfilling the dream I had from a young age.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a detailed plotter. I need that foundation in order to feel comfortable about the direction of the story…though I don’t hesitate to deviate when I find I need to.
What’s your typical day like when you’re between writing projects?
Between writing projects (like now) I recover from all that I’ve neglected while immersed in the latest book. That means I clean out my office and clear my desk. I hit the gym extra hard. I reconnect with my family and friends. I also read like crazy…and then new ideas for new projects start to trickle into my brain and then flood it until I’m consumed by the next story.
Do you incorporate any of your own life experiences into your stories? Do you get asked this question very often?
I often get the typical “How do you come up with your love scenes?” to which I answer, “Um, from my imagination?” 🙂
Seriously, though, I think a writer can’t help but put some of his or her life experiences into a story. I wrote about a pair of young brothers in Beach House No. 9 that were a reflection of what my own boys were like when they were small. In my latest book I have the hero in a conversation that’s almost identical to one that happened in my family room (I eavesdrop on the men in my life!) about penguins and krill (they talk about the craziest things!).
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
I loved to read so I always wanted to be a writer. One of my best friends from high school came to visit when I was a young mother and working part-time in the tech industry. She asked me why I wasn’t pursuing that dream I had for writing romance novels and it fired me up. I joined Romance Writers of America that month, went to a local meeting, and at that meeting was asked to join a critique group that met weekly. I was on my way!
Tell us what your current release is about, in 2 or 3 sentences.
I have a trilogy out all set in the same beach house in a small seaside community in California. The couples meet at that house during what they come to call a “summer of love.” Lots of sunshine and sexiness, but each story has a deep emotional core as well. They were such a pleasure to write.
Name 3 – 5 books you’ve read this year. Which ones would you recommend to your girlfriends?
I read a lot of books because I write a monthly column about new romances for BookPage, a publication that goes mostly to libraries (they have a web presence as well). My favorite 2013 romances are: DREAM LAKE by Lisa Kleypas, Robyn Carr’s THE WANDERER, and Anne Stuart’s NEVER KISS A RAKE (that one won’t be out until August).
What three words would you use to describe your writing style?
Sexy. Sweet. Vibrant.
Early bird or night owl?
2 things you’ve always wanted to do but never had the courage to try?
How about I lack the talent to try? 🙂 I think it would be awesome to sing, however, I can’t stay on tune. I did just try stand-up paddle boarding this past weekend and I think we’re going to get one because I’d like to give it a whirl (that said, I only sat and paddled because I didn’t want to look stupid falling off and didn’t want to get my hair wet right then…but hey, maybe I can actually do it. Unsurprisingly, Son2 has informed me it’s unlikely as I’m not fabulously athletic–but I hope to prove him wrong.)
Christie Ridgway is a California native and author of over forty contemporary romances. A five-time RITA finalist and USA Today bestselling author, she writes sexy, emotional reads starring determined heroines and the men who can’t help but love them. Married to her college sweetheart, Christie lives in Southern California in a house filled with boys and pets. She writes as an escape from sports equipment, football on TV, and dog hair.
Christie, thanks so much for visiting with us! Readers and friends, do check out Christie’s website to learn more about her fabulous books. I assure you, you’ll love them! To celebrate Christie’s visit with us today, I’m giving away, to two lucky winners, a copy of Christie’s Beach House No.9, a Southern California Starbucks drink card and other fun goodies! For a chance to win, leave a comment and tell me what book(s) you’re planning to read at the beach this summer! Contest ends on Friday and I’ll announce winners on Saturday.