I’m delighted to extend a Pen Pal welcome to Christy Olesen who is celebrating her latest release, A DADDY FOR LUKE. Christy and I originally connected through Savvy Authors when we took a course together, and have remained in contact ever since. Christy is also the author of HER SCOTTISH CEO, a charming contemporary romance set in Scotland. I hope you’ll help me welcome Christy back to my blog!
Hi Mae, thanks for inviting me to your blog today. I’m looking forward to answering your questions and talking a little about my new release A DADDY FOR LUKE.
Fantastic! Let’s start with a bit about you. How long have you been writing?
If you discount my feeble attempts at writing when I was younger — especially after one teacher wrote in the margin of my paper “Learn to use commas!” — I’d say I’ve been writing for nearly thirty years with the first twenty years hit and miss. I’ve been writing, and studying the craft of writing, seriously for ten years.
The dreaded comma. I’ve been tripping over those for almost the same amount of time, LOL. Plotting is also one of my downfalls, but I think even plotters veer from their outline to a degree during the writing process. When you finish a novel, how closely would you say the end product resembles your original concept — 100%? 50%? Something else entirely?
I’m a pantster (working more toward plotting). Since I usually don’t know the ending when I start I’d have to say 50%, because I have only a vague idea where it is going in the first place. With A DADDY FOR LUKE I knew David couldn’t stay in Center City for long or he’d run into his past, but I didn’t know until the third rewrite of the ending just what his “past” was.
Very interesting. I love characters with a past! I’m working toward learning to plot better too (I’m with you on the 50%. NaNo made me realize there are benefits to plotting). My favorite part of starting a novel will, however, always remain choosing character names. What’s your favorite part and how do you go about it?
My favorite part of starting a new novel is coming up with an unusual way to start. I like to find that moment when the characters life takes a turn. They may not know it at the time, but the reader can see it. In A DADDY FOR LUKE I could have started where Sandy met David at his book signing, but I decided to make it a bit more dramatic by placing them both at a crosswalk before they’ve met. As they start to cross David notices a sports car not slowing down. He pulls Sandy from the car’s path just in time. After that they go on their separate ways until they meet again a short time later at David’s book signing event.
A heart-pounding moment. Please tell us more about your new release.
A DADDY FOR LUKE is my second novel. It is the first in my loosely connected Cottonwood County Chronicles series, which takes place in an area much like where I live in northwest Nevada.
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Lake Tahoe in Nevada. Beautiful area. Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?
David, because, as a tortured hero who had buried his past, he was challenging to write. I needed to bring his emotions to the surface and he fought it.
Without giving too much away, please share a bit about your favorite scene.
My favorite scene is in the Cottonwood County Cemetery. My beta reader said, “You made me cry again, you RAT FINK!”
LOL! Share the first three sentences of your book.
David Winston stood on the corner of Main Street waiting for the signal to cross. He shrugged the tension from his shoulders and glanced furtively at the others also waiting. He hoped no one in Center City would recognize him, particularly those residents who had been responsible for his abrupt exile eight years ago.
Oooh, love that opening. Now share one sentence – - yes, only one! – - of dialogue or description you love.
A pang of tenderness swept over him when he realized the little angel marker was made of cement, not the marble he’d first thought.
I’m guessing that’s from the cemetery scene. NaNo backed up my reading list, but I can’t want to learn what that’s all about and about David’s past. I love tortured heroes. Now back to you — if you couldn’t be a writer, what else would you choose to do?
I always wanted to be a licensed illustrator, like Mary Engelbreit, Susan Branch and so many others.
Your illustrations in HER SCOTTISH CEO were beautiful. A lovely touch to the novel settings. I’m going to switch gears now and ask about pets, because pets and writers naturally go together like peas in a pod. If you have pets, tell us about them and whether or not they shadow your writing time and space.
This is Cheetah. Need I say more?
So adorable! I’m such a cat person. And yes, they’re notorious for wanting attention when we’re working, LOL. Cheetah looks so comfortable, snuggled up with you.
And now for a few quick questions:
Dream vacation gifted to you by a fairy godmother: A croft cottage on the Isle of Skye
Favorite season: Autumn
Favorite animal: Cats
Favorite ice cream flavor: Chunky Monkey
Sunset picnic or night on the town: Sunset Picnic
Thanks for a fun interview, Christy! Please share where readers can find you:
Born and raised in L.A., romance writer Christy Olesen found a home in Northwest Nevada just over the hill from Lake Tahoe. Her travels to Scotland, England, Europe, and Canada, as well as living in the high desert of Nevada have inspired her contemporary tender romances. When not writing Christy enjoys traveling in her 1955 self-restored travel trailer. She enjoys gardening, reading and painting. She has worked for over 20 years as a graphic artist for a local community newspaper, an experience which has sparked her series of Nevada tender romances: Cottonwood County Chronicles, and Cottonwood County Sheriff’s Office.
A DADDY FOR LUKE
David Winston’s reputation and fame come from his popular novels. Born to parents who hadn’t planned a family, David was taught to think he wouldn’t amount to anything, so becoming a popular author is a surprise to him. He wants to hang on to his success. Born in Center City, then forced to leave eight years ago, he’s back, but not for long. It’s a gamble just being in town: he risks colliding with his past, which could ruin his future. Then he meets Sandy Archer and tempts fate by staying in town a little longer.
Sandy Archer is content to care for her son Luke, work her way up in her job at the Cottonwood County Chronicle, and stay away from any more disastrous relationships. She has lived in Center City all her life and has adapted well to being legally blind. She’s touched when visiting author, David Winston offers to read his book to her. She discovers a kindred spirit. But her budding relationship is threatened when a relative cautions Sandy that David is not who he seems to be.
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