Christine Hartmann joins us today for a quick 5 question interview. You can check out one of her stories in Crave’s, Craving: Secrets (myBook.to/CravingSecrets) On sale for only .99 cents.
1. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
When I was thinking about writing my first book and was terrified I could never finish such a long project, my husband told me, “You don’t write a book. You write a chapter.” He’d authored seven books at that point. He figured he knew what he was talking about. He did. You write a book one chapter at a time. It was a huge relief to me to think of it that way and a major reason why I was able to complete my first project.
2. What is one of your favorite characters and why?
I love all my characters, including the bad ones. I think my favorite is always my most recent main character, so in this case, Bree from Wild Card. She’s spunky and funny and very much like all the rest of us–a little unsure of herself, self-conscious about her plump figure, but willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. And when push comes to shove, she stands up for herself and those she loves. It was really fun writing her, because she grows a lot in the course of the story and finds inner strength through difficult situations. I love when people tell me they laughed out loud when reading the book and really identified with Bree as she was moving through her adventures.
3. What’s one of the craziest things that has happened to you?
In terms of writing, one of the most crazy things that ever happened to me was having my first book appear on the front page of The Daily Beast for a week. It was completely unexpected and only happened because an editor who heard about my book and wanted to profile it in her big-name magazine moved to The Daily Beast and took the idea with her. I couldn’t believe my story was in their Women in the World section. I had friends walking up to me pointing to their phones. It was crazy and embarrassing and wonderful, all at the same time. But it also taught me that publicity like that isn’t everything. Building your author platform, a solid base of readers who really like what you write, is actually much more important.
4. What is something you’re really good at that few people know about?
I have a 2nd degree black belt in judo. You wouldn’t know it to look at me. But I’ve lifted 200 pound men above my head and thrown them to the floor. I don’t practice it anymore, because I’m too scared of breaking things–i.e., my bones! But back when I was young and carefree and didn’t mind periodic trips to the hospital, I worked really hard at getting better. It was my favorite hobby for a long time.
5. How long does it take you to write a book?
I work full time and can only write on the weekends, so it takes me three to four months to get a book ready to send to the publisher. These days I dictate my books, which reduces the time a bit. The dictation software is good, but it’s not perfect, so it also results in some really strange mistakes that are difficult to catch. When you read a book, you actually read it to yourself out loud in your head, so it’s hard to notice wrong words and phrases that sound correct. There have been some funny ones. In the most recent book, Wild Card, for example, someone was supposed to “stalk” to the counter. But the dictation software wrote “He stuck to the counter.”
Learn more about Christine on her website: https://chartmannbooks.com/