Name – Christine Grabowski
Age – 45
Where are you from – Born in Seattle. Spent 9 years on the east coast before returning to WA. (NY & VA)
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I am married with a 10 year old boy and 12 year old girl. I spent over 10 years honing my writing skills in consulting and marketing positions.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am querying for agents for my first book.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I officially began in October 2014, but have always wanted an author. One day I finished a book and as thought, I could write a book if only I had an original idea. I happened to be on vacation so had time to brainstorm. I started writing within a few days of returning.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I would say summer 2015. After finishing my first draft in spring, it was then that I began to get serious about learning to edit and coming up with a work plan to get my book published.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My daughter. She loves to write too.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I am still experimenting. For my first book I started writing with a very limited outline that I continued to add to as I wrote. For my 2nd book, I am learning Scrivener to attempt to plan it out in more detail before I begin writing.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It just came to me.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I purposely tried to stay away from message as I understand YA readers don’t want to feel preached too.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
Probably 90% of the book could happen. There is a science fiction element that takes the other 10%.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Nothing specific. I read a variety of genres and am active in two book clubs. But I would say that YA and middle grade books made me the reader I am. And it was a few YA books that inspired me to actually start writing.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Rebel Angels by Libba Bray.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I meet a lot of them on Twitter and am collecting a huge backlog of books to read. But so far, I haven’t been able to make much progress on the list as I am reading books for both bookclubs, reading editing/writing books, and reading YA to better understand how to relate to my readers, so I’m always reading with a purpose.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am outlining a sequel for Dickensen Academy. But I have also started a Middle grade project to keep me busy during this query process and to experiment with different voices.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Marianne Harden, a local author who sat down with me four hours and has provided me with some insights into the publishing business.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes! I just hope to eventually make some money so I don’t have to balance writing with a regular job. My pace would slow down. Currently I am staying home with my kids so it’s an excellent time to try to make this a new career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I still keep fiddling with it as I am still not represented.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I read a lot as a kid and always wanted to write. But it was reading some recent YA books that made me feel perhaps I could really do it.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
It’s YA and called Dickensen Academy. It blends contemporary YA with science fiction elements. But I am not yet with a publisher, so I can’t say more than that.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
It is a very competitive market so it’s difficult to get represented and get published with a traditional publisher.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t even know where to begin.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
It hasn’t been designed yet.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Deleting the beginning and starting it over… multiple times.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned so much about what goes into a novel and how the editing process is more important (or at least more time consuming) than writing the first draft. I now read books differently.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I keep hearing that the only difference between published and unpublished authors is that one group gives up too early. Also, you need to be willing to learn and to revise.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
One of the first chapter books I remember reading alone was Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
It’s got to be really funny for me to laugh. To cry, all you have to do is involve an animal… or maybe a young child. I remember reading Where the Red Fern Grows as a child and bawling my eyes out.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Social media, my blog and my family holiday letter
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t have much time, but I like Grey’s Anatomy, Walking Dead and Homeland
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Indian food, raspberry type of pink, pop music (whatever my kids are listening to works for me)
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?