Name: Christie Silvers
Where are you from:
Christie: Born and raised in Chatsworth, Georgia, a small town in northwest Georgia.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:
Christie: I’m a wife and mother first and foremost. I have three daughters ranging from 12 to 20 years old. It’s crazy to say that since they were just babies when I started writing professionally. My youngest was only 1. Eek! I live on several acres in north Georgia with dogs, cats, and chickens. We had pigs, but that was a hassle. Whew! Not only do I take care of my family, all the animals, and my writing, but we also have a rental house I manage. There is always an overabundance of projects going on or needing attention around here. It never ends, but I love it! Life would be boring without chaos.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Christie: Oh boy, I’ve had a lot going on in the last year. My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in September of 2015. We had several months of continuous treatments, transfusions, and hospital stays until she passed away in May of 2016. It took me a few months to get a handle on things again before I was finally able to get back into my writing. And here we are, the release date of my newest book, and the first in a new series, will be on March 7, 2017. Devastating Sorrow is a story about an immortal witch who’s simply tired of her long existence.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Christie: I started writing when I was a child. I had notebooks filled with stories, as well as all the school essays, stories, and written discussions. I was always top of my class in writing and even had classmates coming to me for help with their own projects. However, I didn’t start writing professionally until 2006. As for why, there never was a why. Writing is something I have to do. I have too many characters in my head vying for attention and the only way to quiet them is to write their stories. Yes, I know that sounds like I may need medical attention, but hey, I’m sure most writers do!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Christie: When I received the very first paycheck for a piece of my writing I knew that was it. I was hooked! That was the day I considered myself a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Christie: I’ve always enjoyed fiction, but especially stories with vampires, werewolves, and witches. At the time I was writing online content articles, and making a good living from it, but it wasn’t my passion. I wanted to do fiction. I disliked articles, but they made the money. One day I was talking to my husband about it and telling him about the book idea I had and he said, “Do it.” It was that simple to him. Just write my story. I could still write articles if I wanted to, but if I wanted to do fiction then I needed to jump right in and do it. So I slowly retreated from articles and focused more and more on my fiction. After the first book was published and the royalties started coming in I gave up content articles for good.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Christie: I really enjoy writing in first person. I know a lot of readers don’t like first person, but that’s my favorite. I like to read it and write it. I feel like you can really get into the character’s head if they are telling their own story. Also, that’s the way my character’s tell their stories to me, so I’m obliged to write it that way.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Christie: Devastating Sorrow went through about a dozen title changes during conception. It started out as “Untitled,” but I can’t work like that. I need my project to have an actual name, even if I do change it later. So over the course of several months the book went through numerous title changes until I got far enough into the story to realize it’s true title. Readers of this book will understand the title right away once they get into the pain of loss our character is dealing with.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Christie: I don’t really write my books with hidden messages. They’re pretty much come as you are stories. However, if I had to pick one thing it would have to be to love those you’re with when they’re with you. You never know when they’ll be lost to you forever.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Christie: Since I write fiction I don’t think anyone should go into one of my stories thinking I’ve lived forever or run with vampires and witches. Though I do think I’d like to meet a real vampire one of these days, I don’t actually hang with any at the moment. As for emotions, I do try to pull from things I’ve dealt with when writing about a character’s pain, happiness, or anger. We’ve all been in situations that bring out the emotions in us and my characters are no different. I also pull elements from locations I’ve been to, experiences I’ve had, and even people I’ve met. I think all writers do, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve been through the same trials our characters have. That’s the fun of fiction!
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Christie: I surround myself with other writers, some older and some younger, because they all inspire me. The older ones give me their advice and the younger ones look to me for advice. I enjoy both worlds. A lot of books influenced me when I was younger. Anne Rice was the first author who made me think I’d like to write fiction. Her books were the first ones I’d read that recognized the passion I felt for the fantasy/gothic/monster stories. No one else wrote about vampires the way she did. I’d never read vampire stories that beautified creatures of the night the way she did, and still does.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Christie: Oh gosh, I have so many favorites aside from Anne Rice. I also enjoy MaryJanice Davidson, her Betsy series makes me laugh. I like Charlaine Harris. All of her books are great, but I started with the Sookie Stackhouse series. I also read all of Gerry Bartlett’s books. You might see a particular sharp-toothed theme here. The odd man out would have to be Jasper Fforde and his Thursday Next series. There aren’t any vampires in that one, but I like his twist on nursery rhymes. A few newer authors would be Robin Renee Ray, Cameron Jace, RaeAnne Hadley, Amanda Kimberly… gosh, there are so many.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Christie: Hm, besides family… Fellow writers have always been a big support. It’s such a large community that you can’t help but support each other. We’re all in this together! My very own fans would have to be the largest group of supporters I have. I get emails and messages all the time from my readers. They read my newsletters, Facebook posts, blog entries, and of course my books. I love hearing from them. There have been times when I didn’t feel like I was making it in this business, a moment when a nasty review really hit me hard, times when I considered giving it all up and getting an outside job, but then I’d find a message from someone who had just read one of my books and loved it. Those are the moments when I realize I really am doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Christie: I see writing as my lifelong love. Yes, I try to treat it as a career, but even when I have family emergencies and can’t work for a few days my writing is always there waiting for me when I return. I don’t try to crank out a dozen books a year in order to make money hand over fist, but I do set my work hours each day and attempt to stick to a schedule in order to accomplish my goals. As my children have aged I’ve found more writing time and I anticipate even more once all my girls are grown. No more school drop-offs and pick-ups means more work time for me. And it really is something special when you actually look forward to more work time.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Christie: Well, my current book is still in the editing stages so if anything needs to be changed it will be. For my books already on the market, no. The stories come about the way they want to come about, so once I proclaim it’s done and it’s on the market there’s nothing else to do. You could edit a book to death and then there’s nothing left of substance. You’ve cut out everything that makes it uniquely yours. At some point you have to just let it go and move on to the next project. Each book has to stand on its own, and you, as the author, have to let it do what it’s going to do. Kind of like watching your grown kids go out into the world (of which I’m also doing at the moment) and create their own adventures. Sometimes you want to yank them back into safety, but you have to take a deep breath and move on.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Christie: I don’t remember, it’s just always been there. My mother told me I was writing/drawing stories at the age of five. A few years ago she gave me my first “book” made of construction paper, illustrated with crayons, and bound with yarn. I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say I’ve been obsessed with books and writing since I knew what they were.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Christie: Here’s the description for Devastating Sorrow, book 1 in the Penny Montague series:
Witch and ex-military, Penny Montague is sick of her immortal life. Working as a phone sex operator to occupy her time and keep in touch with her humanity, she spends her days trying to find a way to end her long, lonely existence and her nights pretending to care about men with mommy issues, strange fantasies, and twisted imaginations.
Life wasn’t always this bad though. When Penny’s ninety-four year old son, Charlie, dies in her arms the crushing reality of her long life truly hits her. What else is there to live for without her son? She’s ready to give it all up, and has tried multiple times, when her brother, Byron, shows up on her doorstep, trouble on his tail as always. It wasn’t until armed guards burst into her home, drag her from her bed, and throw them both into the dungeons of Midnight Manor that Penny realizes this is much worse than Byron’s normal scheming.
Midnight Manor is the control center of all immortals, run by an elite group called The Council. Nothing happens in the world without Midnight Manor having their fingers in the pot. They raise and educate immortal children from an early age and place them throughout the world in positions beneficial to their causes, both present and future. There isn’t anything that happens, be it war, arms trades, or scientific achievement, that Midnight Manor doesn’t influence.
Penny retired from the Midnight Manor military nearly a century before, but now, in order to save her brother from being tortured for the rest of his immortal life because he slept with the wrong man’s wife, The Council gives Penny the choice to hunt down and return a runaway scientist or risk a fate worse than death and join her brother in the torture chambers for eternity.
Penny, with the help of a few people from her past, decides to at least attempt the retrieval. After all, according to The Council, the scientist is a danger to all immortals and his research must be returned. Tracking was her specialty during her time in the service. This should be an easy in and out kind of mission with only a couple of days of work involved. Right?
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Christie: Writing! Haha! In this day of constant distractions if I don’t schedule my writing time I don’t get as much done each day as I’d like. My kids don’t seem to understand that when Mom is writing don’t interrupt. They will want to have a full on conversation about some of the craziest stuff right when I’m getting into a good part. Kind of like someone interrupting you as you’re reading a good part. You don’t want to pull away from the book, but they just. Won’t. Stop. Talking! My phone rings more when I’m working; there are more package deliveries while I’m working; and the dogs need to be walked more while I’m working. I’ve had to learn not to work when the kids are home, turn off my phone’s ringer when I’m working, and I’m even looking into installing a doggie door for my four-legged brats. Even moms and writers learn as we go along.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Christie: I don’t have to travel much in regards to my books. I do love traveling though and will use places I’ve been in my books. Over the years I’ve traveled for conventions and book fairs, but those weren’t a “have to” case.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Christie: For my Liz Baker series I had a fabulous cover designer name Kelly Shorten. She’s amazing and I hope to use her for future Liz books. For this first book in the Penny Montague series I used a new (to me) cover designer by the name of Desiree DeOrto, and that girl has the talent! Both ladies are very easy to work with and have never disappointed me with how fast they can conceive my ideas.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Christie: I think, for me, the hardest part of writing any of my books is starting it. I write a lot of notes, research items of interest, and brainstorm, but putting that first sentence on a blank page is like pulling teeth. And it will always be changed during editing, so I don’t know why it’s so hard. Maybe it’s the blank page aspect of it that throws me.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Christie: I learned that I could take a year off and still pick up right where I left off. The stories don’t stop trying to get you to write them just because you don’t have the time to sit and do it. During my mom’s sickness, treatment, and passing I didn’t write. I had more important things to take care of than work. I’ll never regret choosing to spend those last months with my mother.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Christie: Depends on which character we’re talking about. I think Kat Dennings would be a great Liz Baker. She certainly has the sarcasm and cattiness down. But for Penny Montague maybe Scarlett Johannson.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Christie: Listen to your characters. They have a story to tell and they’ve chosen you to tell it. No one can tell your characters’ story better than you. Also, anything can be fixed in editing. Don’t worry about how bad the rough draft looks because that should never be your finished product.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Christie: I love you all! I have the best readers around. I have readers who make it a point to see me any time I’m in even remotely close to their town. I have readers who share my work with everyone they meet. I have readers who cared enough to send me love when I’m having a hard time. Some of my readers have been around so long they’re family now. I love each and every one of you.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Christie: I’m currently reading Night Life by Caitlin Kittredge
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Christie: Oh gosh, the first one I remember reading was one of those Dick & Jane books in like the first or second grade. I remember everyone having to read aloud to the whole class and I was a shy child. My face would turn beet red and the heat would crawl up my neck as I stumbled over just enough words for my turn to be over and the next kid could endure the torment. Those books certainly weren’t read for pleasure.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Christie: There’s a lot that makes me laugh. I have a crass sense of humor though. Some people most definitely wouldn’t laugh at a lot I find funny. My husband makes me laugh regularly. Sometimes my kids will say something that hits my funny bone. When my sister or best friend are with me it’s nothing but a big laugh-fest. As for crying, sometimes my own stories make me cry. Sometimes I cry when my kids are hurting. My husband has also made me cry. You don’t get through 23 years together without a few tears here and there. Losing family members makes me cry, though not usually publicly. Sad movies, sad books, frustration, disappointment. I guess you could say all the normal stuff makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Christie: I’d like to meet a lot of people. I can’t really narrow it down. Any of the authors I mentioned above would make for a great time.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Christie: Wife, Mother, Author for obvious reasons. Haha! Actually, I really don’t care what’s on it. I won’t be around to read it.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Christie: Reading, cooking, DIYing, I’m really into my new planner. I never knew people put so much time into making their planners pretty until I got this one and saw all the groups of people doing it. I’m simplistic with my highlighter color coding compared to everyone else.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
TV: Timeless, The Travelers, OA, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Beyond, and many more.
Movies: Marvel movies (who doesn’t like all the shirtless superheros?), Underworld, Resident Evil, and a lot of the upcoming releases.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Foods: Pizza, Chinese, Seafood
Colors: Purple and Blue
Music: Pop, Rap, Hip-Hop. Some of the music I listen to is pretty raunchy. That stuff is for listening to without kids present.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Christie: I’m doing exactly what I always wanted to do. Anything else would have just been a job, not something I would have liked.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
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