KFF really enjoyed our Q&A with Christine Brae. Her all-new contemporary romance, EIGHT GOODBYES is now available!
Christine, thank you so much for joining us in our Q&A.
Hi there, KFF! Thank you for having me.
More than welcome, Christine. It’ll be a pleasure finding out what makes you tick.
- As a career woman, we’re sure your profession takes up most of your day. How do you find the time to research, develop the plot, the characters and then write?
Lately, I’ve been finding it tougher and tougher to find the time to do everything. But I love writing so much, that I do it as often as time allows me. Research and plot development are part and parcel of my writing process, so when I’m not writing, I’m doing one or the other.
- Any special time of the day you prefer writing?
I have such a crazy schedule, so I take every opportunity that I can to write – no set time is necessary for my thoughts to flow freely. Day or night, I can get in the zone pretty quickly!
- Who inspired you to take pen to paper!
In 2012, I attended the first author signing in Chicago. The authors in that signing inspired me to share my words with the world. Their support gave me the confidence to self publish my first book. They shared their knowledge and their advice with me. Everything I know now, I learned from them.
- Wow, it’s interesting to hear that it wasn’t just one person who encouraged you, but authors at a book signing event! And how about your family? Do they support your writing and how do they feel about having a bestselling author at home?
Oh yes! There is no way I could have managed this really crazy life if I didn’t have my family by my side. They’ve been so patient with me, so understanding of the fact that I’ve had to give up time with them to live my dreams and accomplish my goals.
My children see the example of collaboration in our household. I also hope that my husband and I have been good role models to them in terms of strong work ethics and the drive to do it all and have it all.
As far as having a bestselling author at home, I think my family sees me as a successful career woman who writes on the side. They have watched me progress in my career through all the sacrifices we have made and to them, I am Christine the career woman rather than Christine the author.
- Did publishing your first book, The Light of the Wound change your writing technique!
Ha! Yes. Actually, it was after publishing my first and second books that I changed my writing technique. I didn’t want to write too much sex anymore. I didn’t want to ride that wave.
That’s understandable, Christine. Even though sex sells, it does seem that readers want a lot more than just hot steamy scenes these days.
- What is the best advice you’ve received as a writer, or what advice would you give an aspiring author?
My friend, Tarryn Fisher once said to me – “art is not like business. It’s not a negotiation. It takes time and sometimes, the results don’t work in your favor.” I’ve taken that advice to heart and it has helped me to become more patient about the time it takes me to finish a book. In my other life, I live by efficiency and timelines. Writing is the exact opposite of the way my brain is wired.
My advice to aspiring authors has always been to Own your Words and to never give up. It’s a lonely, tedious journey but it saved my sanity and my soul.
- It must be a tad nerve-racking for any author, leading up to the release of new novels. How do you cope?
Oh my gosh, YES! The period between the time you are promoting an upcoming release until the actual release day is absolutely nerve-wracking! There are so many things that happen in between. I don’t have the personality to ask for help or promote myself. So I find myself feeling really self-conscious about all the posts I make!
Thank goodness I’m now with a wonderful publisher and a publicist who handle all that for me. Which is actually worse in some ways, because now, I just sit and do what I’m told and wring my hands while waiting.
- Eight Goodbyes is your first traditionally published novel. How do you feel about that?
I am so grateful! In This Life was picked up by a publisher after I self published – so they call that a “back end” acquisition. Eight Goodbyes was the first book that underwent the entire publishing process – which was so different and so eye-opening! The amount of edits and back and forth and meticulous planning teaches you a different discipline.
- The previous question leads up to this one. Indie self-publishing or traditional publishing?
Traditional. As I mentioned before, I am so grateful for the opportunity that I received.
- Marketing your books. What is the most important source you use to get the word out?
I use all the social media channels to tweet, post and text about the new book. I have a group of adorable, loving, amazing women called the Butterflies who read and help promote my books. They are more than that. They are actually my strong support system. We do that for each other, I think.
- After the last question, we can’t help but ask you this one. How important are book bloggers in the book world?
Book bloggers are kingmakers. If they loved your book, they have the ability to catapult you to the bestseller list. I’ve seen this happen many times with my author friends. Unfortunately, readers are human beings and human beings are subjective about the books they read. Some bloggers will love your book and some won’t. But the importance of a review and a great review by a blogger will never change.
- Do you always use the same beta readers and was Eight Goodbyes beta read?
I don’t have beta readers. I tried it with my first two books and had such a tough time incorporating all the comments!
Only my editor, Jim Thomas sees my books. We normally have 3 passes, so by the time I’m done with Jim and his comments (he is very hard to please so when he tells me he loves my books, I die) I feel confident about my story. And then I send them to a few close friends once I’m done.
- How long does it take you to write a book and like many authors who have a daily word count, do you pace yourself or go with the flow?
The time it takes for me to write a book varies. When I first started writing, I was cranking out books every six months or so. I’ve slowed down considerably, given my learnings from those publications. It takes me over a year now to release a book. There are weeks, even months, when I don’t write. I blog, write notes, write words – everyday. But my books can go for a time untouched. There is no pacing. I just go.
But when I am writing, I do a minimum of 1000 words in every session.
- Million dollar question; do you read the reviews on Goodreads or Amazon?
Nope. Especially once a book is released.
- We’d love to know what’s on your TBR!
Like yours, it’s insane! Too many to list out. I choose books almost weekly. And then they get pushed to the bottom of the line when my friends release books that I want to read!
- What book has influenced you more in your life?
Great love stories that I’ve read by both indie and traditional authors definitely make me think, make me find perspective and make me feel. But I don’t think any book has influenced my life.
- Favourite authors. Love to know who they are, lol!
Too many to name. A majority are my friends. I won’t list them because if I miss one, it would be unintentional but hurtful anyway.
- Have any of them influenced your writing?
To a certain extent, yes. I will admit, I look at the writing of the successful ones and wished I was just like them. But you can’t change your writing style, I don’t think. How can you when your words are your essence?
- Have you ever based your characters on real life people?
All the time! My ideas for books come from people and experiences. I’ll hear a phrase, see something as I walk to work or take a personal experience (most of the time) and built events around it.
- Eight Goodbyes’ storyline is without a doubt, original and gave all of us a strong déjà vu feeling, seeing as we’ve travelled a lot. Have you visited all the countries where Simon followed Tessa?
Yes I have, except for Greece. I planned to go there last year, but too many things were going on at work, I had to cancel the trip.
- How much of you and/or your personal experiences influence your characters’ traits and plot development?
All of them. All my books were written to convey my feelings and emotions during certain phases in my life. My entrance into adulthood, my midlife crisis, the acceptance of things in my life as they were. Eight Goodbyes is centered around something that happened to me. I used that in the book and then embellished it into a story. Many people get annoyed by my characters – the thing is, they are in many aspects, parts of me.
My conclusion is I may be really hard to live with and super irritating. I’m brave enough to admit that I’ve jumped into situations while using only my heart. But I don’t regret a single thing. It makes me, me.
- Writer’s block! Has it happened to you and if so, what do you do to remedy it?
I definitely have this all the time! But my life is soooo busy, that I have other things to do aside from writing. So, I take a step back, focus on other things and when the words come back, I put them on paper. Because this is more of a side hustle (that doesn’t really make a hustle, LOL), I’m not rushed. The only time I place deadlines on myself is when I need to get it to the editor and to the publisher after I’ve written the entire story.
- The KFF team are total book cover snobs and would love to know if you had an idea for the cover of Eight Goodbyes, or did you rely on the book cover designer’s suggestions!
No, I had the idea and the concept and I asked my cover creator, Sarah, to put it all together for me. I chose Stuart because he looked exactly like Simon and I used my passport pages for the background in the cover. I had specific ideas about what I wanted to convey. In many ways, this was Simon’s book not Tessa’s.
- It’s funny you mentioned that because we too felt it was more Simon’s story. And as for Stu, in our minds eye he has his mirror image. So, Christine, what do you do to unwind after writing?
Lay on the couch with the family and watch TV, go for a run or get on a horse.
- Before we go, we’d love to know if there’s a new project on the horizon.
YES! And thank you for asking. I am in second draft stages for my next book, The Year I Left, which is also being published in the US and Asia in August of 2019. I think you’ll love this one – it’s unconventional and pretty gut wrenching. That’s all I’ll say about this.
What a tease you are! We can’t thank you enough for taking time out to answer our questions, Christine. And ladies; we can’t recommend reading Eight Goodbyes enough but a bit of advice, if you get teary-eyed like us, you’re going to need a man-sized hanky or three at hand!
Thank you so much, KFF, for having me over for this interview! I really enjoyed the questions. Most of all, I so appreciate the time you took to read my book and to promote it on your blog.
Welcome, Christine 💜
One universe, nine planets, 204 countries, 809 islands and 7 seas, and I had the privilege of meeting you.” –Unknown
When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.
Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.
Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined.
To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.
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© 2018 Christine Brae
All rights reserved.
Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Her second book, His Wounded Light was released in December, 2013.
Christine’s third book, Insipid, is a standalone that was released in June, 2014, and her fourth book, In This Life, released in January 2016.
When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.
Christine is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin Literary Management.
This website post was brought to you by Sharon Thérèse at
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