Poe, Christine

Christine currently resides in Virginia with her husband, a large multi-generational family, lots of Blue Ridge Mountain wildlife, several feline friends, and a Carolina Dog. She finds love stories in the world around her, enjoys traveling to new places and visiting historical sites, and enjoys a quiet beach. She writes contemporary romance, ghost, time-travel, and romantic suspense.

Home page = http://www.christinepoe.com/

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Interview of Christine Poe
Diana Kirk
Tell me something about your newest release, how did you get the idea for this book, and how long did it take to write?

 Whisper Of A Tryst combines several of my favorite elements. I love the Old West, Victorian homes, the beautiful ocean, ghost stories, and the very thought of time travel. I've loved Scotland since I was a teenager and visited there with my mother. When I read Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, the story perked my interest and it was all I could do not to spend every waking moment writing. My hero came to life in my head and his story simply had to be told. It took nearly a year to write Whisper with all the research I had to do.

Where do you live and how long have you been writing?

I grew up in California, but I now reside in Virginia. I started writing when I was a young girl. It always soothed me to express myself with words and I entertained most of my friends through high school with my romantic girlish romps, much to my teachers' chagrin! :)

Is this your first published novel? If not, tell us something about your other books.

Whisper is my first published book, though I have quite a few manuscripts completed. I write in several genres, whatever strikes my fancy at the time. I love to read and writing is my favorite pastime.

Why did you decide to submit to Wings ePress?

I admire Wings' incredible staff of editors. BJ, Lorraine, and Pat have been wonderful to work with, and I have to admit I did know them a short while before the creation of Wings ePress. :)

Do you have any other books in the works, yet? If so, please tell us something about them?

Wings has also purchased a romantic comedy, Heroes and Hunks to be released September 2002. My heroine is a spunky, hard-working newspaper woman trying to save her father's newspaper. Her idea for a magazine featuring unattached men requires the need of a professional photographer. In walks the hero, an ex-rodeo rider who now works for the PRCA newsletter. He is everything she wants for her magazine, but not what she wants for her heart. Dumped at the altar by a cowboy, she knows it is a mistake to hire him, but hire him she must because time is running out...

Have you run into any negatives going the epublished route vs. traditional publishing?

So far my experience with ePublishing has been great. I have submitted to the New York editors in the past with great responses, but never an offer to buy my books. Only one NY editor ever took the time that this great staff of editors takes with each one of us, and she left NY several years ago.

Do you write a synopsis or are you a seat of the pants writer? Tell us how you prepare for a novel?

I love the first question! I get ideas that just pop into my head and sometimes the whole story will rush out before I can stop it. Other times, I jot down the idea for later reference. I don't write a synopsis in the true form until my tale is told, because it changes so much. My characters do take on a life of their own and they become so real I find myself talking about them to my family and friends as though they exist.
To prepare for a novel I would love to have peace and quiet and a room all to myself, but that is rare is my large and very active household. I grab time when I can, and I sometimes like to listen to classical music (with Whisper I listened to Celtic music and bagpipes!). If research is required I order and check out a ton of books for research and write down/or copy relevant info as needed.

Do your characters tend to take control of your writing and do their own thing or do they mind you as you are writing the story?

All three of the above! As mentioned before, James was as real to me as a family member. Anna was sometimes a carbon copy of myself. My characters breathe life into my stories and the magic happens because they are so real.

Tell me what is the most exciting thing that has happened to you in your life to date?

Keeping with the writing theme, getting published has to be the most exciting thing to happen to date. Writing a book is like being pregnant. A writer nourishes their work from the day of conception, and each passing moment until completion is a tiny miracle in creation. When the big day comes, and the book is released to millions of readers, it's like holding that newborn in your arms for the very first time. You can't believe you did it.

What are your long-term goals as a writer?

To continue to write and entertain as long as I can. I feel God gave me a gift, the talent to create, and if I can make someone smile by reading my work, then I've done something special that I can be proud of accomplishing.

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Interview Christine Poe
William J. Calabrese

You describe your latest novel, Heroes and Hunks, as a romantic comedy. Can you tell us a little about the book and its characters?

Sure! Twyla Twitt is desperate. She has to save the family newspaper her deceased father worked so hard to create. All previous attempts have failed and she has a short deadline. Her newest scheme will work, if she can find a first class photographer to get her new women’s magazine about men off to a grand debut. Having been dumped at the altar by a lousy cowboy in the past, Twyla is disturbed that the only person to apply for the job is a down-on-his-luck cowboy. He’s handsome, he’s sexy and he could fit anywhere in her new magazine as a fantastic hunk of masculinity. But even though her sensual side is attracted to him, her heart says—whoa!

Brad is an ex-rodeo rider working as a professional photographer. He’ll do just about anything to buy back his grandfather’s ranch. When his lawyer brother asks him to spy on a certain young lady for one of his clients, Brad accepts. He can use the money and using his photography skills is enjoyable, until he meets Twyla. She’s nothing like his brother said she was and worse yet, she’s everything desirable in a female. She takes control of his life like a little general out to conquer the world. One thing for sure...she’s conquered his heart and this will be the roughest ride of his career.

Sparks fly when Twyla meets Brad. Regardless of her reaction to him, she hires him; she has to or lose an important bet with her sister. On the road in his pickup truck, they argue over everything from road directions to photography, while denying the gravitational pull toward each other. As Twyla’s deadline approaches, fate intervenes and a missing roll of film causes a blow up between them. Then Brad discovers his brother’s little secret...

When you begin a book, what comes first, the situation or the main character? Do you have to have an idea of how the story will end in order to begin it?

Sometimes both. Lots of times, I can see someone who inspires a character; other times, a situation will arise in the family, newspaper or magazine, and the old “what if” tickles my imagination. Most times, the beginning of a story pops into my mind and won’t leave me alone until I jot it down. I have tons of beginnings, but when the story is right it takes off on its own. I never write an outline until the book is done, then I do a synopsis.

Do you write through from start to finish or do you jump around from scene to scene?

I jump around from story to story when I get bored, but never from scene to scene within a story. Hence, my writing covers many different genres. Just like my reading tastes, I like variety and when I get bored with one genre I skip to another. Over all, I love romantic comedies and time travels. I also like sweet ghost stories, the kind that leaves you with a smile. But, occasionally, I like a good romantic suspense. Ah, variety...the spice of life!

I understand that you are also a poet. Do you find that your poetry influences your prose in any way?

I have been accused of writing too flowery! I love words and used to read the dictionary just for fun. I also love poetry in any form. My best poems were written when I was very emotional, good or bad. So, when I am really into writing a story, my emotions get caught up and sometimes my love of words comes out. But I try to stress simplicity for those who don’t enjoy the more complicated words and their meanings...like my husband...*giggle*.

I also understand that you write children’s stories. Do you find it is easier writing for children, or harder?

I haven’t written a children’s story for years, but then all my children are grown now. I wrote mostly to entertain my little sister, my nieces and nephews, or later my own children. It isn’t hard to write children’s stories, if you really love children and relate to their likes and dislikes, their fears and moods, and always keep in mind the age you are targeting so they can comprehend the tale. I especially liked writing children’s stories with morals. If I could have found a good illustrator to work with back then, I would be published in children’s books too!

You have another book scheduled for publication by Wings ePress in February 2003. Tell us a bit about that one.

Quixotic Fantasy is a heartwarming story of two people finding love...the second time around. Etta Jones is a widow with three teenagers to raise and a busy career as a romance writer. But lately, her writing is lacking that certain “sparkle.” Talent isn’t the only thing missing in her life and she knows it, but her stubborn heart refuses to admit she needs a man. She has all the heroes she could ever want in her books.

Her best friend, Patty, is a matchmaker of the worst kind. She’s successful at persuasion and good at matching personalities. When approached by a handsome stranger, who wants to meet Etta, Patty cannot resist and promptly sets the scene. After all, Etta should have a man to help raise her two sons and watch over her pretty young daughter, not to mention Etta’s personal needs.

Colt Ryder is a country music star whose love life went down the tubes when his wife divorced him for a younger man. He searches his soul for the meaning of love and decides to use Cervantes character, Don Quixote, as an example of the true romantic male. A chance reading of one of Etta’s books sets him on a quest, and this time he will be successful in conquering the windmills of love.

Looking beyond February what can we expect to see next from the word processor of Christine Poe?

Right now, I’m working on a romantic suspense; a romantic comedy and another time travel. Who knows which one will be done first? Or maybe I’ll finish the ghost story that begs to be told about a four hundred year old ghost seeking revenge for his untimely death and luring a modern day woman into solving the mystery he left behind, then falling in love with her and sealing both their fates. One thing is for sure...I will never stop writing!

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Interview Christine Poe
Roberta Olsen Major

 Your first release for Wings was a paranormal time travel. Your second was a romantic comedy. Does this third release--Quixotic Fantasy--have any of those elements in it, or are you branching off into another new direction?

Quixotic Fantasy is written with an older hero and heroine and yes, there’s a bit of humor, as well as a taste of real life and a touch of fantasy. I like to write in all the genres I like to read, which is varied depending on my mood.

In twelve words or less, what is the theme of Quixotic Fantasy?

Falling in love for the first time--the second time around. :)

Did you write any part of yourself into your heroine and/or hero?

That’s a good question. I don’t see myself in my characters, although I do use some of my personal experiences. But my husband says he can see me in a character from one of the three books and I won’t tell which one! LOL!

Titles can be a real challenge. How did you dream up the title for Quixotic Fantasy?

The idea came from reading Miguel de Cervantes’ book Don Quixote. What if a hero wanted to woo his lady fair in such wild and romantic ways? What if she had fantasized about him for many years as well? Then they meet in a not so accidental way.

Did you write this one with background music or was it in moments of snatched silence?

Since Quixotic Fantasy’s hero is a country/western singer, I listened to a lot of country music while preparing to write Colt and Etta’s story, but I have to listen to instrumental music when I write, no voices or I get distracted singing along! :)

Some writers “cast” their leads with famous people as they write. Do you ever do this and, if so, who would play your hero and heroine this time around?

Oh, that’s easy, Colt bears a slight resemblance to country/western singer Chris LeDoux and good old George Strait, but his personality is purely fictitious. Etta is a mature Meg Ryan with three teenagers and a quirky best friend.

What is your favorite part of the writing process: getting a flash of inspiration for a new project, tackling a first draft, naming the characters, holding the finished product in your hand? Or something else entirely?

My favorite part of writing is creating the story and allowing the characters to come to life in my head. Names, places, themes just pop into place and the story takes off on its own. I really don’t like the editing and revisions, that takes the fun out of telling the tale. But then again, I do like the polished product, so it’s worth it.

What are you working on now? Anything new coming up after Quixotic Fantasy?

I’m actually working on three different manuscripts. One is another romantic comedy, one is a cowboy contemporary and I really want to polish up my romantic suspense. If only I get the time...