Friday, July 30, 2010

Dishing it up with Christine Verstraete!

Today, I welcome author and short story writer Christine Verstraete who enjoys writing mysteries, fiction and short fiction.

Besides her children's book, Searching for a Starry Night, Christine has had short fiction published in various anthologies including Timeshares and the upcoming Steampunk'd from DAW Books, plus in Dragons Composed and The Bitter End: Nautical Tales of Terror. Her latest spooky stories in ebook form, include "Motherly Love" and "The Killer Valentine Ball" (coming in Oct.)

Hi Jane, thanks for letting me stop by your blog to talk about about Searching For A Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery and my other projects.

JET: In looking at your website , it looks as if you’ve transitioned between horror and children’s books. What made you change genres?

CV:  Well, I haven't really changed. I guess I'm a writing chameleon. I've always been drawn to horror so I've been writing short horror stories and ebooks for a while.

One of my favorite stories, "Motherly Love," is now up at Smashwords. The latest ebook, "The Killer Valentine Ball," comes out in October. (Links can be found at my website's ebooks page.)

I guess I like to write what I like to read. I read a lot of horror, mystery and I enjoy reading kid's books.

JET:What genre is your favorite and why?

CV: Being a longtime horror fan, I love Stephen King, of course. Also, Dean Koontz and whoever can make me jump out of my chair when I'm reading gets my vote.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

CV: Probably myself. :?). Being a journalist it took me a while initially to make the transition from nonfiction to fiction. It just didn't "click" at first. I talk about that more in one of the earlier blog stops.

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

CV: It would have to be getting my first short story accepted and published. That was in Futures Mysterious Anthology, run by Babs Lakey. The magazine is defunct and now coming out sporadically as an anthology. Then it may be writing Searching For A Starry Night, knowing I had a full book completed, and which has just been released on Kindle. It'll be scheduled for ebook release in other formats also.

JET:When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

CV: I knew in high school I wanted to write. I was a big "bookworm" growing up, so I always had a connection with words. The best indication of my future may be the baby photo on my website, showing me "reading" a newspaper with a pencil behind my ear. Pretty prophetic.

JET: Any advice for the novices out there?

CV: Keep at it. Numerous times I've come thisclose to giving up. But giving up gets you nowhere. Besides, I can't seem to stop writing anyway.

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick 10. . . starting with Paper or Plastic?

CV: Fun, I love goofy quizzes. Sorry, I'm bad: plastic (to pick up after the dog.) But I do recycle religiously.

JET: Steak or Tofu?

CV: Yuck, neither. I prefer fish or turkey, but I do like alfalfa sprouts sometimes.

JET:Beach or Mountains?

CV: Beach, probably, since I'm closer to Lake Michigan and I don't live near any mountains.

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

CV: I don't like twangy country, but there're some good songs I like now (Lady Antebellum is good—and country has the cutest singers!) But I like rock and pop, too.

JET:Classics or Modern?

CV: Fiction? I have some old favorites I like to reread like Grapes of Wrath, Gone with the Wind and Dracula, but I'm hooked on current cozy mysteries.

JET: Vamps or Wolves?

CV: Definitely vamps (older style), though you can't beat Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolfman.

JET: Zombies or Demons?

CV: Zombies crack me up. I loved the Zombieland movie. I'm working on my own take on zombies for a YA book.

JET: Horror or Comedy?

CV: Both.

JET: Salty or Sweet?

CV: Sweet tooth, definitely.

JET: Coffee or Tea?

CV: Total tea drinker.

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?

CV: I've started a YA zombie story which is pretty fun to write. I also have an adult mystery set in a diner that I'm shopping around, and I continue to write nonfiction.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Christine Verstraete and her work at the following places:
* Website

* Blog

* eBooks page

* Searching For A Starry Night on Kindle,

**CONTEST: Anyone commenting on any of the blog stops on the tour can win:
* One person who comments on any of the blog tour stops will win a free Kindle copy of Searching for a Starry Night. (You can download Kindle for PC free here.)

* One person will also win a miniaturized dollhouse collector's edition of the first chapter from the first print edition, made by miniaturist LeeAnn Borgia. See myblog for links and photo.

** To celebrate the revised Searching for a Starry Night, one person will win a copy of the new print version when it is available.

Blog Tour Schedule:
Thurs, 7/22: Acme Authors Link - Real vs. Fictional Friends
Mon, 7/26: Morgan Mandel's Double M blog = Dogs and Such
Tues, 7/27: Killer Hobbies with Camille Minichino - Crafts and Writing, what comes first?
Weds, 7/28: Marian Allen's blog

- Talking about Writing
Thurs, 7/29: Helen Ginger, Straight from Hel - Getting Kindleized
Fri, 7/30: J.E. Taylor's blog – Writer's Quiz and Other Stuff
Mon, 8/2: Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers - craft how to with Anastasia Pollack – Writing and Crafts: Make Easy Miniature Cloth Decorations
Tues, 8/3: L. Diane Wolfe, "Spunk on a Stick" – Making the Switch from Nonfiction to Fiction


Chris V. said...

Jane thanks for hosting me and for the fun questions!

Marian Allen said...

For some reason, kids LOVE zombies! My five-year-old grandson "hid" behind a chair the other day and rose up moaning "BWAINS..." and cracked up when I pretended to scream. What IS it with zombies? Quite frankly, they're not the best conversationalists in the world.

I'm more into dachshunds. :)

Good luck with all your projects!


chris v said...

Hi marian, haa! Dachshunds are so cute!

Zombies, I guess the "dumb" factor is just funny. Easy to make jokes with? I don't know... (Zombieland was funny!)

Moonsanity said...

It's so neat to see someone who's writing is eclectic as far as what you write. I thought I was weird--I've written non fiction forever and now I am trying paranormal romance BUT I have this urge to write YA and kid's books too. I'm heading over to your website to check out your ebooks:)

Chris V said...

Hi Moonsanity, thanks for stopping by. Well I still write nonfiction too, so have to wear many hats. haa! Hope you find something that interests you at my site, thanks!

JETaylor said...

Chris - thank you very much for swinging by my blog on your blog tour!

Next week is the first Friday of the month and I'll be bringing some of my writer bretherens titles front and center and then the week after that - I've got John Everson on tap for an interview! Thanks all!

chris v said...

Thanks again Jane, it was fun; I'll check back and see what you've got going.