Christina Li, BA, MA, is a wife and mother of five. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, art, music, and a great cup of coffee. She and her family live in the northwest suburbs of Chicago where they serve as part of the ministerial staff of the Life Church of Des Plaines. She has always loved romance. Of course it has to have a happy ending!
What inspires you to write?
Everything! I feel like I was created to write. It’s a calling, a joy, and a challenge. I can’t imagine not writing. Romantic Suspense is my favorite genre, but the comedy creeps in. I think it’s because my life tends to be a little crazy (Our fifth child was born in our bathroom!). My husband is an amazing person and has been a joy to work with (He helps with editing). He’s one of the most romantic men I know, also one of the funniest! Two of my children are also published authors. At a recent 4th of July fireworks display, my oldest daughter and I both thought how the darkness and the noise would be great for a murder mystery!
Tell us about your writing process.
I have ideas bouncing around in my brain for months. I’ll jot down an outline in a notebook and play with it for awhile. For my characters, I’ll have brief notes about them, likes, dislikes, goals, purpose, physical description, etc. I come up with a theme or a specific internal and external issue (trust, control versus faith, shame versus forgiveness, etc.) that must be resolved. Before I sit down to actually write, I’ll have a complete outline with specific scenes that go from one to the next to the next. There’s room for change, but certain scenes must happen, i.e. hook, intro characters, inciting incident (first pinch-point), midpoint, second pinch-point, climax, and resolution.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Sort of. I like to really get into their heads and let them tell their stories from their points of view. Each character has a different feel, a different reaction, from every other character. This is reflected in which point of view a particular scene is written.
What advice would you give other writers?
Read books on writing. There is a lot of terrific advice out there. Write! I’ve done NaNoWriMo two years in a row now and there is no better challenge than writing 50,000 words in 30 days. Allow yourself to be critiqued. Learn from your mistakes and keep writing. Get better. If something isn’t working, try something else. Read books in the genre you like and in other genres as well. Take the time to analyze a book you like, chapter by chapter. Pray!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I love the fact that it is so easy to publish independently. CreateSpace, Amazon Kindle, and Smashwords make it easy to publish. They are very friendly to writers and it’s a win/win. Because of the changing times, it’s not a bad idea to self publish, get your name out there, and build your own author platform. It’s a lot of work, but that’s what it takes. Ultimately, it’s all about the reader.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s exciting and changing quickly. New authors who choose the independent publishing route can’t just write. They have to become business men and women. To write a book and expect sales with no marketing isn’t going to happen. Authors need to learn how to design beautiful, engaging covers, format their books so they look professional on both eBook readers and in print form, edit to make a good book great, come up with blurbs that attract readers, and somehow get the word out to the world that their book exists. It’s not easy, but that’s the reality.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Inspirational Romance/Suspense/Comedy, HomeSchool Children’s Fiction, Non-Fiction/Self-Help
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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