Christine Elaine Black, born in Scotland, currently resides in Ontario, Canada.
Her favourite stories to write are romantic fiction, especially with an ancient Roman or Tudor theme, filled with heart-stopping heroes and page-turning situations to make you fall in love with the past again and again.
Maximus, book I in the Imperial Desire series.
Taurus, book II in the Imperial Desire series.
A Rose for Lancaster – Tudor Rose series.
(All books available in print: late 2013)
What inspires you to write?
My initial inspiration to write happened through my daughter’s love of literature. I wrote a few adventure stories for her benefit and decided to try my hand at writing some of the other stories hammering inside my head. A small press romance publisher picked up my Roman series giving me the confidence to branch into self publishing. It’s been a fantastic ride.
Tell us about your writing process.
An idea comes into my head in the form of two characters who want to be together but fate has a way of intervening and causing problems between them. I like to incorporate and underlying message, along the lines of choosing your path in life for the right reasons and not the wrong ones. The characters undergo a test of will and find inner strength before they resolve their issues. A great plot is vital, along with a bit of humour and lots of romance. I list physical and moral attributes pertaining to each character and a general outline of the story, i.e. time-period, conflict, setting, and an antagonist or two. After that I fly by the seat of my pants!! And then edit until I love it. :):) I use a computer for everything. I make a folder for each story to keep ‘ideas in progress’ organized.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
When I write free-form the characters often take a twist or turn in a direction I didn’t see coming. I start with ideas in my head (say about a conversation and its consequences) but before I know it the action or scene did not go where I initially planned. Another character takes over or has an emotion or an action I didn’t expect. Strange, but the outcome of the story is often a surprise to me. I daydream about the couple or the villain’s motive and sometimes an idea pops into my head that didn’t come when sitting at the keyboard. Before I fall asleep I think of my current characters in one of their situations and, again, they do unexpected things.
What advice would you give other writers?
My advice is not about the writing process but about connecting with other writers once you’ve started to share your writing. Connect with fellow writers as they supply a wealth of knowledge about the book industry from simple things like starting a blog to info about submitting to publishers. They are a very helpful bunch of people with tremendous resources. I follow the pay-it-forward motto and try to lend a hand to other authors wherever possible.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After sharing my work on a writers site and receiving feedback I submitted to a number of publishers, big and small. Then I gritted my teeth and waited. I chose a small press publisher because they are very friendly and easy to reach. When I submitted my first manuscript they gave me a few suggestions to tighten and refine the prose and invited me to resubmit my work. Bigger publishers just sent a ‘no thanks’ and you never know how close you may have come to publication.
After the small press published two of my works I heard some writers talking about self publishing and I investigated the notion of going that route. After gaining the confidence of positive feedback on my books it gave me the boost to try it on my own. I suggest new authors explore every option open to them and use informed decision making. It can take time but it’s worth it.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future of book publishing is a wide open door. Walk through and see where it takes you. The rules have changed because of online publishing and print-on-demand. I’ve read some amazing books and met wonderful people on my journey and it continues to be an exciting adventure. I look forward to meeting you!
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers, None of the above 🙂
What genres do you write?
Fiction, Romance, Historical, Medieval,
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print