Hello Carina Press blog readers! To celebrate the release of The Bewitching Tale of Stormy Gale, I (semi-regrettably) decided that, rather than blathering on about my (amazeballs, you should totally get it) new book, I’d do something different. I asked someone else to interview me. Not just anyone, because that would be tres boring.
They’d be all, “So, Christine, tell us, what made you want to become a writer?”
And I’d be all, “Wow, hard-hitting question there, Carole (because, let’s face it, there’s a pretty good chance that would be her name). Back when I was a child in New England, I really lov-”
And you’d be all, “Wow! This is so interes-” *head flops to desk* zzzzz…zzzzzz
Instead, I called in my best friend since birthdom, author Mike Wood, to do the interview so he could ask some hard-hitting questions and you could get to know the real me. He agreed, with the caveat that I would answer every question as written, no edits or tweaks allowed. I agreed. Here are the results (and a picture of us back in the day. I’m the cute one in the pink, Mikey is the one on the left that looks like a monkey):
MW: This is awesome. Seriously, I can’t believe you agreed to this. Were you drinking at the time? Okay, so Question #1: Remember that time you threw a padlock at my head when we were playing Happy Days because I wouldn’t call you Pinky Tuscadero?
CB: Uh, yes. I have a vague recollection of said event. What about it?
MW: Nothing. I just wanted to make sure the readers know the type of person they’re dealing with. Next question: How long was it after your best friend, Mike Wood, published HIS top-selling novel Alchemy that YOU decided to steal his limelight and write a book of your own?
CB: Probably that same day. I think I was like “Well, if this bozo can do it…”
MW: Whatever. Next question: “Mad Men” or “Good Wife?”
CB: Game of Thrones.
MW: As a child, you used to “borrow” your mom’s books and read the dirty parts. Since your books are MOSTLY dirty parts, have you thought about how you’d feel if your kids, or future grandkids, do the same with your stuff?
CB: I will take the liberty of rephrasing this question for you. First off, WE used to “borrow” my mom’s books and read the dirty parts. And I have 14-21 year old boys during the internet age. If they want dirty, my collection of romance novels is a SO MUCH better than what they’re going to get if they Google “butt cracks” (which, incidentally, happened). Second, keep in mind I write under two names. My Christine Bell books are much more adventure romance focused with not a whole lot of *bow chicka wow wow*. My Chloe Cole books are…a whole other story.
MW: Since your book features time travel, I feel obligated to ask: If you could visit any time period, what would it be, and why
CB: I would go back to the summer of 1984 and tell my younger self NOT to play doctor with you in my swimming pool.
MW: If you could only take one of the following with you to a desert island, would it be your husband or Popeye’s Chicken?
CB: The combo meal, like with a biscuit, mashed potatoes, gravy and a soda?
CB: I’ll have to get back to you on this one.
MW: Time travel stories, by their nature, tend to be formulaic, with even the best in the genre following similar paths. What makes yours stand out?
CB: The time travel aspect of this series is integral to the plot, for sure, but in my opinion, what makes the books truly unique is the characters. I’m a firm believer that a bang up plot can only take you so far. People have to be able to identify and connect with the characters. I strive to make mine 3-dimensional and give them qualities that people might see in themselves, and also to make them flawed. I want readers to invest in them, to root for them, mourn their losses, cheer their successes, wince at their awkwardness. After the first Stormy book came out a reader emailed to tell me that she wished Stormy was a real person, because she’d love to be friends and hang out with her. That was the best compliment ever because I feel the same way. Stormy is funny, sharp-tongued, loyal and stubborn. Some of my favorite characteristics in a person!
MW: Based on the fact that you once had breast reduction surgery to win a weight loss contest, I assume you must be quite competitive, and am wondering which author you have set your sights on as someone you would like to outsell or out-write.
CB: I had a breast reduction because my back was killing me, dragging those boulders around. The fact that my surgery coincided nicely with our bet was naught more than a happy coincidence, so stop being such a baby. Besides, I would’ve won regardless. The lure of seeing you do the Truffle Shuffle on film was far more appetizing than anything I could’ve eaten. As for authors I would like to outsell or outwrite? I think Nora Roberts is likely getting sick of selling all those dang books. Probably she wants a break or something. I’d be more than happy to step in and toe the line for her.
MW: Next question: have you been saving our correspondence, as I think I accidentally deleted half of your answers?
CB: Yes. In fact, I save all of our correspondence. All of it. Dating as far back as 1981, when you made me that mix tape with “Living Inside Myself” by Gino Vanelli on it along with that note that said “Do you like me? Check yes, no, or ew gross.”
MW: How many questions do we need? I’m getting sick of you.
CB: We’re good I think, unless you have one more.
MW: Nah, I’m done with you.
You heard him, folks. That concludes our interview. So tell me, are any of you lucky enough to have a friend like Mike? The kind that you can count on for sarcasm AND sympathy? The kind that will give you the truth, even when it hurts? Someone who would not only help you hide the bodies, but would also help you hide the heads if need be? Tell me about them, I’d love to hear. And if you want to buy a copy of The Bewitching Tale of Stormy Gale, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings. In fact, if you do, I will give you a grilled cheese sammich the next time I see you. Seriously. I will. Just remind me.
But wait…there’s more! If you tweet me “Hey, @_ChristineBell, I want something Stormy!” anytime between now and June 2nd at midnight I will be giving away 25 sets of uber-awesome Stormy Gale trading cards, two copies of the first book in the series (The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale) and one majorly awesome Stormy totebag filled with Stormy swag including a t-shirt, pen, mug, magnet, trading card set, not to mention a “cameo” in my next book! Did I say an Amazon or BN gift card for $25 is also in the tote bag or no? THAT TOO! So get thee to twittah and tweet me, peoples!
Christine Bell is one half of the happiest couple in the world. She and her handsome hubby currently reside in Pennsylvania with a four-pack of teenage boys and their two dogs, Gimli and Pug. If she gets time off from her duties as maid, chef, chauffeur, or therapist, she can be found reading just about anything she can get her hands on, from Young Adult novels to books on poker theory. She doesn’t like root beer, clowns or bugs (except ladybugs, on account of their cute outfits), but lurrves chocolate, going to the movies, the New York Giants and playing Texas Hold ‘Em. Writing is her passion, but if she had to pick another occupation, she would be a pirate…or, like, a ninja maybe. She loves writing fun and adventure-filled romance stories as Christine Bell but also writes erotic romance under the pen name Chloe Cole. She hopes to one day publish something her dad can read without wanting to dig his eyes out with rusty spoons. Christine loves to hear from readers, so please feel free to get in touch with her via the Contact Page on her website www.christine-bell.com