Author Q & A: Christine Nolfi
May 17, 2011 2 Comments
I previously reviewed Christine Nolfi’s freshman novel Treasure Me. Today she has been gracious enough to answer a few questions about herself and her novel. She will also be giving away a FREE Kindle copy of Treasure Me. You can read my review here.
To enter, all you need to do is: Leave a comment with your e-mail.
Winner will be selected by Random.org and notified by e-mail. Results will also be posted on this site.
Last date to enter is June 7, 2011.
About the author:
Christine owned a small public relations firm in Cleveland, Ohio. Her articles and press releases have appeared regionally in northeast Ohio. Her short story, Night Hour, appeared in Working Mother magazine.Christine closed the firm fifteen years ago after she traveled to the Philippines and adopted a sibling group of four children. She has been writing novels fulltime since 2004.
Treasure Me is the first book of the Liberty, Ohio series, available at Amazon.
Q. How did you get the idea for Treasure Me?
A. I had actually written 100 pages of another novel when lightning struck. One morning I woke with the image of a beautiful young thief dangling from a windowsill trying to escape the man whose pocket she’d picked. That first scene in Treasure Me arose in a mad flurry of typing—my critique partners roared with laughter when I read it at our next meeting. As the novel progressed, I enjoyed the challenge of making a common pickpocket sympathetic to readers. Why any of us should care about a woman like Birdie Kaminsky becomes clearer as the novel progresses and her background is revealed.
Q. What character do you most relate to?
A. Must I choose only one? I relate to Theodora’s fire and sass, but Hugh’s hard edge comes from my past career in public relations and living from deadline to deadline. Birdie’s unspoken admiration for a freedwoman from the Civil War? I admire any woman who overcomes extreme hardship and prevails with her heart intact. And while I don’t rampage through my kitchen swinging a skillet as Finney does in the restaurant in Treasure Me, my young adult children will tell you that I can be rather silly at times.
Q. What was your process for writing this novel? How long did it take you?
A. In 2007, I wrote the first draft in about eight months. Shortly afterward, one of my critique partners called to say Amazon was running some new type of contest and that I should send the book in. I uploaded the manuscript without much thought then got back to work on another book.
At the time, I was in between literary agents—Random House had appeared interested in another novel, Second Chance Grill, but the deal hadn’t materialized. I put that book on hold, completely forgot about Amazon and Treasure Me, and jumped into an entirely new novel thinking, “I’ll get this written. When it’s finished, I’ll start approaching agents again.”
Then Treasure Me received a wonderful review from Publisher’s Weekly in the contest.
I quickly began sending out queries. Throughout early 2008, a slew of agents who were interested gave feedback and fabulous editorial direction. By autumn, I had a new agent and a division of Penguin was thinking about bringing out the novel, as well as the other Liberty books, in hardcover. That deal didn’t go through because the Wall Street meltdown brought the economy to a standstill. Not a good time for any debut novelist.
How long did it take to write Treasure Me? On and off, approximately eighteen months.
Q. When did you decide to become a writer? Was it something you always aspired to?
A. Honestly, I can’t recall a time when I didn’t write. Poems. Short stories. Later, novels. After college, I owned a small public relations firm. But I was always moving toward the day when I’d write fiction.
Like all writers, I began with an insatiable hunger for books. When I was a child, I used to wander through libraries drawing my fingertips across the spines of books. I felt like I was touching other souls, reaching into other lives I would only know through their words.
Q. What writers have inspired or influenced your work?
A. Geraldine Brooks, Sue Monk Kidd, Ann Patchett, Fannie Flagg, Sarah Gruen—so many talented authors come to mind. When I complete a novel, I must—absolutely must—take time off simply to catch up on my reading. There’s nothing as delicious as starting a new book and thinking, “Oh, this is wonderful. How will I ever put this down tonight?”
Q. What are some of the challenges you have experienced in the self-publishing market?
A. The biggest challenge is the allocation of time. Those long, leisurely mornings of writing are now encroached upon by marketing demands, creating a buzz, talking to readers—without the help of a New York editor or a publishing house’s marketing department, I must wear many hats. On the up side I can directly connect with readers, which is marvelous.
Q. What do you plan to write next? Will there be a sequel?
A. I’ve written five novels so far. Second Chance Grill, another novel set in the mythical town of Liberty, will appear on Amazon in June. A third novel will appear in July—I’d tell you the title but I keep changing it. Two other novels will follow on Amazon in autumn.
A big thank you to Christine for taking the time to share a little bit with us today!
Don’t forget to scroll to the top and leave a comment to be entered to win your free copy via Kindle.