The Broken One
Christine H. Bailey
Publication date: April 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old Farris is picking up the pieces after the untimely death of her best friend. But even one year later, she can’t seem to find “normal” again—not until Lane Evans pops back into her life and pushes her to face reality.
When he offers her the chance to find the truth, Farris fears what will surface. Is it too much too soon or just what she needs to move forward?
We welcome Christine for an interview today!
1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I changed my major in college three times. First, I majored in international business. Then, I went into criminal justice. I finally landed on journalism and English as a double major and have been writing professionally for almost twenty years now.
2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
Approximately two years.
3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?
I usually get my story ideas from the news or current events—a missing girl (Girl in the Middle) or an abusive relationship (The Broken One).
4. Do you have a schedule of when you write?
I try to write every day if I can, but I work full time so I don’t always get the chance. I reserve two blocks of time to write a week. Sometimes a block is eight hours and others it’s four or five hours.
5. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
I have an amazing husband who keeps me balanced. He makes it so I can write when I need to—even if that means folding the laundry or making dinner so I can finish a chapter or grade papers.
6. What elements do you think make a great story line?
First, it’s necessary to have relatable characters that your readers actually like. And, sometimes you have to let bad things happen to them so you have conflict and crisis in your story. Second, a great story line touches upon raw human emotion—what makes us human? Our desire to be loved, our pain when we hurt, and so on.
7. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Letting it go and hoping it’s well received by others. Hoping I get it right.
8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
I have written three novels and a novella. And, I’ve recently completed my fourth novel, only to restart it. It’s had two false starts, but I think I finally got it right.
I think my favorite book is Girl in the Middle because it was my first. I learned a lot about myself as a writer during the process.
9. Do you have a favorite character?
Skye Walker from Girl in the Middle. She’s a loveable band geek who falls for the wrong guy.
10. Where do you write?
I write mostly at home in what my kids call “my spot.” I write sitting in the same spot on a twenty-year-old couch tucked away in an upstairs room in our house. It’s away from distractions (like the fridge or pantry or tv).
11. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
I liked the thought of working with a small boutique press, but I was open to other avenues of publishing as well. I kept sending out my manuscript until the right person said yes.
12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
My mother is my biggest fan and she’s always honest with me. She always tells me when I get it right and when I don’t. It’s just like when I was a little girl and I’d put on a crazy, mismatched outfit. She’d say, “Are you sure about this? I mean, are you really sure that’s what you want to say to the world?”
13. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I love bike riding and working out. I think it’s so important to exercise both the mind and the body.
14. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Write because you have a story to tell. Don’t write to get rich or famous. It’s a tough business. There are so many great books out there—so think about how your story will make a mark.
15. What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
My favorite book (and my inspiration for writing YA) is The Catcher in the Rye, but I’m also a fan of Judy Blume, Sara Dessen, and Audrey Niffenegger. I also love Night by Elie Wiesel.
16. Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
I have a writer’s group from my MFA days in Kentucky. We share our work each month and these women are invaluable to me. They tell me what they really think!!
17. Are you working on anything now?
I am working on my fourth YA novel and it’s a little different for me. I usually write contemporary realistic fiction, but I’m trying out magical realism with this one.
18. Tell us 5 things that make you smile
A kind gesture from a stranger
A child’s laugh
A smile from someone else
A thank you note
19. Tell us 5 things that make you sad
20. If you could travel anywhere in the world to visit a place so you could use it as a background for a book, where would it be?
Right now, it would either be Paris or Montreal—in that order.
Thanks for stopping by today, Christine!
Christine H. Bailey teaches creative writing and written composition at a private university in west Tennessee. Before teaching English, Christine worked as a journalist, a marketing/public relations writer, and a freelance editor. To learn more about the author and her work, visit her website at www.cibailey.com.
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