A Prepublished Novel in the Process of Revisions and Rewrites

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Author Spotlight: Christine Columbus, Romance Author

Please welcome Author, Christine Columbus today. Hi, Christine, glad to have you here today. Tell me a bit about yourself. What makes you angry, happy, sad, snoopy dance?

Glad to be here, Dayana. Well, Christine Columbus, is my ‘real name’. I am 50 and a MT Nester (empty nester) – my kids are off to college, although they left behind their Jack-A-Poo, (but she has a doggy door)

So, for the first time in my life I have no responsibilities and no expectations-- (I don’t expect the kids to have cleaned the house or taken out the garbage…I don’t expect the dust bunnies to have prepared me a meal…while I slugged away at my day job)

My Motto - No Expectations and No Disappointments Now when I get home from work…everything is exactly like I left it…No surprises…(unless the SO sneaks into town for a visit)

LOL Your motto I believe is universal.  I could carry the same myself:) Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?
Writing is like Desserts… I don’t eat them because I am trying to gain weight. I eat them because they are Pure Pleasure…I don’t write because I want to be rich…I write because I love to entertain.

What a wonderful metaphor, Christine, and so eloquently put.  Great answer to the question and one I will surely remember:) When was the first moment you felt comfortable saying, “I am a writer?”

When my son was in first grade, we were at a school function; a parent walked up to me and asked, “What do you do?”

Before I could answer my son said, “My mom is a writer.”

“You are.” The parent said.

What could I say? My son was correct, while he played at the park I wrote, when he was busy playing with his toys, I wrote. I didn’t want to embarrass my son and as hard as it was, I said. “Yes, I am a writer.”

Where do you write?  Besides the park that is...

I write everywhere, at home standing at the pub table, huddle beneath the covers in bed with the laptop on my lap, (I now know that you can’t set your laptop on top of your down comforter - apparently the little fan can’t suck in a cool air—the name laptop is misleading…)

Hehehe... I learned that nifty little fact myself the hard way. Do you put pieces of yourself or your life in your stories?

No, but I do put pieces of other people’s lives into my stories…which makes my friends a little nervous.

What is your least favorite thing to do as an author? Allow me to clarify: query, write a synopsis, write a blurb, market, you get the picture.
I hate to write the end of anything…short story, novel, letter… I just love doing the beginnings – I can write and re-write a beginning a million time. The start of something is so magical. The ending of something is depressing. But there is one thing that I don’t like to start…housework, because there is no ending…just lots of middle.

Again, I have to agree with you.  I really love the way this woman thinks, don't you? What is the most uncharacteristic thing you have ever done?

I haven’t done it yet…. (wink)

I have lived my entire life in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am a Romance Novelist for The Wild Rose Press, with a number of short stories and soon to be released novel, ‘The Perfect Country and Western Story. My latest poem appeared in the Bloomington Art Center’s Literary production Waters. my flash fiction appeared at MnArtist.org. Other publishing credits include creative non-fiction, poetry and children’s fiction stories.

Tell us a bit about your latest release, Trust Your Heart and what inspired you to write the novel.

They say, ‘write what you know.’ I know love, men, co-workers and kids. That’s what you’ll find in “Trust Your Heart” My latest release from The Wild Rose Press.

The idea for Trust Your Heart…
Waking up late, I slugged into jeans and a sweatshirt - my co-workers wore jeans, soiled t-shirts and construction boots. No one cared what I wore as long as I entered payroll on time.
There I was stuck away in the corner of the basement, in an area no larger than a storage room; I sat at table with my back to the department manager. Keystrokes, copies, and digging through old dusty records eight hours a day as the boss rambled on … but the job paid the bills.

Then out of the blue a handsome man walks in wearing a suit with a trench coat folded over his arm…


My head snaps around so fast. Everyone called me Christine. I look closer. Couldn’t be? “Dave?” No way. This professional man couldn’t be the guy that had hair past his shoulders and stood outside the school smoking instead of attending class.

He stepped up to my desk and pointed a picture on my desk. “Your daughter?”

“Yes, she’s eleven.”

“Wow, she looks exactly like you at that age. That’s what it’s all about…family,” he said with a faraway look in his eyes.
That conversation and the following piece of prose sparked - “Trust Your Heart.”
Ever Wonder How Angels Fly?

The snow white play-sand in a turtle shaped plastic box was supposed to keep my children entertained, but like most things reality was different than fantasy. Instead of being outside in the sunshine, building castles they were tugging on the edge of my t-shirt as I tried to vacuum the sand hills from the carpeted steps.

“Mom, mom, mommy!”

Only a little further. I ignored my Max and Emma, stretching the hose out as I held the humming machine in place with my knee. Sweat trickled down my back. One more step. The Dirt Devil’s roar came to an abrupt stop. Crap! I didn’t need to see the limp cord to know I had once again pulled the plug from the outlet.

Wearily, I dropped to the step, my elbows balancing on my knees and my palm holding up my chin.

“Mom, mom, mommy!” Max persisted.

“Yes,” came out on a sigh.

“Is this heaven?” he asked.

Max’s sky blue eyes gazed expectantly at me. I pushed the damp hair from the back of my neck. “No, this is not heaven.” I arched my back trying to ease my sore muscles.

“How do you know?” His small hand rested on my forearm.

How could this be heaven? My muscles tensed, a beautiful Saturday morning, stuck inside cleaning the house, with a list of chores that never ended.

Max’s soft pudgy hand pressed against my cheek. “This could be heaven,” his sweet voice softly spilled into my ear.

Two healthy children, a home, job…”Yes, this could be--”

“This isn’t heaven,” Emma interrupted with arms folded tightly across her chest.

I nodded. “It might be--”

Posturing like a General ready to face battle her blue eyes darkened. “No, it’s not.”

Not wanting to argue with a six year old, yet not willing to toss away the notion that maybe eternal bliss wasn’t something rewarded at the end of a successful life but, rather experienced by living in the moment…If I could teach my children to find happiness in the most mundane activities—

“Is too,” Max’s voice pitched higher.

“Is not,” Emma shouted.

Wanting to defuse the situation, I reached out. Emma resisted my hug. “This could be heaven,” I spoke softly.

Her head shook as she pushed from my arms. “It. Is. Not.”

“Why?” I asked suddenly curious as to what could possibly be so awful in her little life that would prevent this perfect Saturday from being paradise.

A long slow sigh slipped from her lips. “Because of gravity, it’s not heaven.”

“Huh?” I shook my head.

Emma leaned closer. “In heaven there is no gravity. That’s how angels fly.”

Michelle, a divorced mother of two preschool children living in a Minneapolis suburb, maintains her subscription to her hometown newspaper. So when she bumps into childhood friend David, she already knew he was successful and a bachelor, but what the paper forgot to mention was how he had matured into a handsome man.

Memories of their past resurface, and once more, she envisions playing house with him. Although this time it's the adult-rated version, where he's selling software that threatens her job, her co-workers refuse to play nice, her ex-husband is acting just plain weird and the hometown paper is in an uproar over who is sending her flowers and who she should date. Michelle doesn’t know whom to believe until she steps back and looks deep within and trusts her heart.

Visit me at my Website: http://www.christinecolumbus.net/


  1. Hi Christine. I'm a big fan of reunion stories, because I love when characters have a history they need to overcome. This one sounds warm and from the heart. And the line about there being no gravity in heaven - I just love this!

  2. This sounds sweet and romantic, Christine. And I love your name!

  3. Hey, Christine. Hi, Allison and Kaye. Thanks for dropping by:)

    How was you Turkey Day? Busy two days, hopefully more people will drop by to say 'Hey' shortly.

    I'm offering up a wonderful cinnamon mocha cafe. Hey perhaps I can persuade Sharon Donovan's very personable and sexy butler, Oliver, to drop in and serve us?? Hold on...

    Let me check into that *winks*


    Oh BTW I know Oliver will attract a few more visitors!

  4. This book sounds like a wonderful read and I love a wonderful read.
    Good luck, with your natural name it might catch some eyes.

  5. Hi Christine. I enjoyed the excerpt. You perfectly captured a child's voice. I agree with Allison... No gravity in heaven was just beautiful. Wishing you many sales.

  6. Oh Oliver, are you here. I could use a foot massage if you are.
    Just checking.
    I'm gonna look for him at Sharon's.

  7. I loved your comment about dessert and writing. Your new release sounds like a slice of life. May you have many sales while you "entertain" your characters. I've been entertaining today too. Two members of the horsey set in my new WIP.

  8. Thank you everyone for commenting... I have been having a little bit of trouble with my computer... or my wireless... I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday... and enjoy the long weekend.

    Thanks again for stopping by and the winner of Trust Your Heart is Mary Ricksen.