Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Author Interview: Crystal Green

In honor of Crystal Green's July Silhouette Special Edition release of The Texas Billionaire's Bride, she allowed me to ask her some questions for my first author interview. So read on to hear about her current book and learn a little more about her. Her official bio is on her website here. Her website where you can learn more about her books is here.

  • What was the first book you sold? How did you find out it was sold and how did you celebrate?

Crystal Green: My first book was a Silhouette Special Edition, too, and I sold it back during my teaching days. It was called BELOVED BACHELOR DAD, and I got “the call” after I came home from work. I was stunned for about twenty-four hours. I even thought it was a cosmic joke until they started talking contracts, numbers, and the dreaded revision! I celebrated by buying a nice bottle of wine and drinking it with my family.

  • What are your favorite types of books to read? Do you get much chance to read?

Crystal Green: I try to find time to read because I’ve found that it makes me much happier in general. It fulfills something that I don’t get anywhere else, maybe because it’s private time where I can relax and explore other dimensions. I read just about everything, but when I’m deep into a project, I’ll concentrate on books that make me push my thinking on the subject I’m writing about. For instance, I just finished writing one of my Vampire Babylon books and I was reading nonfiction about female rage as well as Jungian psychology applied to fairy tales. (Gah! But it’s all very interesting, LOL. Really.) All of that just helped me find out more about these characters I’ve written about for six books now. But I also love romances (I grew up with historicals!), urban fantasy, and “bestsellers.” I like non-fiction, too, just so I can find out more about the world.

Me: Female rage and Jungian psychology - definitely interesting :) But hey if it helps you write your books I'm all for it!

  • What is your favorite room in your house?

Crystal Green: I like the kitchen a lot, because it makes me think that I can cook, LOL. That’s a huge fantasy, of course, but I do dabble. The results are not always successful, but I try.

Me: I love my kitchen as well and I'm a dabbler too. There is just something fun about trying things out.

  • What is your favorite spot to read in?

Crystal Green: If I can’t be at the beach reading, I’m good with cuddling up in bed. Hopefully there’s a nice rainstorm outside to accompany the book. To me, that’s a great day.

Me: That sounds wonderful - I love reading on dreary days.

  • What is your favorite snack food?

Crystal Green: Popcorn. So good. And anything chocolate. Always. Anytime.

Me: I started craving popcorn yesterday so it's funny you said that. Of course chocolate - who functions without it?

  • Do you have a schedule for writing each day or do you just do it when you can?

Crystal Green: When I’m into a project, I do have a firm schedule, but my day’s work depends on whether I’m writing a chapter or if I’m revising. On a chapter day, I’ll wake up, write the entire chapter, let off steam with some exercise so my butt doesn’t fall asleep, then come back and take care of promo and business. If it’s a revision day, I’m pretty much at my computer the entire time. Guess which day I enjoy more?

  • Where did the idea for The Texas Billionaire’s Bride come from?

Crystal Green: I was invited to participate in this “continuity”—my book is the first one of the series. A continuity involves six authors who get a story bible from Silhouette and work together to tell six different stories about six couple falling in love. There’s a premise connecting the entire miniseries though.

The bible provides a plot outline as well as character details, so I can’t take credit for the outline—but the authors flesh everything out and do our best to maintain continuity. I love these series because it’s a different way of writing—it’s like being given paper dolls with a certain set of clothes and a basic storyline, but I get to dress them and send them on daily adventures, LOL.

  • Where did your character of Melanie Grandy come from (by the way I really love her – she feels like a real person)?

Crystal Green: Thank you! She was in the bible, and she already had all the elements of being that “girl from the wrong side of the tracks who wants to better herself.” She was spunky, determined, and fun. I fleshed out her family background, etc. I made her sew Barbie clothes and look good during the makeover scene. J

Me: I loved the sewn Barbie clothes. I like to sew also so I thought this was cool and a great way to connect Melanie and Olivia. I also loved the makeover scene - you did a good job :)

  • Where did the idea for the Foleys and the McCords miniseries come from?

Crystal Green: The fantastic editors who came up with the bible wanted to feature two rival families who go after a mysterious, cursed diamond. They wanted Romeo and Juliet type stories as well as rich Texas businessmen and businesswomen who take charge of their lives and find true love while they’re at it. They put all that together and gave it to us!

  • I know you work on your own series with your Chris Marie Green books, and you have done your own series under Crystal Green, so what is it like working with other authors on a series?

Crystal Green: I love it. There’s great energy on these projects, like we’ve all been connected by a wire and the ideas are sizzling from one author to another, LOL. With every continuity, I have to go out and buy the other five books because I’m dying to know how the other writers handled their stories. I’m actually reading one of the continuities in which I participated right now: Montana Mavericks, Strike It Rich. I grew up loving soap operas, and continuities are very similar: you get to spend a lot of time in this community that’s been developed and touch base with old characters while you get to know upcoming heroes and heroines.

Me: I never thought about continuities as being like soap operas, but you are right. I love continities because I am never ready to let go of the characters when the book is done. So seeing them again is great. I know I will continue reading the series because I am intrigued by the other members of the families that you had in your book and also for the continuing search for the Magdalena Diamond

  • I know you write for Silhouette Special Edition and Harlequin Blaze and that you also write the Vampire Babylon series under Crystal Marie Green. Is it easy for you to shift back and forth for each of these styles
    of writing? Are you ever working on more than one book at a time?

Crystal Green: It’s easy go shift back and forth because I’m always looking forward to being challenged by that change. It’s refreshing, and I think it helps me to write at the pace that I do. It does take a bit to ground myself in the flow of what each book requires, but that’s all part of the challenge.I try not to work on more than one book at a time, but it occasionally can’t be helped. You’ve always got line edits and galleys that come in during another project, and the deadlines for those copies are usually urgent. But if I can, I like to live and breathe in one world at a time—it makes writing easier.

  • What books do you have coming out in the near future?

Crystal Green: This July, I have THE TEXAS BILLIONAIRE’S BRIDE, plus a mass market reissue of the second Vampire Babylon book, MIDNIGHT REIGN. In August, the sixth Vampire Babylon book, THE PATH OF RAZORS, comes out in trade edition.

  • Any book signings/conferences/public appearances in the near future?

Crystal Green: I’ll be signing at the Romance Writers of America national conference in Washington, D.C., both at the literacy signing and the Penguin/Berkley signing. Then I’ll be at San Diego Comic-Con, signing at the Mysterious Galaxy booth on Thursday at 3pm. I’ll also be on a speaking panel there, with a signing at about 2:30pm.

  • Any last words on The Texas Billionaire’s Bride?

Crystal Green: This is a really fun series that I think people will love, mostly because of the two rival families and their search for the Santa Magdalena Diamond. As for my book, I hope there’s a lot of emotion as my hero and heroine fall for each other!

Thank you Crystal/Chris for the interview!

So there you go - check out Crystal Green's new book - The Texas Billionaire's Bride the first book in The Foley's and The McCords series from Silhouette Special edition. It's a wonderful book. And also check out her Chris Marie Green Vampire Babylon series.

Winner: The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner

The Winner is: RebekahC who has never read Lisa Gardner before. I hope you enjoy this one - it's good. I have emailed Rebekah and her book is going out tomorrow. Thanks to all who commented. Please see the sidebar for other giveaways and look for even more in the weeks to come! Until then - The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner is out and available.

Waiting on Wednesday - June 24

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My "can't-wait-to-read" selection for this week is:

Bird in Hand by Christina Baker Kline

Release: August 11, 2009

Four people, two marriages, one lifelong friendship: everything is about to change

It was an accident. It was dark, it was raining, Alison had only had two drinks. And the other car ran the stop sign. But Alison finds herself trapped under the crushing weight of grief and guilt, feeling increasingly estranged from her husband . . .

Charlie, who has his own burdens. He's in a job he doesn't love so that Alison can stay at home with the kids (and why isn't she more grateful for that?); he has a house in the suburbs and a long commute to and from the city. And the only thing he can focus on these days is his secret, sudden affair with . . .

Claire, Alison's best friend. Bold where Alison is reserved, vibrant where Alison is cautious, Claire has just had her first novel published, a thinly veiled retelling of her childhood in North Carolina. But even in the whirlwind of publication, Claire can't stop wondering if she should leave her husband . . .

Ben, an ambitious architect who is brilliant, kind, and meticulous. And who wants nothing more than a baby, or two—exactly the kind of life that Charlie and Alison seem to have. . . .

In each of her novels, Christina Baker Kline has explored how people tell the stories of their lives and what those stories reveal about who they are. As they set out on their individual journeys, Alison, Charlie, Claire, and Ben explore the idea—each in his or her own way—that every moment of loss contains within it the possibility of a new life. Alternating through these four intertwined perspectives, Bird in Hand is a searing novel about friendship, love, marriage, loss, and the choices we make that irrevocably alter everything we believe to be true.

So what are you waiting on this week? Go here to see what everyone else is waiting on.