Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi is President of the Maryland Romance Writers and lives in Maryland with her husband.
Q. What inspired the plot for A Fine Romance?
When I was a wedding planner in Chicago, I came up with the idea of a romance store. It required a lot less start-up cash to create in a novel than creating it in real life. Sticking it into my book was definitely the way to go.
Q. At what age did you know that writing was something you wanted to pursue?
I always wanted to be an author. As a bookworm and a speedreader, I’ve had a deep and undying love for writing forever. To stave off boredom during the summer between 8th & 9th grade (I was 12), I wrote a 60 page opus entitled Alyssa’s Last Look. It was a historical, and I’m very glad I can barely remember it. What with not being allowed to watch much television, writing gave me something to do over vacation. Of course, I also wanted to be a princess, just for the pretty clothes and tiaras. The chances of either career goal coming to pass looked slim.
Q. Do you have a writing ritual?
Nope. I'm a firm believer that this is a job. Therefore, you write whenever and wherever and however you need to in order to hit your deadline. Put a laptop under my fingers and I'll start writing!
Q. Out of Planning for Love and A Fine Romance, which one did you have more fun writing? Why?
Oh, Planning for Love was much more fun - or rather, A Fine Romance was much scarier. With A Fine Romance, I had a contracted deadline to hit for the first time. That scared the pants off me so much that I actually finished it a month early. Plus, this was my first attempt at a series, and I was scared of book two not living up to the awesomeness (can I say that about my own book?) of book one. Luckily, I got all that out of my system, and writing book 3 was a breeze!
Q. Do you feel more confident about A Fine Romance's publication than you did with Planning for Love?
My publisher, Carina Press, is amazing. For all my books, they have bent over backwards to get them into the hands of readers - so I feel equally confident.
Q. What is your favorite thing to munch on while writing?
I'm going to be utterly dull and admit that hydration is key. Most often the only thing you'll find me doing while writing is sucking down large amounts of water. If I'm snacking, then I'm not working.
Q. What book(s) are you currently reading?
Moonglow by Kristen Callihan, Beach House No. 9 by Christie Ridgway, and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce for my book club.
Q. Where is your most favorite place to write?
95% of my books have been written from my sofa. But my FAVORITE place to write--which I only get to do for one week every summer--is from the balcony of our rental condo at Ocean City. It is 1/2 a block off the ocean, so I can listen to the waves while I type.
Q. Would you say that you relate more to Ivy Rhodes or Mira Parrish?
Definitely Ivy - which was yet another complication in writing book two. Neither the hero or heroine remotely resembles me, so it was hard work to get into their heads. But the satisfaction when I did was all that much deeper. And Mira does make a hard choice at the end of the book that made me incredibly proud of her.
Q. What are your writing goals for 2013?
I have four books slated to release this year, so my biggest goals are hitting my deadlines and surviving all the release promo. And then coming up with something new and exciting to write after that!
Q. What can your fans expect next?
This summer look for Love at High Tide, a funny, sexy beach-caper-fling romance. In September book 3, Friends to Lovers, releases. In it, a Chicago florist struggles with revealing her longtime lust for a hotel manager lothario who's about to be shipped back to England. Book 4, A Matchless Romance will come out in November. I'll keep your kindle stocked this year!
Q. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Write!!!!! Seriously, it is too easy to enjoy wallowing in the research process, or take classes, and suddenly years have gone by without words hitting the page. Take your writing as seriously as any other job. Set goals and schedules. Then join a critique group, as soon as you’ve got a single chapter written. They’ll be an invaluable help.