Joining me today is Christine Clemetson author of A Daughter's Promise from the Wild Rose Press. I've known Christine for a few years now, but I'm looking forward to learning something new.
How long have you been writing?
Since birth. Well, almost! I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making up stories. As a teenager, I used to walk through the mall and try to come up story ideas for people. From there, I started writing them down. I thought everyone did that!
Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?
I write by the seat of my pants. It took the first two books to realize that! Previously, I would write a meticulous outline, but when I actually wrote the story, I desperately tried to keep the story to the outline. I fought off all the new story paths that emerged during the writing process because I wanted keep to the outline. After a while of doing this, I felt like I lost the discovery part—learning the story turns as the characters grew. My process now is to come up with the major plot points, do character sketches, and write a very brief synopsis. Then I take off and let the creative juices take me away!
What drew you to the subject of A Daughter’s Promise?
The idea for A Daughter’s Promise was inspired by the attack on the Anzio beachhead in Italy, 1944, which killed 18,000 US soldiers. Out of this tumultuous time in our history, this book gives a voice to those lost. It’s a story of two people facing the impossible, and learning how to re-capture love and hope, despite the obstacles.
What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know pre-published that you wish you knew?
Marketing! When the book was getting close to publication day, I had no idea about the marketing timeline and what needed to be done when. So when the book came out, it was a rush to figure out all the promotional paths to take. At that point, I did a lot of research on the next steps to take.
If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?
I would love, love, love to ask a reader if he/she felt the emotions of the character—happiness, sadness, love, and everything in between.. Did the story sweep them away enough that they let dinner burn on the stove because they couldn’t put the book down? Did they remember it well after they finished the last page? When I create scenes, I try to evoke the emotion in myself. That way, I hope the reader will feel the same emotion reading it.
Tell me one thing about yourself that very few people know?
I never kept a diary or a journal! It’s funny to hear about a writer not liking these.
What’s your writing schedule?
Flexible with guidelines! I work around my day job, but normally I have two full days during the week and then nights for the other days. And of course lunch hours! I plan my progress by word count. Once I hit a certain word count for a specific day, then I’m done. If I can get wiggle more time from the day, I do.
What’s your favorite quote?
A few years ago, I attended a Margie Lawson “Empowering Characters Emotions” class that was sponsored by NJRW (New Jersey Romance Writers). As Margie began the class, she passed around a basket of laminated stars that had a quote or saying printed on each one. I closed my eyes and picked one out, a quote by Helen Keller. “One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.” From that day on, I stuck my “start” on my PC and never looked back!
What’s your favorite thing about your book?
When I saw the cover of my book, it took my breath away. The cover art was created by artist Rae Monet at The Wild Rose Press. It captured everything I wanted to say in my story—hope, sacrifice, compassion, and most of all love.
What advice would you give to other writers?
Never, ever give up on your writing. If you don’t go after your dream, who will? Figure out a way to make your writing work with your life. Make a calendar of your “must do” items and include writing. Submit your work. Then keep writing and keep submitting. Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. The view is incredible.
Thank you Chris for having me here today. What a fun interview!
I was born a writer. I hear voices too. I don't admit that to manypeople or they'd think I was NUTS! But I can'teven remember a time when I wasn't listeningto the whispers of my characters telling metheir stories. What else could I do but put them down on paper? Otherwise, how would we find out how they lived --or how they died for that matter?