Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Authorsday. Christine Clemetson

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!

Christine's bio:

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?


Chris Redding said...

Christine will also be giving away a copy of A Daughter's Promise to one lucky commenter!

lainey bancroft said...

Great interview ladies!

Congrats on the book, Christine. It is a gorgeous cover. Very haunting.

And about that hearing voices thing, you're safe admitting it to other writers. I think most of us hear them too! =)

Christine Clemetson said...

Thanks for stopping by Lainey! I love the cover too, thank you. :))

I love hearing voices! LOL!

Skhye said...

Actually I hear voices too. LOL. When I was little, I swear I saw faces too... But that's definitely nuts. :) Great interview.

Christine Clemetson said...

It's not nuts..LOL. I haven't seen faces, although I do try to imagine the characters by looking at pictures... Oh the fun stuff we get to do!

Thanks, Skhye!

KM Fawcett said...

Hi Christine,

Nice interview. I always thought people made up stories all the time too! I was shocked when I found out they didn't.

I remember my quote from Margie's class..."You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm" - Collette

Christine Clemetson said...

Hi Kathy,

That's funny! I was shocked too! LOL.

I love those quotes from Margie's inspiring.

Thanks for visiting!

Mary Ricksen said...

Your cover is just fabulous.
I agree with Lainey, it's very haunting.
I don't hear voices, but the words are there and they just come.
When people tell me thy hear voice I often wonder exactly what they mean.
But I do a lot of imagining myself.
Great interview ladies.

M.Flagg said...

Hi Christine. Great post and I hope you sell tons of books. Rae did a beautiful cover for you. Don't worry about hearing voices. Some of us see the scenes too!
I liked your start comment from Margie. You go girl!!

Melinda Leigh said...

I get whole films running in my head, in Blu-Ray definition and surround sound.

I feel bad for people who don't write. A laptop is much cheaper than therapy and a lithium drip.

Christine Clemetson said...

Hi Mary! Thank you! I get the same thing....When I'm really into the story..out of nowhere I "know" how the character would act or say something. I'm so happy they are there to tell me!

Your cover is great too! Who created it TWRP? Nice job! And your story sounds so intriguing.

Thanks so much for stopping in. :)

elaine cantrell said...

Hi, Christine,

I dictated my first story to my father when I was five. He kept the story, and some years after his death my stepmother found it and gave it to me. He hand wrote it so I wouldn't take the world for it.

Christine Clemetson said...

That must be amazing to see the whole scene, Mickey! I only see bits and pieces and then try to put it all together.

Margie's quotes were so great. Everyone that went that day had a really good one. I think she's coming to NJRW soon for a Special Event. I'm crossing my fingers that she does a similar thing. Very inspiring!

Christine Clemetson said...

Blu-Ray and Surround Sound! I love it!!!!!!!!!! Soooo cool!

We get to put all our therapy down on paper. How great is that?

Christine Clemetson said...

Elaine, What a wonderful memory to have with your father. And that you have a copy now is so special. I wonder if we realize when we're kids that our stories and love of writing will grow up with us?

Thanks so much for visiting. :))

Chris Redding said...

I actually see movies in my head also. Not sure if it's blu-ray.

Christine Clemetson said...

Thanks so much for having me here today for your Authorsday! And thanks everyone for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

What a fun day its been!

Keep writing & listening to those voices in your head. :)


Christine Clemetson said...

Hi Everyone!
I put everyone's names in a hat (in my case a paper coffee cup at work)...then had a co-worker pick a name...drumroll.....the winner of a signed copy of "A Daughter's Promise" is...

Mary Ricksen!!!

Congrats Mary!. Please email me at so I can get your contact info.

Thanks again everyone! :)

Anonymous said...

All I can say is WOW! Christine a great interview and you are so inspiring.....

kathy A said...

It should have read Kathy A not

Christine Clemetson said...

Thank you Kathy!! And thanks so much for stopping by. :))