My very special guest today is blogger-turned-author Christi Snow. Christi’s blog, Smitten With Reading (aren’t we all) is an absolute favorite of mine, so it was a real treat to see that she’d taken the leap from blogger to author! Her debut romance, Operation: Endgame, combines military action heroes with romantic suspense in that best-of-all-possible themes, a friends into lovers story. And it’s terrific! (See my review for details)
But let’s hear from Christi about her journey from review to writer. Take it away, Christi!
Marlene: Christi, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Christi: My first identity is wife and mother. I’ve been married to the same guy for twenty years and we have two great kids: a 17 year-old boy and a 5 year-old girl. I’ve been lucky to be able to stay home to take care of them and that has allowed me to follow my dream of writing too. We recently retired to West Texas after my husband served twenty years in the Air Force. We’re all slowly adjusting to civilian life and the thought of never moving, which just means my closets will never be cleaned out properly again.
Marlene: I know that you are also a book blogger. What was it like making the transition from being a romance book blogger to having written one of the books that other book bloggers are reading and reviewing?
Christi: I’ll admit it’s a bit surreal to see my book on other blogs. This was a dream and to now have it as a reality is amazing. I’ve been very lucky. It definitely gives me a different viewpoint as a blogger too. While I’ve always tried to be completely fair to authors in my reviews, it definitely gives you a different perspective to have your books reviewed. I still say though that absolutely no one reads the same book. Reading books is so subjective and not everyone is going to like my book and that’s okay.
Marlene: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Christi: I am most definitely a planner when it comes to my writing. My writing group makes fun of me with all my binders full of my character bios, scene outlines, suspense options, etc.
A typical day for me is:
*up at 6:00
*have everyone out of the house by 8:00
*try to have all my blog-hopping and blog-writing/reviewing done by 9:00
*read until 11:00
*write until I pick up my daughter at 2:30
*write again until dinner prep time.
*read again until going to bed at 11:30
Some days I mix it up by throwing some household chores in there, but I try not to have too many of those days. ;o)
Marlene: What inspired you to make your hero, Jake, a member of the Pararescue Jumpers (PJs) and not any other particular branch of military special operations? (It’s an inspired choice, but I’m terribly curious)
Christi: Well, coming from an Air Force background, we love that branch and I’m always amazed at how many people, even within the AF, don’t know about this special operations group and the amazing things they do. When you look at their training, how can you not be impressed? These guys do it all and I really admire them for reaching the level of training that they do. Their training takes two years and they do it all… from paratrooper jumping to free-fall jumping to survival to paramedic training to diving to underwater egress. Their training covers ALL the specialties from the other spec ops groups. These guys ROCK!
Marlene: Cassie is an expert in military strategy and wargame scenarios. What about you? Do you play any videogames?
Christi: I don’t play as much as I used to, but when the original Medal of Honor Frontline came out, all three of us (hubby, son, and me) lived that game until we all beat it. It definitely inspired Cassie’s role in her videogame, Endgame, because it had all the extras with the interviews from historians and the people that originally lived the events in the game. That’s how I pictured her role as a consultant and interviewee on the game.
Marlene: You’ve said in previous interviews (and on your blog, Smitten with Reading) that the friends into lovers story is your favorite trope. You’ve done that with Cassie and Jake, and it’s a beauty. But Cassie has two brothers! Are more friends going to come out of the woodwork?
Christi: I do LOVE a friends to lovers trope and will admit that every book in this series definitely uses it. I’m not gonna say anything else about it though. I don’t want to give away any spoilers because there are a few shockers throughout the series with the relationships and how they evolve.
Marlene: Can you give us any more hints about the rest of the series? And what other projects do you have planned?
Christi: I’m finishing up the final edits on Operation: Endeavor right now (book #2 in the series). It will be out in January. I will tell you who the two main characters are in that book. They are Cassie’s older brother Colton and her friend Penelope. They have a great love story and I’ve really loved watching them evolve. I will admit their story became a little more than I ever expected. They are such opposites that it took some extremes within their relationship for them to find middle ground and when they find it, it is fabulously fun! I love them together.
Operation: Endurance is completely plotted and the first 10,000 words written. It’s a highly emotional story so it’s going to be a challenge. It should be out in April.
Further on down the road, I have a paranormal dystopian series started calling Through the Veil. I hope to release the first book in that series in May or June. If you’re curious about it, the story synopsis and cover is already up on Goodreads.
Then eventually, I plan to revisit some characters who show up in book #2, Operation: Endeavor. That series will feature the Rocking M ranch and the Martin men. It will be another romantic suspense series, but instead of the military aspect this series has, it will feature some super-sexy cowboys.
Marlene: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
Christi: *Sexy alphas who love to protect their girls
*Girls who honestly don’t need the protection, but can appreciate a strong shoulder to lean on
*Tons of passion, friendship, adventure, and suspense that will keep you guessing (I hope!)
Marlene: What book do you recommend that everyone should read and why that book?
Christi: Only one?!? Geez, talk about pressure and honestly, I think that’s an impossibility, but I’m going to give it a shot. I’m choosing this book because I think it’s my all-time favorite romantic suspense: Wild Card by Lora Leigh. Warning: this book is not for everyone. It’s erotic and completely overflowing with emotional angst, but any book that has me sobbing within the first chapter is a winner in my book. ;o) I truly do love this book and re-read it a couple of times a year.
Marlene: What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?
Christi: The research…hehe! I may or may not have files on my computers full of hot, half-dressed men, but I promise you, those files are PURELY for the purpose of research for my writing. No really. Honest. They are. Research. ;o)
Marlene: Morning person or night owl?
I’m going to offer up the cover of Operation: Endurance as further testimonial to just how much Christi loves her research. Absotively, posolutely adores it. And clearly has no shame about sharing the fruits of her research with the rest of us!
Thanks so much, Christi, for being my guest today. I enjoyed Operation:Endgame (a lot) and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series!