Rad-Reader:  What made you want to tell this story?

Christi:  When Sarah and I created the Aspenridge world, several stories were there from the very beginning. Although we didn't know the specifics of it at the time, we knew that Spencer and Val were one of those couples who deserved their 'second chance at love'. Both of them were in the original trilogy (the Naked Brews series).

Rad-Reader:  How do you go about writing one book together with another author?

Christi:  Honestly, it's easier than it sounds. Writing typically is a very lonely affair. It is so rewarding and gratifying to work with someone else, to have someone else to bounce ideas off of and to have sitting there cheering on when you get a scene 'just right'. 

Personally, I think the key to writing together successfully is pre-planning. Sarah and I have a huge pre-writing process. We establish huge character profiles along with detailed photos of our characters and locations so we both have the same picture in our head when we write a scene. Then each scene/book is meticulously outlined/plotted before writing so we know exactly where we're going.

Rad-Reader:  How did you come up with this book idea?

Christi:  Honestly, I'm not sure exactly where the story came from...our brainstorming sessions tend to take on a life of their own. 

We knew the conflict between Spence and Val went back to their abrupt breakup and the relationship that resulted between Taylor and Val. To have Taylor eventually die and be the cause of Spencer's mother's death was something that neither of them had ever dealt with...thus their conflict. 

They had to be put in a position where they couldn't ignore what had happened anymore...thus the Safety Corridor campaign...where they had to confront their loved ones dying while at the same time being thrown into a close situation like having to create Public Service Announcements together about being left behind when someone makes the mistake of driving carelessly.

Rad-Reader:  How long did it take you to write this book?

Christi:  Sarah and I have our writing process down. We write in alternating points of view and each writes a scene a day (I write until noon, she writes the rest of the day and sends me her scene sometime in the PM so I'm ready to write again early the next day). As a result, we can write an entire first draft in 21 days (approximately 40 scenes/book).

Rad-Reader:  I have seen there are two books in this series but how do you work it with your writing partner?  As far as writing who write the first half, second half, etc.…?

Christi:  Like I said before, we write together, alternating scenes. Each chapter in the book alternates point of view. In this book, Sarah wrote Val and I wrote Spence...but we both heavily edit the entire book so the books don't seem like they're written from two different people. 

We break up all the other publishing tasks between us, depending on where we're at in our own publishing schedule and real life.

For the pre-planning, I write all the character bios and am in charge of finding character and location photos. We get together and plan a vague outline and then Sarah goes and creates our "beat sheets" or outlines.

Rad-Reader:  Can you give us some backstory on Val and Spencer that the blurb/synopsis doesn’t give us?

Christi:  Val and Spence were high school sweethearts. She was the sexy cheerleader that everyone liked while Spencer was the smart awkward geek. He had no idea she even knew who he was until she approached him. They didn't date very long...only a couple of months, but those were intense, real months with real emotions. 

But Spencer was destined for bigger things and spent spring break visiting Berkley where he planned to attend to eventually go to med school. A year younger than him, Val wasn't handling the idea of him moving to California and leaving Colorado very well. She made a mistake and went to a party the week he was gone which resulted in her making an unholy alliance with Taylor and having to break up with Spencer.

Rad-Reader:  How did you develop their characters?

Christi:  I swear we don't have to develop characters. They just arrive on the scene fully formed. We just have to figure out why they are the way that they are. Like I said, both Val and Spence were in the original series, so we had a pretty good idea who they were already.

Rad-Reader:  Was Val mad at Spencer when she texted and broke up with him?

Christi:  No, she was heartbroken.

Rad-Reader:  I am getting the bad feeling Taylor may have been abusing Val.  I don’t know why it’s just by the conversation Val has with his mom.

Christi:  There are different layers of abuse. Taylor was at his heart a manipulator and Val was a prime target for him.

Rad-Reader:  What does Em-Dash mean?

Christi:  LOL...it's probably more of writing reference than a bookstore reference...and we're authors who happen to love our em-dashes. 

In this book, Em-Dash is the name of the bookstore, which I adore (yes, I come up with all the names...hehe). But when you're reading a book, the information placed within Em-Dashed tends to deepen the story. With Em-Dash being at the heart of our village of Aspenridge all our characters float through there at some point...thus adding to their stories.

Rad-Reader:  Spencer is being an ass to Val.  Why doesn’t he just ask her?  What happened back then when she broke up with him? Yet, he wants to be mean.  Why?

Christi:  Spencer always thought Val was too good for him (remember, he may be a hot cop/detective now, but when he was in love with Val, he wasn't that guy...he was a teenager with tons of self-doubt and confidence issues). Beyond the fact that he fell in love with her, Val tried to show him that he could trust her to like him because of who he was...and then she betrayed that in the worst way...by breaking his heart and dumping him for another guy.

The thing is that he's never gotten over her, so he's mean to her now because he NEEDS her to keep her distance. He knows if she ever gets too close that he isn't strong enough to resist her. So he's mean...and it's heartbreaking (yes, to the author as well as the reader...)

Rad-Reader:  Gavin must have felt bad when he saw that he hurt her feelings?  Since the next day, they asked her to help with the lights and he helped with her heater, Right?

Christi:  All the Murdock brothers are amazing guys. They are also zealously protective of women. 

Because she broke Spencer's heart, they have a really hard time with Val. Seriously, everyone in town loves her. She just has that kind of personality. But the brothers' loyalty to Spencer means that they can't like her. They aren't actively mean to her, but they aren't going to go out of their way to help her. But at the same time, they know that Spencer never got over her so when they see a possibility to fix things between the two of them, they help the process along a little bit. 

Rad-Reader:  What does Spencer’s dad think about her being there and about how she hurt Spencer?

Christi:  I think dad more than anyone in the book was acting behind the scenes knowing that Val and Spencer needed to either work things out or get closure so that they can move on. Remember, dad could have put any one of his sons into this position close to Val and he chose Spencer (although he acted like the producers made that call). I think he's silently hoping they fix things between them. 

Rad-Reader:  Why has Spencer never asked why Val broke up by text and why she broke up with him at all?

Christi:  Plain and simple...pride and hurt feelings. She broke him and to ask that question would reveal to her just how much it had all hurt him. He can't allow that. 

Rad-Reader:  When Val’s secret leaks out to the town Spencer was on the way to the prison to see about Warner.  Why did Val keep repeating the words, “I thought I knew you?” Why did that stand out to her?

Christi:  I think a lot of it was that out of everyone, Spencer DID know her better than anyone ever did. 

But she'd been living a lie...for years. To have him reject her for that stole the connection that she felt like they'd had beyond all the lies.

Rad-Reader:  Didn’t her parents get worried when they didn’t hear from Val after two days?

Christi:  She was on her way to her brother's house and her mother knew that Val was upset. Radio silence while she licked her wounds wouldn't have been inconceivable in those circumstances.

Rad-Reader:  What took the boys coming around to at least accepting Val and not be Rude?

Christi:  Once Spencer started softening toward her, they followed suit. Their number one loyalty was to Spence and they'd stand by his decisions. He softened, so they did, too.

Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you want to play…

Val:  Bianca Andrade (Boca Rosa w/red hair)

Spencer:  Ryan Paevey

Travis:  Ian Nelson


Gavin:  Liam Hemsworth

Miller:  Bill Skarsgard

Warner:  Valter Skarsgard

Noah:  Ryan Murphy

Christi:  Okay, not so secret fact about me. I write approximately 6-10 books/year and read on average another 350 more. As a result, I really don't watch much TV or movies and don't know the actors. So, instead, I'll send you my photo collages of the main characters so you can see them as Sarah and I do.

Rad-Reader:  When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Christi:  Isn't it every reader's secret hope to someday be a writer? As long as I can remember, I wanted to write a book. But it wasn't until 2011 that I actually sat down with the goal of really and truly writing a whole book. That was my first release, Operation: Endgame.

Rad-Reader:  What would you tell a young writer just starting out?

Christi:  Stick with it. 

My daughter is 11 years old and she's an aspiring author (and honestly, a naturally talented one), but as yet hasn't managed to finish a manuscript although she writes on something every single day. 

But that's what I tell her...stick with it, finish a book, then start another one. Write through the hard parts because we all have them in every single book. That moment or weeks of moments when the book seems like it is utter shit. That shit is fixable if you write it, but it's not if it's still stuck in your head.

Rad-Reader:  When do you do your best writing am or pm?

Christi:  I'm an AM writer...who works SO MUCH BETTER under deadline...LOL.

Rad-Reader:  What is your favorite food?

Christi:  pizza!

Rad-Reader:  What is your favorite music?

Christi:  Sadly, top 40. I love popular radio, but my 11 yr. is good with that. LOL

Rad-Reader:  What is your favorite genre to read?

Christi:  Contemporary romance

Rad-Reader:  What are three things you can’t leave home without?


2. back up book in case my Kindle dies

3. a journal in case I get hit with writing inspiration.

Rad-Reader:  Are you in a writing group that you bounce ideas off of?

Christi:  I used to be in a local group which was key to me having the confidence to move forward, but sadly, it's pretty much fallen apart. Now I have a couple of online writing buddies who keep me accountable and will let me work through writing issues if I need some help.

Rad-Reader:  How long did it take to get your first book published?

Christi:  I wrote Operation: Endgame the fall of 2011. I published it less than a year later after working through the manuscript at least 100 times.

Rad-Reader:  Did you do it the traditional way or did you self-publish?

Christi:  self-published

Rad-Reader:  Where can our reader buy your books?  Links


Rad-Reader:  Where can our reader find you on the Web?  Links


Christi:   Thank you so much for hosting me. This was a lot of fun! 

Christi:  Once again it was great having you with us.  Your book was a pleasure to read.  It had great twists and lots of conflicts but with a HEA.  Just what I enjoy but most of all family and community involvement in the couple's business makes it so much more fun.  
Thanks again,

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me this week. It was so fun! <3


We ask that when you are leaving a comment that you are remebering that children may be reading this blog, without the knowledge of a consenting adult. We all put our disclaimers on to get into the sites but kids are smart. Please be aware when posting to use safe language and pics. Thanks :)

                                                                      Back to You #1 Hard Crush HARD CRUSH                                  ...