Meet Contemporary Romance Author @christi_barth

I welcome Christi Barth to my blog today. Christi is the award-winning, Amazon best-selling author of the contemporary romance Aisle Bound series.

Do you outline your books or wing it? Describe your process.
Official disclaimer – there is no right or wrong way to write a book. Do whatever works for you. Honest answer, however? EVERYBODY should plot! And I’m only sort of kidding. Yes, I’m an obsessive plotter. I outline every chapter – it becomes my road map. Then I make sure every day that while I’m driving or at the gym, I figure out exactly what I want to write that night. I have Scrivener. I have notecards. It is a 100% planned process.

Friends to Lovers

How do you decide on setting?

I actually start with the setting, and then work to find a plot that fits it. Whenever I travel I get super inspired by locations. They tug at me, and then my brain starts racing to figure out what interesting stories could highlight that place. To me, the setting is really another main character.

What is your least favorite part of writing?

I guess as a romance author I shouldn’t admit this, but love scenes are brutal to craft. You can only say he stroked such and such body part so many times, so many ways. The actual writing becomes very clinical and leaches all the sexiness out of it for me. I can grit my teeth through make-out scenes, but when it comes to full blown sex, my requirements are a single white Russian (nope, no other drink will do) and Pink Martini on the CD player.

E-books, print, or both? Any preferences? Why?
Carina Press is the digital-first arm of Harlequin, so my books come out as e-books first, and then eventually in print. That being said, I didn’t even own a Kindle until three months ago (I was waiting for my library to accumulate a good enough stock of e-book new releases before I took the plunge). I believe that whatever form gets more people reading, the better. Let’s get books in front of people in every way possible.

What is your latest book, in the works or just published?

Friends To Lovers, book 3 in my Aisle Bound series just released. Book 4, A Matchless Romance, comes out in February. Tinsel My Heart, a novella in the Christmas anthology All I’m Asking For. And in the works is book 1 of my just sold trilogy Shore Secrets, which should release some time in 2014.

Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
Oh, yes! I started out as an opera and musical theatre performer (and helped pay the rent during that period as a professional organizer). Then I became a wedding planner. Now I channel those romantic and dramatic streaks into writing.

Do you have or belong to a writing organization? Which one?

Yes, I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as the local chapter of it, Maryland Romance Writers. In fact, I’m the president of MRW. I can’t recommend joining RWA enough. The networking, friends, support, industry information, craft – it is all invaluable.

What books are on your nightstand or by your chair?
The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love is my book for the elliptical machine (always paperbacks, so I can hold w/one hand and hang on to machine w/the other!), and on my night stand are my two book club books: Multiple Exposure and The Hare With Amber Eyes.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

I’ve got three: pasta, submarine sandwiches, and sushi (not necessarily in that order). Least favorite food? Oysters – because they make me sick, as I learned on my honeymoon. Very unfortunate 24 hours wasted in New Orleans – pity my hubby.

What music “soothes your soul”?

Broadway soundtracks – because I used to be a musical theatre performer. Do you listen to music as you write? Almost never. I’ve got a Master’s in Music, and music is still my passion, so it would completely distract me. The exceptions? When I work on Christmas novellas in March or October, I do put on some carols to try to re-instill that holiday spirit. And when I write the sex chapter, I always listen to Pink Martini & Kurt Elling to get me in the mood.

For more about Christi, visit her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


Books for Reality TV Fans
Are you a bookworm who enjoys reality TV or the entertainment industry? Then add these books to your reading list! All of the books are part of my #Books4RealityTVFans campaign, including books by Christi Barth.

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