It’s not terribly exciting, for sure. I generally wake up between 5 and 5:30, make my coffee, check my email, grab the laptop and take it outside and write until the rest of the family wakes up. With two kids home in the summer, there’s a lot of “stuff” to do. If I don’t keep them busy, I’m ready to go insane by dinnertime. We go to the pool, Great Adventure, Hurricane Harbor, the beach, drive through the Great Adventure Safari. All kinds of things.
This September my little man with be starting Kindergarten so I have no idea what my days will be like without him to hang out with. Maybe I’ll write more? Who knows.
How did you come up with the idea for Torn?
I had three paragraphs I sat on for a while. Then I was watching Vampire Diaries and heard a song, All I Need by Within Temptation, and the entire story flashed through my head. I listened to the song over and over and finally made a playlist of other songs that inspired the same reaction. Next thing I knew, I was writing like a crazy person.
Describe an incident in your life that’s helped mold you into the person you are today.
Oh gosh, I don’t know. There have been so many incidents and experiences. I think the fact that I moved around a lot as a kid had a lasting impact. My father was/is a helicopter pilot in the Army and we constantly moved. Including college, I attended 13 different schools. I think the experience taught me to adapt well to my surroundings and others. On the flip side, it’s hard to get to know people because I seem to have it ingrained that eventually someone is going to leave the relationship. Don’t’ get me wrong, I have great friends but it took me a long time to make a personal investment in each one. Not that I didn’t want to, just that, for a time, I didn’t know how to.
What are you passionate about?
Anything and everything to do with the 3 other people who live in my house. My kids, my husband are everything to me and everything and anything they are interested in, interests me. We celebrate birthdays like it’s a personal holiday, we do a lot as a family. I think it’s important to remember that, regardless of who or what else is out there, the only thing that really matters are the people in my four walls. Don’t get me wrong, I am very close with my parents and sister as well as my huge family of in-laws and my friends. I love each and every one of them dearly but at the end of the day, they have lives, too.
It was really hard to come to that realization. I mean, drama doesn’t end when you graduate high school. But instead of letting it get me down, I really looked around and said to myself, “If the world was going to end tomorrow, how would I want to spend it?”
What would I find in your couch cushions?
Ha! Just cleaned them out yesterday! There were legos, dirty socks, a dog bone, and about $3 worth of change. And of course do hair from the two dogs who, no matter how much I brush them, don’t stop shedding – or sleeping on the couch when we go to bed.
Hamburger or steak? Cheeseburger. Nothing better than a great cheeseburger.
Boxers or briefs? Can I say boxer briefs?
Wine or beer? Oh. Depends. Summer? Wine. Football season? Beer.
Spontaneity or predictability? I wish I could say spontaneity but I’m pretty predictable.
Dogs or cats? Dogs. Cats freak me out.
Cotton or lace? Cotton.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many. I’ll break it down by books – Fahrenheit 451, A Separate Peace, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Great Gatsby, Old Man and the Sea, The Pearl, Nineteen Minutes, 13 Reasons Why, There are so many.
What are you currently reading?
I am about to start MY EMILY by Matt Patterson.
What are your writing vices?
Coffee. Outdoors. Playlists of music.
How do you deal with rejection?
Rejection sucks but thankfully, I haven’t had to deal with it too often. When I do I have a great support system. If I didn’t I might take it more personally. In this business, rejection is par for the course. You can’t please everyone. I’d like to but thankfully I know it can’t be done.
What project(s) are you working on now?
Three Days of Rain will be released later this year so I’ve been going back and forth with my editors. I think it’s in 2nd round edits now. I’m also writing the sequel to TORN, tentatively titled BETRAYED though I am thinking of changing it. Do you know how many books with that title are out there??
Do you have advice for aspiring writers?
Keep writing. Take criticism like a grown-up. Surround yourself with a great support system. Write for love, not for money. When I started I had no idea about genres, market trends, reviews, sales or anything to do with publishing. I wrote a story I wanted to write because I wanted to write it. Not because someone else told me what would sell.
What is the toughest criticism you’ve received as an author?
Toughest? I had an agent once tell me she loved TORN but said it wouldn’t sell because angels “were over”. She then asked if I’d ever considered changing the angels to something, anything, else. That was disheartening and I have to admit I thought about it but in the end, that was the story I wanted to write. In the end, it was accepted the way it was and I’m happy I didn’t cave just to get an agent.
In your eyes, what one song sums up Torn?
All I Need by Within Temptation
If your book ever became a movie, who would play the starring role(s)?
Isn’t that the dream? I’d like Candice Accola for Samantha and Jesse Williams for Sebastian. I can’t figure out who would best play Lucas or Ethan.
If you’d like, provide an excerpt and/or back cover blurb:
With the sudden, mysterious death of her father, Samantha discovers her life isn’t what it seems. Not only isn’t she the normal teenage girl she thought she was, Sam must now take her father’s place in the fight between two groups of fallen angels, the Faithful and the Exiled, in a race to save humanity. In addition to dealing with a devastating betrayal—and having feelings for someone she’s forbidden to love—Sam must also fight the growing darkness within her as she struggles to make a choice between fighting alongside the Faithful or succumbing to the temptation of the Exiled. Both sides require sacrifices Sam isn’t sure she can make.
Would you like to say anything to your readers / fans?
Thank you for your support! I’m so happy with the response TORN has been getting. It really is a dream come true. Be on the lookout for Three Days of Rain later this year and the sequel to TORN next year.
And….if you read TORN, please feel free to leave reviews on Amazon, smashwords, B&N, Goodreads and other sites. Reviews are a great way to support your favorite books and authors.
Where link-wise can your readers / fans stalk you?
Black Opal Books: http://www.blackopalbooks.com
As a writer, it can be difficult to find enough time in the day to get everything done. Would you like to share your favorite ‘quick and easy’ recipe?
2 lbs chx breast
1 can pineapple (crushed or otherwise)
1 jar peach/mango salsa
Place everything in a crockpot and set to low for 8 hrs. Serve with rice and soft tortillas. My kids love it!
I’ll be at the:
YA Fest in Easton PA on August 4th, 2012
Baltimore Book Festival in Baltimore MD on September 28, 2012
Collingswood Book Festival in Collingswood NJ on October 6, 2012
A former Army brat, Christine Hughes moved quite often. She spent much of her time losing herself in books and creating stories about many of the people she'd met. Falling in love with literature was easy for her and she majored in English while attending college in New Jersey.
Not sure where her love of reading and writing fit, she became a middle school English teacher. After nine years of teaching others to appreciate literature, she decided to take the plunge and write her first novel. Now at home focusing on making writing her new career, she spends her time creating characters and plot points instead of grading papers.
Music has become an integral part of her writing process and without the proper play list, Hughes finds the words don't flow. At least a few times a week she can be found at the local Barnes & Noble with her Mac and headphones working on her next novel. Her YA novel Torn was released by Black Opal Books June 9, 2012.