It's summer and time to read a funny, romantic comedy mystery. Here's a new one from Christy Barritt.
I want to write the types of books that I enjoy reading. I love, love, love suspense and mystery novels. But I also think every good book has some romance. Most people describe my stories as humorous and I think that element grew naturally out of my characters. There’s also an element of faith—I try to be as authentic as possible when dealing with people’s Christian walk. Sometimes that might mean presenting Christians in less-than-flattering ways. Above all, I’m called to be honest. I hope that through my writing people will examine themselves. I never want to give pat answers.
I agree. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I’d honestly have to say June 12, 2006. That’s the day my son was born. I was so nervous about becoming a mom, fearful that I had no idea what I was doing. But as soon as I held my son in my arms, it was just love at first sight, like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Almost two years later, I can still say that no one makes me happier than my little boy.
How has being published changed your life?
I’m a lot busier. I used to simply write when I could (which was often because I made it a priority). Now I have to make the time to write, even when my schedule is already packed or I don’t feel like it. But I love being published. I love that someone saw potential in my work. And I love getting letters from readers who connect with my books. It’s an answered prayer and I wouldn’t change anything..
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading some of the new Heartsong Presents Mysteries. They’re really good!
Yes, they are. I've read several of them. What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on several things, including the untitled third book in the Squeaky Clean Series. My agent is currently pitching another light-hearted mystery series of mine called The Suburban Sleuth Mysteries.
What would be your dream vacation?
I’ve always wanted to go to Venice. One day!
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I used to choose locations that I wished to visit. But now I find it much easier to choose locations that I’m familiar with. They may be boring to me, but others find them interesting. That’s the reason why I choose Norfolk, Virginia, for the setting of the Squeaky Clean Mystery series. It’s not a city that’s featured often in books, which makes it unique. Plus, there’s a strong military presence, and a merging of southern culture with a mid-Atlantic vibe.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
President Bush. As a reporter, I get to interview a lot of politicians and I usually get a gut feeling about them. I’d like to talk to the President, not for political reasons, but just to read him as a person.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I sing and play the guitar. I’m the worship leader at my church and I love that. I also love traveling, even if it’s just to a small town an hour away. Different locations always spark story ideas!
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Lately, my obstacle has been time. With a toddler around, my time is not my own! I figured out that no one will give me the time to write—I have to make time for what’s important to me. No one will do that for me. I block out times on my schedule each week, check with my husband to make sure it’s okay, and then let nothing thwart me from my writing time. It’s the only way I can get anything written.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Keep at it. Publishing isn’t easy. Write what you believe in and let the rest of the details work themselves out. If you ever start writing simply for the market or just to get published, your joy will dissipate. Write the story of your heart.
In Suspicious Minds, crime-scene cleaner Gabby St. Claire takes on a mold remediation job at a dilapidated old house. To her surprise, she finds the dead "King" in a crawlspace---still wearing his blue suede shoes. There's no way she can keep her nose out of a case like this!
I had a great time writing Suspicious Minds. Though the book, in general, is pretty quirky and lighthearted, it also touches on some serious issues like loneliness and abandonment. And, of course, there’s a good touch of romance to keep things rolling!
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Please visit my website at www.christybarritt.com. I’m in the process of updating it and I’m really excited about some of the changes. I also blog twice a month at www.faithchick.com.
Christy, thank you for taking time to visit with us.
Readers, check out her web sites, but before you go, leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Suspicious Minds.