Today I’m interviewing Chris Redding, author of A View to a Nerd, part of her Nerds Saving the World Series. We are comfy, cozy in our soft chairs in front of a beautiful fireplace with a roaring fire, enjoying the view of Chris’s favorite vineyard. The fields are barren right now but come summer they will be gorgeous with the bounty of nature’s grapes, ready to be made into Chris’s favorite Malbec wine.
Jill takes a sip: Mmmm, this is delicious as promised, a deep rich, cherry taste. I’m so glad you agreed to the interview. Picking the winery was perfect. It is lovely here. Shall we get started?
Jill: So, Chris, please tell the readers a little about yourself.
Chris: I live in New Jersey with my husband, two kids, one dog and two show rabbits. I graduated from Penn State with a degree in Journalism and am still a diehard Nittany Lions fan. My books are filled with romance, suspense and thrills. When I’m not writing, I work for a local winery.
Jill: Oh, that must be why you know about this great wine we are drinking. Everyone wants to know, what do you like best and least about writing?
Chris: I love falling in love with a new story. I find the beginning is the most fun. I get to think about all the situations I can put them in and how to get them out of those problems. The worst is marketing. I’m not good at it at all.
Jill: I think we all feel that way about the necessary evil that is marketing. We all wish we could just write the books and let the readers enjoy them. So, what are you working on now?
Chris: A View to a Nerd has just been released. It’s the second book in the Nerds Saving the World Series. Why nerds? Because I am surrounded by them. My husband is a scientist. My oldest is majoring in computer science and my younger one is a gamer who wants to be a forensic scientist. I have examples and primary sources right in my house. I love romantic suspense. I get to have two people fall in love and put them in interesting situations.
Jill: Love the idea of a nerd being the hero. They are the problem-solvers of the world. We need to let them be heroes too. So, what is next in your writing world?
Chris: After this book, I’m hoping to finish writing the third in the Nerd Series and publish it. After that I want to write a trilogy about three brothers who inherit a winery. There will be murder and intrigue and of course love for all three of them. Each will get their own book. I have a good bit of it mapped out in my head.
Jill: Great idea for a series. I can’t wait to read it. Any last words for the readers?
Chris: I hope you enjoy my books and feel free to contact me.
Thank you, Chris for taking time for the interview. As we sit here and sip our fine wine let’s give the readers an excerpt of your new book to read. Enjoy!
A View to a Nerd © Chris Redding
Waking up next to a dead guy can ruin your whole day.
At least interior decorator Miriam Stokes’ thought so.
The Philadelphia Police Detective whose name she couldn’t remember talked soothingly to her, making her feel, not better, but at least calmer.
As calm as anyone could feel after finding a dead body. How did she get herself into these things?
Sipping coffee Miriam didn’t remember asking for, she eyed the cop as they sat in a flowered living room. Her friend Joe’s neighbor owned said living room. The friend she just found dead.
She tried to keep eye contact with Detective. . .Dasher, Dancer? Some reindeer name.
She could see him clearly now, her vision returning to normal.
“So you woke up and he was dead. Didn’t you hear a shot?”
After swallowing the scalding liquid, she answered him. “No detective. I do sleep very soundly, but I think I had help from this bump on the side of my head.”
To indicate the injury, she pulled away the bag of ice she held to her head. The ice had appeared sometime after the first patrolman. The lump began to throb, but Donner only glanced at her head. Instead, he scribbled some notes in a small pad.
How many murders does one have to see to get so matter-of-fact about them? Miriam shuddered.
“Could I at least get dressed? I feel a little vulnerable in my pajamas,” she told him.
Donner. The detective had introduced himself as Donner. He looked her over as if making a decision. He nodded, glancing around the apartment. “Do you have any clothes?”
She nodded towards Joe’s apartment.
“When they remove. . .” he murmured, then grimaced. She caught his meaning.
He turned his brown eyes back to her. “We’ll work things out. I just have a few more questions for you. Then we’ll go downtown.”
Find A View to a Nerd at:
Find Chris online at:
Don’t you already know how it ends?
Isn’t it formulaic? Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, they live happily after.
I’ve heard it all. But still, I love romance novels. Reading them and writing them. Today it could just as easily be boy meets boy, girl meets girl, girl meets vampire/werewolf, or girl meets alien from outer space.
Yes, to meet the definition of a romance novel it should end happily ever after or at least happy for now. Are you happily in a relationship? Are your friends? Compare notes. Did you all meet your significant other the same way? Did you all have the same baggage going into a relationship? Do you and your sweetheart argue about the same things as your friends do? Aha! Didn’t think so. Every romance is different. Every romance novel is different.
Each writer brings their baggage, their beliefs, and their idea of romantic to the story. I may think long walks on the beach are romantic and you may hate the sun, the salt air, and the sand between your toes. You may love hiking in the mountains and I may hate the pine air, the high altitude, and the idea of hiking anywhere.
*Warning! Spoiler Alert for The Princess Bride and As You Wish by Cary Elwes*
That romantic moment at the end of the movie. That happily-ever-after moment in the film when they kissed. A kiss by which all others are compared, to quote the film. It was a wonderful kiss but it wouldn’t mean as much if you didn’t follow their story from the beginning. To see what they did to EARN that kiss. To get their HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
Like the romance novel detractors, the little boy hearing the story at the beginning gets all upset to find his grandfather is reading him a “kissing book”. LOL Haven’t we heard that one before?!!
Westley and Buttercup are our lovers, our hero and heroine. They fall in love. They are parted. She fears he is lost. She is marrying another. He returns. They are reunited. They fall back in love. They are parted when she agrees to go with the fiancé to save her true love. He is almost killed. She is forced to marry another. But he returns, he was only “mostly dead”. They are reunited. Evil is vanquished. They get that happily-ever-after. And just like that little boy at the beginning of our story now saying, “it’s okay. I don’t mind the kissing so much.” Because they EARNED it. Even he recognized that they had been through the wringer and they deserved that kiss.
That is why I read and write romance! ❤ ❤ ❤
Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance.
The Coffee Break Guide to Social Media for Writers
by Amy Denim
Recently I was on a Yahoo loop and someone mentioned they had a blog post by the author for the above named book. I love How-to books, especially about writing and being a writer. I love social media. But, this book promised a coffee break usage of social media. I needed that. So I went over to BN.com and ordered it in paperback. For How-to books I like writing on the pages and using highlighters, it also comes in eBook.
This book is everything it promised and more. The author’s voice is friendly and funny, just enough quirky to make reading the subject extra-fun. I just finished Chapter 3 and already I found a tip that I would not have known in a million years and more than made up for the price I paid for the book.
In Blogging; Using pictures in your blog.
Tip — When you post a picture, you can use the caption and the description to attribute the pic. Use the alt text to describe the picture for your blind or visually impaired readers. Yeah, they read blogs too, but instead of reading with their eyes, they read with their ears. Instead of seeing the picture, they get to hear a description of it. If you don’t fill in the alt text all they get is “picture” — boring. More inclusive means more readers.
I’m highlighting and writing all over the pages and I can’t wait to put this tip and more to good use.
Jill James, Best-selling author of Christmas on Main Street with the Authors of Main Street
Below is an unedited excerpt of my current w.i.p. Love in the Time of Zombies. This book has been the most difficult I’ve written. It is my first time in 1st person POV. It has been a difficult time in my life. It has become a much bigger story than I originally planned. I’ve also decided to do something different with this release. When it is done and I’m trying for a few quotes from some authors I will put it on pre-order via Smashwords to Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo. They are doing that now and I think I’ll give it a try. With Indie publishing I think you have to try everything at least once to see what does and doesn’t work.
Emily Gray is off for a day of zombie hunting. Enjoy!
We go out in a group of eight. A team of two in each direction on the map; north, south, east, and west. Nick and I have south for the day. It’s my favorite. We can walk straight down the old bypass with Mt. Diablo on our right. For the first few miles, the cars have been cleared and you can see for a good distance. Last week a fire whipped through the hills around us so the stubble is short, burned, with nowhere to hide.
The pop of gunfire starts as the spotters on the corners take out the undead outside the perimeter of the mall. Nick and I check out the area when the popping stops. Spotting no one, dead or alive, we shimmy down the rope ladder that will be pulled up as soon as we are clear. I’ve been doing this for months now and my heart still stops beating when we jump down and the ladder is pulled up.
I stand by the containers stacked to make temporary walls on what was the road into the interior of the shopping center. Putting the binoculars up to my eyes, I turn in a semi-circle to scope out the area. The teams from the shopping center across the road are starting their morning too. The faint pop-pop of rifles carry across.
Once Nick is down, I try to look elsewhere as the ladder is pulled up. I close my eyes and clutch my lucky necklace in my fist. The metal edge bites into my palm and reassures me by its very existence. The necklace was a thirteenth birthday present from my parents. The center is a fifty-cent piece minted in my birth year 1990, inserted into a fancy, silver filigree setting. It is never off my body. I sleep and shower with it.
We trek across a field to the broken asphalt of the Highway 4 Bypass. The first time we went this way, Nick told me of the grand plans and tax dollars used for a new road, but the economy didn’t just not bounce back from the recession, it sunk into a depression that made the former Great Depression look like a temporary dip in the Dow Jones Index. I’d been oblivious in San Francisco. Carl had come from money and I guess the city was better off to start with than the outlying East Bay. The zombie apocalypse was a great equalizer. Money was worthless and your skills put food on the table, clothes on your back, and a canvas roof, at least, over your head.
Love in the Time of Zombies is coming soon!
- Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP
- Go to Line 7
- Copy down the next seven lines/sentences and post them on your blog
- Tag 7 authors and let them know
A loud thump echoed over the line. She jumped in her seat. She was sure that was her ex-husband’s fist connecting with his desk. Anger was good. Carl had always been one of those ‘fly off the handle, say the first thing that popped into their head’ kind of guys. She was counting on it.
“No, things are not better,” his voice bellowed through the phone.
And the authors I’m tagging are:
1. Lee Lopez2. Virna Depaul3. Sharon Hamilton4. Karin Tabke5. Tawny Weber6. Sarah Grimm7. Emma LaiHave a great day everyone!
This book is written in Arlene’s easy style of speaking. Each chapter starts with a simple test. See how well you do and then you will know if you need that chapter or not.
She not only tells you what the rules of grammar are, but why and makes it all make sense.
This a book every writer should have on their desk with a dictionary, thesaurus, and flip dictionary.
I spent this week editing and revising my paranormal romance, Dangerous Shift. I never realized that editing allows you to fall in love all over again with your story. I have always loved this story. It is the story of my heart. It was the first true kick-ass heroine I wrote. It was the first story that I truly pushed the boundaries with the love scenes. I love paranormal, futuristic romance and this was a love affair to write. This was one of those stories where you feel the story is writing itself. You sit down eager to write, to see where the characters will take you today. You love the characters, the setting, the adventures, trials, and happily ever after.
I discovered all over again that I love my writing. I don’t mean it is perfect, I mean I spotted gems along the way, a few sentences that just flowed. I saw places where I still cried reading the dialogue. I fell in love with this story all over again. It was like when you read a story by your favorite author and are swept along in the story. That is how I felt today. I want to hold that feeling deep inside for the days the writing is not flowing, the days I hate my characters, and for the days the words will just not come. Yes, I want to hold this feeling forever.
Have you ever finished something and just been satisfied with a job well-done?
I read a lot of books with demon killers, dragon slayers, and vampire hunters. But, Moira O’Donnell in Allison Brennan’s 7 Deadly Sins series is the best kickass heroine ever. Added to that, Brennan has given her a hero worthy of her – Rafe Cooper. Yum!!
I love that Moira has fears and doubts. It makes her more real to acknowledge them. This latest book – Carnal Sin – is Brennan’s sexiest one yet, which no doubt comes from the fact that Moira and Rafe are trying to stop the demon Lust.
I enjoyed Moira’s worries that what she feels for Rafe may just be a byproduct of the demon Lust running around wrecking havoc. On top of that, Moira and Rafe are running around and from the police, dealing with demons and witches, which the police are so not going to believe.
Brennan dug deep for this one with its underlying concern with what happens when we die. Can souls be redeemed? Can people repent with their dying breath? It was a very enjoyable read with deep thoughts to think about long after the last page is read.
After The End, those must be the sweetest words in the writer’s world. I am so proud that Tempting Adam, a contemporary romance, has sold to The Wild Rose Press. I’ve been working with Tori Spence on revisions and editing. She is an angel. I wish she were nearby so I could hug her.
May 28th, 2010
Received email at 6 p.m. to offer me a contract and welcome me to The Wild Rose Press. O…M…G. Every step of the process with TWRP has been amazing. It has been nice and easy and fast.
I am still walking around in a daze, pinching myself, asking if this is really real. I don’t think I will truly believe it until I see a cover with my name on it. OMG, just that thought tickles my heart and gets the tear ducts going.
Have you ever had a dream come true? How did it feel?
This is the 4th installment of the Phoenix Chronicles. The usual suspects are back: Liz, Jimmy, Summer, and Luther. Better and badder than ever. I especially liked this book for the tough choices everyone had to make.
The only problem with this book was it read too fast and ended too soon. 🙂
A meteorite has passed straight through Earth. So begins the tale of Impact. I love this story. It came with no instant answers and with no last minute – We save the Earth – effort. I won’t spoil the story, but the twists and turns in this book leave the reader with a heavy “What if?” thought.
The characters are amazing. Wyman Ford is a man’s man. He blows stuff up, defeats the bad guys, and always has a back-up plan. Abbey Straw is a flawed character who doesn’t know her own worth, which is sad because she is the smartest character I’ve ever read. I love her growth and tenaciousness throughout the book.
This story will have lots of readers asking questions about science and our government and the world and universe around us.
Have you ever read a story that really made you think, What if?
*Received ARC from Tor/Forge
Ms. Brennan hones her skill to a fine edge with Fatal Secrets. From the first pages viewed through the eyes of a victim of human trafficking, Ms. Brennan drags us into a deep, dark world many of us don’t know exists in this world.
Sonja Knight is a heroine to cheer on at every intersection of her life. Now an ICE agent, Sonja uses her insider knowledge of the human trafficking world to go after the bad guys and rescue the helpless victims of this vicious crime.