Hey readers! I was lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with this incredible woman on the eve of her novel debut! Ember comes out October 1st and it is guaranteed to run the gauntlet of emotions through your body! Here’s a little insight into the extraordinary Christi Whitson!
This whole experience is a bit surreal. I’m nervous and excited, but I’m also just really relieved that it’s finally here. It’s like reaching the top of a roller coaster’s first drop. Everything has been building up to this, and now the REAL ride begins!
I think I actually cheered out loud, got up, and did a happy dance. It was the kind of relief that makes you feel high.
I’ve been writing since I was about twelve, and Ember is my first published novel. I’m a mother of two beautiful girls, who inspire me every day. I’m also living with Multiple Sclerosis, so while I might not be able to churn out the novels as quickly as some authors, I will continue to write for as long as I’m physically and mentally capable of doing so. I don’t know who I’d be without my writing.
Like many authors, I dabbled in fanfiction first just to see if I was actually any good, and I gained a lot of positive experience from that endeavor. But even with thousands of positive reviews and comments, what really kept me going were the amazing friends I made. I may have taken the first step, but they cheered me through the finish line.
I really enjoy reading dystopian fiction, but I don’t know that I could ever write it. I like books that make me think, and if they can make me swoon and fall in love too, that’s even better! As for writing, romantic suspense seems to be my wheelhouse, but I’m not stuck in it. I have tentative plans for an erotic romance and a YA novel, among others.
I think J.K. Rowling has to win this one. I’m a HUGE Potter fan, and she’s such an admirable person in so many ways.
Don’t rush yourself. That filters down into a lot of different things. Write your story at a comfortable pace, and don’t rush the publication process. Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need for editing, formatting, marketing, and so on.
Ember is book one of a duet, and I’m hoping to have the sequel out sometime around the new year. It’s the story of two people who meet briefly as children and form an intense bond through tragic circumstances. They spend the next fifteen years apart, but that bond keeps them strong as they both face unique challenges in their lives. When they happen to cross paths in college, they don’t recognize each other immediately, and they both think they’re too busy to be more than ‘friends with benefits.’ They can only fight fate for so long, of course, and their love will make them stronger together than they ever were apart. Ember has a little something for everyone: drama, angst, romance, steamy sex scenes, a possessive and protective man, a strong but vulnerable woman… Owen and Lena will steal your heart right from the very beginning.
My next novel after Ember’s sequel will be more of an erotic romance. Ember and its sequel do have some spicy scenes, but my next project will push that envelope quite a bit further.
I feel like writing is simply a part of who I am. I don’t know who I’d be if I didn’t write, and sometimes it probably borders on an addiction. It’s something I need in order to function, the way some people rely on exercise or meditation. On the days that I feel physically able and creatively inspired, I can spend all day at it. On the days that my body doesn’t cooperate, I’m still reading, editing, making notes, brainstorming… There is always a story brewing in my mind, just waiting to be written.
For the most part, I’ve been able to handle writing intense scenes fairly easily, but I will admit that I was far more invested in Ember than I was with any of my previous stories. Writing the first chapter was the first time I’d ever cried for my characters as I typed. There is also a scene in the early chapters of book two that made me sick and shaky with anxiety to write. I had to take a week-long writing break afterward. So, yes, I get every bit as emotionally invested as the reader!
I like to joke that it’s free therapy, but that’s actually pretty accurate. Writing keeps me sane. To quote one of my favorite musicians, “I say what I think, ‘cause it’s more economic than drugs or a drink.” (Sara Bareilles)
Releasing book two of the duet is my next challenge. It’s written and currently being edited, and I’m hoping to have it out sometime around the new year. I’ve also started outlining my third novel (the erotic romance), and I’m brainstorming half a dozen other plots in my spare time.