Sep 21, 2012

An Interview With Christina Routon


Today we have the wonderful Christina Routon with us for an interview. Please help me welcome her.

Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?

Hillbilly Rockstar is a contemporary romance.

Down-and-out country singer Trace Harper parties like there's no tomorrow. When his manager dies, the party's over. Trace discovers he's not just broke, he's $15,000 in debt.

Lisa Jenkins worked with Trace's dead manager and offers him a project that could revive his career - and put $100,000 in his pocket. But there's a catch - Trace must sign a morals clause for the length of the project. 

With nothing to lose, Trace takes Lisa on as his new manager and discovers life away from the party isn't all bad. 

But Lisa isn't exactly who he thinks she is, and when Trace's ex-wife shows up with proof of Lisa's deceit, Trace has to decide if he can trust her with his career - and his heart. 

What can we expect from you in the future?

I'm working on a non-fiction project right now. After that, I'll be working on the sequel to Hillbilly Rockstar. I'll be telling Michelle's story, his co-host from the TV show. I'm also considering a short story featuring his ex-wife, Trixie.

How do we find out about you and your books?

My website is the best place, but I also spend a lot of time on Facebook.

Why did you decide to write romance novels?

I read my first romance novels when I was twelve. An aunt gave me about 200 Harlequin Presents and I read them over the course of the summer. I loved the stories but wanted to know why there weren't any American characters. All characters in the Presents line seemed to be set in Europe or Australia. I wanted to write romantic stories featuring the people and the life I knew best. I'm also a very romantic person and I enjoy telling a story and following it through that first attraction through a happily ever after.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

I do have a schedule as I work around a day job and a family. The schedule can change, but I always know what I'm working on every day. I alternate between writing and rewriting / editing to keep my focus strong for the project.

What is your writing routine once you start a book?

I jump in and write in a linear fashion. I write after work on weekdays for about two hours and about four hours on Saturday.

Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?

I do make a loose outline detailing what needs to be in each chapter. If I need to research something, I will do that before I begin to write and include information in my outline. I don't stop the writing to research, though. I make notes to myself during the writing process to check on a fact or research something and leave a comment about what type of information needs to be included.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?

They generally leave me alone, but if they really need me they know they can interrupt. I've protected my writing time, though, and they have learned that if it's something they just want to share with me or let me know then it can wait until I'm finished for the night.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

I watch TV or movies on Hulu or Netflix with my husband or we play a game. We enjoy role playing games or DVD / board games like Scene It. My son and I will have Doctor Who or Star Trek:TNG marathons.

How do you come up with ideas?

I have more ideas than I have time to write. Sometimes I have what I call story dreams. I'll dream the story from beginning to end, as if I'm watching it play out. Sometimes the details don't make sense since it is a dream, but when I wake up I write down the basic storyline. I also get ideas from song lyrics, a phrase someone says to me, or something random pops into my head during a walk.

What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels? Do you find them difficult to write?

I enjoy love scenes in romance novels. I think there's a place for all heat levels. I don't find them difficult to write. I enjoy showing my characters expressing their love for one another.

What does your husband/wife think of your writing?

My husband is very supportive. He reads the manuscripts, brings me tea, listens while I bounce ideas off him. He is wonderful and very supportive of my writing.

Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)

I've been married for 22 years to my childhood sweetheart. We have an 18-year-old son. We moved from Georgia to Alabama about three years ago and haven't regretted it. We love the area where we live. We're in the city limits, but it's a quiet, historic neighborhood. We participate in a Christmas event each year. We're all geeky in some way. We love our gadgets, science fiction TV and movies, and role playing games. We have two dogs and a cat. We're pretty laid back but we have a wonderful life.

Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?

Nora Roberts, definitely. I have learned so much from how she writes and tries new things. Sue Grafton and Charlaine Harris are also inspirational to me.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I have a specific goal to reach within the next four years, so within five years I will have reached that goal and most likely set another one. My husband and I are currently working on downsizing our lifestyle and traveling, so in five years we'll be living on the road in an RV, traveling, working, continuing to enjoy our lives.

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?

I would be creative in some way. It's a part of me and my family. My parents sing and play instruments, two of my brothers play instruments, another brother is a wonderful cook. We're all creative in some way, so I would most likely be playing an instrument or painting. Being creative is what I'm passionate about and I can't wait to do it full-time.

Leather or lace? Lace
Black or red? Black
Satin sheets or Egyptian cotton? Egyptian Cotton
Ocean or mountains? Ocean
City life or country life? Country life
Hunky heroes or average Joe? Average Joe
Party life or quiet dinner for two? Quiet dinner for two
Dogs or cats? cats

I love pizza with spinach, Alfredo sauce and feta cheese.
I'm always ready for a trip somewhere.
When I'm alone, I watch a movie.

Dessert ~ Key Lime Pie
City ~ Gulf Shores, Alabama. Beautiful place to vacation and not as crowded as Panama City.
Season ~ Spring - not too hot, not too cold.
Type of hero ~ Strong, steady, faithful, caring.
Type of heroine ~ Strong, willing to open herself up, speaks her mind, doesn't need a man but chooses one.

Where can your readers find you?

https://twitter.com/croutonwrites
http://christinaroutonwrites.blogspot.com
http://pinterest.com/croutonwrites/
http://www.facebook.com/CRoutonWrites

Where’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Facebook


Excerpt From Hillbilly Rockstar

Awful was not the word for the set Trace Harper performed. Horrible, depressing, deplorable, unpleasant, ugly -- these words were closer to the truth.
It was obvious Trace was drunk. Not tipsy, not buzzed, but high-as-a-kite drunk. He went through the set, forgetting words to songs he'd made famous only a few years before. He stumbled over the stage, laughing at his mistakes. When it came to his final ballad, the most famous of his career, he butchered the chorus that everyone else in the bar knew so well. No one seemed to mind, especially the women in the audience, in particular a bleached blonde in a halter top that barely covered her large breasts. She was standing below the stage, staring up at Trace as if he were a god to be worshipped -- and he seemed pretty happy to accept whatever worship came his way.
Lisa watched him for a few minutes as fans greeted him, asking for pictures and autographs. He seemed to be having the time of his life, and either didn't realize -- or didn't care -- that his performance sucked. He was much different than the man she'd met at the office some years ago when he'd come in for a meeting with Charlie. She'd been new to the agency and to Nashville. Seeing celebrities around town and at work had fascinated her and there were a few times she'd embarrassed herself when speaking to them. It also didn't help that she'd had a huge crush on Trace Harper when he'd first come on the country music scene fifteen years earlier. But that was then, and this was now, and she wasn't a wide-eyed-twenty-something-girl with stars in her eyes anymore.
Well, may as well get this over with. She made her way to the stage as the crowd around him thinned out, ignoring the blonde begging Trace for a picture.
"Sure, honey." Trace flicked his black hat back on his head and put his arm around the woman. "Hey, you." He pointed at Lisa. "Come take our picture, sweetie pie."
"I am not your sweetie pie, Mr. Harper." Lisa said.
"Well, tonight you are, so take our picture."
"Here," the blonde said, her voice high and squeaky. She handed Lisa her cell phone and cuddled closer to Trace, squeezing him around the waist and laying her head on his shoulder. Trace held up his beer and put his arm around the blonde's shoulders. Sighing, Lisa held up the cell phone.
"If I take this picture, can I speak with you for five minutes, Mr. Harper?"
"What is it with the Mr. Harper crap? Sure, whatever, five minutes. Take the picture so I will never forget meeting the most beautiful woman in the world."
"Oh," the blonde cooed, looking up at him and smiling. Lisa hit the button on the phone and took the photo. 
"Take another one, just in case."
"In case of what?" Lisa asked.
"Just in case."
"Last one," Lisa said, and pushed the button just as the woman placed her palms on Trace's cheeks and pulled his mouth to hers. The camera caught the kiss, exactly as Lisa assumed the woman wanted.
"Thank you so much," the blonde said to Trace before taking her phone and heading back to friends, all similarly clad in various tank tops, halter tops, jeans and mini-skirts, at a nearby table.
"Now, what would you like to talk about, sweetie pie?" Trace ambled over to her, waving off a few people that were asking for autographs. "Hold on, folks. I promised this lady five minutes."
With groans and sighs the crowd dispersed, but didn't go very far. Lisa did not understand how people still wanted photos and autographs after his terrible performance, but there they stood, waiting for him to finish talking.
"Mr. Harper, I work for Cahill-Waters Talent Agency. I've been trying to get in touch with you."
"Yeah, Charlie's company. Yeah, sorry, I've had some issues with my cell phone recently. Wait." Trace flicked his hat back on his head again and came closer, his brown eyes focusing on her face, then down her body.
"Do I pass?" She crossed her arms over her chest, tapping her booted foot on the wooden floor.
"I know you from somewhere." He scanned her again and Lisa felt as if she were being inspected from her blonde hair framing her face, down her skinny blue v-neck t-shirt and flared leg jeans to the cowboy boots peeking from the hem. "You were at Charlie's funeral. The blonde in the black dress and boots, with the redhead."
"That's right, I was there." It unnerved her to think of Trace seeing her at the funeral, seeing her now, and even remembering what she'd been wearing that day.
He leaned in closer and she had to uncross her arms to keep him from bumping them. He bent just a little and whispered in her ear.
"I loved that dress on you. I enjoy curves on a woman, and you got 'em in just the right places." He reached down, placing his hands on her hips.
She pushed him away. "Mr. Harper, I am here as a professional. I need to speak to you regarding your representation with Cahill-Waters."
He laughed, taking a step back. "Okay, not interested. I get it. What about my representation? You guys are just going to keep doing whatever you're doing, right?"
Before she could answer, the crowd wanting his autograph had grown and were pushing closer them. A sea of bodies, primarily female, separated them and Lisa was forced to step back to the wall to keep from being crushed.
"Hey, sweetie pie, I'll call you," she thought she heard Trace call out over the noise, then he was gone, trapped in a frenzy of female fans.
Lisa headed back to their table and found Tanya snuggled in the lap of the dark haired man she'd danced with earlier. "Well, I tried."
"You didn't get to talk to him? Oh, this is Doug, by the way." Tanya smiled down at the man and ran a finger over his cheek.
"Hi, Doug. Lisa. I did, but I wasn't able to tell him everything. He hit on me."
"Really?" Tanya looked up at Lisa in surprise.
"Yes, really. Now, can we go? I want to get home and get some sleep." Lisa grabbed her purse and jacket from her chair and slung them over her arm.
"Okay. Bye, Doug." Tanya kissed the man then slid off his lap, taking her purse from the back of the chair as she stood. "I had fun. You got my number?"
"I sure do," Doug said, and winked at the cute redhead. "I'll be calling you later."
"You better." Tanya waved at him before following Lisa out of the bar.
"Looks like you found a friend." Lisa unlocked her sedan and they climbed in, buckling their seat belts.
"Yeah, I did. Too bad you didn't get to speak to Trace. Well, except to get hit on."
"Yeah, too bad." Lisa started the car, but didn't back up right away. She remembered the sound of his voice near her ear, the tickle of his five o'clock shadow on her cheek as he leaned close to her, his warm breath on her neck, the feel of his hands on her hips, and shivered.
"What's wrong?" Tanya asked, noticing her shake.
"Nothing," Lisa said. "Trace is a jerk, that's all. I'm not going to keep trying to call him. I'm going to send the letter to his agent. I have better things to do."
She put the car in reverse and backed out of the lot, heading for home, determined to put Trace Harper out of her mind once and for all.

Buy Links:
Amazon - http://bit.ly/HBRSKIN
Barnes and Noble - http://bit.ly/HBRSNook
Smashwords - http://bit.ly/HBRSSMASH
Kobo - http://bit.ly/HBRSKobo
All Romance Ebooks - http://bit.ly/HBRSARE

Christina Routon is originally from Manchester, Georgia, and currently lives in Alabama with her family. She works from home as a general transcriptionist, which allows her time to write fiction and non-fiction as well as work on her general transcription website. A self-professed geek, she enjoys tabletop role-playing games, watching Doctor Who (David Tennant is her favorite, but Matt Smith is growing on her), and watching anything written or produced by Stephen Moffat or Joss Whedon.


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