We want to thank Christina Lee for agreeing to be our July's Author of the Month. We loved having her here and we all hope you all Junkies found some great new reads among her fantastic books!
Hi Christina Lee and welcome to Bayou Book Junkie. Christina writes contemporary MF romance (New Adult and Adult), contemporary MM romance, and collaborates with Riley Hart on a NA MM series, Free Fall. Her latest solo effort, Regret (Under My Skin book 1, published 25 June 2017), was a sweet friends-to enemies-to lovers tale, and yay, there’s more to come! Rumour also has it that she’s just finished another book in the Free Fall series, though so far, we can’t find mention of a release date or a title (but rest assured, we will be keeping our eyes peeled!). She’s had a variety of careers and is now happily settled with her son and hubby in the Midwest.
BBJ: So Christina, we know that among other things you’ve been a wardrobe stylist, teacher and social worker, please tell us all about yourself and how you found yourself in the world of writing.
Christina: Hi there! Yes, I’ve had many different career experiences as a social worker, a special education teacher, a hand-stamped jewelry designer, and a wardrobe stylist in NYC. But it wasn’t until I got a part-time job writing a shopping column for a local newspaper that I decided to try my hand at fiction. The first book I wrote was a YA romance in 2008 and I’ve written many different age categories/genres since then (young adult, new adult, adult, LGBTQ) but always under the romance umbrella, because everyone under the rainbow deserves a happily-ever-after. ;-)
BBJ: Please could you describe your typical working day, and are you a pantser or a plotter?
Christina: I’m a plantser, LOL. I write loose plot points, so I know the general direction I’m heading in the book. But typically, my characters always change course as I’m writing, so I just roll with it. My typical writing time is during school hours, but I work way more than that for sure. If I’m on a deadline, I’ll work early morning, evening, and weekends to get it done.
BBJ: So, we’ve waved the famed BBJ magic wand and you’re able to go back in time to any period in history – which do you choose and why?
Christina: Oh goodness. I don’t even know because history has been crappy for women in general so I wouldn’t want to face the oppression—just keeping it real. Unless I could experience it in a man’s body, but still keep all of my female knowledge and sensibilities from today—how fun would that be? Maybe I could even influence progress early on. But if I had to choose something, I’d definitely want to experience an Outlander episode in Claire’s body as long as Jamie Fraser was there. Le sigh…
BBJ: Can you tell us a little more about the upcoming Free Fall novel, and when we can expect to get our greedy little hands on it? Will there be more to come of this series?
Christina: So Ben and Xavier’s book is not considered a Free Fall novel. It’s a spin-off that stands on its own especially since it features Ben from PAINT THE STARS and Xavier from Nyrae Dawn’s (AKA Riley Hart) A HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS. It will wrap up both series and more than likely that will be the end for all of those characters. We love them so much! Cover and blurb coming soon. Look for the book to be released end of August, beginning of September.
BBJ: If money were no object, please tell us about the top 5 things that you’d like to do/experience.
Christina: It would all involve travel I think as well as donating to charitable organizations to help make a difference. I’ve already been to Europe (and North America, obviously), so I’d choose other continents: South America, Asia, Africa, Antarctica, and Australia.
BBJ: Can you tell us a little about your plans and hopes for the next few months (and beyond, if you like, ‘cos we’re greedy like that, lol!)?
Christina: I already talked about Ben and Xavier’s book with Nyrae/Riley coming soon. I’m also currently writing the second book in the Under My Skin series (after REGRET), TBR early fall. I also have a couple of other books/projects I’m keeping under wraps for now. But if you belong to my private Facebook group, The Swoon Room, I definitely keep my readers up to date there.
BBJ: And right now, if you weren’t writing, what could you see yourself doing and why?
Christina: I’m a person who tried many different careers and finally found my passion in my late 30s, so I’m right where I want to be. J
BBJ: How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?
Christina: I think every author does constant research when writing a book, depending on the topic, setting, characters, etc. The most exhaustive research I’ve probably ever done was when writing my Native American adult romance series with Penguin.
As far as currently writing gay romance? I grew up with two gay siblings and mostly boys in my family, and always had an affinity for writing male voices (even in my MF novels). I am very passionate about LGBTQ rights, especially considering I am also part of that alphabet. I also absolutely try to get opinions from friends, family, other authors, betas etc. as far as authentic voice is concerned.
BBJ: And finally, the quick-fire round:
Who do you admire the most? OMG, in which facet of life? I’ll say my late brother who died of AIDS way too young. He was so a beautiful soul, so full of life, and basically tried to experience it all in his short life. He was compassionate, knowledgeable, and worldly, and my admiration runs deep.
Are you a morning or a night person? Definitely morning!
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? I’m not very experimental with food. I’m quite squeamish. So I’ll just say eel while eating a plate of sushi.
What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? Besides feeding the animals, I drink coffee and check messages on my phone while I wake up.
Describe the perfect kiss in 3 words. Slow, just enough tongue, and hands on jaw or in hair.
What is your biggest addiction? Just one? LOL. Coffee, lip balm (it’s like crack), reading, and bing-watching Netflix shows.
Thank you so much for answering our questions and for agreeing to be our Author of the Month, Christina! We loved having you here!
Christina: THANK YOU for having me! You are AWESOME!
Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.
Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I've been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn't until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction.
I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M Contemporary Romance. I'm addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.