Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spotlight: Christine Columbus


 Today, we have Romance Writer Christine Columbus here at Just Write!  She's promoting her latest release, The Perfect Country and Western Story.

Let's ask Christine some questions . . .

Did you always want to become a writer?

Yes, I always wanted to be a writer, although there were times when I would lose track of my vision and goals, but someone would always remind me.  Thirty-three years ago, I was seventeen and didn’t even know who I was let alone what I wanted to be.

When the guy I was dating in high school said, “You’re so lucky because you know what you want to be?”

I eagerly asked, “What?”

Tom replied, “A writer.”

“Oh yeah, I do want to be a writer.”

“Promise me you’ll always write under your name,” he said.

I gazed into Tom’s eyes. He had deep set eyes with giant bushy eyebrows and he looked like the Wiley Coyote. “Sure, I’ll always write under Christine Columbus, but why?”

“Because someday when I am at the grocery store waiting in line to check out, I’ll glance up and see a novel. If you’re married and using a different last name, I’ll never know that it is your novel.”

 Of course my first thought was What?  If he’s not in the grocery store with me, who is he with?  I thought we were going to be together. Thoughts of who was standing next to his cart were soon displaced with the vision of my novel on display in the racks by the checkout counter at the super market.

What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?

There are twenty-six letters in the English alphabet and whenever anyone writes a story they only have the same twenty-six letters – yet by stringing the letters in different combinations you can create non-fiction, romance, adventure or horror – which I find intriguing.  What I find less interesting is misplaced modifiers, dangling participles.  

How did you celebrate your first release? What was it like to see your book in a bookstore/internet? Do you have a special ritual for celebrating a book release?

When my children were small I had a children’s story included in Half Price Books Bedtime Stories series. My mom and I were in the car driving out to the book stores, I had no idea what the book was going to look like, would it be a hard cover book that was four inches thick, or a bunch of pages ran off and stapled together… I remember being on highway 100 head towards Half Price Book store, when she turned to me and said, “I’m so excited my hands are shaking.”

My mother is no longer alive, but when The Perfect Country and Western Story was delivered to my house and I opened the box, I vividly remember that day in the car, when my mother was just as excited as I was.  And as I held my book, I could hear her voice: "Look my hands are shaking."

Do you prefer stand-alone books or series?

I like series books because when the next book comes out it is like meeting old friends for dinner or a cup of coffee.  It’s exciting to see what they’ve been up to.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Of course my short stories and novel is available at  Just type in author name Christine Columbus.

The Perfect Country and Western Story
by Christine Columbus 
The Wild Rose Press

(232pages) Sensual

Alexandra has the Stetson hat, now all she needs is the cowboy.  But with three days and over 50,000 faces to search, will she be able to find the man who stole her heart? 

Ben still can’t believe he was foolish enough to let the beautiful thief walk away with his autographed cowboy hat.  If the heart breaker dares to show up at Country Time again this year, he’ll not only be looking to get his hat back, but aiming for a little payback as well.

How The Perfect Country and Western Story came to be… 

I like the idea of a backwards Cinderella story where the woman had a cowboy hat and was looking for the cowboy that could wear it.  So, sitting around the campfire at WE Fest I began to plot.  When I left the concert all I knew was I had a woman with a Toby Keith autographed hat and she needed to find her cowboy at an outdoor concert.

I also wanted to tie the story to …“You Don’t Have To Call me Darlin’,Darlinnnnnn…” by David Allan Cole. The song is perfect because it has trucks, momma, gettin’ drunk, prison, and trains. 

So I decided that The Perfect Country and Western Story has romance, country music, and Alexandra trying find the cowboy whose head fit an autographed Toby Keith hat. 


Ben descended down the trailer steps. His stone-cold brown eyes were clouded in anger and focused directly on her.

The hairs on Alexandra’s arms bristled; her lip drew up into a snarl. What right did he have to be mad? He got his damn hat.

His gaze traveled slowly over her body. Alex’s heart beat faster. Her body might be weak, but her mind was strong. Her lazy gaze moved from the frown in his brow, down to the tips of his toes and back to a spot beside his right eye. The words he said last night played in her head. It doesn’t matter. I have the hat now. It’s all over.

Anger narrowed her eyes, flared her nostrils and burned the back of her throat. With valiant effort, she shook her head and rolled her eyes, dismissing him like yesterday’s news.

“Thanks for the shampoo, Laurie.” His voice was too cheery and exuberant.

From under her lashes Alex watched him hand a bottle to the curly-haired woman.
Her heart pounded harder and her mind screamed louder. If he was any type of man, he’d at least say, ‘Thanks for returning the hat.’ Or apologize for his obnoxious behavior the night before.

She hadn’t meant to glance up into his brown eyes. He blinked, and for half-a-second, she wondered if he could read her mind. Her heart paused along with her breath. Maybe...

Then his eyelids narrowed and his lip curled up. “What? Stealing my hat wasn’t enough? Now, you have to stalk me?"


Thanks for a great interview, Christine!!!

AM   :)


Kathy Otten said...

Wonderful interview. The part about your mom was touching. Reminded me of me an my mom. She's my biggest fan. Love the premise of your book about searching for the head to fit the hat. Fresh idea! Your hero sounds great too.

Judy said...

Great interview, Christine! Loved the part about envisioning your book at the check-out stand in the grocery store! (And the reference to my fave--Wiley Coyote!)
Yes, our moms are our biggest fans. I miss mine especially now that she could enjoy a book signing with me, but perhaps she knows.

AnneMarie Novark said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kathy and Judy!!!

Christine said...

Thank you Anne for having me and Kathy and Judy for stopping by...

Skhye said...

Great interview, you two! What a wonderful memory of your mother, Christine. And I'm with Kathy. Love the premise of your book about searching for the head to fit the hat... KInd of a Cinderella theme. ;) ~The Texan