Today we welcome Christa Worrell to the BookEnds family!
Christa writes romance and women’s fiction with loads of humor and heart. Just as I was looking for a steamy, Southern romance, Christa’s appeared. Her book fulfilled all of my romance book wants, including one I didn’t know I had, a spunky chihuahua with nine lives.
What genres do you write? Read?
I tend to write romance and women’s fiction, but I read across many genres from literary to YA to memoir and more.
Plotter or pantster?
Back in 2007, I kept hearing a vicious argument in my head (a male and female character arguing) until I wrote it down and built a story around it. Consequently, my first manuscript came together like a patchwork quilt. So I guess you’d call that pantstery. After extensive revisions and gnashing of teeth, I’ve come to embrace plottery. My current storyboard is a riot of strings, Post-it notes, and pineapple thumbtacks. Who knows if the result will be any better, but the board sure was fun to make.
Synopses, love them or hate ‘em?
Query hooks are very useful, but synopses are the devil. Less than ¼ of the agents I queried asked for one. For a long time I avoided the agents who did.
Do you have a writing playlist or a vision board? If so, what’s on them?
Alexa plays classical music or nature sounds if I ask her politely—otherwise she pretends she can’t hear me. Mozart and Debussy help while writing, as does birdsong, but anything with words gunks up the flow.
Drink of choice when writing?
Ethiopian Sidamo with cream—piping hot.
When not writing?
A dry rosé or a French 75—but never before 5pm.
Day or Night writer?
Day: Early morning—until my behind goes numb, then its time for yoga.
I never touch a manuscript after the donkey hour (3 pm)—the brain is fried by then.
Where can we find you?
Twitter: @CGWorrell (best option)
Good Reads: C. G. Worrell
If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would you want to meet and why?
Truman Capote for sure.
I’d whisk him away to The Columns Hotel in New Orleans for happy hour. We’d lounge on the front porch, sipping old fashioneds and trading stories, while the streetcars rumbled by. I always appreciated his supreme confidence, biting wit, and wicked sense of humor. In the preface of Music for Chameleons, he wrote: “I started writing when I was eight . . . not knowing that I had chained myself to a noble but merciless master. When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is solely intended for self-flagellation.” I’ve found this to be very true of writers in general—they beat up on themselves. So recognize it for what it is.
Best advice to writers:
1) Read, read, read. Observe word choices, punctuation styles, and phrases that get you in a character’s head.
2) Meet regularly with a strict and constructive critique partner—not a cheerleader. Yes, it hurts, but the gain is worth the pain.