I’ve known Christina Courtenay through the RNA for years. She’s another friend who gives me hair envy and is effortlessly stylish :o) We have lots in common – dogs, a love of Gothic novels, cooking – and she made me cry last Christmas (in a good way!) when she emailed me to say that I’d been shortlisted for the RoNA Rose award.
Over to Christina:
I’ve just started the edits on my fifth book, which I was quite pleased about until Kate asked me to take part in the celebrations for her fiftieth - yes, five zero – 50! Wow, amazing! I am in total awe of anyone that prolific because I know how much work goes into writing just one of those books, and this is a milestone that definitely deserves a celebration, so huge congratulations to Kate!
The thing that impresses me the most isn’t the actual writing she’s done though – it’s coming up with so many ideas for stories. For me, that’s the hardest part because I just can’t force it. Ideas come when they feel like it and usually they hit you when you’re least expecting it. I never know what is going to trigger the next one and when I’m lucky enough to be struck by inspiration, I write it down immediately so that I won’t forget whatever it is.
Ideas are precious to me, simply because I don’t actually know if I’ll ever have another good one – or one that’s got enough substance to be turned into a full-length novel. Sure, there are ways of trying to stimulate the mind to come up with story lines and plots, but the best ones, I find, are the ones that arrive unbidden.
It’s amazing the things that can trigger ideas though – so far, for me, it’s been a very varied selection of things: a ghost, a house, a painting, an actor in a film, a sumo wrestler and someone else’s hair! Weird? Absolutely. But that’s part of the fun of writing in my opinion.
I’ve heard other authors say that they find inspiration by reading magazines (especially the Agony Aunt type columns), watching TV and sitting in cafes listening in on other people’s conversations. I’ve yet to try those, but I do go to the cinema a lot as I’m often struck by ideas while watching the big screen. And it’s a great excuse for an outing and a large tub of popcorn too ☺
Anyway, to help Kate celebrate her wonderful achievement, I’m giving away a copy of my latest novel The Silent Touch of Shadows. It’s a time slip story, which features a professional genealogist who, after being harassed by a ghostly presence, decides to do some research on her own family tree and uncovers a six hundred year old love story. To win a copy, just leave a comment!
Many congratulations again, Kate! Here’s to the next 50!
You can find out more about Christina at her website http://christinacourtenay.com/ or on her blog at http://christinacourtenay.com/?page_id=278
Or talk to her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/christina.courtenay.9
Or follow her on Twitter @PiaCCourtenay