MEOW! Our guest today is author Christina Freeburn!
The Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery series brings together Christina Freeburn’s love of mysteries, scrapbooking, and West Virginia. When not writing or reading, she can be found in her scrapbook room or at a crop. Alas, none of the real-life crops have had a sexy male prosecutor or a handsome police officer attending.
Christina served in the JAG Corps of the US Army and also worked as a paralegal, librarian, and church secretary. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, children, a dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid or allergic to felines.
R: Welcome! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing!
Christina: When I was in high school, a friend and I were bored on the long bus ride to and from school so we started writing a teen romance. My friend lost interest but I found a new love that that complemented my love of reading. Ever since, I wanted to be a writer. I’ve had other jobs in my life along the way…I served in the US Army, was a paralegal, circulation librarian, and a church secretary… and always came back to writing.
R: Tell us about your “Scrap This Mystery” series! Was it sparked by your own love of scrapbooking?
Christina: The Scrap This Mystery series features Faith Hunter who left home wanting to experience a more exciting life than her West Virginia hometown offered, and returned home when adventure wasn’t as grand as she always dreamed. The Scrap This series was inspired by my love of scrapbooking. Scrapbooking was a hobby that combined storytelling and photography so it was a natural fit for me. I thought it was a good backdrop for a mystery as scrapbooking is all about showcasing lives and our histories, and sometimes trying to rewrite it a little by what we leave out, or put into, our scrapbooks.
R: Tell us about your New Beginnings series.
Christina: The New Beginnings books are an inspirational romantic suspense series that follows a group of skip-tracers who dedicate their lives to relocating abused women who need a new start in life. This series is written in multiple third-person point of views (usually just heroine and hero but sometimes a villain has their say) and has a more serious tone than the Scrap This books. There is a touch of humor in the books, and a strong family unit is also a part of this series.
R: Tell us about your latest release!
Christina: Embellished to Death is the third book in the Scrap This Mystery Series. In this story, Faith ventures out of Eden and heads to Morgantown where she is a vendor at a weekend scrapbook retreat. She teams up with Bob Roget, a private investigator and Detective Ted Roget’s brother, to catch an identity thief hiding among—and preying on—the women attending the crop retreat. Faith discovers the identity thief isn’t the only person she needs to be wary of when a man who knows her past uses it to blackmail her and swears he’ll prove she’s the killer.
R: Do you have an “how I got my agent” story you’d like to share? How did you feel when you got the call your first novel had sold?
Christina: I don’t have an agent right now. When my first book sold, I was very excited and at times couldn’t quite believe it and wondering if I had dreamt it. It wasn’t until I held it in my hands that it seemed real.
R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
Christina: Theme songs and a title. For every book, I have a song that represents the “heart” theme of the book and also one that speaks of the main relationship issue/romance in the book. The title also gives me some direction and without one I can’t get beyond writing ‘Chapter One.’
R: If you had access to a time machine, which historical moment would you travel to and why?
Christina: I’d like to go back when women won the right to vote in the United States. Sometimes, I think the responsibility and duty to cast a vote is taken for granted. I think being there to see the struggle and what it took to earn the right would make voting a more serious matter, and one that we cherished and used every time the opportunity is there. I’ll admit I skipped voting in a local election because I thought the issue weren’t worth the time.
R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
Christina: That I saw a show at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. I’ve always been on the more conservative side so I don’t think it’s something anyone would suspect that I’d watch and enjoy.
R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
Christina: When stationed in Germany, some friends and I visited Switzerland and decided to hike an easy trail on the Swiss Alps. On the way down, we somehow lost our original trail and ended up on one that was much steeper. Instead of trying to find the easy trail, we continued down the more advance one. Looking back, I realized that we weren’t very bright as it was beyond our skill level. Fortunately, we all made it down safely.
R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?
Christina: After reading one of my books, I’d like readers to take away a sense of hope and a belief that a person can not only change their life but help others do the same. I’d want readers to have been entertained and feel like they just spent time with some friends.
R: What are you working on at the moment / next?
Christina: Right now, I’m working on a new Scrap This Mystery story. The first draft is nearing completion.
R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Christina: I’m a mix of both. I used to be a pantser only but found that I spend a lot of time reconstructing a story when I was finished. Some of my characters like to go off in tangents and I needed to start outlining a little bit to keep them focused on the main plot of the story.
R: Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Christina: Don’t compare your journey in publishing or your writing style to anyone else’s. Each writer has a way that works best for them and copying the way another writer works won’t get you the same results. Just be you.
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? Night.
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Cat. Absolutely cat. (ROCCO: PURRRR)
Beach or Pool? Beach
Steak or salad? Steak
Favorite Drink? Sangria
Favorite Book? Misty of Chincoteague
Favorite TV Series? Once Upon a Time
Favorite Movie? Maleficent
Favorite Actor: Colin O’Donoghue
Favorite Actress: Lana Parrilla
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Pina Colada
Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Walt Disney.
If I had just one wish, it would be that there would be peace. There seems to be so much anger and hatred everywhere.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be no one. I’d have answered that question differently a few months ago, but I’m at a stage of life where I’m working on enjoying being me, and not trying to compare my life to someone else’s. There was a time I got too caught up in comparing and I found it put me in a negative frame of mind.
Thanks for a great interview!
Here are all the places you can find Christina: