Happy Monday, Reader Friends!
I’m starting this week off with an interview with author Christina Sinsi. She’s stopped by to talk about her novel, Christmas on Ocracoke. If you don’t have it on your TBR pile yet, keep reading to find out why you need it.
Toni: Welcome, Christina! Thanks for joining me on the blog today. Let’s start off talking about your writing process. What is that like?
Christina: I tend to be very methodical—it doesn’t harm the creativity, I promise! I start off with the germ of an idea and create a story board. If you haven’t heard of one before, I write about doing so in my blog post at www.ChristinaSinisi.com. The story board outlines the characters and the plot points of the three act structure, including midpoint and dark night of the soul before the happy-ever-after. With that plot outline in mind, I start writing. I may not look at it very often, but it’s there in the back of the mind. When I’m actually writing, I just write. I set a page count for the day and go.
Toni: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Christina: In third grade—basically, as soon as I could actually write. Now getting there has been an entirely different story.
Toni: What’s a normal writing day like for you?
Christina: I work full-time as a professor and the department chair of the psychology department at a small Christian college. So, my normal writing day is only about an hour after dinner, after grading. Thank goodness for summers and Christmas break. During the summer, my life is completely different. I’ll get up, eat breakfast, exercise, shower, and then write until lunch. Nap, write. At my very best, I’ll write 25 pages in a day. More likely 7 – 10. Right now, with so many papers and tests to grade, summer (or even Christmas break) feels like a faded dream.
Toni: Let’s switch gears a little bit. Tell us a little about your story.
Christina: Annie Hanahan is reeling from the upheaval of a failed marriage. She’s desperate for a new start—and when she inherits a cottage on Ocracoke Island, she may finally get it. Without a second thought, she packs up and leaves everything behind: her first name, her job, and her ex-husband. But when she arrives in the Outer Banks, she finds the island—and her promised refuge—ravaged by Hurricane Dorian. As a contractor who has given so much of his time to helping Ocracoke recover, it surprises no when Trey Kingsley offers to help the beautiful newcomer, but something is holding her back. Life keeps throwing them together, though, or perhaps God’s hand is giving them a nudge. Will a little bit of divine intervention be enough for a Merry Christmas on Ocracoke?
Toni: What life verse would your main character choose and why?
Christina: I actually have that verse at the beginning of the book: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5.
Annie Hanahan chooses that verse, or God chooses it for her, because she’s starting down a new path and definitely needs to trust in Him.
Toni: What would be the verse that fits your story and why?
Christina: The Proverbs verse above is not only for Annie but for the whole story—trust in the Lord, not yourself.
Toni: What message do you hope readers will get out of reading your story?
Christina: We need to trust in God. He is at work in our lives—through other people and through those gentle nudges He gives us.
Toni: Why should a reader choose your books if this is the first time they’ve heard of you?
Christina: My books are, I hope, uplifting and funny. You’ll learn about places you’ve maybe never been and leave a little more hopeful, joyful about life.
Toni: Do you like coffee or tea? Chocolate or candy? Beaches or mountains?
Christinia: I’m a sweet tea kind of gal.
And both. I have written so far about the beach (where I live now), but I have a book set in the Virginia mountains (where I grew up) waiting in the wings. All of God’s beautiful creation makes me excited and happy.
Toni: Who would you cast to play the characters in your book?
Christina: Ah, what a fun question! Normally, I think of people I know to get me started with the characters’ appearance and so on, but they’re not famous so…Sam Heughan (from Outlander) to play Trey, the hero. And the heroine needs to be dark-haired—one of my daughter’s childhood friends is Madelyn Cline, the lead female in Outer Banks—how perfect is that? Funny, well-known fact—the show “Outer Banks” is actually filmed here in the Charleston, South Carolina area. My book is set in the real Outer Banks.
Toni: I like to ask how I and the readers can we pray for you?
Christina: In this vein, I pray that I sell enough books and have enough readers who enjoy my books that I can continue to be published. I love sharing stories and hope I touch people’s lives. I don’t know where that line is, but God provides, right? In other areas of my life, my family and I are blessed with health right now and I’m so grateful.
Toni: Last but not least, what’s next in your writing?
Christina: I can’t wait! Sweet Summer, coming next summer in 2021, is the second book in the Summer Creek series—a follow-up to last year’s Christmas Confusion. It’s a full-length novel and I’m excited to share Shelby’s story. The youngest sister is so often overlooked, but not this time!
About the Book
Reeling from the upheaval of a failed marriage, Annie Hanahan is desperate for a new start—and when she inherits a cottage on Ocracoke Island, she may finally get it. Without a second thought, she packs up and leaves everything behind: her first name, her job, and her ex-husband, because more than anything, she wants to get her son away from his father’s partying and neglectful ways. But when she arrives in the Outer Banks, she finds the island—and her promised refuge—ravaged by Hurricane Dorian.
When their parents died in a tragic car accident, Trey Kingsley dropped out of college to raise his sister. Now that she’s grown and moved away, it’s his turn to find a life of his own. As a contractor who has given so much of his time to helping Ocracoke recover from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, it surprises no one when he offers to help the beautiful newcomer, but something is holding her back. Life keeps throwing them together, though, or perhaps God’s hand is giving them a nudge. Will a little bit of divine intervention be enough for a Merry Christmas on Ocracoke?
About the Author
A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Christina Sinisi writes stories about families, both the broken and blessed. Her works include a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest and the American Title IV Contest in which she appeared in the top ten in the Romantic Times magazine. Her published books include The Christmas Confusion and the upcoming Sweet Summer, the first two books in the Summer Creek Series, as well as Christmas On Ocracoke. By day, she is a psychology professor and lives in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with her husband and two children and cat Chessie Mae.