Saturday, June 14, 2008

Chris Verstraete interview/Searching for a Starry Night

With us today is Chris Verstraete author of Searching for a Starry Night. Chris and I have known each other from forums for a couple of years now. She writes short stories, now a young adult novel and probably several things in between.

Don't forget to stop by her blog and website for contests and other fun stuff.

Interview with Christine Verstraete, author of SEARCHING FOR A STARRY NIGHT, A MINIATURE ART MYSTERY

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Probably in the womb. Ha! My favorite baby photo is of me with a newspaper and pencil behind my ear. Destiny, I guess.

Do you work outside the home and only write when you can or do you have set writing times, keeping "office hours" so to speak?
I do freelance writing (newspapers and magazines) so I’m always writing, it seems. It’s harder to “not” be writing sometimes.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if it’s a quirk, but I have a hard time jumping back into a project I’ve let sit. I’m trying to get this other book done and if I get sidetracked, it’s hard to continue without going over the previous things. Drives me crazy! :>)

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I wonder that myself at times! Sometimes the ideas seem to come out of “nowhere.” But I have to stew on them awhile to see if they’ll work.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I was a big reader as kid, so I’d bet there was a book started somewhere, which I’ve totally forgotten about. But I’m a “late-bloomer” and didn’t really start the first book until a few years ago. I still like the idea and try to rework it now and then.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I always have a new miniatures project going and a long list of things I’d like to work on. Some of my projects can be seen at my website, I also like to read and enjoy being outdoors.

Who is your favorite author?
I read in many genres. I love Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I like historical fiction from authors like Diana Gabaldon, Ann Benson or Judith Merkle Riley. I seem to be drawn to reading about the 1500s to 1700s.

Who does your writing resemble or imitate?
I can’t say that there’s any particular style I imitate. I’m a pretty straightforward writer.

When did you take your work with miniatures into the writing venue? How do you incorporate the two?
I’ve been writing about miniatures for a long time. I enjoy writing about collectors and their collections for dollhouse magazines and sometimes for general magazines. Since I enjoy the hobby, it’s fun and interesting to talk to other collectors, as well. It seemed a natural step to incorporate miniatures into Searching For A Starry Night since I figured it was something that kids (and adults) would find interesting and unique. See and my blog,, for details.

Creating miniature scenes must be time consuming. Compared to writing, which takes longer, working on your miniature scenes or writing a story?
Oooh, good question! I tend to labor over both. I’m meticulous in planning my miniatures and can’t proceed until I have things the way I pictured them. But writing can take just as long; depends on the day. Ha! I’d have to say that the miniatures take longer, though, since I don’t have any deadlines.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I learned how much I thought I knew and didn’t! I found myself double-guessing things after awhile.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I actually have two other books underway; one is done but needs to be reworked. I’m working on the other now. Both are mysteries. I love Searching For A Starry Night as I enjoy the topic and love the characters. I’m also kind of drawn yet to my first unpublished novel, which has a 1920s theme running through it. I like that time period and enjoyed doing research. I still hope to revamp and revise it.

What do you think makes a good story?
A unique topic does it for me. I like stories with interesting settings and historical backdrops.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Being a big reader, I always wanted to write, so studying journalism and doing newspaper and other writing seemed to be a perfect fit.

Elysabeth, thanks for letting me stop by!

Visitors should go to my website for details on a special contest I am holding beginning June 12. This will be the first of several contests to celebrate the release of SEARCHING FOR A STARRY NIGHT.

1 comment:

Beth Fehlbaum, Author said...

I enjoyed reading your interview with Chris Verstraete. Thanks for letting me stop by!
Beth Fehlbaum, author
Courage in Patience, a story of hope for those who have endured abuse
Chapter 1 is online!