Posted on March 4, 2019 at 11:30 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
For some people, moving one state over is a bold decision.
Meanwhile, others, like romance author Christa Maurice, move from continent to continent like it’s no big deal.
Her previous career of English teacher took her to South Korea, Chile, and Abu Dhabi and played an important role in setting her up for her current job.
As her author bio points out, spend enough time seeking shelter from intense heat — and being secluded from just about all men — and your imagination is bound to get some serious exercise.
Get to know more about Maurice and see how else living abroad has contributed to her writing in our latest author Q&A.
SADYE: How else have your travels have inspired or affected your writing?
CHRISTA: Travel gives a great opportunity to see what people enjoy and struggle with.
People all over the world are the same, but they put value in different things and seeing that helps me create fuller characters.
What one person finds easy to manage can crush someone else.
When I was writing Flora's difficulties with her family, I was drawing on Asian and Filipino family dynamics.
When I was writing Sarina's problems with her ambition, I used experiences I had had with Indians and Koreans to fill out where she was coming from.
I also happen to detest being trapped on an airplane or waiting in the terminal for my flight. The noise, the crowds, the uncomfortable seats.
So I try to write stories that would keep me engaged for two to fourteen hours in a too narrow seat with my seatbelt buckled while the person to my left snores, the one to my right prays on her rosary like we're all going to die in a ball of fire any moment, and the kid behind me keeps kicking my seat.
SADYE: What was your favorite place to have lived or visited?
CHRISTA: There are so many.
Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, was a great smallish city with good food, good weather, and nice people. Plus it was an hour to Dubai if I got bored.
Seoul, South Korea was huge and vibrant. Shopping, Buddhist temples, mountains, and palaces right at your door and the public transit was fantastic.
Nai Hat Beach in Thailand was amazing. The fish market was steps down the road from my hotel, and in the evenings I walked down the beach to decide which restaurant to eat at because all their seating was on the sand.
Prague was ancient and beautiful, and the people were very friendly and funny.
But when it came time to settle down, the only place I wanted to be was my very walkable, slightly bohemian neighborhood in Ohio.
SADYE: What took you from daydreaming to writing to seeking publication?
CHRISTA: One day when I was young we had a power outage when only my mom and I were home.
It was super hot, and we lived in the middle of nowhere, so she and I sat on lawn chairs in the backyard trying to keep cool while I told her a story that I made up on the spot.
We were both engaged in the story for hours before the power came back on, and I realized that I could make people happy with my imagination.
We had gotten a town library not long before (thanks to my dad realizing that me having access to books would improve my grades and his being in the town Rotary Club), so I thought maybe I could write books to make even more people happy.
SADYE: What has been your proudest or most rewarding moment as a writer, beyond getting the first book published?
CHRISTA: There are two that really stick out.
My first published book was Three Alarm Tenant, and I got a review for it where the reader said she was married to a firefighter and she loved how accurately I portrayed the stress of being a firewife.
I worked hard to make Katherine's emotional journey accurate, so it was great to hear that I got it right.
Then a few months ago when I was feeling a bit down about my writing career, I stumbled across a review on Instagram for Try a Little Tenderness.
That reader said she appreciated how Taylor had a life outside the romance.
Taylor had been a child star on a very popular television show, and one of the early scenes is her thinking about quitting acting when she runs into a group of women in Target who tell her how influential her childhood part had been and how her current part as a scientist on a sci-fi show was continuing to influence people.
It always feels great to know that readers are enjoying my stories so deeply and pulling things out of them that I hadn't intended.
SADYE: One of your other great passions, beyond writing and traveling, is music. Which rock star(s) are you currently obsessed with, and which have you been obsessed with the longest?
CHRISTA: Hands down I have been obsessed with Steve Perry the longest. I am so happy to see him coming out of retirement. That voice. Chills.
I have been obsessed with Def Leppard since the ’80s. My favorite album of theirs is Slang, and any time I feel stuck when I'm writing, I put it on.
Lately, I've been enjoying Meghan Trainor and Ambassador X lately. I just heard that The Killers have a new song out too.
I also have friends in local bands, and there's a music festival in my neighborhood every summer.
All through the neighborhood, different houses host bands on their porches, and you can walk around sampling food trucks, local merchants, and bands.
We even have a great band called A Plus that is made up of teachers who sing and rap about positive messages, and they are so good! I make it a point to see them every year.
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Categories: Author Interview