Posted on October 28, 2020 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Today we're interviewing Christa Nardi, who writes in the cozy mystery, teen and young adult mystery genres.

Nardi is an accomplished writer and an avid reader.

She authored the Cold Creek Cozy Mystery Series, the spin-off Sheridan Hendley Mystery Series, and the Stacie Maroni Mystery Series, and she co-authors the Hannah and Tamar Mystery Series with Cassidy Salem.

When not reading or writing, Nardi enjoys traveling with her husband, and playing with her dogs and three granddaughters.

SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?

CHRISTA: I’ve always loved to write. I wrote stories and poetry in high school and college.

Then, for many years, my writing was technical writing — textbooks, research articles.

A friend and I were talking one day about how much fun it would be to write a mystery. I have to say, writing fiction is much more fun than a textbook!

SADYE: Tell us something about your writing process that’s unusual or that you haven’t revealed before.

CHRISTA: I’m a “pantster” with only a very loose notion of the story when I start writing.

Sometimes, I know the setting. Sometimes, it’s the victim. Sometimes, the idea comes to me at odd times — sitting at a red lights, my morning walk.

Probably most unusual? I don’t know who the killer is until almost the end. I joke that the characters tell me.

In one case, I had decided it was one character but with twists and turns, it made more sense for it to be someone else.

In the same way, a reader wrote and asked who Stacie was going to end up with. My answer was that she hadn’t figured it out yet.

SADYE: Which of your characters would you most and least like to become romantically involved with?  

CHRISTA: Least is the easiest. The victim in Murder at Cold Creek College, a true misogynist and exploiter of women.

In the same series, though, I wouldn’t want to be romantically involved with Max or the Theater director either.  

The harder one is who I would most like to be romantically involved with. Brett (Cold Creek Series) or O’Hare (Stacie Maroni Series)?

Strong, smart, and of course, handsome, they manage to be protective without being stifling or condescending.

SADYE: What have been the most surprising, rewarding, and challenging parts of your writing career?  

CHRISTA: Honestly, the first surprise was that I could write a novel and feel good about what I created. Start with a blank page and end up with a story.

Writing fiction is different from technical writing (my other writing). There is no humor in a textbook, at least not usually.

The most challenging? Early on the biggest growth curve was dealing with formatting issues and ebook versus print. As an independent author, the greatest challenge and not my strong suit, is the marketing/business side.  

The most rewarding has been the support and help of other authors and the feedback from my readers that they liked my characters.

SADYE: What experience in your past or general aspect of your life has most affected your writing?

CHRISTA: My background is as a career as a psychologist and professor (much like Sheridan Hendley in the Cold Creek Series and the spin-off Sheridan Hendley Series).

No doubt, my experiences in psychology and working with children and youth come through in my writing and the characters I’ve created.

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Learn more about Christa Nardi on her website, where her books can also be purchased; like her on Facebook; and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest

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Categories: Author Interview

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