IF I SHOULD DIE
by Sallie Franklin Christie
Buy at Eternal Press $5.95
Buy at Amazon $5.95
Thank you for joining us today. Before we begin, why don't you tell everyone a bit about your book?
Sally: Thank you Marva for having me here. I am not used to being on the author side of the fence. This is my first novel. I've written others and they are in various stages of gathering dust or simmering on a back burner. I've had non fiction published but find fiction to be a much more difficult place to access. This book is about how interconnected lives can be and how one single event can set off a series of reactions that reach so much further than our kitchens. If I Should Die takes us on various rides and like real life those rides can be utterly pointless and unpredictable.
Where did the concept for the book come about?
Sally: In 2007 I was in a writer's chat room and someone brought up a competition called NaNoWriMo. I like a challenge but was also skeptical of my own abilities. NaNo is Nation Novel Writers Month, the point is to start with an empty page on November first and write with wild abandon until you have plunked out 50,000 words. NaNo ends on the last day of November. I am a writer who claims her long suit is brevity and 50,000 words looked unobtainable, so I worried and fretted and talked myself into it.
How long did it take you to finish, from concept to final product?
Sally: If I Should Die was my first NaNo, so the first bad, sloppy and simple draft was over by the 25th of November. 25 days from Peyton Farley finding a bleeding man on her floor till I uploaded the scrambled copy to the official word counter. This went through several edits beginning in March of 2008 and it was still being edited up until the moment of release.
Are there any authors that have influenced your own writing?
Sally: I used to sneak read in High School. I would read anything in my path. I went to college and majored in psychology with an accidental major in English Literature. With both stores of knowledge available all I am suited for in the real world is to ask if you'll be having fries with that order. I was influenced by everyone from the Bronte family to Steven King and beyond. With all of that reading I hope I have found my own voice.
Do you have any favorite place where you feel your Muse is more apt to come and play while you write? Or perhaps you listen to music? If so, what do you listen to?
Sally: I get my ideas just on the edge of finishing a dream and waking up. Some days the muse takes me and some days I chase the muse. I am a committed eaves dropper and always have a television going in the back ground with the kids, grandkids, animals and my darling husband.
As a writer, what is your greatest fear?
Sally: My greatest fear is that people won't like me. They are going to hate this book. In real life I feel the same, I want everyone to be happy, yet I chose to work as an organizer in a grass roots organization that lead to a lot of angry readers and a gag order on my opinion pieces during a disability rights case. That sounds silly that someone who stirs people up should be so hung up on what others think.
What normally occupies your desk while writing? Pencils? Coffee mugs? Breakfast crumbs?
Sally: I have what I call a Big Bird Nest. I am surrounded by file boxes, a lap-top, near dead computer, remote controls, a box of cords, note books, lots of note books, cell phone, camera to capture the wild life outside the window where I sit and there are a lot of stray candy wrappers. I clean it out when it gets big enough that I can't get to the bathroom or microwave.
Do you have any new projects that you are working on? If so, what are they?
Sally: I am working on another NaNoWriMo project called Arnica, a second book that follows If I Should Die. I am also working on a long time project about Throw Away People and I want to shape up and send my novel Milk Carton People out for rejection. Missing People is a theme for me.
What tip would you offer to a new writer who is just beginning their submission journey?
Sally: I think I'd say what everyone else says, keep submitting. Don't shot gun submit but do keep it out and about. The second thing is more difficult. Sometimes what we write is not meant for everyone to see, I call this Practice and I have stacks of novels, short stories, research notes, none fit for daylight. On my bathroom wall there used to be a index card that said "Practice is the Best Teacher." Why I keep plot lines and lists of 'to be' verbs on the bathroom wall is a story I'll share someday.
Please tell our readers where they can find you.
Sally: You can find me on FaceBook as Sally Franklin Christie and on my blog, Life is a Story - Tell it Big at http://sallyfranklinchristie.com/wp
If you want to add anything please feel free to do so.
Sally: I don't have anything cool to add but you are welcome to ask a follow up question about anything you want.
Thanks, Sally. Good to have you here.