Christine Feehan

Well, first off let's meet the writers herself. Describe yourself, what you write, and any miscellaneous tidbits the readers might like to hear. :)

Hi Sarah, I write almost everything that I can weave a love story around. I mostly enjoy things that are different and compelling. Something intense that is an edge of your seat kind of thing. Dark, dangerous and mysterious, or very scary, but not horror. I love romance, the intimacy of romance, not necessarily being intimate, but the subtle things that make a woman know she is truly appreciated. I try to weave all of that into my stories whether they are Carpathian, contempary, or gothic. I love to read sci-fi, but I can't write it. It is really important to me to bring a different story to life each time. I know the danger of writing is getting stale or that your readers may depend on you for a certain kind of work. Then they are disappointed if you fail to write that exact story. But I would like to be known as an author that writes a great story every time, no matter what type of story I'm telling. If you walked into a room filled with the characters from my books, all of them, as a reader, I would want you to be able to distinguish each character by the way the talk, their personalities. That is the best way I can describe it.

When did you first start writing, and what's your writing background been like?

I started writing the moment I could string a few words together. I wrote on everything and made up stories all the time. I have always written. I have manuscripts all over the house, so many of them it isn't funny. I'm surprised my husband is so tolerant. I can't not write if that makes sense. I never write with the idea of being published, I write because I have to write. The stories are always waiting to be told. I can't write fast enough most of the time. I took every English and literary class known to man, but I don't like being told what to write, so I just do it my way.

What jobs have you held, and how have they influenced your writing, if at all?

My very first job was working in a library. I love books. I read everything even encyclopedias, I can't help myself. If it is laying there in front of me, I'm going to read it. I worked in a dress shop for awhile after I was let go at the library for wearing short skirts. That was so awful, I remember crying for days because I loved the job, I could read to my heart's content. I worked as a telephone operator and also at a newspaper, in a wood mill and finally I had my own business teaching martial arts. All of the jobs gave me insight to people and exposed me to very different types of people. The men I met in the karate world were often law enforcement people of various kinds and 'tough' men who thought very differently from business men on how to solve problems. When I write, I tend to write that type of alpha male because it was the type I was exposed to. I used to interview some of my friends, mostly law enforcement and black belts, construction workers, ect, they definitely did not handle problems in the same way other men would have.

How on earth do you think up such wonderful characters!?

The characters are just there for me. They seem to write themselves. I don't start writing until I have the full character in my head. If I try too soon, it just doesn't work. I know that sounds a little crazy, but each one is very different. They share some of the same traits of course, but as an individual they react differently to various situations.

What books and authors do YOU like to read?

This is a popular question which I find difficult to answer only because I read so much and love something in everything. My favorite is obviously paranormals. I love shapeshifters and magic and anything dark and on the edge. I also need humor in my books and the happy every after ending. Amanda Ashley and Maggie Shayne, of course, although I try not to read anything vampire while I'm writing.

What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Just write. Make yourself write something every single day and it will get easier and easier. Read it aloud to yourself so you hear it and can picture it. Have someone you trust, you know loves your work, that is important by the way, but that you trust to say, wait! you messed up here. I find it helps to discuss my plot sometimes with friend and bounce ideas off of her. Mainly, just write. Too many people think about it, but never actually do it.

What is your next book(s), and when is it/they due out?

Dark Gold is coming out in April 2000 and is one of the 'Dark' saga. I have two more following that in July of 2000, Dark Magic which is the all important Gregori story and then Dark Challenge in Nov. 2000

What attracts you to the paranormal?

Good question. I like danger and risk taking I suppose. Writing about it is a good outlet. There's a lot of romance in dark and dangerous and you get tormented heros. Definitely my kind of thing. I like the unknown and the worlds I can create. I'm not a sci-fi writer, although I love reading it and wish for romances in it, but with shapeshifting I can create unusual and wonderful worlds right here.

What attracts you to vampires or the vampire hero?

Danger. Absolutely, the danger!

Your first four or five books are slated to come out, or have come out, about three to four months apart. Are you a super prolific writer, or did you get suddenly lucky?

I had written quite a few of these books some time ago. I had not planned on publishing them and it was certainly a shock when Leisure went for them. I feel I was very lucky in that regard. Leisure is a company that allows writers to create the kinds of things I really want to do and it's very exciting. I love to write Carpathians and Leisure's been very good allowing me to explore where I can take these books.

Your website says that you are currently working on book 10 of your Carpathian series, yet book five will be published in December of 2000. Are you writing to sell, or for just the love of it?

I totally love the books. I always have more than one book in the works and when one story pushes the others out to the extent that it insists on being written, I just let it take over and go for it with no thought of what anyone else will think. If I'm not loving it,how can anyone else?

What is it like being a now relatively famous> author? I've noticed they never put your picture into the books so you> probably don't get recognized in stores by strangers, but I'll bet you get tons of email!

I do get quite a bit of email, but it is all very nice. People seem to be so supportive of my work and it's more like sharing my books with friends, people who love them the way I do. I really like that, who wouldn't? I never put my picture in a book because I do have a problem with recognition. I don't do very well in a crowd and I'd probably faint if someone recognized me. I tell my family I'm a blender and blend in, but they laugh at me.

How does your family help you in your writing? Do you use your kids as critiquing boards?

Most of them help me now. I have always had a group of 'test' readers, really friends and family who simply liked my work and read it all the time. They were very open in their opinions and discussions of my books and I bounced my ideas off of them. Some of my older daughters read my books and of course my husband does too. I ask certain ones for very important feedback and tell them my concerns, what to read for, ect. Content, not typos, and all of them help me.

Thanks Sarah, for the opportunity to do this, it was fun and interesting. You asked good questions.

Christine Feehan

Visit Christine Feehan's webpage