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Writer’s Spotlight: Christine Nolfi

Let's have a cuppa.

It was really hard for Red to miss the smartly dressed, fit young lady with the perfect hair sitting by the window. Christine was flipping pages on her Kindle when Red made herself at home across the table. Christine put the book down to give Red the skinny on the series and the nocturnal gems.

M3: Christine, let’s get the M3 Readers familiar with you. Can you give them a glimpse of who you are?

CN: Some writers are gifted with an unusual life and I’m certainly one of those. I’ve lived in Ohio, Virginia, California, Utah and now South Carolina. In college I was featured on the front page of the Houston Post for a lark that erased all my debt. I met my four adopted children for the first time in the sweltering heat of the tropics. I helped build several companies and was lucky enough to earn a living doing what I love best—writing—in a PR firm I owned.

M3: So, is Houston where you got your original start in the publishing industry?

CN: In my early twenties I published a short story, Night Hour, in Working Mother Magazine. Two million women read the story—I received fan mail for months afterward. Later, I owned the PR firm.

M3: Before we get down to the rest of the questions, do you have someone you want to thank?

Christine Nolfi

CN: Myself. Women instinctively put everyone else first. I learned to make time for my own needs and goals.

M3: I think you must have been listening to the Saturday Evening Post! Since you brought up goals, what do you have brewing at the moment?

CN: I’ll release a dramatic novel, The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge, in several weeks. In April the next book in the Liberty series will appear, Second Chance Grill.

M3: You have been slaving away. How do you find the time to write so much?

CN: Working in public relations taught a respect of deadlines. I usually begin my writing day before dawn—but I am known to take naps!

M3: I bet I can pick out your poll answers! Do you have the foresight to schedule naps or is your job just that flexible?

CN: Many writers slog through the 9-to-5 and still find the energy to produce fiction. I write full-time, usually fifty hours per week. Every novel is revised, rewritten, torn apart then rebuilt. Offering readers a rich emotional experience makes all the hard work a pleasure.

M3: Fifty hours a week sounds a bit rough, Christine. I am not so sure a cat nap would cut that effort much. Do you take a vacation or go on hiatus? 

CN: Great fiction needs time to germinate. My best story ideas arise when I’m jogging on a treadmill or walking my dog. They sprout when I’m baking bread or gardening. The notion that any artist can create memorable works without ample time for play is just plain silly.

M3: You are in very good company with that theory. With two books due out soon, I have to ask. Has the economy changed the way you produce?

CN: Absolutely. I’m the single mother of four young adult children. I strive to produce stellar books that readers will enjoy because my ability to sell impacts my children. I write must-read novels to ensure I have the financial means to protect them.

M3: You are preaching to the choir! Speaking of another generation, what advice do you have for the aspiring authors of the M3 Readers?

CN: Your body is a precious gift. Make time for exercise, eat well and get adequate rest. I worry about a younger generation of writers spending long hours in front of a computer. Will they lead shortened lives because of the reckless choices made today?

M3: I think that is a worry of every parent, Christine. Let’s talk industry. Tell me what you think of your colleagues.

Treasure Me

CN: I’m incredibly grateful. My book designer, Jan Marshall, takes the time to read each novel before developing cover art. Countless critique partners have edited thousands of pages on my behalf. Book bloggers have written the lovely 4- and 5-star reviews for Treasure Me that launched my career. And readers select my works out of a treasure trove of available titles, allowing me to continue this singular journey.

Publishing is a collaborative effort. I couldn’t survive without the interest and dedication of so many other women.

M3: I know how much work you put into your novels. Do you feel the traditional publishers look down on self-published material from indie authors?

CN: They should. Too many Indie books are inferior. Stories are slapped together with little structure and less editing then spilled onto Amazon in an awful deluge.

However, small groups of Indie novelists are now forming to cross-promote stellar books. We work quietly and relentlessly to prove that excellent novels are produced independently and deserve to reach the reading public. Ironically, traditional publishers tend to snatch up great Indie writers once they’ve built a readership.

M3: It is the breaking of the Catch-22. Tell me what makes your new book close to your heart.

The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge

The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge

CN: Much of the plot of The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge arises from my experiences as an adoptive parent. It’s incredibly painful to fictionalize something as dreadful as child abuse with the knowledge that my children experienced something similar. The novel has been compared to John Irving’s Cider House Rules insofar as I’ve tried to breathe life into an uncomfortable topic that reasonable adults should broach. Every day, in every corner of the globe, children suffer physical and emotional abuse. If we begin to care then we’ll work toward change.

M3: There are other novels out there with strictly fictionalize child abuse. What makes this one different from them?

CN: The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge combines so many elements—family saga, mother-daughter relationships, terrifying drama and heartwarming resolution. The book combines romantic elements with a subtle commentary on the foster-adopt system in the U.S. And it speaks to the eternal question: Who am I?

M3: Yes, do tell me who you are. Tell me a secret, just between us.

CN: That I often write in my pajamas and rarely sleep well as the writing journey progresses. I’ve been known to rise from deep slumber with entire scenes erupting from my subconscious. And please don’t tell them that I need to make time to have my hair styled.

M3: We have so very much in common…I did not know Mantra made house calls!

CN: Here’s something else I’d rather you didn’t share: I write my novels with desperate joy. There’s nothing more humbling than the knowledge that I can make a reader feel deep emotion. A great book transcends the differences between people and connects the reader to her humanity. Stories are powerful.

M3: Indeed, they are, Christine. Sum it up for me. Give me a 15 word sales pitch. Why should the M3 Readers buy your book?

CN: My novels deliver a deep emotional experience. You won’t be able to put them down.

~~~~~~~~~~

Dearest M3 Readers,

Please take a few moments to check out Christine Nolfi and her novel Treasure Me, available on Amazon. Visit Christine’s blog to learn more about the author and her books. Follow her on Twitter for the latest on Treasure Me, The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge and her other upcoming releasesLook for an update on M3 when her newest novel is available.

Thank you for your continuous support of the talented M3 Coffee Shoppe authors. When you tweet and +1 this post, please use the hashtags #authors, #books and #WW.

Red.
M3

~~~~~~~~~~


(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
Reblogging of this or any other post on Momma’s Money Matters is expressly forbidden.
Copyright and Privacy Policy available in The Office.



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28 Comments

  1. Red, a thousand thanks for the interview. I’m looking forward to meeting for lunch when your schedule permits.

    Reply
    • It will be fun. Have you left a link to your blog in the Green Room? Now, I cannot remember!

      Reply
  2. Tweeted out and loved this interview. Nice to meet you Christine. I like that you thank yourself first and foremost for your successes, keep yourself in the driver’s seat!

    Reply
  3. Love your interviews. All authors are such interesting individuals; I’m always forced to add to my reading list. I hope I live long enough to read them ALL, even as I’m getting behind.

    Reply
    • I am going to give you the same advice I have given about a dozen other bloggers. When you get behind, delete all the emails. Start fresh. Go to the front page. See something else you like, stay. Otherwise, scroll away to another one. There is not one single blogger I know who expects all of the followers to be present and comment/like all of the posts.

      Good grief. If my followers did that, I would never have time to respond to a blessed thing. And I am wretchedly behind…with more than 80 pages bookmarked to return for a second reading so I can MAKE a cogent comment. Perils of reading by BlackBerry with one eye closed.

      Reply
      • Red, I’m sure you’ve heard this before but it bears repeating: Independent Publishing owes a huge debt of gratitude to book bloggers like you. Many quality novels wouldn’t reach the light of day without your dedication to read and review lesser-known works.

        A thousand thanks. xo

        Reply
    • I have a different problem. I’d like a year sabbatical from my own writing to simply read the works of other novelists! I recently bought an iPad, which I’m hoping will allow me to read and write!

      Reply
  4. authormjlogan

     /  February 29, 2012

    “I write my novels with desperate joy.”

    Writing with a passion and knowing you will affect someone else is the greatest part of the gift of writing.

    Reply
    • Every day as I sit down to write, I’m painfully aware that many talented writers never get the chance to pen their stories. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to capture magic in a bottle that I uncork in front of readers.

      Thank you for reading along.

      Reply
  5. Makes me wonder if I could EVER follow in her footsteps…

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin.

    Reply
    • Summon strength, Pren. Through great adversity comes great strength.
      {HUGZ}
      Red.

      Reply
    • Pren, you can absolutely follow in my footsteps! Even if you can only give yourself 30 minutes a day to write that still translates into a finished novel by year’s end. If your heart compels you to write, then WRITE. xo

      Reply
      • I’ve re-read a short novel I wrote called ‘Songs of Angels’ and sent Red a link to my Skydrive copy so she can take a look at it.

        I’ve found myself correcting a few errors in it and it looks pretty good to me, but I need an unbiased point of view.

        This is my second attempt at a book, the first one my father had me burn a page at a time to impress on me just how crap it was – he was later to claim in his divorce deposition that I was mentally retarded.

        I used to be a commercial programmer, so just how retarded was I???

        Unfortunately I’m also living with Paranoid Schizophrenia so I’m struggling a little bit and need a bit of support.

        I have a few ideas about a second story that keeps wandering through my mind while I’m trying to get to sleep, but so far it’s a conceptual probability, not a firm story idea.

        One thing at a time though! 🙂

        Good luck and God Bless!

        Prenin.

        Reply
        • Keep editing, Pren. I have someone else who wants to read it before I give you a verdict on it…I am working on it!
          {HUGZ}
          Red.

          Reply
          • Thanks Red! 🙂

            I’ve emailed you a corrected version of the story so you have the latest version.

            It feels a little weird bringing the story back to life after almost a decade, but I live in hope…

            God Bless hun and have a great Thursday – I have to go for some milk at 7am so I’m looking forward to cashing in ANOTHER winning lottery ticket – only £2.90, but better than a poke in the eye! LoL!!!

            Bye!

            Prenin.

  6. I see Christine often on Twitter but didn’t know much about her until now. You have an awesome story Christine. 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks, Wendy. Actually I think my 4 kids are amazing. I sat down and began writing full-time the same month their father walked out the door. They always encouraged me to follow my dreams. Three are now in college and my youngest is a high school senior. Actually, this has been a difficult week for all of us–my family is from the Chardon area, and two of my children know kids at Chardon High.

      Reply
      • I am sorry that you are all going through this difficult time. It’s hard enough to watch TV news stories but to have terrible things happen close to home is terrifying. My thoughts are with you! <3

        Reply
  7. Very nice interview, lots of great/different questions! Sounds like you’re a very focused woman, Christine 🙂 Your books sound amazing! Will definitely check them out!

    Reply
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