Meet Christa Allan

Hre's the thing, my friend and fellow Abingdon Author, Christa Allan has just released her first novel. It's a good one folks. I invited her to stop by the blog today and share a bit about the journey. Enjoy. And then, please, go buy her book. You won't be dissappointed.

Tell us about your book, please.
My debut novel , Walking on Broken Glass, tells the story of Leah Thornton, a woman whose life looks pretty from the outside; she seems to “have it all.” But appearances can be deceiving because she’s a mess. She drinks to numb her pain and, until her friend confronts her with the truth, she thinks no one else has noticed. Leah admits herself to rehab, and the novel-told from Leah’s point of view-follows her through her recovery as she attempts to discover who she really is and what she’s willing to sacrifice to find out.

How does it feel to be on the other side of the publishing mountain?
Still surreal. I went to Barnes & Noble last night, and the book was on the shelf. So, there I was…me looking at me. WOW. Of course, I became verklempt thinking about the startling reality of it all.

What's the best part? What's the worst part about being published now?
Being brutally honest here, when I only thought /dreamed about being published, there was a bad girl part of me who envisioned “nanenane boo-booing” all those people who ever doubted me. By the time it did happen, God had made enough changes in my life, and I’d dragged myself through enough sludge to react with bottomless gratitude and humility. One of the best parts is still, of course, holding that baby and knowing part of the joy is surviving the excruciating pain of birthing it. The other is the realization that God can use my words and this character to bring others hope.
The worst part? Being published really is the good news and the bad news. Prior to WOBG, I wanted to punch authors who said that! But it’s true, but not in the way I imagined. For me, the worst part is knowing that the novel is out there, and I have absolutely little, if any, control over its success or reviews or anything. And, there’s that nagging anxiety of will I be a “one-book wonder,” assuming there’s a “wonder” at all!

Tell us a little about your writing process. Seat of the Pants, Plotter, Combo?
Is making order out of chaos a choice? I’m a plotter-wanna be. I’m totally seduced by the idea of it, but totally terrible at it. I have an idea of where the story is going, and I just go with it until I have absolute brain rot. Then, after I’ve consumed pounds of chocolate and a dozen Coke Zeros, I call on my writer friends whose opinions I value [hint], and whine for help. Usually this happens about five chapters in, then I rewind, pay attention to my synopsis, and forge ahead. Some times I’m surprised. For instance, a character showed up in WOBG that I did not plan on and still have no idea where he came from. I do, though, as I draw closer to the end, start sketching out chapters to make sure I’ve not dropped a thread somewhere.

Classical, Rock or Jazz
Jazz and Classic Rock.

Name a favorite movie.
In 1970, KELLY’S HEROES came out and starred Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, Telly Savalas, and Don Rickles. A group of U.S. soldiers are sneaking behind enemy lines to steal gold. It cracks me up every time. One of my favorite quotes comes from Sutherland whose name is Oddball:
“…yeah, man, you see, like, all the tanks we come up against are bigger and better than ours, so all we can hope to do is, like, scare 'em away, y'know... We got our own ammunition, it's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes... pretty pictures… We have a loudspeaker here, and when we go into battle we play music, very loud. It kind of... calms us down. “
There’s another part in the movie where Sutherland’s friend keeps worrying about bridges being bombed because they won’t be able to move forward. Sutherland tells him,
“Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?
Oddball: [Later: Oddball is looking through binoculars at the bridge] Still up!
Oddball: [planes fly and bomb the bridge] ... No it ain't. See what sending out them negative waves did, Moriarty?
Even now in my life, when I start thinking negative thoughts, this scene pops in my head, and I remember to stop the negative brain waves because the bridge [whatever I might need at the moment] will be there. [and I suppose all of this is more info than you needed!]

What scares you the most?
Death by drowning and the Alien movies.

Favorite Pie

So, if you were stranded on an island what would you miss most about civilization?

Saints? Colts? (LOL)
I’m a Who Dat! from way back…Look, these guys committed themselves to this team after Katrina. When you’re willing to move to a city where you had to wait in line for two hours to get half of your prescription filled, you gotta love them! When 23-year-old Garrett Hartley nailed that field goal, I cried. Like getting the phone call from my agent Rachelle Gardner telling me WOBG had sold, that game signified decades of dreams coming true for a city that dragged itself out of devastation to rebuild itself. GEAUX SAINTS!


christa said...

Thanks, Joyce for letting me hang out today.

Jennifer AlLee said...

Thanks for the fun interview, Joyce and Christa. Yep, there are all kinds of "uncontrolables" in this business, but I'd still rather be writing than doing anything else :+} Many blessings to both you ladies!