Thursday, March 10, 2011

Interview with writer Sally Franklin Christie

Today I'm chatting with Sally Franklin Christie, about her first book.

Welcome, Sally!

Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in Southwestern Montana with my CCI Dog, Havan. My family includes a Darling Husband who makes the money to pay the bills, a daughter, a son and two grandchildren. I am an admitted eavesdropper and am always gathering tid-bits to feed my character files. In 1997, the Coalition of Montanans Concerned with Disabilities honored Sally “for her commitment to the organization and to speaking out for the rights of all Montanans with disabilities and for the power of her pen and her willingness to use it!”

Her favorite phrases include, “Life is a Story – Tell it Big" and “Don’t Touch Anything Sharp.”

Please tell us about your current release, If I Should Die.
Peyton Farley has settled into a new life in southwest Montana. Research and fact checking for a local newspaper is a perfectly safe job, or is it? One morning, Peyton awakens and finds a strange man in lace up work boots, bleeding out on her kitchen floor. As Peyton calls 911 from her bedroom, someone is stealing the body.

Who is the dead man? Why is he bleeding to death in Peyton’s apartment? Can one research assignment evolve into murder, embezzlement, betrayal and silence?

If I Should Die is a suspenseful journey into the lives of many people. The choices and impacts are repulsive and inspiring. Silence will never sound the same.

If I Should Die grew, like a bonsai tree. It began in November 2007. I yanked it out of the pot, trimmed its roots, plopped it back into a smaller pot. Then after it survived this treatment, I watched it sprout, trimmed it back, shaped the limbs and submitted it.

The story is compact and subplots of murder, embezzlement, betrayal and silence are braided together and tied up with a small clip.

What inspired you to write this book?
It began as a self imposed deadline for a challenge called NaNoWriMo and evolved as time passed. So many people remain silent about things because it is easier that way. Is it ever okay to keep something on the down low? What happens when the cat gets out of the bag? I suppose you’ll need to read the book to find out.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am reworking a paranormal thriller about people who suddenly find themselves invisible, able to observe things, but unable to participate. Do they go mad? Maybe they find others. It is quite possible that there is no point in being invisible. This is a book that plays on the very thin line of sanity and pure despair. The characters act and react to the new challenges and the reader gets to go along for the ride.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Wait, I’m a writer? I have to confess, I also write. I remember writing on wide lined paper with room for an illustration at the top. The pencil was a big thing, thick and dull. What did I do on my summer vacation? In high school, I was put into a tracking system according to what my parents did. So, I had to do some talking to get into a class on research. I wrote, "Bats are Like People." I used to sneak into the library to read. I am a reader, first, a writer, later.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am an opportunistic writer. I write whenever. During November, I write haphazardly toward a word count/30 day goal. Mentally, I’m always writing. Physically, well, butt glue and a deadline helps. I consider the act of answering these questions as writing. Writing a grocery list can become a very involved task that includes a hint about what the packaging looks like or what an item might be sharing space with inside the store. Life is a Story – Tell it Big.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I sometimes talk through the scene I am working on and my family members express relief that I don’t need to act them out. I could tell you I put on a big hat and walk three times around the east yard before I get out my pen, but, really, I’m quite dull. I do wear a hat during NaNoWriMo that says, “Not Now – I am NaNo-ing.”

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
At first, I just wanted to be older than my brother. Then, because I spent so much time in and out of hospitals, I wanted to be a nurse or a nun. My Barbies always had an illness of some sort. Then "Arsenic and Old Lace" came to my school and my Barbies all had acting jobs and I became a director. In college, I took a biology major, then changed to psych and English Literature and this qualified me, hands down, to ask if you’ll be having fries with your order.

I’ve worked in libraries, cop shops, and with grassroots organizations. Now, I write, work for Damnation Books/Eternal Press, watch this or that grandchild and write some more.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Life is a Story and as long as you’re Telling it Big, go ahead and live it that way, too.

Thank you for sharing a bit about yourself and your book, today, Sally.


Maggie Dove said...

Hi Sally,

What a wonderful interview!Your books sounds so intriguing! Must put on my TBR list!


Kathryn Meyer Griffith said...

now I know more about careful or I'll put you in my next story! Ha, ha. Your fellow writer friend Kathryn Meyer Griffith

James Dorr said...

If I Should Die sounds interesting, especially now that I know a little about the author! Thank you, Sally.

Conda Douglas said...

Great interview and I love the last line.

Sally Christie said...

First off, I want to thank all of you for commenting.

It is funny to see how my life looks so full and rich and well lived when it is presented within the boundaries of a batch of very good interview questions.

Thank you Lisa for providing this opportunity.

Maggie Dove, I didn't know you had time to read!

Sashagirl, a writerly warning, if you put me in your next story, I will find a role for you in my next one!

James Dorr, your name sounds familiar, I am going to look you up and see if you might be on my FB list.

And hello Conda! Life is a Story but while you are living it big, don't touch anything sharp!