Christina Wolfer – known to her friends as Tina – is a member of the fabulous Ohio Valley chapter of RWA. We’re all doing a happy dance for Tina because she has recently sold not one but TWO books. Without further ado…here’s Tina!
Anya: Tell us about yourself! How long have you been writing, and what are you working on now?
Tina: Well, I’m a country girl through and through. I live on the 39 acre farm I grew up on as a kid. I have a bachelor’s degree in communications from Northern Kentucky University and an associates in human services technology from UC.
As far as writing, I don’t know where to begin. All newbie authors probably say that, but really, I’ve always written, whether it was poems, short stories, newspaper articles, ad copy, etc. I wrote two novels in the late eighties, joined RWA for one year, submitted a query to Harlequin, received a rejection and didn’t write fiction again until 2008.
I have three WIP’s going right now. Emotional Warfare, a contemporary romance, is my current focus, plus I have two romantic suspense novels in the wings waiting to be edited. I’m also working on a short story I hope to have included in an anthology coming out from Turquoise Morning Press.
Anya: I understand you have some exciting news…
Tina: Yes, an early Christmas present. Four days before Christmas, I received a contract offer from Turquoise Morning Press for my novel TWO BROTHERS. It is the first story I wrote when starting to write again in 2008. The current release date is August 2011.
Then the night of the Superbowl, I had my own victory dance. Minutes after the game ended, I received a contract offer for my novel, THE DAUGHTER, also from Turquoise Morning Press.
Just in case you’re wondering, despite the titles, there is no connection between the two books.
Anya: Can you share your pitch or book blurb with us?
Tina: I have a blurb and a book trailer created for Two Brothers:
When fourth generation farmer Jacob Henderson stomped on her heart when she was eighteen, Amanda Riley made the biggest mistake of her life – she ran off and married his younger brother.
Ten years later and divorced, Amanda returns to her small hometown a successful horse trainer and National Cutting Horse Champion to set up her own training facility. Nothing could have prepared her for falling in love with Jacob all over again. But how can she risk her heart a second time knowing the secrets she keeps could destroy any chance they have?
Brought together to save an abused horse, Jacob sees an opportunity to have the love and family he’s always wanted. But he struggles with Amanda’s past marriage to his brother – after all, marriage is forever. When his brother shows up claiming to want Amanda back, Jacob must decide between family loyalty and love for Amanda.
(Note from Anya: If I can figure out how to post the trailer, I’ll come back and add it later. So far it has me stumped!)
Anya: I’m so excited to read this! What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Tina: It varies. When I wrote Two Brothers I didn’t know there was any such thing as a plotter or a pantser.
What I now know to be a muse, hit me upside the head in the middle of an airport on my way home from a business trip. I found a table, and two tall draft beers later I’d written the first two chapters of Amanda and Jacob’s story. I just wrote, so I guess a pantser then.
I think I got forced into being a plotter when those other characters in my head wouldn’t leave me alone while I re-wrote Two Brothers. I had to get the basics of their stories down so I wouldn’t forget them. They insisted on not being forgotten. Am I sounding crazy yet?
Anya: Not crazy at all! Have you told your family about your books? Does your mom read your books, or your husband? Is this an issue for you?
Tina: Most of my family, mine and my husband’s, is aware that I write and some knew I was pursuing publication. But no, none of them read romance books so none of them have read mine. My husband is very supportive, but I’ve seen a difference since getting the contract, like “Hey, this isn’t just a hobby”.
I have three older brothers who just don’t pay attention to stuff like this. But when they found out I was getting published and the title was Two Brothers, they wanted to know which brother I left out. Ha Ha. I told them they’d have to read it to find out. Of course, they have no clue what type of stories I write.
Anya: This could prove interesting when they read it! Tell us about your interests and activities in your “real” life.
Tina: My horses are my other real passion. I have three quarter horses and I compete in rodeo events, like barrel racing and pole bending. Another dream I grew up with and didn’t accomplish until I was thirty. I enjoy photography, too.
Oh, and for my day job, I work full time in contracts and export compliance with a local aerospace company.
Anya: Who are some of your favorite authors, and what are some of your favorite books? (For example, if you could only keep five books, what would they be?)
Tina: I will read pretty much anything by Nora Roberts and recently became a huge fan of Carla Neggers. I’m also working my way through Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series.
Anya: Those are all favorites of mine, too! Still on the subject of books, which books/authors turned you on to romance?
Tina: Judith McNaught and Nora Roberts were my firsts when it came to romance.
Anya: What were your favorite books as a child?
Tina: Sorry, I’m terrible with titles and names of authors I read last year let alone anything I read as a child. I just love to read.
Anya: I can relate – I am TERRIBLE with book titles. Would you share your “call” story with us – how you found out you’d sold your first book?
Tina: The offer came in an e-mail, which still counts as the “call”, right? And it was extra special because it came right before Christmas, December 20th. When 2010 began, I told my mom, my husband and a friend at work that I just had a feeling “this year it was going to happen”. That feeling never went away even as the days dwindled closer to the end.
It helped that I had two different manuscripts out on request by two different editors, but Two Brothers was not the one I expected to hear back on yet. Since it’s the first book I wrote, it obviously holds a special place in my heart.
Anya: I’m so excited for you!! What have been some important turning points in your life?
Tina: Man, those turning points started early for me. Probably the thing that changed the entire course of my life happened when I was eight or nine years old. Is that sad or what? But I was put in a special class for kids who didn’t learn in the traditional way.
I was only in the class one year, but I latched on to reading in a way that opened the world to me, made the possibilities endless. I’d hate to think how things might have turned out if someone hadn’t noticed I didn’t learn the same way other kids did.
Anya: Tina, my brother – who is practically a genius – also had trouble when he was in a traditional classroom. I’m glad educators are recognizing that we learn in different ways!
Tina: Another major turning point came when my dad had a massive heart attack when I was twenty-eight. His illness had a domino affect. It made me realize life was too short so I pursued my dream of barrel racing.
I bought Rally’s Baby Doll and within six short months I gained the confidence I needed to walk away from an abusive marriage. I moved back to my hometown and bought the farm I grew up on. Just as a side note, my dad is still going strong all these years later and Rally’s Baby Doll, now blind in one eye, will turn 30 this year and doesn’t look a day over fifteen.
Anya: Tina, I’m glad to hear your dad and your horse are still going strong. That’s a very powerful story, and I hope it will encourage other women. I’m so glad you found the strength to leave that relationship – and I’m glad you have the courage to share that with us.
Anya: Who are your hotties (in real life, fiction or TV/movies)?
Tina: Geez, I love men. Love to look at them and talk to them. Men are simply fun. Of course, my husband, Jack is my heart, but it doesn’t mean I can’t have my eye candy. The ones that tend to stick out in my mind though: Matthew Fox, Hugh Jackman and Matthew McConaughey.
Anya: Where would you like to be, career-wise, in five years?
Tina: Dream career-wise, I’d love to be making enough money at my writing to quit my current job. I would love to see my book sitting on the shelf at Barnes & Noble or any bookstore. Reality career-wise, I’d love to see all five of my current works in print.
Anya: Those are fabulous dreams – I hope they come true!Tell us a couple of little-known facts about yourself.
Tina: I’ve got nothing exciting, except maybe my tattoo which I think surprises people when they catch a glimpse of it, because I’m pretty shy. It takes me awhile to open up to people, but I’m fiercely loyal once I do. My tattoo is a sunflower, which when you visit my blog and website you’ll see that’s not a surprise.
Anya: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Tina: A horse trainer and a writer. While I’m not a horse trainer by trade, I have trained my own horses and getting published will make the second on the list a reality.
Anya: If you were to cast one of your books, who would you pick for the starring roles?
Tina: Oh yeah, wouldn’t that be cool to see your book turned into a movie. Big dreaming there. In Two Brothers, Amanda Riley could be played by Megan Fox and Jacob Henderson by Matthew Fox.
Anya: Boy, I’d like to see that movie! Do you have any book signings coming up? Are you planning to attend any conferences in 2011?
Tina: My book won’t be out until August, so I don’t have any signings scheduled yet, but I will keep you posted. I will be attending the Lori Foster Readers Authors Get Together in June and hopefully will have swag available. What a great event.
Anya: It’s one of my favorite events of the year! Thanks very much for answering all my questions! I hope your new books are only the first of many!
Tina: Thanks for having me.
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT TINA’S LINKS:
Her blog/website is here: http://christinawolfer.com/
More book blurbs are here: http://christinawolfer.com/Publication5_files/Page371.htm
Contact Tina at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Tina on Twitter @ christinawolfer
And on Facebook: Christina Williams Wolfer
Tina, Gabriella and Janai at RWA National in 2009
Tina and Kristan Higgins
at the Cherries dinner, RWA National, 2009
Gabriella and Tina, Awards Night
RWA National 2009