Author Interview: Christina June

HELLO! Since I am currently away for the week in California (WOOP!) I have decided to use this week to feature some smaller authors and bloggers. Today’s spotlight is featuring an author by the name of Christina June! Her book It Started with Goodbye recently came out, you can learn more about her and her novel HERE!

For those of us who have not read It Started with Goodbye, introduce it to us in one sentence?
My elevator pitch is “modern Cinderella with no magic.”  Basically, it’s about a girl on house arrest who does her best to make lemons into lemonade.  Plus, secrets and flirting.  And, the Golden Girls.  Sorry, that was more than one sentence.

I have to ask the most cliché question of them all, but how did you come up with the idea for It Started with Goodbye?
I saw an abandoned shoe on the side of the road after the Homecoming dance at the school where I day job and knew I needed to write a Cinderella-inspired story.

What was your favorite part of writing It Started with Goodbye?
My favorite thing to write is always witty banter, especially if there are romantic undertones.  ISWG has a lot of flirty emailing back and forth, so that was really fun for me.

Is the finished version of It Started with Goodbye how you always imagined the book? Or did the plot and characters change a lot over the course of the writing process?
The plot stayed mostly the same, but some of the character development deepened, thanks to my editor’s amazing insight.  She really helped round out Tatum’s redemption arc as well.

Do you have a favorite of your own characters? And, along those lines, do you ship any of your own characters?
I’m very attached to my main character, Tatum, because she is very similar to me.  I also love Blanche, my fairy godmother character a.k.a. Tatum’s step-abuela, because she is funny and sneaky and probably psychic.  I definitely ship all the on-page romantic pairings, which become obvious by the end.  I even got to continue one of the relationships in book 2, EVERYWHERE YOU WANT TO BE, which comes out next year.

Does any of your personality ever go into any of your characters?
I think it’s impossible not to put yourself into your books.  So, besides Tatum being very me-like, I would say I have a little bit of Tilly’s love of a plan, a bit of Belén’s stubbornness, and SK’s sense of humor.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what bands or genres?
I can’t write without music.  I keep running playlists on Spotify and I usually get most of my new music from college radio stations.  My favorites are WTMD out of Towson, MD and WNRN in Charlottesville, VA.  ISWG was written to a lot of Haim, Ben Folds, Ghost Beach, Sarah Jarosz, and Hozier.

What is your favorite part of being an author who has recently had one of your novels released into the world?
The love and enthusiasm from everyone has been overwhelming.  Just last night, a friend of my husband’s sent us a picture of his 12 year-old daughter reading, and said she couldn’t put it down.  That warmed my heart for sure.  Seeing something I spent years working on sitting on the shelf in the bookstore is pretty awesome too.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Read a lot and practice.  Figure out what works best for you—it won’t be the same for everyone.  Surround yourself with other writers you trust to be candid with you.

Your bio says you like traveling, do you have a favorite place or a dream place to travel?
Some of the favorite vacations I’ve been on are Scotland, Costa Rica and Poland.  Top of my list right now are Paris and Singapore.  I also adore Disney World—we’re going back this summer and I can’t wait!

What is your favorite genre to read?
I like almost all contemporary, adult and YA.  I enjoy romance and historical fiction.  I love a good psychological thriller as well.  Very occasionally, I enjoy fantasy, but the right ones really suck me in!

Do you have any favorite TV shows?
Recently, I’ve been enjoying The White Princess and American Gods.  I’m a long-time Survivor fan and my all-time favorites are Felicity and Lost.

When you aren’t writing what are you doing?
Usually reading or hanging out with my family.  I have a daughter who keeps me pretty busy!

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