How did you hear about Anaiah Press?
In 2018, I experienced several losses–my father died, I lost an election to a national office in my professional life, and got demoted at work (I’ve since been promoted back)–and decided God was gifting me with time to get back to my writing. I joined the American Christian Fiction Writers and enrolled in their online email loop. This past June 9, I saw Anaiah Press’s call for Christmas novellas and the books were due at the end of the month. I challenged myself to write one by the deadline and finished in 2 ½ weeks. So excited for this opportunity!
What was your first encounter with the writing world?
I started writing poetry in 3rd grade, wrote my first play in 5th grade, and my first novel in 8th grade. Then, life happened and I focused on my teaching career and raising my children. When my daughter entered kindergarten, I just happened to pick up a book at my local library written by a local author. I told my husband about her and he saw an ad in the newspaper for a book signing at our BooksAMillion. I attended and was introduced to the LowCountry Romance Writers of America. I joined and have been active since.
How did you get the idea for your book?
I am friends with a young lady at church who was the inspiration for the lead character, but other than a few shared characteristics, the rest is fiction. I look around me and borrow a setting here, a personality trait from there and then the characters become their own people.
Tell us why we’ll love your book.
The love story between Nick and Tiffany is so sweet. I get teary-eyed when I proofread the epilogue every time. Christmas Confusion is also more than a love story; there’s the conflict and tension that challenges Tiffany’s bonds with her family and her spiritual struggle to trust in God’s promises.
What does your writing process look like?
I create a story board for the plot–got that from Alexandra Sokoloff who writes and teaches about screen plays. I used Debra Dixon’s GMC for building characters. I keep a notebook with notes about the important features of every character. Then, I just sit down and write.
Do you have any strange writing habits?
Not that I know of, unless pretending I’m living out the characters’ lives and talking to them when no one is looking is strange.
What book do you wish you could have written?
Pride and Prejudice, but I wouldn’t exchange lives with Jane Austen so I’m good.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
I love to write. If you love to write, do it. You may or may not get published, may or not reach all your goals, but you’ll have the joy of putting words on the page.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I’m a bothser. I plot first, then write and only consult my plan when I’m in trouble. On second thought, that might not be the best way to do things. Hmm.
What’s more important: characters or plot?
Will I aggravate everyone if I say both again? The reader has to like your hero/heroine, at least eventually, and the plot has to be interesting. Further, the writer’s voice has to be a little unique and the writing itself has to grab you. If only one aspect of the process was important, writing would be a lot easier and a lot less engaging.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I am a full-time professor at a Christian college. I walk and bike and do Pilates. Then, to totally counteract all that exercise, I bake and try new recipes all the time. I read and am active with local charities, particularly one called SOUL that raises funds to help at-risk pregnant women and their children with housing.
You can find Christmas Confusion on Amazon at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Confusion-Christina-Sinisi-ebook/dp/B081V8Q1FR/