Hey there, and happy May! May’s such a cheerful month, isn’t it? All flower-y and bird-y and welcoming new beginnings? And so I’m kicking off something brand new this month: an Author Spotlight blog series that includes some pretty terrifyingly epic writers. (And featuring awesome banner-y things by my crazy talented CP, Maggie Hall!)
I’ve asked them all the same questions, to get to know a little more about their projects, their lives, their publishing experiences, and the things their readers might never have known to ask. Oh, and a photo they would never, ever use as an author photo. Now, let’s get started!
So who is Christa? Well, here’s her official bio:
Christa Desir writes contemporary fiction for young adults. Her first book, FAULT LINE, came out this fall. Her second book, BLEED LIKE ME, is due out in October 2014. Her third book, LOVE BLIND, is slated for fall 2015 release. She lives with her husband, three small children, and overly enthusiastic dog outside of Chicago. She has volunteered as a rape victim activist for more than ten years, including providing direct service as an advocate in hospital ERs. She also works as an editor at Samhain Publishing. Visit her at ChristaDesir.com.
Aaaand, to understand why I requested to spotlight her, here’s her Dahliafied bio:
Christa Desir is a pretty freaking awesome lady who writes incredibly fearless books about true human interaction, for better or for worse. She’s a passionate advocate for rape victims, manages to be a prolific writer on top of having a job and family, and is about as good a role model as it gets. You should definitely be following her, because she writes thoughtful, honest posts and is extremely involved in education on sexual violence, particularly as it pertains to YA lit, and also, because she is wonderful.
And that’s just her as a person. Now, come get to know her books!
A little-known fact about Fault Line: In the original draft, Ani was roofied at the party, but then I didn’t want to make it that easy on readers and decided to add the complexity of a negative drug screen (which I’ve seen in ERs when doctors, the survivor, & the cops all were next to certain it was a roofie situation…the tricky thing about date rape drugs is they’re water soluble so don’t stay in your system long).
A sensory image: There is going to be no image that does a better job of gutting readers than the cover once they read it.
BLEED LIKE ME releases on October 7, 2014
A Little-Known Fact About BLEED LIKE ME: I lived with two guys named Gary and Bruce for a summer in a tiny apartment with no bathroom and no kitchen. The mop bucket part of this story is completely true :)
A Sensory Image: Eminem & Rihanna’s song “Love the Way You Lie” is the closest I can get to what this book makes me feel.
Relevant Blog Post: A Few Words About BLEED LIKE ME
And now, for the book pimping portion of the program, since this is the home of the Rec-ing Ball:
Tell us about your critique partner(s)/co-author(s) and why their books are awesome! Well, I have two critique partners: Jolene Perry and Lucy V. Morgan. Jolene writes all sorts of things (self-pub, indie pub, traditionally pub) and she is optimistic and awesome even though she sees shitty things every day as a result of her husband’s work as a state’s attorney. Lucy is my smexy erotic contemporary romance critique partner and writes psychopathological drama that is super dirty and also reads a bit like literary fiction. I would have not been able to write Brooks in BLM if it weren’t for first meeting Lucy’s Joseph who is her asshole main character/hero you love to hate in Breaking Leila.
These two are very good CPs for me because they’re incredibly different and fill in many holes that I have. Plus, I adore their books and the way their minds work.
Give us 1-3 Books You Love in Your Genre (in Christa’s case, contemp YA):
- SEX & VIOLENCE by Carrie Mesrobian
- ASK THE PASSENGERS by A.S. King
- CRACKED UP TO BE by Courtney Summers
Give us 1-3 Books You Love not in Your Genre:
- THE CHRONOLOGY OF WATER by Lidia Yuknavitch
- AN UNTAMED STATE by Roxane Gay
- THE BLIND ASSASSIN by Margaret Atwood
And now let’s talk a little about publishing, because, again, my blog, and what else do we do here?
Who are you repped by? (And/or who reps the books you’ve sold?)
Sarah LaPolla sold my first two books (Fault Line & Bleed Like Me); Jonathan Lyons at Curtis Brown is my current agent who has sold my subsequent books.
As a published author, what was something you learned through the process that was so not worth the stress?
Worrying about my awkward inappropriateness or very frank personality in public/online. I stressed about all these THINGS about me and if I would be able to keep my mouth shut, but then I did a little mini-book tour with Ellen Hopkins and I realized there just wasn’t going to be any way to remove the me from me, so I reconciled it and stopped giving a shit.
What was something that actually was?
Getting blurbs. It remains the part of the experience that I wanted to and still want to barf over. I hate asking anyone for things. I hate worrying that they think my work is shitty and then will pretend they didn’t have time to read it because they think it’s shitty. I hate feeling like I’m being opportunistic and leveraging relationships. It sucks.
What sorts of things do you shamelessly pass off as “research”?
Ha, well, this is an interesting question for me because I edit erotic romance for my day job so I’ve had to spend time on FetLife to figure out things that my authors clearly did not research and I think that’s sort of funny. When I was writing my alcoholic girl boxer book, I went to a gym in west Chicago, although I needed to and got a lot from it. Also, those boxing girls do not fuck around. I also recently joined a roller derby team that I decided is going to be a quirk of one of my MCs in another book :)
What do you always wish people would ask you in interviews?
- What writer would I challenge to a dance-off if I could? (Ayn Rand)
- What Muppet do I most identify with? (Gonzo)
- What’s my guilty pleasure? (Nicholas Sparks’ movies)
- Who would I want to collaborate with beyond current co-author? (Carrie Mesrobian)
- What’s my least favorite book I’ve ever read? (I Am Charlotte Simmons)
- Which of my characters would I go to prom with? (the alcoholic girl boxer, Natalie)
- What word would I remove from the English language? (moisture)
- What part of publishing would I not like to be responsible for? (promotion)
- What’s my pet peeve? (When people spend 30 minutes telling me their fucked-up dreams)
- Who would I throw Julio over for? (Lenny Kravitz)
Leave some love for Christa in the comments, and check back here on/around the 1st and 15th of every month to meet some more awesome authors!