In Between Goodbyes, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.
DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about In Between Goodbyes?
CHRISTINA WIBLE: In Between Goodbyes is a story about possibilities. Is it possible to change the patterns you have created for yourself in your life? Is it possible to become someone that you never thought you would be? Is it possible to love again after loss?
This novel follows the story of a Hope Moran who had fashioned for herself a life of safety: love without commitment, caring without intimacy, compassion without investment. As a priest, she ministered to the masses and gave time and effort to the homeless. As a dresser on Broadway, she ministered to her charges, stage stars in need of a steady, guiding hand. Always tending the needy, and always at arm's length. Until Ian, a broken actor more deeply troubled than she could have imagined slipped into her life and crossed the forbidden boundary into her heart. At the wrong time in his life. At the right time in hers.
What is in the heart of a woman who has for her whole life been alone?
What happens when her world is turned upside down?
DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
CHRISTINA WIBLE: I really don’t develop my characters, they develop themselves. My stories evolve through my characters talking to me. (No I’m not in therapy and yes, my friends affirm that I am relatively sane and don’t talk to myself out loud, anyway.) A voice starts in my head. Usually I try to get the voice of the character down on paper but frequently, just when I think I “have” the character in my head, they create a circumstance or a personality problem that I had not foreseen and that makes me change the entire tone of the story. One character blew me out of the water the other day by changing from being a loving, handsome male protagonist to a mass murderer. I have to have a talk with him.
DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
CHRISTINA WIBLE: The ideal reader for this particular book was a Broadway-obsessed middle-aged woman who dreams about finding the ideal young man…woops maybe that was me! Actually I have found the book appeals to a variety of women, but especially those who are interested in the interactions between two people of the opposite sex who communicate on the same level and help each other in a caring manner but who are reluctant to commit. My reader will like a bit of suspense and will like to speculate on why people are the way they are. A man who read this book thought it brought him insight on why women of a certain age do what they do.
DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?
CHRISTINA WIBLE: A long, long time ago, before I became a multi-career person, I wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first book when I was 14. I wrote my second the next year.
Life intervened. I became a nurse, a Political Science graduate, a wife, a methods manager, an early computer techie, an amateur horse person. I retired. I acquired more degrees (this time in Religion), I became ordained, I became disillusioned. I worked for this non-profit and that non-profit.
But through the whole thing I never stopped writing. At one point I had about 5 feet of yellow pads filled with scrawl most of which ended up in the wastebasket.
Then, six years back, I started yet another novel. Only this time I was determined to publish. I wrote for three years. The result was In Between Goodbyes.
No matter how many or how few copies are sold, publishing In Between Goodbyes has been a wonderful adventure. I have met some really interesting people and learned so very much from this. And to top it off, my books are actually selling!
I have loved every minute of the process from conception through writing through editing. (Well perhaps not the editing.) I am still journeying through the publishing world, not sure if I want to continue with the publishing method I use now. I am also willing to try more traditional routes. This, after all, a journey.
I still work for a non-profit but I write more than I ever have. After all, it is a labor of love. The one thing I do know is that I'm so glad to have come home to where I always wanted to be. A writer.
DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?
CHRISTINA WIBLE: I sit down and listen for a few months after one of the characters has started talking to me. I grab a fresh notebook at the start and scribble everything that comes to me. Unfortunately everyone starts gabbing just before I go to bed and this process has left me chronically sleep deprived at work. Finally when my head is about to explode the only way to relieve to the pressure is to start typing. A 60,000 word book usually comes out in rough form in about 6 weeks. Then I leave it in my computer, bubbling like a caldron four a few month getting back to it after a break to see if it is worth continuing to work on.
If I get into trouble I have employed a wonderful freelance editor and friend at Looseleaf Editing, Alexa Offenhauer, who helps me talk through the knots into which I tie myself. She also straightens out my baroque use of commas and quotes.
DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?
CHRISTINA WIBLE: Laurie R. King, not so much for her Mary Russell novels though I find them interesting, as for her lesser-known Folly. Julia Spencer-Fleming for her ability to make me stay up to all hours of the night finishing anything she writes. Jasper Fforde for his sense of humor and his ability to turn the world around in my head. Stephen King. Hmmm. I can’t really read his writing ‘cause he scares me just too much but I love his advice to writers in his On Writing. It gave me hope, it instructed me in writing techniques and all in such a readable package!
DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?
CHRISTINA WIBLE: The aforementioned Folly. It combines suspense with the level of character development that I aim for.
DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?
CHRISTINA WIBLE: When I first published In Between Goodbyes I launched with a book fair day at a (wait for it) Quaker Meeting. Since then I’ve signed at independent book stores, hawked it on Facebook and worked with readers groups. Church groups, especially Episcopal woman’s groups have seemed to found an affinity with the character I think because it humanizes the priest and her vocation which is not always in a church setting. I look for off the wall ways to promote.
DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?
CHRISTINA WIBLE: Why not? I’m something of a techie so it was easy for me. I already had a Kindle. I figured that if I was prone to impulse buying on Kindle (which I definitely am) why not get on the train and make my novel available to other impulse buyers?
DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?
CHRISTINA WIBLE: Go for it! I’ve have thoroughly enjoyed this experience. I’d like to try all kinds of experiences in publishing before I’m done which will be never. I fully intend to die with my face planted firmly in my keyboard.
DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In Between Goodbyes. She writes obsessively but takes time out to eat and have a day job. Her next novel is In Season or maybe Loft or perhaps There May Be Angels—depends on which she wants to publish first.
Visit her website.
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