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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Interview with Christa Banister

Half the fun of reading a book is getting to know the author behind the tales. So I asked Christa Banister a few quirky questions and had to smile while reading the answers. Hope you do to...

Care to share any real-life matchmaker stories?

You know, I wish I could. I've been even less successful than Sydney in the whole matchmaking department. I always try to be really thoughtful about who I set up, but it still always backfires somehow. Once I set up two friends who I thought would really click for a casual getting-to-know you dinner with my hubby and I and another friend, and he ignored the potential love of his life all night. I mean, he didn't speak to her—AT ALL. When I asked him later on whether he was interested in my friend (as if his ignoring her completely wasn't indication enough), he said "there wasn't any chemistry." Perhaps, if he'd actually talked to her...

Oh well, I tried, right?

How much of Sydney is there in Christa?

Sydney and Christa are definitely simpatico in many ways—their spiritual gift of sarcasm, their need for an IV of Diet Cokes and caramel macchiatos, a shared faith and their quirky turns of phrase. But I will say this: Sydney dresses far, far better than I do. She's a regular fashion plate, while I usually opt for something way more casual.

What's the biggest challenge in writing contemporary fiction?

Like many authors (I'm guessing anyway), it's definitely having enough hours in the day to dedicate to it. To get everything just right requires a lot of time and effort, and there's always a million distractions, not to mention that pesky freelance writing day job (ha ha).

Share a little about your life's passion and how you live it out.

When I was a 10-year-old kid reading Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Superfudge, I knew that if Judy Blume could get paid for making up stories, that's exactly what I wanted to do. So from a young age, I started cultivating my love of writing by learning as much as I could about the craft and working at it.

Along the way, I had some great teachers and mentors who encouraged me in my pursuit, and once I hit college, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life—become a music journalist for CCM Magazine, and eventually, write novels. So I packed up my hideous Buick Century with anything that would fit and moved to Nashville, Tenn., right after college graduation. After a year and a half of slaving at odd jobs, (and odd, they were!), my dream finally came true back in 2000.

Then after working in various capacities there for 5 1/2 years, I ventured out on my own and started freelancing full-time, which I still do today. I took the novel writing plunge back in 2006, (thanks to the encouragement of several friends), signed with NavPress, and my first novel, Around the World in 80 Dates released in 2007. After having my second novel hit store shelves last August, I'm avidly promoting both books while working on my third novel. It's definitely not an occupation for the faint of heart, but I enjoy spending many, many, many hours with my MacBook, writing until I can't anymore.

Do you have any author quirks? (come on, be honest here ;-)

I'm a really, really talented procrastinator. I also write everything in order and edit as I go, which isn't really a quirk, but definitely not the recommended course of action. I've been told countless times to "just get it down," but I can't move on until it's exactly how I want it. Maybe it's more of a Type A quality than quirky, but there you have it.

What word of encouragement would you share with singles and newly-weds?

No matter what place you are in life, enjoy the journey. When you're single, it's so easy to put your life on hold by focusing on finding "The One" and being married. And once you're married, it'll be like two seconds later, and people will start asking you when you'll settle down and have kids already. So really, it's a never-ending cycle. While it's definitely not a bad thing to look forward to the future, living in the present allows you to fully enjoy the moment and all the joys and life lessons that come with it, knowing that God really does have everything in control. After all, as I've discovered again and again, His clock and my clock aren't always necessarily in sync. But yet, His time is the perfect, even if you may not see it that way at the time.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Readers can check out all things Christa Banister-related at my personal Website ( Not only can you sign up for my newsletter there, but you can click on links to my personal blog, Facebook page and other random goodness.

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