26 January 2012

Getting to know you Thursdays with Christina Berry Tarabochia

Please welcome Christina Berry Tarabochia to my blog today. I have enjoyed getting to know Christina better. Thanks Christina for being on my blog and I hope the books your editor is pitching goes well.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I write about the heart and soul of life with a twist of intrigue. I have a bachelor’s in literature, yet love a good calculus problem as well. Captain of a winning Family Feud team, I'm also a purple belt in tae kwondo and would love to own a de-scented skunk. My debut novel, The FamiliarStranger, was a 2010 Christy Finalist and Carol Award winner. I'm a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Redeemed Writers critique group. A newlywed who found my prince on eHarmony and blended a family of five kids, I run a thriving editing business. For the past five years, I have served on the OCW summer conference staff. 

 2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?

I loved The Secret Garden and Heidi. I guess you can imagine why my agent is currently shopping two novels that are inspired by those stories! (Jenny here I loved Heidi and Heidi grows up as a child)

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and write?

I like writing anything that's got a bit of mystery, something to figure out. I used to think I only read certain genres, but then I read a book like The Silent Governess and realized, "Wait! I guess I love Regency!" Any book has a great plot, be it romance or YA or sci-fi, can draw me in.

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?

I grew up on Erma Bombeck and I like to think that whatever humor comes out in my writing has her influence.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?

Buried deep within my closet, one might find some angst-filled poetry from my teenage years and a very spooky seven pages of the novel I started in high school. Though I was in love with the idea of being a writer, it wasn’t until I finished college and stayed home with my first child that I actually decided to write a book. Truthfully, my mom told me we were going to write one together, and being the obedient daughter I am .... We plan to epub that book early next year, but my mom gets all the credit for helping me achieve my dream. Well, and God, of course!

6. How did you go about becoming an author?

My mother, Sherrie Ashcraft, and I began writing in the summer of ’99. We figured the accountability of having a co-writer would make us actually do what we’d always dreamed of but never put action to. It took a long road of learning how much we didn’t know, tons of re-writing, brooding over rejections, making connections, pitching at conferences, and directional prayer to make our writing salable.

In the summer of 2006, when Mom was busy caring for her dying mother-in-law, I got the itch of a new story idea. Undiscovered was written by February 2007, edited by June, won second place in the 2008 ACFW Genesis Contemporary category, and was renamed The Familiar Stranger, contracted by Moody Publishers in October, and released in September 2009. It was a Christy finalist and won the ACFW Carol award in 2010.

One decade from naïve first scribbles to debut novel!

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?

Starting my editing business has shown me how much I love that side of the business. Despite the tight budgets at publishing houses right now, I would try to convince one of them to take me on. Or I'd be a regular stay-at-home mom who focuses more on her husband and kids!

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?

I love playing games, whether board games or Wii with the kids. This Thanksgiving was the first time we realized the older kids can play Pictionary, so we had a blast with that! I was never a runner before meeting my sweet, new husband Dave, but he's given me an appreciation for the peace and relaxation of a good jog along the beautiful paths here in Oregon. I like trying new recipes, love cleaning and organizing, and enjoy napping!

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?

I love any place with a sandy beach, warm ocean, and colorful fish! I've been to Hawaii and the Virgin Islands. A place I yearn to go to is France. My high school French teacher gave us such an appreciation for the history and culture of of the country, but I want to experience it for myself. I grew up in Nigeria, West Africa and had a dream just a few days ago that I took the whole family back. The country is so much more than an Internet-scam place--it's gorgeous, but they need to stabilize politically before they get much tourism.
(Jenny here I see the word Hawaii and I want to go there! I was there 12 months ago and really want to go back)

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?

I'd say my family, but that doesn't work as they number more than three ...

Brandon Heath--his albums got me through my divorce. he captures every emotion one can imagine with simple words.
Andrew Peterson--his sense of humor is top-tier, our whole family loves his books, his music is like no one else's.
My brother--he's in a place where we can't have a meal together right now and I would love, love, love to experience that with him.

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will
be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.

My agent is pitching three books at the moment--you already have hints about two of them--and I've started yet another. This new one melds my passion for foster care with a twisty plot and I'm really excited about it. Get to know me better at www.christinaberry.netor www.authorchristinaberry.blogspot.net or on Facebook or Twitter.


Marianne said...

Thanks for a super interesting interview. i know i'll be looking for Christina's novels.

Ausjenny said...

Thanks for commenting Marianne it is encouraging seeing your comments.

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