Author Spotlight – NY Times Bestselling Author Christie Craig

It’s Friday! That means it’s time for an author spotlight! Today’s guest post is from New York Times Bestselling Author Christie Craig.

Christie is also giving away a signed copy of her new release Don’t Close Your Eyes. How awesome is that? Read on for details!

Christie Craig

Where the heck did you get that idea?

 

Don't Close Your EyesI get asked that a lot.  My usual answer is that I found it on the clearance rack at Walmart.

In truth Ideas come from all sorts of places. Some of the just show up on your doorstep knocking.  You open the door just a little bit and they barge in.  You don’t have a freaking clue how they got there, but they move in and take up space in the crevices of your brain.

Other ideas are invited in after you read an article, see a movie, or hear someone at the table next to you at a restaurant telling secrets.  Yes, I admit it, I eavesdrop.  So be careful what you say in public.

Don’t Close Your Eyes didn’t come from Walmart or from eavesdropping. I sort of invited it in, but life got crazy and I decided it needed to move on its merry way.  Problem was, it wouldn’t leave. It was a squatter that dug in so deep I couldn’t get that sucker out with a crow bar.

You see, I had watched the movie, Prince of Tides over a quarter of century ago.  I was enthralled by the idea of how a childhood trauma, a secret, could follow someone and affect their adult life.

The what-if doodad, that thingamajig in a writer’s brain that starts turning something over and over and seeing plot possibilities kicked into gear.  What if a five-year-old girl saw a cousin being buried and because it was so traumatic, her mind hid it from her.  How would this affect that girl’s life?  What if as an adult something triggered that memory?  Would she believe it?  Would anyone else believe her if it happened twenty-five years ago?

Yup, Annie, my five-year-old girl came alive and the story started piecing together. At the time, I took a class on writing screenplays at Rice University.  So I wrote a screen play and about Annie and gave her a hot detective—with his own set of flaws— to help solve her problems. And to create a few more.  Hey… It’s called conflict.

I titled it To Remember Jenny and entered it into a screenplay contest.  It won.  But I wasn’t really into writing screenplays, so I tried to evict it from my mind, but the darn thing wouldn’t leave.

Fast forward ten years when I was a one-book-wonder and was trying to break back into publishing.  To Remember Jenny dug itself out and demanded I write it as a novel. I did.  And I entered it into contest and it won again.  But right then I sold four humorous romantic suspense novels and because this idea was darker, I decided it had to go. I served it an eviction notice, but it bunkered down again.

Then fifteen years later—two years ago—I decided to challenge myself and try my hand at writing something darker, something edgier. The idea of To Remember Jenny unearthed itself from beneath all those dust bunnies of my mind and yelled, “Me.  Me. Write me!”

So I did it.  To Remember Jenny became Don’t Close Your Eyes.  With that idea out of the closet, I decided to write two more books in the same vein.  And the Texas Justice Series was born.  I’m right now finishing the second novel, Don’t Breathe a Word, and I’m enjoying it.

I love writing about wounded heroes that fight to overcome their past.  Heroes that have skeletons in their closet and must bring them out and dance with them before they can really heal.  Now that I think about it, I’m glad the idea ignored my eviction notice.

 

Below are four fun facts about Don’t Close Your Eyes.

  • Don’t Close Your Eyes revolves around Annie Lakes, who is dealing with a repressed memory. This subject, how victims remember trauma, is among one of the most explosive issues facing psychology today.  Some experts believe that traumatic experiences are unforgettably engraved on the mind.  Others argue that the mind can defend itself by banishing traumatic memories from awareness, making it difficult for victims to remember things until years later.  The argument is debated so vigorously because it used so often in legal cases.
  • Annie Lakes, my heroine, suffers from posttraumatic nightmares. These are more intense than regular dreams and similar to flashback memories that can contain replays of the actual traumatic events. However because some dreams can only be symbolically related this makes unraveling the truth extremely difficult.  For Annie, this makes her feel like an unreliable witness to something that happened to her.
  • Like Isabella, a secondary character in Don’t Close Your Eyes, I’m bi-lingual. I love writing about Hispanic characters and adding different cultures in Texas-themed books. When I was young, I lived in Venezuela, and spoke only Spanish for almost two years. Living in Texas, Spanish comes in handy and I kind of love to shock people when they are speaking Spanish and I’ll just chime in.  With my blonde hair green eyes, I really throw some people off.
  • I enjoy murder. On paper.  And on film.  Actually what I honestly enjoy is solving cases.  I’m addicted to the ID channel.  I can stay up until two in the morning watching Forty-Eight Hours and Cold Case. I love sifting through the evidence and trying to figure out who did it and see how they catch the bad guys.  Suspense has played a part in most every book I’ve written, even my young adult novels have suspense.

 

Congratulations to Missy for winning the signed copy of Don’t Close Your Eyes!

 

Thanks for such an awesome post, Christie! 

 

15 thoughts on “Author Spotlight – NY Times Bestselling Author Christie Craig

  1. I love this!! I have had a dream that seems so real! I have had it several times and I have no idea why! It’s about a house, it’s so familiar to me and I know every room to it. The dream usually starts in the house and it’s like I have lived there for years but being raised in the desert of NM, there is no way because it feels like somewhere in Ireland and I have never been outside of the country! It’s a big beautiful house but it has this scary feeling to it like something deep down in my heart! It feels like it’s a part of me but I have never stepped foot in it!!

    1. Missy, everytime I hear Irish music I feel as if I’ve listened to it all my life. I don’t know what it is.

      I have a friend who is a psychologist and she specializes in dreams. I love it when she tries to read what my dreams mean. Spooky stuff.

  2. I have naturally curly hair, and when I was younger it was really long and thick. People used to compliment me on it all the time. Naturally, I hated it. I used to always have this dream that I cut it. Like, a huge chunk right in the most noticeable spot. In the dream, when I realized what I had done, I’d panic. Then, still dreaming, I’d think I was awake and hoping I hadn’t cut it (it was a real Inception type situation) but telling myself it was just a dream. By the time I actually was awake, I’d be so panicked and confused on whether or not I’d cut my hair, I’d run to the bathroom in tears. That moment before flipping on the bathroom light was horrible!

  3. Your book sounds great!!

    I definitely had a dream too real. I grew up in Portland, Oregon and we have a light rail system. As a young kid, I remembered someone going on the train and beheading a bunch of people. As a young adult, I asked my parents about it and they looked at me like I’d lost my mind.

    It had been a dream that tI hought was reality for many years…

  4. Ha yes! When I was little I dreamed over and over again that a tornado swept through the room at my grandparents’ house where my brother and I were watching TV and turned us into little piles of nuts and bolts.

    That dream stopped after the tornado in 1979 that reduced their house to rubble. (We weren’t there.) I pay attention now!

  5. I sometimes have dreams that I confuse with reality. I think I’m awake in my dream and it’s too lucid. I don’t remember the details of the dream when I do wake, rather, only the sense that I was confused and frustrated into believing I was already awake! (also, I’m not in US; sadly you’ll have to skip me for giveaway) Great post, thank you!

  6. This book sounds great! I’ve had both funny dreams about my dog talking to me and terrifying ones ivolving losing my kids in crowds of people. I usually don’t sleep after those.

  7. Umm. In short Hellz YEAH. All the time. I even sleep walk–so yep.
    One time, I dreamed a spider landed on my chest, and woke up and stripped the entire bed and then slept on the couch. (I know that isn’t exactly what you mean here–but you try sleeping if you believe there is a spider in your bed, lol!)

    For real though- this book sounds amazing! Thanks for the opportunity!

  8. Yes, quite often. I have had many dreams that I’ve told people about that felt like it was a premonition or had some sort of meaning behind it. They’re what I call prophetic.

  9. This is going to sound sooo boring and cliche, but the dream that I’ve had a million times is the one where I forget about my college math class until the end of the quarter.

    Of course, this one difficult class is what stands between me and graduation. That moment of realization—where the dawning of this oversight makes me double over and want to puke—feels so incredibly real every time. I always end up scrambling around trying to find this class and the professor, hoping that he or she will give me a break of some kind.

    Of all the dreams to have on repeat, this is probably not the worst, but for someone who really hates math, it’s not awesome either LOL! It often takes me several minutes to calm myself down and remember that college was a long time ago!

    Loved the interview!

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