Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Interview with Christa Jeanne, Author of White Girl in La Casa

Christa Jeanne lives and writes in the Los Angeles area, which means at any given moment she is likely to be stuck in traffic somewhere. When she isn’t writing her next romantic comedy, she is either busy getting clobbered at Candyland by her daughter, educating anyone who will listen about how her son with autism is going to change the world one day, or lovingly doting on her handsome, charming, intelligent and perfect husband (who totally fed her that line). Christa is the ringleader of her circus at home and as soon as the kids go to bed, she can be found at her computer rocking out to a playlist that matches the mood of the current book she’s hammering out. She loves writing about the funnier side of love since falling in love can be pretty hilarious sometimes.

Christa loves visitors, so please visit her at

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Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Sure, let’s see, I write (obviously) because I absolutely love to challenge myself by taking two sweet victims, oops scratch that, ‘characters’, and throw them into crazy situations so that by the end, they are in love and have stories to tell their fictional futuristic grandkids. I’m also a wife and mother of two of the greatest kids in the world, which by default also makes me the ringleader of the three ring circus that is my home. But I love it. My favorite things are reading (if I was in Kevin Costner’s Dances With Wolves tribe, I’d be Christa-comes-with-a-book) and of course writing. I’m also a huge Dodgers fan, so don’t hold that against me. Random Christa Jeanne trivia: my favorite color’s orange and I can’t say the word Worcestershire sauce without it coming out as Worsh-ti-sure Shaush…

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in northern California near San Francisco in a little suburb named Fremont. My grandma would drag me on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to the theater in San Francisco all the time to see live theater plays and the SF culture. As a kid, I always thought BART should have been called Freeway Alternative Rapid Transit so we could call it FART. I should have taken it up with city counsil…

When did you begin writing?

I began writing in college, specifically my senior year. I graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Criminal Justice and I had it in my head that I wanted to write thrillers and novels about serial killers and sharp detectives. And I did write one. But life happened in between all this, as it often does, and I had to put my goals on hold for a while. I started reading lighter stuff, romantic comedies and comedies in general, and decided that’s what I wanted to write. I wanted to write books that make people laugh.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

Good question. I work a full time job in addition to having my writing career, so my day consists of getting up, getting the kids dressed, getting them to daycare, getting to work, working, pretending like I’m working while thinking about my characters in my book (if you’re my boss, I’m kidding about this part), getting home, helping the hubby get dinner on the table, trying to convince the kids to eat, playing with my kids, bed time, and then FINALLY at around 8:00, I get to put on my headphones, turn on the playlist I’ve created for my book I’m working on at the moment, and write like a mad woman! I’m definitely a plotter with my books. I write ridiculously long notes before I start writing, to the point where my notes look like the creepy journals of serial killers or something. But I always know exactly where I want the scenes to go so when I get at my laptop at night, I can just go for it. I usually try to get out a couple scenes every night.

What is this book about?

White Girl in La Casa has been in my mind for a LOOOONG time. It’s a story about a white girl named Calliope who is in love with her college buddy, Peter. She met Peter after a bad break up and she thinks he is her Hispanic Prince Charming. He’s easy on the eyes, a perfect gentleman, great smile—the complete package. However, he keeps telling her, they are just friends. They live together in an apartment in Los Angeles and one day Calliope comes home to a flood. Peter gets it in his head that they can stay with his mother Margarita, who is your typical old school Mexican mama. She only speaks Spanish, she is rooted in her Mexican heritage and like any Hispanic over-bearing mother, she wants her sons to marry Latinas and make grandbabies. So, when the white girl comes to the door acting as Peter’s girlfriend, she is not pleased. It’s quite the culture shock to both of them as Calliope tries to play the sweet, adorable girlfriend to keep up the lie for Peter. Not only do Calliope and Margarita clash, but enter Peter’s brother Eddie, and things go downhill quickly. Eddie knows she’s faking it with Peter and he wants to know why. Calliope struggles with the friendship she has with the guy she thought was The One, and the other guy who is slowly chipping away at the unraveling lie, while also heating up her heart. White Girl in La Casa is a love triangle, definitely, but it also has a fun perspective of cultures colliding between the white girl and the no-nonsense Mexican mama.

What inspired you to write it?

To be quite honest, a lot of the funny scenes in this book have come from my own experiences with my husband’s family. Particularly his mom. I’m part Irish and part other stuff (basically your run of the mill white girl) and my husband is Mexican. My mother-in-law is not at all like Margarita, but there have been many culture differences that I’ve gotten used to over the years. The funny scenes in White Girl in La Casa have come from a very exaggerated and twisted part of my imagination. But there is one scene in the book that did actually happen to me…it involves soup…and that’s all I’ll say about that. My husband still teases me about it till this day.

Who is your biggest supporter?

I’d have to say my hubby. He’s the best. Oh, well, and my mom. If I don’t mention my mom, you know, she’ll get all bent out of shape.

Who is your favorite author?

I have a lot of favorites. My favorite for romantic thrillers is Karen Rose. Hands down. Whatever she writes, I will have a copy on my Kindle the same day. My favorite romantic comedy writer is Kristan Higgins. Again, I’ll have her stuff on pre-order. My third favorite is Christopher Moore. The guy is a comedic genius!

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

I don’t have an agent. I’m a self published author and proud of it! I wrote my first book My Midlife & Married Romance Novel Life and I was so in love with it. I had it open on my laptop, all primped and perfect, just the way I wanted it, and I knew I could either send it to endless agents and wait and wait and wait or I could just self publish it. So, I got one of those gut feelings, call it a mom thing, and I decided to just publish the darn thing! I had worked so hard on it and loved it with all my heart that I decided to self-publish.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

White Girl in La Casa is on sale at Amazon. It’s available in Kindle format and in paperback.

Where can readers can find out more?

Please come visit me at I also make really fun book collages on Pinterest for all my books. They include people I pictured as the characters, songs from my playlist I put together for the book, recipes, jokes, and just anything else I can find that goes with the cool stuff in the book.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Don’t give up! I write because I absolutely love to write and make up really fun stories that other people love to read. If you want to be a writer, write! And once you publish that first book and do the little happy dance of author joy (not saying I have firsthand experience at so said happy dance…or cartwheels across the living room floor at seeing my name listed as an author, ehem), start writing again! Finish another book so you can perfect the happy dance routine. But don’t give up. It’s very easy to do, but don’t. Because then there’s no happy dancing going on.

What is up next for you?

Ooooh, very excited for what’s next for me! I’m writing a new series that will consist of 3 books total. I have the titles for all three and notes for the first two. It’s going to be the Dating Disasters Anonymous Club Series and it’s going to be very very very fun to write and fun to read. I’m hoping to be done with the first book in the series later this year. AND, if I have time, I would love to do a little Christmas novella for my White Girl in La Casa characters! I may just put it on my website as a free download or something awesome like that.

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