Interview with Christa Hoffman, Author of Invitation
Christina Hoffman was born in London, England. She moved with her family throughout Canada and the US, and has finally put down her suitcase, for now, in San Francisco.
She believes that everyone has the right to feel both smart and sexy. We don't have to be one or the other! She writes stories about characters who live in the real world and who, somehow, still believe in love.
She's starting a mini-revolution. She writes sexy stories, but hasn't lost the romance from her Romances. Enough with whips -- back to lips!
She hopes you enjoy her stories and see yourself in her characters. After all, they are based on smart and sexy people, just like you.
Christina’s latest book is the contemporary romance, Invitation.
Thank you for this interview, Christina. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
Hello, and thanks so much for having me. I was born in England, and travelled around a lot as a young person. Right now I’m in San Francisco, and I love it (apart from the seagulls, and the cold weather – I thought California would be warmer!)
I’ve written on and off for a while, but this is my first attempt at a romance novel.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
This book came to me one evening. Madison just popped into my mind. She is a young woman who used to be full of life and passion. Something really awful happened a couple of years ago and she is damaged and afraid. But, at the beginning of the book, she is finally tired of feeling afraid all the time, and wants to get back into life. She’s not sure how to do it, but then Liam shows up and makes her an offer she can’t refuse.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
Two reasons, really. The first is that all my research told me that romance readers are the greatest readers on the planet. They’re intelligent, they read a lot of books, and they’re loyal to the authors they love. Of course I wanted to be part of that world.
The other answer is that this story needed to be told as a contemporary romance. I knew it would have a happy ending, and I knew there needed to be a lot of physical passion and love. The story decided what it needed to be.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
I was as going to say that the greatest challenge was making time in a busy life – I haven’t read a book or watched TV in 2 months…
But, really, the hardest part was just starting. I had to tell myself that it was all right to try and fail. I can be really hard on myself, so I had to shut that nasty voice inside up for a while. THAT was hard!
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
I chose self-publishing because I didn’t want to wait years to hear back from agents and publishers. I wanted to have the control to decide when to publish, what the cover would be…all that stuff.
Was it the right choice for you?
I’m not sure. The processes of writing and publishing have been great. But, getting the book noticed, getting it into the hands of people who will buy it and like it – that has been incredibly challenging. I have spent almost as much time on “promotion” as I did writing it, which is frustrating. I can see the appeal now of just handing your finished manuscript over to the publisher and getting right back to work on writing the next book!
Thankfully, there are bloggers and readers who are willing to go out of their way to find and support new books. So, a big shout out to all of you! This couldn’t work without you.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
Oh, the list is long… I’m just starting with a book tour which I think (hope) will end up being the most productive way to promote.
I’ve been on Facebook, twitter, Google +, I’ve made a website. I have an Amazon author page (in each country that has its own author page). I have a Goodreads page and a Smashwords page. I’ve made paperback copies to use for the Goodreads giveaways I’ve done. I’ve paid a small amount to be on World Literary Café and Bargain Booksy. And, of course, I’m working with Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
This is a bit tricky because I don’t know yet what will work. I’ll just say that I spent $40 “boosting” my post on Facebook. Supposedly it reached 20,000 people interested in romance novels, but it resulted in ZERO sales! If you have a little bit of money, I would check out smaller websites like World Literary Café or Bargain Booksy. They seem to be better use of your money.
Oh! And get really great cover. You can’t skimp on this one.
What’s next for you?
Hopefully more books. People are already asking for more Liam and Madison, which is really exciting because I love them and would love to tell more of their story.
The next book I have planned is about a big-city cellist who is supposed to get a spot at a prestigious musicians’ retreat in the mountains, but is beaten out by another woman (who is sleeping with the prof.) So, she gets to attend the conference, but has to stay at a rugged ranch instead of the fancy resort. Of course there’s a gorgeous man working at the ranch. They hate each other at first, but…
Thank you for this interview, Christina. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?