Can you tell us a little about writing your first book?
I wrote my first novel at age nineteen. The tome sits dusty and unloved in my file cabinet. I’ve been writing fiction ever since.
What is your most recent title published?
Second Chance Grill, the prequel to award-winning Treasure Me, was released in October 2102. The synopsis:
Dr. Mary Chance needs a sabbatical from medicine to grieve the loss of her closest friend. But when she inherits a struggling restaurant in Liberty, Ohio she isn’t prepared for Blossom Perini. Mary can’t resist falling for the precocious preteen—or the girl’s father. The bond they forge will transform all their lives and set in motion an outpouring of love that spreads across America.
Welcome back to Liberty, where the women surrounding the town’s only restaurant are as charming as they are eccentric.
Is there a message in your work you want readers to grasp?
I’ve been called the queen of the redemption story. I believe everyone deserves a second chance, a do-over, an opportunity to build a better life despite setbacks and obstacles.
How do you work your storyline? Do you use an outline, or just write?
I begin with the idea for a character and the type of obstacles he or she might face. The plot springs from these deep waters.
Are experiences in your work based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think readers of every genre have certain expectations. As an author, you must meet those expectations for any hope of success. In the case of contemporary fiction, readers demand a writing style rich in emotion, with striking visuals and deep symbolism. They don’t want a surface read. If they aren’t quickly immersed in the story and the conflict, they’ll move on to another novel.
Do those stories arise from personal experience?
Sometimes. More often, I begin with a simple What if? question then build a plot.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Knowing when to stop working and break for the day. I get utterly caught up in the character’s lives. During the first 100 pages it’s easy to conduct a normal 9-to-5 routine. By page 250, all bets are off. I wake in the middle of the night with half of a scene spilling from my subconscious and hurry to my computer. Midway through dinner I leap up to scramble for pen and paper because I’ve suddenly solved a story problem. It becomes rather silly. Luckily my family is very understanding.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Digital publishing offers a marvelous opportunity for talented authors—especially authors who don’t easily fit into a traditional genre—to reach the reading public. A division of Penguin considered bringing Treasure Me and the upcoming Liberty books out in hardcover. Earlier, Random House was interested in Second Chance Grill.
In both instances, the editors were flummoxed. Were the books romance, mystery or women’s fiction? The prose is close to literary, with cozy mystery elements and snappy dialogue thrown into the mix. Given the financial investment a publishing house makes releasing a debut novelist, it’s understandable why both editors were hesitant to offer a contract. They weren’t sure, exactly, how to promote my novels.
Finally I drew up the courage to publish independently. Given the heartwarming reviews I’ve received for my first three releases, the decision was wise.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Find a specific time of day to write, even if only for a few minutes. Join a critique group to improve your skills. Don’t diminish your wellbeing by pulling all-nighters pounding out fiction. This isn’t a college exam. Producing your best work comes with time, reading often and well, and having the courage to put emotion on paper.
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I’m wrapping up edits on a romantic comedy slated for release in April. I’m having so much fun with the editing process I hate the thought of saying goodbye to these characters and sending them off to publication!
Praise for Second Chance Grill
“Nolfi writes with an uncanny sense of Americana and a richness of heart that is incredibly endearing and totally refreshing.” –BookFetish
@christinenolfi on Twitter
GoodReads Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/7e2xgjq
FaceBook Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/c3sf4yv
Amazon Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/9due77l
Second Chance Grill:
Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/8z2lbb6
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/bq9hweg
Ok I know that I am excited to see another book come out and can't wait to read it!!! But the exciting news is *drumroll* Christine is allowing me to giveaway an EBOOK and PAPERBACK copy of Second Chance Grill!!!!! So how do you enter? Fill out the rafflecopter form and the winner will be randomly drawn. There is one catch, the paperback copy is for US residents only, however the ebook is international!! The giveaway will run from March 13th to March 22. Winners will be contacted and announced on March 23rd! GOOD LUCK!!!!