Debut novelist Krista Phillips joins us today to talk about her new book, Sandwich with a Side of Romance. She has offered to give one free copy away so please leave a comment below to win. We have to have ten comments. US Continental only.
Krista, thanks for being here. Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up… in a lot of places! We moved quite a bit, but are settled in the Nashville area now. I have two older sisters and a younger brother. I grew up knowing and loving Jesus, but officially accepted him as my savior when I was 11 years old.
But now… I’m married to the love of my life, and together we have four beautiful princess daughters! Annabelle, my youngest daughter, was born with a rare, severe heart defect, so I’m also an advocate for congenital heart defect and organ donation awareness.
Oh, and I also do this little thing called writing books too! My debut novel, Sandwich, with a Side of Romance releases September 1st.
I know you are so proud of your family and excited about the launch of your writing career! What did you like to read as a child? Is there a book that still brings pictures to your mind?
As an early teen, I was obsessed with the “dying” books by Lurlene McDaniel. That’s what I called them anyway. No clue why. They were about teens faced with the concept of dying or severe illness such as cancer and cystic fibrosis.
I think I liked them because they invoked emotion. I think that’s why I like writing romance, too. I want to touch people’s hearts!
When you can grab a reader’s heart, you’ve got her hooked! Sounds like you know how important that is. What is your favorite genre to read now?
Christian romance. Historical or Contemporary, doesn’t matter!
Those are my favorites too! Why do you write and who is your target market?
I write because it’s what God has called me to do, and because I have way too many stories running through my brain not to put them down on paper somewhere!
My target market is, of course, women, although I’m pleased to say my brother-in-law just informed me that he’d almost finished my book and enjoyed it, so yay for that!
My heroine’s are usually in their 20’s, so my target audience is probably in the 18 to 40 range.
Tell us about the journey to getting published.
In 2007, I finished my first book. I then took the next few years to find out everything I’d done wrong and write my second book.
In January 2011, I got an email from the editor at Abingdon. We’d been at the same writer’s group and she’d read some of my stuff before and wanted to see more. In June, shortly after my daughter came home from the hospital, I was offered a contract. Two days later, I signed with my dream agent, Rachelle Gardner.
And the rest is history!
How exciting! What was your biggest obstacle?
Finding time! As a mom of 4 kids, finding time is NOT easy!
Amen, sista! Where do you get ideas for your books?
It totally varies! Sometimes just walking through the mall and people-watching sparks some ideas! For Sandwich, I’d always wanted to place a book in the town where I was born, so that was the start of the idea!
Here’s a little about the book:
She moved to Sandwich, Illinois, in search of a new life, but ended up in a giant pickle.
Sandwich represents hope for twenty-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle, the eleven-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care. Then she loses her new job after less than a day. It’s all Reuben-the-Jerk’s fault, and she’s determined to make him right the wrong.
He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant, The Sandwich Emporium. Then crazy things start happening at the restaurant, and Kyle’s foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process.
And she’d rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.
The book sounds adorable! Now…In three words describe your style of writing.
Are you a plotter, a pantster, or somewhere in between?
Pantster through and through! I start with a bit of an idea, and see where it goes. Midway through, I circle back and plan a little bit!
I plan, then fly by the seat of my pants and then go back and see what I missed the first time around. What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
Oh my goodness. I don’t really have a schedule. I wish I did! With four kiddos, one of them with special needs, I grab every free section that I can manage.
As far as where… again, it depends! I have a desk, but rarely do I actually get to write at it! Usually I’m in the living room with kids squealing around me while I type out a few words. When I’m lucky, I take myself off to Starbucks while hubby watches the kiddos!
Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? Yes I do!!!
How do you balance it?
I balance it by taking it a day at a time. Truly. I don’t have it right, and I’ll probably always be working on improving the balance, especially around deadline time!
What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
I’d probably be PTO mom of the year, HA! As it is, I’m far from it! I do my best though.
Do you have a favorite scripture? If so, why is it your favorite?
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.
God gave me this verse many years ago, and it gives me a lot of hope, even in the tough times.
That seems to be a favorite of many writers—and for good reason. What is the bravest thing you have ever done?
I became a mother. Seriously, raising children is definitely a very brave thing!
Yes, it is! What was your greatest fear as a child and have you written something like that into your book(s)?
Actually, the book I’m currently working on is all about fears. I think my biggest fear is probably of… oh, I don’t know. Maybe embarrassment? But the fear of failure is a close second.
Well, they say if you laugh at yourself first then it won’t bother you if someone else laughs at you. And fear of failure—well, you’ve already succeeded at several great things! If you could have dinner with someone famous (dead or alive) who would it be?
Jesus… and his mother. I’d love to know how she raised the son of God! And I thought raising my girls was hard!
Raising boys is definitely different than raising girls. I can attest to that! If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
A hard question! An island somewhere… with sand… and wonderful weather.
I think I might join you! Where can fans find you or your books on the internet?
Thank you so much for joining us here on the blog. Much success to you and your books!