Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Christine Merrill




Golden heart winner, Christine Merrill has written twelve historical novels and an assortment of stories and novellas for Harlequin Mills and Boon, and has self published two contemporaries. She is also the only author of Regency set historicals ever to fail a college English class covering Jane Austen. If pressed, she will insist that the F had more to do with her feelings on Tristram Shandy than Northanger Abbey. After she graduated with a degree in English and theater education, and could go back to reading for fun, she discovered Pride and Prejudice and learned the error of her ways.



She lives in rural Wisconsin about ten minutes outside of pizza delivery range with her high school sweetheart. They have two sons, a labradoodle, a pond full of goldfish and two cats with active social lives. She talks frequently about getting "just a few sheep or maybe a llama." Everyone breathes a sigh of relief when she stops.



When not writing, Chris can be found at the movies, halfway back and towards the center, with a large buttered popcorn (but only if the film has a happy ending).



Find Chris at:












Dangerous Lord, Innocent Governess



Daphne Collingham is masquerading as a governess in Lord Timothy Colton's home— determined to discover if he is responsible for her beloved cousin's death. She's prepared to uncover secrets and scandal, but the biggest revelation is the way she feels under the lord's dark gaze….

Lord Colton is suspicious of the alluring new governess—and with the furor surrounding him he must control his passion. But a man has his limits, and the delectable Miss Collingham is pure temptation….






CAT: What’s your favorite cartoon character?

CHRISTINE: Bugs Bunny. He’s an anarchist with wit, and always on top of every situation, no matter how strange it gets.



CAT: What turns you off like nothing else?

CHRISTINE: Revenge plots where the hero’s entire family gets wiped out at the beginning, usually because of something he did and usually in some particularly horrible way. He’s motivated to fight evil. And the women and children get the shaft.



Grrrrr.



CAT: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

CHRISTINE: To Have and Have Not with Bogart and Bacall



CAT: Who’s your favorite villain?

CHRISTINE: After seeing X-Men First Class, I’d have to say Magneto. When they say “The villain is the hero of his own story” they mean this guy. He has perfectly rational reasons for not choosing to be the hero. And as played by Michael Fassbinder, he is hot.



CAT: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?

CHRISTINE: Weird stuff that has nothing to do with the books I write. I write mostly Regency historical romance. But I listen to punk rock, show tunes and movie sound tracks. I also like world music in languages I can’t sing along to.



CAT: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?

CHRISTINE: I’d like to go back to working in theater. My first job out of college was working in professional costume shops. I used to sew a lot, for work and for fun. I don’t do nearly enough of that anymore.



CAT: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?

CHRISTINE: After falling over/falling asleep/taking a shower? I go grocery shopping. I may look nothing like a young Kathleen Turner, but my house looks like her apartment at the beginning of Romancing the Stone. Even with the rest of the family covering for me, it’s total chaos. The fridge is empty, we’re out of toilet paper, the bills haven’t been paid and we’ve been eating carryout for at least a week. I have to spend a couple of days getting things back to normal.



CAT: If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?

CHRISTINE: Stephen Moffat, the producer of Doctor Who and Sherlock. I am totally obsessed with those shows, and would want details. Also, I admire everything he writes and would want to know his process.



CAT: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?

CHRISTINE: New York in the 1930’s and 40’s. I love the Deco architecture, the movies, the books, the fashions, and the weirdness of it’s being between the two big wars. I’d be a little leery of seeing the depression up close, but there was also the glitter of Broadway, Cole Porter and so forth.



CAT: What is your favorite tradition from your childhood that you would love to pass on or did pass on to your children?

CHRISTINE: This is a toughie, because I’ve gone out of my way not to pass anything from my childhood on to my kids. I’ll have to go with ‘a love of books, storytelling and movie going.’



CAT: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

CHRISTINE: Yes, unfortunately. A lot of them are subjective, and disagree with each other. But they influence me at least a little. For instance, if someone says a story drags, I’ll think of what I might do in the next one to make sure the pace picks up.



CAT: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

CHRISTINE: I work from home, and can tell everyone that afternoon naps and excessive daydreaming are part of my job. I LOVE it.





CAT: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?

CHRISTINE: Coke Zero more than either of them. But if I had to choose? Tea. Tazo Passion herbal, or I blend my own chai with black and green tea, Splenda and soy milk, and plenty of ginger and cardamom.



CAT: What color would you make the sky if it wasn’t going to be blue anymore and why?

CHRISTINE: I think a nice pink purple combination would be good. We could keep it tuned to sunset all day long.



CAT: What would you say is your most interesting quirk?

CHRISTINE: My total lack of any directional sense. I think compass directions change, based on the way I’m facing and if I have to guess them, I am always 180 degrees off.


CAT: What’s your favorite kid joke?

CHRISTINE: What’s the last thing to go through a bug’s mind as he hits the windshield?



His butt.



CAT: Which era would you least like to have lived in, fashion-wise and why? Most?

CHRISTINE: I’d have least liked the 50’s, because of the panty girdle. And most? Probably the late 20’s and early 30’s. It was kind of underwear minimalist there, for a while. Skirts were longish, and evening gowns were cut was on the bias. Very flattering.



CAT'S GOTTA ASK:

If you were a t-shirt, what color would you be and why?

CHRISTINE'S GOTTA ANSWER:

Black. Because I go with everything. We all wore a lot of black when I worked in theater and I’ve never broken the habit.



CHRIS' QUESTION FOR HER FANS:

You are going to be stuck in an elevator for 3 hours (and totally safe BTW. Claustrophobics can all take a deep breath and imagine a larger space). Who do you want with you, and how are you going to pass the time?



Chris would like to give away one copy of Dangerous Lord, Innocent Governess and one copy of Miss Winthorpe’s Elopement to two visitors.



19 comments:

  1. 3 hours hmmmm.....how bout a really handsome guy that you would never think would give you the time of day but in the 3 hours he takes the time to get to know you part of it...eventually we close the gap and out mouths meet...then the passion flares and we both dont expect it next thing you know as were leading to getting hot and heavy wham the elevator starts up again. lol

    babydoll82959307(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. lol sorry i meant to say great interview and congrats on this lovely book. but i got side-tracked with a fantasy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Christine, I found your interview completely refreshing and I do appreciate your quirky personality. As for myself, I would be a white t-shirt: light and bright! Now, if I were stuck in an elevator for 3 hours, I would want to be stuck with someone talk, dark and dangerous. Cliche, I know but it works for me. Someone like Barrons (Karen Marie Moning's FEVER series), who is more animal than man, but strong, capable and very entertaining. If I am going to be stuck with someone for hours, they have to have a sense of humour, no sour-face.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the interview!

    Ok for 3 hours....elevator....anyone....

    I'm going with a kilted man with Scottish brogue. I'm going to finally be the one to answer that age old question...what's under the quilt?! Mmhmm. Yup. I'll sleep well now!

    dani3222001(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. 3 hours....elevator...

    I would definately pick a talk, dark, handsome man who is a little dominate (in a good way) and who of course will fall for me immediately. As for passing time, I'm sure we can think of a few ways....lol.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Christine, welcome to GLIAS!! I think if I got stuck in an elevator at the moment it would have to be with my current hero because I would like 3 hours of uninterrupted time to get to the bottom of his current misbehavior!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Christine, Stephen Moffat did Coupling, too. (The BBC version, obviously.) Funniest. Show. EVER.

    As for the elevator - I'd like to spend some intimate, quality time with my laptop. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi, Christine, wonderful interview and great answers to the GLIAS crew's questions. Gosh, since I'm a writer and a reader, if I had three hours alone in an elevator, with plenty of room to breathe, I want my notebook with me. Three hours of undivided time, that's a lot of muse time! If it has to be a person, I'll take Hugh Jackman and make him sing to me ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Russell Crowe.

    Did I answer that too fast?

    Welcome, Christine!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would want a handsome stranger stuck in the elevator with me. I would also hope that one of us had just gone shopping and we would have refreshments during the 3 hours. I'm not saying anything would have to happen but flirting is absolutely on the table. That could be a fun 3 hours.

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi, everybody! Thanks for having me.

    I'm trying to think if I even have an answer for my own question. But I can definitely tell the mothers of small children. You're the ones that want to be alone, right?

    I've got teens. Some days, I'd have to answer that I wanted to be stuck in an elevator with them for three hours, just to get them to stand still and talk to me.

    But there's got to be a better fantasy than that. I must keep thinking...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, and...

    I just mispelled my own name.

    Welcome to me, folks.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Welcome to GLIAS, Christine.

    THREE HOURS? IN AN ELEVATOR? Can you tell the idea is NOT appealing to me? HaHa...I'm the claustrophobic here...

    But I can imagine that it would start getting hot... Bare necessities would remain on... Lots of chatting to calm down would happen... We'd know each other fairly well...

    ~~Angi

    ReplyDelete
  14. Christine -

    What a terrific interview and I have a much better insight to your writing style now!

    My first choice would be my husband who has been my one and only for 41 years but assuming I have to choose someone else I'm picking a writer in fact I'm picking the person I think of as the very first romance writer!

    That person is Miguel de Cervantes and the story was Don Quixote de la Mancha. I fell in love with this story of strenth of conviction and loving someone including all their shortcomings when I was a teenager and since than have loved reading all genres of romance. The story is one of dreaming of what could be, standing up to your principles, taking a chance and loving in the true sense of the word.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great interview! I love the sound of this book it looks really good. I am sorry to say I have not read your books before and I think I would really enjoy them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would want my Kindle with full battery and my ipod. That way I can escape to another place.

    iqb99@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think I'd pick Hugh Jackman over Russel Crowe. Of course, I'd want Hugh Jackman to dance, which means I'd need a freight elevator. But if I'm setting the rules, I can have that, right?

    And of course, the elevator shaft would need the Kindle whispernet, so you can download, Danielle.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Chris - Great interview and i love your Harlequin Historical books. I would love to be stuck in an elevator with Eion Bailey from Band of Brothers. (Let's just not telll my husband!)

    ReplyDelete
  19. It all depends on when I got stuck in the elevator. If it was coming or going from work, I'd probably pull out the paperback historical novel in my briefcase (right now, it's Susan Gee Heino's new one - Temptress in Training). I usually read at lunch time... If it was some time else and my current novel is not with me, I'd probably play pocket frogs. :)

    ReplyDelete