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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Author Interview: Christy Tillery French

The Long and the Short of It is very pleased to welcome Christy Tillery French, the award-winning, internationally published author of Chasing Horses, Wayne’s Dead, Chasing Demons, The Bodyguard, The Bodyguard and the Show Dog, and The Bodyguard and the Rock Star.

You would think from her published work that Christy might be one of those rare writers who doesn’t suffer from writer’s block, but you would be wrong. In fact, when I asked her if she ever had to deal with it, her response was “Oh, do I ever!” She has unique ways of handling it though. “When that wall goes up,” she told me, “I curse at my computer, pull out my hair, scrub toilets and floors and clean house. And let me tell you, sometimes my house sparkles! When that doesn’t work, I make myself sit at the computer until I am so bored, I have to write something. It may be garbage, but I’m producing. At least that’s what I tell myself.”

Christy’s working on final edits for Chasing Secrets, a romantic suspense that’s slated for publication in October. She’s also working on the fourth book in her Bodyguard series, entitled The Bodyguard and the Snitch. She also has a couple of other books she works on when she’s in the mood for something dark: an apocalyptic romance and a psychological suspense, “both of which I need to finish,” she said, “but can’t seem to.”

Christy is not just a novelist, though. She has had poetry published in America and England, plus all of her books have been placed with the McClung Historical Collection of the East Tennessee Historical Center as part of the local and genealogical history of East Tennessee.

I asked her what advice she would give to a new writer. “Learn as much as you can about the craft of writing,” she said, “and read other writers in your genre to study what works. If possible, join a balanced critique group, one that fits you. Make sure your manuscript is as near-perfect as possible before submitting. Research agents and publishers before signing contracts.” There is one other piece of advice, though, that she considers more important than any other. “Persevere,” she told me. “Keep moving forward. Don’t let anyone or anything stop you. It’s a hard road but it can be so much fun. And rewarding.”

And, it’s important you write the way you write. Some authors write linear... from the first action to the last. Not Christy though. “I write the last chapter first,” she shared with me, “and never write sequential chapters. My final step before editing it to put the chapters in order.”

When Christy’s not busy writing, she is an active volunteer with a local Weimaraner rescue group. The hardest part about working with that group is “I fall in love with these dogs constantly and want to take each one home.”

“If I looked like my gorgeous daughter,” she said, “I’d have my picture plastered all over my books and website. Wait a minute. What if I used her picture instead of mine...Nah, that would never work. No way she could pass for a menopausal woman. Dangit!”

That was a good idea, though. Too bad there was a fatal flaw. She had another idea that I personally thing is great. She told me she thought scientists should invent a bra that doesn’t feel like a bra! “You know,” she said, “one you can wear for hours and never notice you even have it on. I swear, if anyone wants to torture a woman, all they need to do is put an ill-fitting bra on her and make her wear it for a few hours. She’d be willing to do or say anything just to get out of that darn bra. I know I would!”

You can keep up with Christy Tillery French on her website,

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