Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Special Author Interview & Book Review with Marika Christian, Author of Phone Kitten



Thank you very much to Marika Christian for taking the time to answer a few of my burning questions about her and her newest release. Marika Christian is the author of the debut novel, Phone Kitten. Visit her blog, Miss Quoted, at http://marikachristian.blogspot.com/ to learn more about the author and where to buy her book. Please continue reading after the interview for my review of Phone Kitten!
Q. I often hear “write what you know”. Does “Phone Kitten” have any personal background to it? 

MC: Phone Kitten is nothing but personal experience, except for the murder part. I’ve never solved a crime, but I did take jobs at two different phone sex services, both successful, both still in business. Every call that is featured in the book, is a call I actually took. 

Q. Phone Kitten is about a female phone sex operator who also becomes a sleuth. What inspired you to combine contemporary women’s fiction with a little mystery? 

MC: Mysteries have always been big with me. Growing up, I read a lot of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden.  When my family would vacation in Germany, my aunt, who worked at the military base, would bring me boxes of novels by Victoria Holt. They always had a bit of mystery as well. And never doubt the influence of Scooby Doo. You can never go wrong with a mystery-solving dog.  

Q. Can you explain a little about how you became a writer? Did you have any specific influences (people, events or other)? 

MC: When I was a little girl, I got a typewriter for my birthday and I would write about my dog, Trixie, having tons of adventures. I think I always dreamed about being a writer, but dreaming it is different from doing it.  It wasn’t till I moved to New Orleans that I really started working at it. New Orleans is such a creative city. There are days when I look around and I think “This is where I live!” It’s still exciting and new. When I arrived in New Orleans, I was lucky enough to meet up with a mentor who guided me along the way. It was a combination of the right people, meeting at the right time, and being in the right city. New Orleans is magic that way. 

Q. Who is your all-time favorite character and why?

MC: Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody. She’s very stubborn, she’s believes she’s always right, yet she’s deeply sentimental, and addicted to romance. She uses her parasol as a weapon. She is wonderfully flawed, and still tendered-hearted and funny.  I love her. Her relationship with Emerson, her husband, is wildly passionate. I’ll confess to having Crocodile on the Sandbank as an audio book. I listen to it often, and when it gets to the part about their first kiss, I always catch my breath, stop what I’m doing, and listen. Best Kiss Ever. You can’t go wrong with Amelia.  Elizabeth Peters is the best.

Q. Do you have a specific routine or process to your writing and/or what does your writing space look like?

MC: I’ve always been a night owl, so I don’t start till late in the evening. I make a pitcher of iced tea, I read the last thing I wrote, I probably make a few changes, then I dive in.  I have a play list made up of songs that remind me of my characters that I listen to while I write. Once I’m in the story I just let it take over.  My work space is small and a little cluttered, but I like it that way. 

Q. Are you working on any other books at the moment or have plans for more in the future?

MC: I’m currently working on a sequel to Phone Kitten. Emily has a new job, some new friends, neighbors, and a new mystery to solve. She’s got a few more stories in her. Luckily, I like spending time with Emily.

Q. How do you balance writing with your job in telecommunications?

MC: I’m lucky enough to work from home, and my schedule is pretty much mine to make. While I do have to manage my time and make sure I get my hours in, it also gives me the ability to write more then a 9-5 job would. If I could stop myself from playing on the Internet, things would be perfect.    

 
Q. What are your interests/hobbies outside of writing?

MC: I love taking my dog, Dash, for walks in the French Quarter. He’s very friendly and he likes to visit a few of our friends.  I always take my camera. I’m not a great photographer, but it’s hard to take a bad picture when you live in such a beautiful city.  I also do a lot of cross stitch. This year I’m making all my Christmas gifts. I just finished a zombie pillow. 

Q. What advice do you have for wannabe writers out there?

MC: I would pass on the advice I got from an award-winning mystery writer. She told me at one point something in the story you are working on should make you cry. I’ve never forgotten that.  Also invest in a really good chair. Your butt’s going to be sitting in it for awhile. 

Q. What is something that most people wouldn't necessarily know about you (that you would be willing to share here, of course!)?

 
MC: I liked pomegranates before they were “cool”, I hate the thought of running out of ice, I got my first cell phone last year, I’m left-handed, and I carry two gris-gris in my pocket at all times because I’ll take all the luck I can get.


Cover found on Goodreads
Phone Kitten by Marika Christian

In the debut chick lit comedic mystery and thriller, Marika Christian has created an intriguing world in which a young woman takes on two new roles in her life. First, Emily Summers loses her job at a local newspaper after her competitive and underhanded boss steals her writing. Jobless and nearly penniless, Emily capitalizes on another talent – her sexy phone voice – and becomes a phone actress, answering the calls of lonely, desperate and horny men. When one of her regular callers shows up in the paper – murdered – Emily takes on yet another role as a murder detective, using her old editorial skills and calling on her memories of girl sleuths from her youth, a la Nancy Drew. Emily puts herself in harm’s way again and again, meeting with a lot of dark people in shady places. As if Emily doesn’t have enough on her plate, she meets a new guy at school who she’s crushing on hard but she doesn’t want him to find out anything about her new double life; and soon she finds out he's got a secret of his own. Will Emily be able to juggle all the people and craziness in her life and solve the murder?? Find out in this hilarious new mystery thriller from Marika Christian. This was a really good story and I am even more impressed since it was a first novel. The main character was I am eagerly anticipating a sequel to this creative story.                                        3 Stars

A big thanks to Marika Christian and her publisher for sending me a copy of her novel to read and review; and another big thanks to Samantha of Chick Lit Plus for her coordination of the Blog Tour for Phone Kitten. For more stops on the tour, please visit the site at http://chicklitplusblogtours.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/phone-kitten-by-marika-christian/.




Visit Chick Lit Plus
Blog Tours
 for more stops on the
Phone Kitten Tour!!

And if you still haven’t gotten your fill of Marika Christian and Phone Kitten, please log on to Twitter on July 14th at 8pm CST for a TwitParty hosted in conjunction with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours. Use #CLPMarika to get involved!!



5 comments:

  1. Marika, I love Amelia too! And I just love Emerson (and Ramses too!). Great interview. :)

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  2. I will definitely have to check out Elizabth Peters' novels since they seem to be getting such rave reviews. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. you can never go wrong with Amelia, Emerson, and the dreaded Master Criminal.

    Thank you so much for the great review Cathy, I really appreciate it!

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  4. Excellent interview Cathy! Glad you enjoyed Phone Kitten!

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  5. Great Q&A! I need to get a Kindle so I can read this one. What an interesting premise for a mystery!

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