Christa Allan is the mother of five adult children and the totally smitten Grammy of two granddaughters. She and her husband, Ken, live in Louisiana where she teaches high school English. Her debut novel, Walking on Broken Glass, will be released by Abingdon Press in March, 2010. She has essays in Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Divorced Soul, The Ultimate Teacher, and Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Special Needs. You can visit her website at www.cristaallan.com.
Q: Thank you for this interview, Christa. Can you tell us what your latest book, Walking on Broken Glass, is all about?
My debut novel tells the story of Leah Thornton, a woman whose life looks pretty from the outside; she seems to “have it all.” But appearances can be deceiving because she’s a mess. She drinks to numb her pain and, until her friend confronts her with the truth, she thinks no one else has noticed. Leah admits herself to rehab, and the novel-told from Leah’s point of view-follows her through her recovery as she attempts to discover who she really is and what she’s willing to sacrifice to find out.
Q: Is this your first novel? If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?
Yes. The first novel I wrote, and the first novel I sold.
Q: How difficult was it writing your book? Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?
The most difficult part of writing my novel was the intrusion of Hurricane Katrina. My husband lost his job, so we moved to another city three hours away. For two years, I didn’t write. So much change was going on around us with jobs, housing, finding a workshop for my daughter Sarah who has Down’s Syndrome to attend during the day, and generally feeling “out of sync” with ourselves. I simply chose not to write during that time. Two years later, we moved home, and I sat my butt down and finished.
My first reaction to writer’s block is tears! Then I get control of myself because I know I can’t cry over the keyboard, go outside and pull weeds until I relax.
Q: How have your fans embraced your latest novel? Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?
The novel released February 1, so the feedback is just now making its way. Overall, the reviews indicate that readers appreciate the topic of alcoholism being addressed in Christian fiction, and that the novel balances seriousness with wit. So far, no funny or unusual experiences!
Q: What is your daily writing routine?
Being a high school English teacher sucks the creative energy out of me. I tried a daily routine and found that didn’t work. So, I hammer down during the summer, breaks during the school year, and weekends.
Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?
Sleep! I read, rediscover my husband, have dinner with friends, and try to lounge in the tub without drowning.
Q: What book changed your life?
At the risk of seeming a proselytizer, I know that my life changed when I rediscovered the Bible, and viewed it as a dialogue, not a monologue.
Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?
Queen Noor already used this one, but it’s so fitting; Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life.
Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”
I don’t always feel as confident as I pretend to be!
Thank you for this interview Christa. I wish you much success on your latest release, Walking on Broken Glass!
I appreciate your introducing me and my novel to your readers.