Friday, April 9, 2010

Author Interview: CRISTA MCHUGH

Welcome back, booklovers! Today as a Friday treat we are joined by paranormal romance author Crista McHugh! She's chatting a bit out her heroes and heroines of choice and giving us a peek into what's coming next in the world of Heart of the Huntress. Vampires! Shapeshifters! Sin City! Now, without further ado (although I do love my ado), Crista McHugh! Welcome, Crista! (Applause!)

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

In real life, I’m a doctor, but one of my screen names on loops/forums is “Disenchanted Doc”, so there are days when I come home completely drained from the day job. My dream job would be to get paid to travel around the world and see strange locales, immerse myself in different cultures, and share my experiences with others. I guess you can say I want Rick Steves’ job.

What three things do you absolutely need in order to write?

No distractions, coffee, and a comfortable chair. Seriously. Before my husband and I moved into our tiny little apartment, I had my own office where I could go, close the door from the TV and the dog, and write. Now, I flee to a local cafĂ© when I need to type out the wordage. And never underestimate the power of a good chair. You can’t get your butt in the chair to write if you’re in pain the whole time.

What do you find attractive in a hero?

Confidence, a sense of humor, the ability to acknowledge his fears and face them head-on, his desire to make sure the heroine’s needs are taken care (both in and out of the bedroom… hehe). I like hero to be a real person – someone with real flaws that add to the tension in the relationship, but nothing so over the top that I want to roll my eyes.

What do you look for in a heroine?

A lot of the same things I look for in a hero. One of the things that absolutely drives me bonkers is the “too stupid to live” heroine. You know what I’m talking about – the stiletto-wearing dig-bat that charges into the dark, abandoned building where the bad guys are known to be hiding and then gives the hero a hard time after he rescues her because she “had it under control”. On the same token, I tend to like an assertive, independent heroine. Notice, I didn’t say shrill harpy. I like a heroine that can live without the hero if she needs to, but chooses to be with the hero because she sees the basis for a strong relationship.

Who was the last author whose writing wowed you?

I admit to having a “to be read” bookshelf that’s 2-3 books deep, so I haven’t been as diligent on my reading as I would like. The last book that really wowed me was Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding. It’s an awesome Urban Fantasy book that totally sucked me in from the first line. There are a few more books I’m really wanting to get to, but it’s all time permitting due to real life stuff.

What’s next for you/what are you working on now?

My next release is the second novella in my Kavanaugh Foundation series that involves an OCD demon hunter, a fallen angel with voyeuristic tendencies, and demons that wear human skin like wet suits. It’s coming out from Samhain in July. My current work in progress is a steamy Regency about a young women determined to be “ruined” so she can escape an arranged marriage.

Thank you, Crista, for giving us the inside scoop! Today one lucky commenter will win an ebook download from Crista's backlist!


Kali said...

You had me at OCD demon hunter. I'm yours forever.

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

I like your idea of chillin' in a coffee shop but I think I would get distracted watching all the people!

Nancy G said...

This was an interesting interview-I am always fascinated by the alter egos of authors, and whether their "day job" bleeds into their writing.

elaing8 said...

Great interview and love that cover. Another new author to me that I will be adding to my TBR list.

Sherry said...

I'm just like you on my to be read books although I have them in totes and I have about three of them. I still by more new books if they sound really good though. I haven't read any of your books yet but they sound really good.

Andrea Becraft said...

Your not the only one with a TBR pile that is so long. And I will only be adding to it going to RT convention lol!

I love the sound of the next book in july I will have to check it out and add it to the TBR pile lol!


I like to write in bed. That's probably bad for me.

Natasha A. said...

I have Heart of a Huntress on my phone right now! I can't wait to read it! I can't wait to read the OCD demon hunter!!

Crista said...

Thanks, Kali. Having her be OCD added an interesting element to the releationship -- she couldn't always have thing neat and orderly, including her bed. ;-)

Zephyr, the coffee shop proves interesting at times since I live in a rather affulent suburb of Seattle. For example, I once overheard a teenager complaining about how his dad went in for a facelift that morning. o_O

Nancy, I try to keep the day job out of my writing. I once joked that I write because I need keep from turning into Gregory House. ;-) Hence why I will never write any medically themed romances.

Thanks, elaing8! I hope there's something on my backlist that appeals to you.

Sherry, I might have to steal your idea of the totes if I run out of shelf space. LOL! My DH would probably make me give away some of the books before then.

Andrea, those conventions are great for adding to the TBR pile. I picked up about 30-40 books at Nationals last year. This year, I will try and be less greedy... maybe. ;-) Have fun at RT!

Kelly, writing in bed may keep you focused on certain aspects of writing. ;-)

Natasha, I hope you enjoy HoaH!

Vivant said...

You had me at OCD demon hunter too, but I can't wait for Kavanaugh Foundation #2 - Heart of the Huntress just leapt onto my TBR list. I read the excerpt and loved your voice.

flchen1 said...

Ooh, fun interview, Crista and Vivi! Thanks! Heart of a Huntress is on top of my TBR, too!

Cathy M said...

Love your hero and heroine descriptions, and it is one of the reasons why I enjoyed Heart of the Huntress so much. Too perfect or TSTL characters are just boring, and no matter how good the story is, is a deal breaker for me.

So glad to hear that there is a sequel in the works, and the blurb is hilarious, Crista, can't wait for an excerpt.

Rebecca Zanetti said...

I love the idea of a demon hunter with OCD! Great interview!

Jennifer Mathis said...

love the cover. My TBR pile is large as well but aint it great to have the ability to dig through and find a book thatperfectly suits your needs and wants.

Anonymous said...

I want to be paid to travel the world. LOL

Heather P.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know how you're able to tune out all of the other customers and workers in the coffee shop.

Gwen Mitchell said...

Great interview, Crista! I need the exact same 3 things. Ugh, you are so right about the chair thing. I keep telling hubby a new recliner would be an investment in my career. He's not buying it. Yet. ;)

Karin said...

Rick Steves does have the best job in the world. I want his job as well. It would be so much fun!

Kali said...

So start a Romance Writers' Guide to the World. It could sell better than Europe Through the Back Door. Sounds like there's plenty of offers on the table for contributors :)

Crista said...

Thanks for having me over, Vivi, and thanks to everyone who commented.

Vivant, I glad the excerpt hooked you, and I hope you enjoy HoaH!

Same to you, flchen1. Enjoy!

CathyM, Glad I'm not the only one who gets tired of Mary Sues and TSTL heroine, and I'm doublely glad you enjoy HoaH. The next installment if out in July, and I'm working on a third installment.

Rebecca, I'm glad the idea of an OCD demon hunter seems to be a hit. It gives the hero something to tease her about.

Jennifer, I agree. When I do get a little reading time, I love being able to grab something that fits my mood. I just wish I could read faster. ;-)

Heather, LOL -- you and me both. I've seen most of Europe, but there's still so many places on my wish list, including Australia and New Zealand. I'll have to wait until my daughter is older for those trips, though

Leni, thankfully, there's so many voices, they all sort of cancel each other out and form a white noise. It's when the cafe is relatively empty that the conversations can bother me.

Gwen, tell him the new recliner is "office furniture" and can be a tax write-off! LOL!

Karin, I agree. Rick always looks like he has a great time connecting with the locals.

Hmmm, Kail. Maybe we should come up with a proposal and try to get some funding for this book, eh?

Thanks again for all your comments. I had a blast here! Happy reading!!!