Chatting with the lovely Christa Allan today about the best part of the day and the first Christian Fiction novel she read…among other things! Hope you enjoy…
Please describe yourself in three words (ask your best friend or family if you are struggling!)
Curious, Funny, Persistent
What’s your favourite season, and why?
I grew up in New Orleans where we have two seasons, wet and hot. My favorite time of year in the city is October. The steamy humidity and mosquitos are shuffled away by fresh, crisp breezes, and it’s finally a pleasure to be outside.
What is the best part of your day?
After 25 years of teaching high school English, I’ve been retired for three years. Now, every part of the day is the best part.
What do you miss most about your childhood?
The fascination of growing older!
Which TV talk show host would you like to be interviewed by? Why?
Steve Harvey. He has a sense of humor and seems to not be ego-driven and sincerely interested in people.
You are at a fruit market – what do you reach for first?
Figs. We had two trees in our backyard, and I’d eat them fresh off the tree.
What was the first Christian Fiction novel you read?
Tiger Lillie by Lisa Samson. I picked it off the bookstore shelf because I loved the cover. I didn’t know it was Christian Fiction until I’d finished it. In fact, I didn’t even know at the time that was a genre.
What is one author and/or book you always recommend?
Sarah Addison Allen (no relation—I’m Allan with an “a”! Though I wouldn’t mind if we were)
What book character has stuck in your mind from a book you have read this year?
Lily Bloom in It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover. The first novel of hers that I’d read. It won’t be the last.
One moment, Olivia Kavanaugh is preparing to walk down the aisle and embrace her own happily ever after. The next, she learns that her fiancé, Wyatt Hammond, has been in a fatal car accident. Then comes a startling discovery: Wyatt’s car wasn’t heading toward the church. He was fifty miles away…with a baby gift in the backseat.
Her faith shaken, Olivia pores over the clues left behind, desperate to know where Wyatt was going that day and why. As she begins uncovering secrets, she also navigates a tense relationship with her judgmental mother and tries to ignore the attentions of a former boyfriend who’s moved back home. But when she starts receiving letters written by Wyatt before his death, she must confront a disturbing question: Can we ever know anyone fully, even someone we love?
When an unexpected path forward—though nothing like the life she once envisioned—offers the promise of a new beginning, will she be strong enough to let go of the past and move toward it?
What was the working title?
This is the Reason I’m Overdosing on Caffeine and Gaining Weight Actually, Since You’ve Been Gone was the working title; I wasn’t sure if the editor would keep it.
Describe your book in 5 adjectives
Warm, heartbreaking, triumphant, funny, relationship-centered
Which character took you by surprise?
Ruthie, the grandmother. She wasn’t even in the original proposal. She just showed up one day!
What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?
I didn’t sleep at all one night…
Which character’s name was the hardest to choose? Why?
Evan. I wanted a name that was strong, yet suggested someone with heart and humor. Years ago, I taught a student named Evan whose personality was much like the Evan in the novel. And there it was!
What’s something that didn’t make it into the final copy?
Mistakes, I hope. Seriously, though, there weren’t any drastic cuts.
A true Southern woman who knows any cook worth her gumbo always starts with a roux, Christa Allan is an award-winning author who writes women’s fiction, stories of hope and redemption. Since You’ve Been Gone released in October. Her other novels include A Test of Faith, Threads of Hope, Walking on Broken Glass, Love Finds You in New Orleans and The Edge of Grace. All They Want for Christmas is her first indie novella,
She has been invited to Southern Festival of Books, Louisiana Book Festival, Grand Festival of Art and Books, Pulpwood Queens Weekend and is a speaker at several conferences throughout the year. She is a member of RWA and Women’s Fiction Writers Association.
Christa is the mother of five, grandmother of three, and is recently retired after teaching twenty-five years of high school English. She and her husband Ken recently moved to Houston after a lifetime in Louisiana, schlepping along their three neurotic cats and their dog Herman.