Friday, May 14, 2010

Christy Tillery French's Bodyguard

My guest today is prolific author, Christy Tillery French. Christy, thanks for dropping by. Please tell us more about you.
I’ve published eight books to date. I’m happy to state several have won awards and two are internationally published. I co-own with my husband two small businesses and am a book reviewer for Midwest Book Review. I am a volunteer with Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue and donate proceeds from my books to local shelters and rescue groups.

When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?
I’ve loved writing since the fifth grade when I was asked to start a newspaper for my elementary school. I didn’t actually begin to write books until my kids were grown enough that they didn’t need me constantly. My first book was a romantic comedy, which is my favorite to write. I’ve since published in several genres: psychological thriller, romantic suspense, as well as humorous mystery. But in all my books, romance is a strong element.

What are your writing goals?
 Readers! Lots and lots of readers! I’d also like to earn a viable income from writing. If not, I’m having fun, so I’m not complaining.

Briefly tell us about your latest book.
The Bodyguard and the Snitch, number 4 in my Bodyguard series. In this installment, protection specialist Natasha Chamberlain thinks guarding a defense attorney from a disgruntled client should be a fairly normal job, but when she learns he’s been targeted by the mafia, she’s ready to call it quits. However, the attorney holds her to their contract and Natasha finds her own life placed in danger, along with her bodyguard cohorts Pit and Bigun.

What are your protagonist’s strengths? Flaws?
Strengths: My bodyguard sees herself as protector of the innocent and is zealous in her attempts to protect her clients. She cares about animals, especially dogs and horses. She loves deeply and is loyal and very independent. She’s tough physically but has a soft heart. Flaws: She’s too spontaneous at times, is overly zealous, young and a tad naïve. She has a bit of a temper. She has no patience for people who are cruel to animals or humans and is quick to confront them over it. Well, actually, I don’t count that last one a flaw.

Where do you write? What do you have around you?
Usually in my office at home, where it’s the quietest. My husband built and installed a large, L-shaped unit which butts up against two walls and has abundant workspace and bookshelves. Occasionally, I write on the back deck of our houseboat, which I find calming (I am drawn to the water). Always nearby: my Weim, Emma.

What are your current projects?
Actually, doing three at this time. Of course, the next installment in the Bodyguard series, The Bodyguard and Bridezilla. This idea came to me during the one-year (!) planning phase for my daughter’s wedding. Meghann is a perfectionist, very detail oriented and meticulous. She formulated a timeline (I suspect the very day she got engaged) and we stuck to it, no matter what. At times, she got a little, shall we say, overworked about things. Towards the end, her friends would run when they saw her coming. I tried that but wasn’t fast enough and could never get away in time, so found myself in the role of soother and doer, trying to keep my daughter’s nerves under control while taking care of problems that came up. I’m happy to say the wedding came off beautifully and I gleaned a lot of good things to use in the book.

I’m also working on an apocalyptic romantic suspense about a future world in which the great majority of the population has been decimated.

My sister, Caitlyn Hunter, and I are doing a faction together about our Great Aunt Bessie, who grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. Her father (our great-grandfather) was marshal and tax collector of Hot Springs, NC, and the stories our dad tells about Bessie and her father and the colorful mountain folks around them are funny and heartwarming. This is our way of ensuring those great stories don’t end with our dad but will continue on.

I love Hot Springs and set one of my own books there. Cool!
Where can folks learn more about your books and events? My websites: or

All my books are available at online stores such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Fictionwise, etc. If they’re not on-shelf at brick-and-mortar stores, they should be in their system.

Christy, I appreciate the interview. Continued success with your writing and endeavors with Caitlyn as well.
Thanks so much, Susan. I enjoyed this!!!


Betty Gordon said...

Thanks Susan and Christy for a good interview. I admire Christy on many levels and look forward to her latest release.

A houseboat? What a wonderful environment for writing and for just sitting if you every get time to do that.

My best, Betty Gordon

Christy Tillery French said...

Thank you, Betty. We got the houseboat for a song - it needed a lot of updating and we've been doing that. I love being on the water - only problem is, I'm usually too relaxed to write.

dkchristi said...

It's always fun to learn more about the L & L Dreamspell authors! I don't know when Cristy catches her breath; one novel every three years is the best I can accomplish! Great interview! author of Ghost Orchid, a mystery of love, lies and redemption wrapped in a mystical ghost orchid

Christy Tillery French said...

Thanks, D.K. It gets harder and harder. And now with my first grandbaby due in September, I know I probably won't be hitting that book-a-year goal.

Shannon said...

Great interview, ladies. I, too, am drawn to the water, no houseboat for me, unfortunately. We kayak on Lake Powell and I slip my AlphaSmart into a ziplock. Kayaks are too risky for a laptop. Give Emma a hug.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Thanks, Susan and Christy, for a wonderful interview.

Christy, I learned something new today! I didn't know about your houseboat, but I'm green with envy. It sounds fabulous.

Looking forward to your upcoming books. I love the Bodyguard series.

Christy Tillery French said...

Thanks, Shannon! I've always wanted to kayak but never gotten the chance. On my long list of things to do!

Christy Tillery French said...

Thank you so much, Laurel. So glad you like my bodyguard!

Susan Whitfield said...

Shannon, I'm glad you mentioned the AlphaSmart. We bought them by the hundred for kids when I was a principal. I've been thinking about getting one to take to ball games and such where I'm there for hours. They are light-weight and I can probably stick it right inside my chair. I need to read up on them.

I'm proud to be on the Dream Team with Christy and so many others.
Thanks to all of you who visited today. Please come back any time!

Susan Whitfield said...

Do any of you writers use AlphaSmart? If so, please comment.

Shannon said...

Mine is pretty old so I'll bet they've been improved. But I use it when I'm hiking or on the water. The battery life is amazing, probably 48 hours or something. It's sort of frustrating because it only displays one line at a time. But for a first draft, it works really well. Very durable and downloads onto the computer effortlessly.

Pauline B Jones said...

What a fun interview! I always learn such interesting things about the authors. Thanks to you both!

I seem to remember you published one of the bodyguard books before you came to L&L? Do we know where to get that one? (I could be having a lame day! Sorry!)

I have an alphasmart. It kicks lap top tush in the battery dept. I still haven't changed the batteries in it. The downside is the small screen. I like to see more of my work, but its nice for fast boot up and the files are way easy to transfer to your computer.

Susan Whitfield said...

Oh, I forgot about the one line thing. I suppose that would either help me focus or drive me nuts.

cindy sample said...

Great interview. I do my best writing when I travel and can stare at some body of water. It seems to stimulate my writing neurons. Now if I could just find a launch for my launch party!

Looking forward to reading "The Bodyguard and the Bridezilla." Sounds terrific.

Caitlyn Hunter said...

Wonderful interview, Christy and Susan!

Christy, I have to wonder why you didn't mention the next book in your Bodyguard series? I've read it and if you ask me, it's the best of the lot so far--of course, I say that after each of your books because at the time when I'm reading them, they truly are the best!

Pauline, Christy actually published two Bodyguard books before she found our wonderful publisher, L&L Dreamspell. The Bodyguard and The Bodyguard and the Show Dog are both available on Amazon--or they were the last time I looked.

I enjoyed reading this interview very much--even if I didn't learn anything new about Christy!


Pauline B Jones said...

thanks for pointing me to them! been meaning to go on a book hunt! i have the L&L one, but wanted to read the other book/s first.

Betty Dravis said...

What a wonderful interview of OUR Christy, Susan. You did a great job capturing her dynamic spirit and the quality of her books. I've read all her books and am actually a bit in love with Striker (Nat's love interest in her Bodyguard series...) Can't wait to read the upcoming one.

And Christy, if I can do it with nine grands, four greats and one great-great, you can still write when your blessed event gets here. Congrats to your daughter and hubby.

Thanks again, Susan! This is an informative and fun interview.

Hugs - Betty

Susan Whitfield said...

Betty, thanks for the comments. I agree that Christy can keep going even with grands. I have three and they're all involved in sports so once I figure out how to write between innings/quarters, and pitching changes, I'll be less frustrated.

sherryjo said...

Thank you for such a nice interview. It was like eavesdropping on two friends while they chat. I enjoy hearing more about the authors' lives and where their writing comes from.

I'm especially looking forward to your book which will take place in North Carolina. Sounds like it will be a great read!

Christy, congratulations on all your writing success as well as all the happiness in your personal life!!!

Betty Dravis said...

Thanks, Susan, for letting us know that you are writing and you have three greats! That's awesome...

I didn't start fiction until I retired and I owned a newspaper during my six dhildren's sports/dancing, etc. years, and I somehow managed, despite press deadlines.

When a person loves to write, they will find a time, a way and a place.

Thanks again for this delightful, refreshing interview.It's fun reading the comments from these other fine authors too.

Hugs - Betty

Susan Whitfield said...

This blog is a fun way to promote and also help other writers. I hope you will come back often and find it beneficial each time.

Betty Dravis said...

Thanks for the open invitation,Susan. I will visit as often as I can.

Hugs - Betty

Christy Tillery French said...

Hi, y'all. Mega thanks to all who commented. So sorry I've been away, but we're on a boat trip and left today at noon. Hopped on this evening and what great comments! I really appreciate it. Susan, this blog is just wonderful and I apprecate your generous spirit and your wonderful efforts to help other authors.

Cherri Galbiati said...

Christy, what a fascinating person you are! Delighted that you and Caitlyn are keeping the traditions going with family history and tales. That has to be fun! And, I too, have my canines at my side at all times--couldn't write without them.

Love your books!!!!!!

Maggie Bishop said...

Susan, you picked one of my favorite authors to interview! Christy's novels are always fast-paced, hard to put down, and uplifting because of her humor. She takes the reader into worlds I would never experience otherwise (rock stars, dog shows). Thank you both.

Jodi said...

Your houseboat sounds wonderful!

Christy Tillery French said...

Just got back from the boat trip and wanted to thank all who commented. I so appreciate you took the time to read the interview, as well as all the kind comments. Y'all rock!