Today’s Featured Authors: Christine Cacciatore and Jennifer Starkman

Today I have the sister writing duo of Christine Cacciatore and Jennifer Starkman on my blog. The second book in their Whitfield Witch series, Cat,Charmed, is set to be released next month.

Interview

Do either of you write full time?

Not according to the typical 8-5 work schedule.  Neither of us write full time instead of a traditional full time job, but our time is filled with writing!  Between us, we have two husbands, six children, one grandbaby and two nutty dogs.

But this we both agree on:  Writing is our passion.  Whether it is Jen getting up at 5:00 a.m. to work on her section or Chris giving up lunch or gym time to write, we are making no excuses as to why it can’t be done.  We consider ourselves full time writers, much as we consider ourselves full time Moms even though we work outside the home.  We both carry tablets with us all the time, writing notes, questions, etc as needed.  We communicate through phone calls, emails and texts daily.

What’s the best/worst advice you’ve ever received?

Chris:  Best advice, hands down, was write fast and write bad.  Nora Roberts said, “You can’t edit a blank page.”  Even if it is a page of junk, you might find that one line that ties it all together.  Write, write and write some more!

Jenny:  The best advice I received was from a teacher back in the day.  She was so encouraging with her praise.  I had written a short story for class, which she stickered a big gold medallion on and hung, alone, in the middle of her bulletin board.  She told me that I could be anything I wanted to be but that I was clearly a writer.  She encouraged me to view myself as a writer and to tackle life as one.  I think of her, and her message, often.

Do you outline your books or just write?

This is an interesting question, as we both have different philosophies on writing.  Working together, we use a structured outline to help us both stay on track.

Chris:  I dislike outlines.  I dislike them greatly.  Jen loves them, and when we are writing our stories together, she keeps me on a short leash.  My copy of our agreed upon outline is tattered, written on and looked at daily.  When I write my own material, I do not outline.  I love seeing where the characters take me.

Jenny:  I love and need outlines.  In order to write, I need to know where my characters are, where I want them to go and how they’re going to get there.  I like outlining each character and setting, so I can visualize it in my head.  Chris pushes me to think outside the box as the story develops, though, so our outline is not stagnant but changes as needed.  I have approximately 70 outlines of future books.  (I think I may have a little of a control issue, I think Chris would agree 🙂

Please tell us about your current release:

Baylyn, Bewitched is a whimsical story about Baylyn Travers, a witch who would love to meet that special man.  However, most of her first dates are also last dates because her magic interferes in hilarious ways.  She meets Declan Hughes and although her magic flares up when he’s around, the passion and love she finds with him make it necessary to figure out a way to be together.

Next month, we’ll celebrate the release of Cat, Charmed, which is a story about a tightly wound control freak who is suddenly gifted with magical powers she did not ask for.  It’s the second book in the Whitfield Witch series.  Cat not only deals with new magical powers, but also with a man who, despite his playboy ways, is working his way into her heart…a heart she didn’t know could love, or trust, again.

What inspired you to write this book?

Both:  We loved Cat’s character in Baylyn, Bewitched.  She was so interesting with such a unique background.  Working on her transformation as a witch, and as a woman, is exciting.  Who wouldn’t want to suddenly have magic powers?  We have some mischief taking place, and she has some fun exploring a new side of her personality.    We could see her clearly and couldn’t wait for our readers to see her, too.  She simply needed to have her story told.

How did you come up with the title?

Both:  As part of the Whitfield Witch series, we wanted the titles to coordinate and complement each other.  Baylyn, Bewitched was the first book.  We liked the simplicity of the title, followed by this upcoming release of Cat, Charmed.  We both are such fans of magic, and having something that indicates that in the title helps people like us who scan titles for future reads.  Future books in this series will follow the same title format.

If this book is part of a series, what is next book?  Any details you can share?

The next book is entitled Elise, Enchanted.  It is the story of Baylyn’s mother, also a very powerful witch, whose husband Charles–her true love–has been missing and presumed dead for decades.  Elise discovers new information regarding the time travel spell Charles was working on at the time of his disappearance and realizes it could be possible to find him again

All time favorite book?  

Chris:  My all time favorite book is Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux.  It cemented my desire to write fanciful books that someone else would love as much as I loved hers.  It inspired me to no end.  It was funny, well written, and featured time travel; three of my favorite things!

Jenny: I am a librarian and therefore cannot choose a favorite book.  Just when I think I found a new favorite, I find another author, a new voice, a surprise ending.  I love finding books that change me as a reader, that inspire me, or that allow me to dream about things that will never *well unless I win the lottery* happen.

What fuels you as authors to continue to write?

The wonder of thinking “what if?”  The fact that we both are always writing stories in our heads and have notebooks full of ideas.  Writers see stories in every day life.  Most of us live such basic, ordinary lives, but through books, readers are able to explore and experience things they never will never be able to, otherwise.  What would it be like to have magic?  Would it change your life?  What would it be like if your cat could talk?  What about time travel?  What if you could say yes to a situation that you said no to in the past?  Life is fascinating.  We provide an outlet for those women and men of all ages to explore.

Book Description

Baylyn-Bewitched-Baylyn, Bewitched is a whimsical story about Baylyn Travers, a witch who would love to meet that special man.  However, most of her first dates are also last dates because her magic interferes in hilarious ways.  She meets Declan Hughes and although her magic flares up when he’s around, the passion and love she finds with him make it necessary to figure out a way to be together.

 

Cat-Charmed_-_B&NIn December, we’ll celebrate the release of Cat, Charmed, which is a story about a tightly wound control freak who is suddenly gifted with magical powers she did not ask for.  It’s the second book in the Whitfield Witch series.  Cat not only deals with new magical powers, but also with a man who, despite his playboy ways, is working his way into her heart…a heart she didn’t know could love, or trust, again.

About the Authors

christineChristine Collins Cacciatore and Jennifer Collins Starkman started reading anything they could get their hands on at a very early age, seeking out pigs who could talk, little people who borrow or cats in the hat. It only makes sense, then, that their love of reading would flow into a love of writing.

Baylyn, Bewitched is their first novel in the Whitfield Witch series. The second book in the series, Cat, Charmed, will come out before the end of this year.

Chris and Jenny are both married to scrumptious men and have three marvelous children each, along with a preposterous dog to share in the chaos.

Jenny also never misses an opportunity to point out that Chris is the much older sister, being a full three and a half years older. Chris is fine with that because rocking her new granddaughter makes her feel all better.

Chris Cacciatore also blogs on humor at the Life and Times of Poopwa Foley.  She has had stories in three Not Your Mother’s Book anthologies and also writes as the Rockford Writing Examiner on Examiner.com.

You can find out more about the sisters on their blog, author website and Facebook page.

Baylyn, Bewitched is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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