Christine Raymond is a debut author writing for Love Inspired. Her book is about a widowed single mom who needs to sell the ranch house she inherited but is met with opposition from the owner of the ranch next door. Congratulations, Christine!
Harlequin: Tell us a little about yourself. Our readers want to know!
Christine Raymond: A would-be actress turned copywriter turned fiction writer, I grew up in Chicago, lived in Los Angeles, and returned to my hometown for the family and deep dish pizza. I live with my ultra-supportive husband and a cat who never sleeps.
H: Why did you want to become a romance writer?
CR: I was not a romance reader growing up. In fact, I didn’t even like romance stories. Then I actually read one. Turns out, I’d always loved romance, I just didn’t know it. Thinking back, it should have been obvious. My favorite movies all involved meet-cutes and broken hearts that get solved in 90 minutes or less. When the big realization hit me, I knew what I wanted to do.
H: What were the major steps in your journey to becoming a published author? Was this story the first manuscript you submitted?
CR: I spent years as a copywriter, writing things for other people, and finally decided it was time to write something of my own. I got rejected, and then rejected again, and then I read about Love Inspired’s call. I decided to go for it. My first manuscript was rejected because I was missing something called a “plot,” haha!, but Shana [Asaro, editor] allowed me to revise and resubmit. The revisions did the trick, and I finally “got the call!”
H: What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
CR: It sounds cliché, but don’t give up. Ever. If you’re not having luck, study up on your craft. Learn, get better, and keep trying. Keep an open mind to constructive criticism, even when it hurts, because chances are that’s what will help you improve the most. And always, always, always read the genres you want to write in.
H: What did you do when you got the call?
CR: My husband and I were on [pandemic] lockdown, but we still celebrated big time. A thousand phone calls and text messages went out to friends and family, and then we picked up dinner from our favorite restaurant and had a fantastic celebration meal together. I took the next few days off from writing to recharge and chill, and then got right back to it.
Now let’s hear from the editor, Shana Asaro!
“I read Christine’s manuscript as part of The Great Love Inspired Author Search, and while I knew it needed some work, I was completely drawn into the world of her characters and wanted to know how their story ended. I offered revision notes—yes, including the advice that she develop a plot 😊—and was very impressed when I read the revised manuscript. Making The Call during the early months of lockdown was a great way to add silver linings to both of our days!”Shana Asaro, Love Inspired Editor
Good luck, Christine! And stay tuned, readers, for more great Call Stories from our debut authors!