From a young age, writing was an integral part of Christi Corbett’s life. She further developed this skill during her career as a television writer. Now, Christi continues to broaden her writing horizons with the completion of her first novel, Along the Way Home, a historical romance that takes place on the Oregon Trail.
After graduating from Western Washington University with a degree in Communications, Christi took a job with a CBS affiliate in the Creative Services Department. During her time with the TV station, she received multiple American Advertising Awards (ADDY) and was recognized by the March of Dimes with an award for providing “Outstanding Communications Support.”
Christi lives in a small town in Oregon with her husband, young twin children, and their recent addition, a Border Collie puppy. The location of their home holds a special place in Christi’s writing life; it stands just 600 feet from the original Applegate Trail, and the view from her back door is a hill travelers looked upon years ago as they explored the Oregon Territory and beyond.
Christi’s husband has learned not to be surprised when he returns home and finds yet another large-scale project beginning around the house. From building and staining a bookshelf to painting an entire room in only an afternoon, their home undergoes frequent changes. When Christi’s not remodeling or writing, she enjoys hiking, camping, and fishing.
Join me as we learn more about Christi and her writing journey.
To start off today, we’ve got some delicious buttermilk biscuits fresh from the oven along with butter, honey, and a nice assortment of jams to slather on them. Christi prepared this cyber fare, and you’ll soon learn why I asked her to do the cooking. There’s also an assortment of coffees, teas, and hot chocolate. Help yourself.
Christi’s Journey Begins
•You’ve enjoyed writing since you were young. What were some of your earliest experiences?
From a young age I always enjoyed writing, both for school assignments and for pleasure. I also used journals as a way to work my thoughts out, note ideas and observations about life in general, and have fun with words.
In every grade, English and Literature were my favorite subjects. In high school, I was fortunate to be a member of the school paper, an experience that taught me a lot about the world of journalism.
It should also be said that my love of writing went hand in hand with a lifelong passion for reading. I wouldn’t be a writer today without the influence of the fantastic authors I read in my youth like Laura Ingalls Wilder and Judy Blume.
•Although you have yet to receive a contract for your novels, you’re a published author, having written pieces many of us would never dream of. Please tell us about this experience.
Working in the Creative Services Department of a television station provides a wide range of opportunities.
In addition to writing and producing over three hundred television commercials, I earned the position as head writer and producer for a local, weekly television show. Furthermore, I was responsible for writing countless press releases detailing the station’s various special events, community programs, and news department awards.
I can easily say my days were never boring and I rarely looked at the clock!
•When did you begin writing your first novel, and where did you get the idea?
On a very long car trip with my husband I was starting to whine about how long it was taking, how boring the scenery was, nothing to do, etc… when all of a sudden it hit me—we were traveling in one hour what would have taken nearly three days to accomplish in the 1800’s. (We had just come from Wall Drug in South Dakota so I think “the old times” were fresh on my mind.)
Suddenly, the ideas just started flowing!
I whipped out my notebook and soon I had pages and pages of notes, including character descriptions, settings, and a brief storyline. It was one of those rare moments where everything clicked into place.
And, as anyone who’s written a novel can attest to, then the real work began.
Occasionally, I will pull out that same notebook to see how far I’ve come. The physical descriptions for the two main characters are pretty much the same, but their personalities have undergone dramatic changes. Also, there wasn’t one mention of a covered wagon or The Oregon Trail.
Christi’s Blogging Fun
•You enjoy blogging, having started your own and making guest appearances on others. What are your favorite aspects about blogging? Where can we find your guest posts?
Blogging gives me a chance to connect with people like me who have a vivid love of the written word. It gives me a chance to share my writing journey, seek advice, and interact with wonderfully encouraging people.
Last December, I won a contest to be the guest host of the blog, Pimp My Novel. My post detailed how when I was young I always pictured a writer’s space as one way, then when I became a writer what the reality was like.
Also, I was recently asked to guest host over at the site Ramblings from the Left. My post will appear on April 15th.
•Did you ever reach a point when you considered giving up?
Years ago, my husband accidentally removed the word program from our computer. This allowed me to see all my files and documents, but not open them. I have little computer knowledge, so I had to find someone to reinstall the program without erasing my book.
While I waited, I thought of new adventures for my characters.
The high-risk pregnancy and premature birth of our twins took me away from my novel for nearly three years.
But the story always stayed with me.
Nothing throws a writing schedule off like a cross-country move and we’ve lived in five states. Each time, I packed all my inspiration up and waited until there was time to get back to my schedule.
But I never gave up. Even though at times my writing had to be pushed to the back burner of my life, it never left me completely. And now, I’m proud of all I have to show for my determination.
I truly believe if you have a flexible, well-laid plan and persevere through the many setbacks bound to come along, success will happen.
Partners on Christi’s Journey
•Who holds the position of President of the Christi Corbett Fan Club?
When I started writing my novel, I had no idea how incredibly difficult, and time consuming, the process would be. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my husband for all that he does to help me on my journey to publication. He has supported me through this entire experience, and been by my side for all the highs, and lows.
Christi’s Journey Continues
•What are you working on now?
Aside from the last round of rewrites to my manuscript, I’ve been very busy writing and producing my book trailer with Attic Media Inc. Overall, the experience of seeing my words come to life has been fantastic! Please stop by my blog for a look.
Also, the sequel to my novel is completed and patiently awaiting revisions.
Five Fun Facts about Christi, the Writer
~ I often dress in character to write. (Long skirts, cowboy hats, etc…) It really gives me a feel for just how annoying all that fabric would be while trying to do much of anything!
~ I write with countless props nearby, many of which appear in the book trailer.
~ I use music, usually classical, for inspiration while I write. I have been known to listen to one song, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, on repeat while revising particular scenes. The entire soundtrack to the movie All the Pretty Horses is also very inspiring.
~ My very first television commercial I ever wrote was for a funeral home. I slaved over it for hours only to have my boss say it didn’t read right and needed major changes before it could hit the air.
~ As a result of the above, I can handle brutal critiques very easily! (By the way, my old boss and I have remained very close friends over the years and he is one of my biggest supporters.)
Five Fun Facts about Christi, the Person
~ I don’t own a cell phone.
~ I take my children on weekly trips to the library and at any given time we have over ten books checked out.
~ I make a fantastic buttermilk biscuit. The recipe is a family secret, passed down from generation to generation, and no, I won’t share it :-).
~ I’ve donated my hair to Locks of Love twice, and somewhere in a still-unpacked box is a third ponytail waiting to be mailed out.
~ My husband brings me coffee in bed, every morning.
Christi’s Question for You
I want to improve my blog and gain more readers. I would love to know your thoughts on what makes a blog interesting, and makes you want to return day after day?
Christi has generously offered to give away a copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder Country: The People and Places in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Life and Books.
Here is a brief excerpt from the back cover…
This book revisits the lands of the Little Houses and takes the reader on an enchanting tour of the places and people Laura knew and loved. Inside, full-color photographs capture the outside world of nature that still looks much as it did in Laura’s day. Interspersed with the contemporary photographs are historic and family photographs and scenes of Laura’s writing desk and rocking chair, Pa’s fiddle and the family Bible, and the restored or re-created rooms the Ingalls and Wilder families lived in to show how life was lived a hundred years ago. For those who love Laura, this book lets us see the first time what we have read about so often.
To enter the drawing, just leave a comment for Christi by midnight April 6 (Pacific time) and enter your email address when prompted during the comment process. (You don’t have to leave it in the body of your comment this way.)
On April 7, Christi will hold the drawing and share the winner’s name in a comment. I’ll post the winner’s name here as well and will contact her/him via email to get a mailing address. (I don’t share your information with anyone, other than sending your mailing address to my guest, and I don’t add your name to any mailing lists.)
Congratulations to Christi’s winner: Lizbeth Selvig!
Note: Offer void where prohibited.
Limited to those with U.S. mailing addresses.
Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.
Learn More About Christi
Visit her personal blog ~ Christi Corbett’s Blog
Friend Her on Facebook ~ Christi Corbett