May Author Spotlight | Christine Layne

#LRAuthorSpotlight #AuthorSpotlight #CelebratingAuthors

The various ways I connect with authors never ceases to amaze me. Call it kismet, fate, or whatever you want, I truly believe we meet the right people at the right times. I had been having a rough end to 2023 and when 2024 kicked off, I was excited to learn that I had won quite a few book giveaways over the holiday break.

One of the books in the prize packs belonged to Christine Layne. It caught my attention and soon, I was connecting with her to learn more about her books. Set to release May 4th, 2024, her latest book – Mud, Love, and Chemistry – is such a fantastic read. I’ll be sharing my review soon here on the blog!

Check out my author spotlight with Christine Layne and be sure to check out her social media and books!

Tell us a little about you.

I am a stay at home mom of two boys, 4 and 7. When I’m not momming, I’m writing or painting. Those are my two biggest hobbies, although writing has sort of taken over. I live in Aurora, Colorado, and all my books are set in Colorado somewhere. I self-published my first book, Because of Blake, in June 2023.

Where do you draw inspiration for your stories or characters?

My inspiration comes from all kinds of places. Because of Blake came to me one day when I checked my mail and saw a neighbor I hadn’t seen before. Love Hops started with a (steamy) scene between two characters in a brewery setting. My third book, due out in the spring of 2024, started when I ran the Tough Mudder race last summer. My brain will take inane moments and build on them until there’s a story, then I write it down.

Can you share the origin or initial spark that led to your first book?

As I said above, Because of Blake came about because I saw a neighbor I hadn’t seen before. My crazy train of thought went through all the steps of meeting someone, learning about your neighbors, etc. and I began to think what would a single person do in these situations. Would they date a neighbor? Why or why not? Then I thought I’d write it down and began to develop my main character, Maggie. The story went on from there.

How do you develop your plotlines and characters? Do you outline extensively or are you a pantster?

I’m a panster at heart. The most outlining I do is some vague notes on scenes that I want to include. I can’t do an entire outline, because I’ll lose interest in the story. I like to have a general idea of what will happen, and then I let my characters lead me through the plot. There are times that my characters will throw me a curve ball and completely change the vision I had for the story. It can be really good, but very aggravating at the same time.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

I do not have a typical writing day. I have certain times of the week during which I write, but it’s never typical. I have two nights a week I go to an in-person writing group, two days a week that I get the house to myself in the morning, and usually another hour or two a week that I can squeeze in some writing. All in all, it boils down to 10-12 hours per week that I can write. I’m fairly productive during those hours (because I have to be), but what I wouldn’t give for more time haha

Are there any specific rituals or habits that aid your writing process?

The only thing I almost have to have is a cup of tea. I don’t drink coffee, but I love black tea. Even in the summer, when I sit down to write, I have a mug of hot tea with me.

What techniques do you use to create relatable and multifaceted characters?

For my characters, I really draw upon my everyday life. I’ll use pieces of a conversation I had with my best friend or my husband to create dialogue between characters. I’ll dissect an experience I had to determine how it made me feel. And honestly, I people watch. A lot. I pay attention to how people behave in public, or listen to the way people speak to one another, and sometimes that’s the best way to learn human behaviors. It’s also a nice way to interject a habit into a character. Everyone has their ticks, flaws, beliefs, etc. and so your characters must have those too.

Which authors or books have significantly influenced your writing style or storytelling?

I’ll be honest, I was never a big reader until I started writing. I was really into memoirs for a while, but I didn’t even read a romance until I found my critique partners. I was writing in a completely different genre when I met them, but after reading their contemporary romances I was hooked. I began writing my own, and now I love it. Their writings are probably what influence me the most, but I have been told my writing reflects that of Katherine Center, which I’ll take as a compliment.

Are there particular genres or authors you enjoy reading for pleasure?

I enjoy reading romance as much as I enjoy writing it, but I do read horror from time to time. Chuck Palahniuk is one of my favorite authors and I will read just about anything from him.

Have you had any remarkable discoveries or insights during your research process that shaped your storytelling?

I think one of the best things I’ve heard has been advice on revealing/showing the MCs plans. I was told if the plans are going to work, then don’t show them, but if they are going to fail, then show them.

This doesn’t apply to much of my romance, but my other stories have developed differently because of this tip.

What themes or messages do you aim to convey through your books?

I certainly didn’t intend this, but as I’ve been writing I’ve noticed that each of my stories require the main characters to keep an open mind. Even if they start out with an open mind, they face challenges that threaten to close it. 

What are the most challenging aspects of writing a book and/or series?

For me the most challenging part of writing is finding the time. As a stay at home mom, the majority of my time is spent taking care of my kids and home, so fitting in time for my passion is difficult. I have to be flexible which is super hard sometimes. 

Could you share a particularly rewarding moment or experience during the creation of your books?

So far, I think the best thing to happen to me is a comment from one of my ARC readers for Because of Blake. She signed up to ARC read Love Hops and messaged me to tell me how excited she was because she had read Because of Blake 3 times since it came out. It released in June and this was September. She read my book 3x in 3 months and I couldn’t be happier to know I wrote someone’s comfort book. 

Can you provide any hints or insights into your upcoming projects or books in the pipeline?

My next book due out in the spring is my first enemies to lovers college romance. It involves a muddy race, college chemistry class, and a lot of tension! 

My future ideas include an opposites attract fake dating story, an office enemies to lovers, and a second chance hot neighbor. 

Are there any genres or themes you’d like to explore in your future writing?

There are so many tropes I haven’t tackled. I take the ideas as they come to me, and when those tropes I haven’t done hit me, I’ll write them. About the only trope I can’t do is bully romance, but so far everything else is fair game!

How can readers connect with you?

I’m on almost all of the social medias. 


IG: @christinelayneauthor

X: @chrislaynelove

Threads: @christinelayneauthor

TT: @chrisitne.layne40

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