Thursday, July 11, 2013

Christine London - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Christine London. She is the author of Spicy Romance novels.

Author Genre: Spicy Romance

Website: Christine London's Spicy Romance
Blog: Google +
Twitter: @ChristineLondon
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:
Christine London was born in Chicago, Illinois, but left the long winters of the Midwest as a child to find her roots in the sun and charm of California, both North and South. Her adopted home became Great Britain when she spent a year of college in the east end of London with three male flat mates; one from each country on the main island. Her fascination and love affair with all things British has grown over the years, facilitated by summers spent trading houses.

Graduating from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Chris has continued with family, teaching, singing in a jazz sextet and running foot races (and winning) before discovering her true passion....the romance and adventure of writing.

It took one Scot to awaken her poetic appreciation of Scotland's natural beauty, and another Scot to ignite her passion for writing. Thank you, gentlemen.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Let’s start with what’s next. Do you have another book on the horizon? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

This is the year of the short story for me: 55 Portobello Road Series exclusive to Amazon. My love affair with London and the Brits is lived in all its many wonderful facets within the pages of these short stories. By the close of 2013 there will be eight members of the series.

Through the seasons of a year the residents of one block of London flats come to terms with the obstacles that have kept each of them from finding what makes life most precious— true love.

The most recent release in 55 Portobello Road Series is "Caught Being Good" (Now available:

Zara couldn't imagine anything finer than spending her days amongst the fragrant bloom of Portobello Road's market. Certainly a far sight improvement over the rough streets of Jamaica.

If only she had someone as thoughtful as the handsome man with the golden hair that buys a bouquet three days a week. But where is he taking it and to whom?

You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?

Facebook is a more active platform in my array of social media connections, though I do have nearly 2,000 twitter 'tweople'. Different platforms for different folks — my twitter followers are a great bunch that appreciate the quotes and comments I leave. No notice of direct influence on sales. That said, I believe in building community through care and good content. Sales may follow when that illusive critical mass is reached. Name and brand recognition come first and in good time.

You do a lot of book signing, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? When and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

I have moderated many author panels and taught a 'Wanderlust' class at Romantic Times Convention in Chicago featuring how-to's of incorporating travel into settings. I am one of the seemingly rare author commodities that does not have debilitating stage fright, so bring 'em on, I say!

Personal appearances have dropped off as bookstores have failed, but readers can always find out about any upcoming appearance and/or events on my website "Events" tab at

Today there is a buzz in the industry about high rankings on retailer’s lists because of the use of on-line advertising sites. Have you ever promoted your books with paid advertising? What has been your experience?

No. Reviews by colleagues of old school advertizing are pretty low, judging by most author's experience. Building name and brand through meaningful, inspiring and uplifting content on Facebook and blogs is the way to introduce yourself to potential readers. Folks are not buying a tube of toothpaste from an author. They are investing in something most precious--expending their TIME to read your work. (Average of six hours per novel) Most readers want some reason, a real connection, to want to make that investment far beyond the 99 cents or four dollars of an ebook. Getting to know and like an author is the path there.

You have great covers. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

Some of my covers were created by the small press in house talent through a fairly in depth give and take hands on process. Yes- a good amount of input allowed from the author. Readers too, always have my ear. Other covers are the work of my amazingly talented digital artist, Ms Alex Kent. She has worked both under the publishing house umbrella as well as independently for me. We have even used our own photography on some covers - shot and created through the skill of Alex and her photographer hubby, Mr. Keith Kent.

Besides Romance Writers of America, what other writer support groups do you belong too? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?

I have participated in critique groups in the past, but have evolved into using one-on-one 'partners' in the process. I am blessed to have a beta reader or two as well as the amazing author colleague, Ms Viviane Brentanos, as critique partner. They are invaluable!

The Kents beautiful cover art work has helped with marketing through wonderful visuals and Ms Kent is the Amazon formatting wiz in the production of my self-published works.

Between your book writing, blogging, marketing, family, your dog and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do your sort of play it by ear?

For the first couple years of my writing I was obsessed and let the day to day life stuff fall by the wayside. As time and reality have impinged, I have learned to budget time to be more balanced. Seems the bulk of my time is in that platform building as I am a pretty linear, quick writer when I do put nose to grindstone on a work in progress.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I have been reticent to give away the months and months of effort that go into the making of a quality novel though I have experimented with giving away one of my short stories. It put me as high as number 12 on the 'free books' list at Amazon, though there has not been any significant backwash into higher sales. It remains a mystery as to why some authors seem to have good luck with sales bumps as a result of give-aways and contests, and others do not. One thing a giveaway DOES definitely do is grow name recognition and author platform. That is in and of itself a real positive.

Do you publish your books in other languages? Since the theme in your books is in Europe, how is your audience abroad?

My books are all in English so far though I would be open to other language translations in the future should a publisher deem it appropriate. My books have mostly British and American settings and characters— think the films- Notting Hill, The Holiday and Love Actually. They are therefore a natural draw to English speaking audiences. A few are Aussie based as well as sojourns to France and Italy. Beautiful fun!

My work is available on other foreign platforms though there has not been significant interest there—yet. :)

I really like your picture gallery plus Pinterest. How does Miss Kiki fit into all this? Is she your getaway from the stress of writing and the book business?

The gallery to which you refer is a 'C'est Moi' indulgence on my website "Gallery" tab/pages and features photos of me in some of the amazing places my travels have taken me. ( Link:

The world is definitely the most alluring of classrooms—always in session. Many of my blogs are written as a vicarious travel guide to my readers and my Pinterest pages reflects that love of time and pace too. (See Pinterest link above. )

Miss Kiki is my gorgeous Golden retriever who hogs the bed at night and is my ever companion along with her little 'brother', Milo the mini man Yorkshire Terrier. Nothing much finer than the unconditional love of a K-9 :) We go on nightly adventure to the local park and breathe in the fresh air together. It and they are great escapes from the demands of the everyday. Exercise is an integral part of a clear mind and healthy body.

Author's Book List
Caught Being Good - 55 Portobello Road
Zara couldn't imagine anything finer than spending her days amongst the fragrant bloom of Portobello Road's market. Certainly a far sight improvement over the rough streets of Jamaica.

If only she had someone as thoughtful as the handsome man with the golden hair that buys a bouquet three days a week. But where is he taking it and to whom?

Order the Book From: Amazon
When We Were Amazing
When tragedy nearly destroys Brian's family wine business, can this reluctant young heir forfeit his dreams and online love to save it?

Aussie wine heir Bryan Lassiter wanted nothing more than to be a self made man. When online love Carrie Sorrell flies half way round the globe to visit him, she’d no idea his magnetism would erase both their fourteen-year age difference and her common sense. As fate and a powerful family collide to tear them apart, will she have the strength to let him go or will it be the secret she’s so carefully protected that destroys?

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Reluctant Companions
Two lonely people overwhelmed by life…same time, same gorgeous Oahu locale---except they are not alone….

Grieving the loss of her beloved father, Chellie is convinced to take time off from her work-a day job to enjoy a secret retreat at a hidden Oahu bungalow. Property of the womanizing ex of her best friend, Chellie agrees only after being assured her privacy. Overworked, burnt out and sour on life, Scottish film star Cameron McClain nearly had to be hog tied by his manager to take a holiday at his secret escape destination on the Hawaiian North shore. Reluctant guests alone on one of the world’s most beautiful islands—except they are not alone…

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Shadows Steal the Light
It's love at first sight for rock star Colin Dunlow when he runs into sultry jazz singer, Jenna Lindstrom, with a few complications. The woman of his dreams hates rockers and there's someone who wants him dead.

Colin Dunlow is caught in a web of alcoholism precipitated by his skyrocketing fame as lead singer of the world’s hottest hard rock group, Dumbarton. When he bumps into legal activist and sultry jazz singer, Jenna Lindstrom, he’s no idea what’s in store. How can he maintain his newfound sobriety whilst navigating a comeback and investigate who might want him dead? All of this and he has an AA sponsor who won’t allow him any serious relationship, not if he wants to live. What’s a rocker to do? Especially when the woman of his dreams hates rock and roll.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Hog Wild
Kyle Matthews might have the music world by the horns, but when he loses out in love to his most famous client and best friend, he escapes into the wilds of the desert southwest on a restorative motorcycle trip. Will the hard driving, salty tongued gorgeous mechanic he relies upon to fix his Harley be able to mend his heart, as well?

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Soul In His Eyes
Christine Rose lives an ideal life in a beach suburb of Los Angeles with her husband, Leo. Whilst on summer break from her teaching responsibilities, Christine sees Hollywood's rendition of her favorite gothic romantic musical, featuring a mysteriously magnetic actor with haunting, haunted eyes. Will his response to her letter help her cope with the tragedy that rips her world apart? Fascinated by her acuity and racked with the lonely isolation of fame, Erik pursues the Californian woman through an affair of words. He is as determined to open Christine's heart as she is to save him from his self-imposed solitude. But before they can dream of what lies in the future, they must come to grips with their pasts, as well as the myriad of obstacles fate and fame place in their way. Set in Los Angeles, Iceland, London, and Scotland this globetrotting novel visits the disparate worlds of quiet family life and the lightening paced celebrity of moviemaking. It interweaves two life stories, unfolding half a world apart, in a novel of courage, strength and love.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Sunninghill Snow
In charge of obtaining celebrity bookings and future programming for BBC 3's Good Morning Show, Bryce is living a lightening-paced life as the man to know in morning TV and one of London's most eligible bachelors. Having long been relegated to the occasional wistful smile or cringe of regret, Kay Macara was the last person he'd expected to run into at his best mate's country cottage. One snowbound weekend, a recalcitrant cat, a wild sled adventure and time stranded together are a recipe for war...or passion. The problem is that neither one can seem to see what's right in front of them: they never stopped loving each other.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Before You Say Goodbye
From the moment Aussie Internet entrepreneur Benn Morrison opened the California mystery writer's solicitous message he knew she would change his life. Classy, sexy and erudite, she defined desirable womanhood. Now, six months on, they are flying halfway round the globe to 'meet' on neutral ground: London. Can their affair of words survive the delivery of the package upon which his future depends? Ripped apart before they have the chance to find out, they are left to solve what just may be a mystery costing them their lives.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: Alon Shalev
Alon Shalev is an award-winning YA Author. He is the author of the YA epic fantasy, At The Walls of Galbrieth.
Check out Alon's Author's Spotlight.


  1. Thanks for hosting me today, James, and for all these great questions!

  2. Great post, Christine. I agree with "building community through care and good content". Readers want the next book when authors consistently provide good content and interact through social media. Giving of yourself is laudable, but I'm glad you've learned to balance writing with family and personal time. We are human beings. Can't provide good content to readers if we break down our health.

  3. INteresting questions and very insightful answers. Thank you. What a wonderful body of work you have.

    Love the idea of the Portobello Road series. I hope it has a great ride!

  4. Hi Christine, Just stopped in to say hello. Congrats on your new releases. I didn't know you were a singer. That's awesome. I played bass in an all female hard rock band in CA before I turned to writing. Those were some good, wild times. :)


  5. I've picked up several of the Portobello Roads, but haven't read them yet - thanks for the nudge to get to them!

  6. Thanks fro the support Christine, JoAnn, Rose and Lynne. My dear Celtic chick--don't let your music go by the wayside. It feeds your creative heart every bit as much as writing, no? Musta been a very sexy bass player--whoo hoo!

  7. Fabulous interview!! I was intrigued as well as impressed. Miss Kiki was just the icing to the well written postings!

  8. Had the privilege to sit on an author's panel which Christine masterfully and graciously facilitated. The panel was at a Borders and later that week Borders filed for bankruptcy - we were not to blame! It is great to follow her progress. Her success comes from hard work and a generous disposition.

    From strength to strength, Christine. Another great post from James - thank you.

    Alon Shalev

  9. thanks everyone for your great comments. Christine was a great subject. I was torn between so many great dog pictures at the end.

  10. What a great interview and comments.

    I learned things about Christine I didn't know!

  11. Christine London is a fabulous writer! Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself with us, Christine:)