Today, Christine Mazurk is our guest for our Monday Q&A. Christine is an author and a Ironman (Ironwoman) triathlete, whose stories reflect the inner strength in all women. Christine has two titles with Lachesis Publishing, including the women’s fiction Passion’s Race about a young woman who embarks on journey to become an Ironman pro athlete and overcomes her struggles. And a short story called Identity in the Sister’s of Spirit Anthology about the transformation that a woman goes through when she loses more than 100 pounds and trains for a marathon. Both stories have strong romantic elements as well.
When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer and why?
I was ten years old when I started my first novel, because one of my teachers said I had talent. (Nancy Brooks if you’re out there, thank you!!!) Alexandra Chase and Tyler Daniels stayed with me as I finished college and climbed the corporate ladder. My career continued to grow, taking me all over the world, putting my dream of writing a novel on hold. In 2001, I was a senior executive for the Mid-Pacific Region of a large retail company. We lived on Guam at the time. After 9/11, my husband suggested I quit my job to write that book I always talked about writing. Alexandra and Tyler finally made it into the spotlight. The Chase is Over, was my first manuscript. I have since gone on to writing and publishing several other books. The first one needs revising, but I hope one day it will be available for you to read.
Describe your favourite place to write?
I have three favorite places to write. My home in Florida is across the street from the ocean. I sit at the dining room table and enjoy the view of the waves lapping the sand, my fingers dancing over the keyboard. The second place is in St. George, Utah, with the red rock mountains as my view. It’s beautiful, peaceful and my imagination runs wild. The third is a friend’s home on an island off the coast of Connecticut. I went there for the first time in 2003, after meeting Lynn at the RWA National Conference in NY, and it has become our annual writing retreat get away. Ocean and mountains, what more could a writer ask for?!
What would I find on your desk at this very moment?
Pictures of my family, my Sisters Of Spirit mug filled with colorful pens and markers, and Dot Com, a gnome – she types on her seashell laptop – that I bought for Lynn’s mother when I visited the island that first year. A notebook filled with plot points for my current story and the profiles for each of my characters.
What is your tea/coffee beverage of choice when you’re writing?
Morning is coffee, brewed with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and afternoon is herbal tea. I also keep a bottle of water on my desk to sip on throughout the day.
What do you love to read?
Everything!!! Romance, suspense, paranormal, adventure. I loved historicals as a girl, and though I read less of them now, I still enjoy them. I can name my favorite musician, but if you asked me to pick a favorite author, I’d be at a loss. I couldn’t do it.
What is some good advice you can give to an emerging writer?
Write. Write. Write. Then, persistence. Persistence. Persistence. If you don’t write it and knock on doors (submit your work), you’ll never realize your dream. Keep learning about the craft as you go, so you can continue to grow as an author.
What do you do after you finish a book?
Do you celebrate or take a nap? Celebrate for sure. Pop open a bottle of champagne, dance around the house, and then start my next book.
You write meaningful women’s fiction with strong romantic elements. Your first book for Lachesis, is Passion’s Race. It follows the journey of a young woman who embarks on a career as an Ironman triathlete and follows her struggles and triumphs. What inspired her story?
I’m an Ironman triathlete. Some of my best creating is done while I’m out there training for hours on end. I was also a business woman, so Ironman was only a hobby for me, but I thought ‘what if’ my character made a decision to leave her career to race fulltime? What highs and lows would she face on her journey? CJ Fallon also struggled with low self-esteem thanks to her toxic, emotionally-distant mother, so I wondered if becoming a pro would help her gain strength and belief in herself or would it be too much? You’ll have to read the book to find out how her coach, Nick Madison, and her twelve male teammates helped or hurt her throughout her trek in the world of professional athletes.
You also wrote a short story for Lachesis in the anthology Sisters of Spirit about a young woman who undergoes a physical transformation in weight loss and becomes an athlete. Writers have different reasons for telling stories, what are your reasons for writing the kinds of stories you write? What do you want women to get from reading your books?
I’ve always believed a person can achieve anything she sets her mind on. We overcome adversity by stepping out of our comfort zones. Having courage and taking risks makes us grow. I want women (and men) reading my books to understand that a positive attitude, courage and taking risks can take anyone to the next level, mentally and physically. And of course, I also weave a good love story into my books!
What are you working on next?
The working title is Passion’s Spirit. Mike Dawson, Nick Madison’s best friend in Passion’s Race, owns the resort on Guam that the team visits when they train on the island for half of the year. He’s described as a laid-back surfer dude and a player, because he chases tourists. He doesn’t do relationships, so he just enjoys himself with the ladies while they’re visiting the island. In this book, the team arrives for their annual visit, but this year, they bring their new team doctor along. Natalie Walsh is a buttoned-up lone-wolf, who’s a fanatic runner. She’s so serious, almost too serious for the team of men who train hard, but love to have fun and goof around. Did I mention, she’s drop-dead-gorgeous too? Imagine the fun I’m having throwing her into the mix with all these men and their host for six months. (I’m hoping to have it finished and in my agent’s hands by the end of the month!)