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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Blog Tour - Christa Banister and Blessed are the Meddlers

I toured Around the World in 80 Dates, which was Christa's first novel. Now, we're back again with her 2nd, Blessed are the Meddlers. If you love romantic comedy and/or you enjoyed her first, you won't be disappointed by her 2nd.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christa Ann Banister is a full-time freelance writer and respected music, movie and book critic in St. Paul, Minnesota. When she's not writing, she's probably hanging out with her husband, Will, cooking or on a plane heading somewhere fun.

BLESSED ARE THE MEDDLERS
by Christa Banister
Published by NavPress

ABOUT THE BOOK

Writer Sydney Alexander has just hit the jackpot. After finding the man of her dreams and eloping to Las Vegas, she permanently retires her serial-dating status for good. And now that she's found marital bliss, her friends are ready for Sydney to apply her matchmaking skills to their love lives. What could possible go wrong? Well, everything.

Buy Your Copy of Blessed are the Meddlers Today!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. What gave you the inspiration for this book?

I absolutely love romantic comedies, but what has always bugged me about the genre is that the audience never has a chance to see what happens after the dream couple you'd been rooting for all along gets the big happy ending. So I knew that was something I wanted to explore with Sydney Alexander in Blessed Are the Meddlers. And thanks to Sydney's motley crew of single girlfriends, (and Sydney's recently acquired Emma complex) there's still plenty of that laugh-out-loud relationship angst from the first book. And because I loved this character so much, it was very inspiring to pick up the story right where it left off in 80 Dates and see new themes and crazy scenarios really emerge in the process.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

I've always been taught that the best writers "write what they know," so a little bit of me couldn't help but rub off on Sydney. But it was important to me that she wasn't my clone either. There are a few qualities about Sydney that are definitely unique. For one, she dresses way better than me with that insatiable shopping bug of hers. And personality-wise, she's way more outrageous and spontaneous. She's also taken a few risks that I wouldn't have along the way, and I'm pretty sure her life is going to turn out way different than mine will because her priorities are different.

3. If your heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would she be and why?

Hmmm, this is a tough one. I guess I'm going to go with Dulce De Leche because it tastes the most like a caramel macchiato, Sydney's favorite drink.

4. What themes exist in Blessed are the Meddlers that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

One of the themes is that we have to be careful what sort of advice we give to people. Rather than spouting off something flippant, especially in regard to someone's love life, we need to carefully choose our words because they can have unexplainable ramifications. Another theme that's present—albeit unintentionally until the story began to take shape—is that when it comes to love, we have to be picky about the right things. In the beginning, Lucinda was very superficial when it came to choosing a mate, but when she began to regard the things that were really important, she found true, lasting love.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

There wasn't really anything that was difficult to write. The most difficult process of writing the book was finding time to do it while juggling a full-time freelance writing job. But it was such a joy that I made the time. My favorite scenes to write were any that involved Lucinda. Thanks to her over-the-top demands, Sydney is forced to spy on Lucinda's boyfriend at a Radiohead concert to see is he's cheating on her. Because Sydney is so incredibly nervous (and certainly not of Matt Damon spy caliber in any of the Bourne movies), the scene plays out very humorously and shows Sydney at her most self-deprecating.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

I don't have a release date yet for the third (and final) book in the Sydney Alexander series, but I do know where the story is headed. When Sydney gets her dream of becoming a published author, she begins to buy her own hype and slowly begins morphing into a person she (and her friends and family) don't recognize. So really I'm going to be exploring the subtle but ugly side of someone who has let pride (and a small amount of fame) go to her head.

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Thank you, Christa, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Blessed are the Meddlers.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post. Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname dot.com/net). Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.

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15 comments:

haras w said...

looks like a really good book. nice interview. please enter my name in the draw.
thanks,
sarahwoll at hotmail dot com

Becky C. said...

This sounds like a fun read.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.
rec(at)hiwaay(dot)net

Lindsey said...

This sounds like a great read - please enter me in the drawing! :-) (By the way, I love Christa's headband in her picture)

Thank you!

Lindsey
ladyufshalott at yahoo.com

Christa said...

I love that you love the headband. Lindsey. It's one of my faves, too. :) Good luck to all of you in the contest...

:) Love,
Christa

Jenny said...

I enjoyed the first book - can't wait to read this one.

Blessings!
eviesmommo at yahoo dot com

tetewa said...

If this is as good as the first one I can't wait to read it! tWarner419@aol.com

windycindy said...

This book and her upcoming final book in this series sound great! Please enter me in your drawing. I appreciate it. Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]htomail[dot]com

ladystorm said...

Please enter me in the drawing for this book, sound good.

Stormi
ladystorm282001 at yahoo dot com

Christa said...

I'm hoping you'll all like it as much as "Around the World in 80 Dates." Some have even liked it more, so I'd love to see what you think when you have a chance to read it.

:) Christa

Cherie J said...

Ooh! This sounds great! Please drop my name in the hat Tiff!

missylangford1215 said...

This sounds like a great book. I'll have to get the first and find out about Sydney.

missylangford1215 said...

Oh, please enter me in the drawing.

missylangford1215 at yahoo.com

Carolynn W. said...

I love to title of this book! Thanks for the chance to win!
carolynnwald[at]hotmail[dot]com

ChristyJan said...

I enjoyed reading this interview with Christa.

BLESSED ARE THE MEDDLERS sounds like a great read ~ please enter me to win a copy.

hawkes@citlink.net

Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:

BECKY!

Congratulations! I've emailed you for your mailing information so Christa can send out your book.

Lots of other winners selected today. Check out all interviews from August 13th through August 29th to see if you've won.

As always, thanks for your continued support.