You know when you read an author’s book on a whim, and you’re just so taken with it, that you go to Amazon and you scoop up every damn book the author ever wrote? Yup, found another one! A few months ago, I reviewed this book, and I was in amor. Let’s get to know the woman behind the pen: Christina C. Jones!
Musings: Christina C. Jones! Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me. I’m a new fan, and first discovered you when I read your book Haunted. Real talk, you made me fall in love with black romance again. How did you come to write romance, or do you even consider your work romance? I ask because I know some authors don’t like to have their work “classified” or categorized into one genre.
Christina C. Jones: Thank YOU for having me! I’m excited, lol! I write black romance because I’m a lover of black love – it’s my favorite genre to read as well. I love the ups and downs of romantic relationships, the warm fuzzy feelings, all of that. And I’m completely okay with categorization. I write black romance for black women. No shame in my game, lol!
Musings: Describe your writing process. Are you are a researcher, or do you just write and write then go back and edit and pare down?
CCJ: I kind of do a mixture. Sometimes I’ll already know certain things about the character, like their profession, and I’ll read and read to get plenty of information so that I can make sure it rings true for the reader. If there’s a specific situation that happens that needs detail, I want to make sure I’m using the right terminology, etc. Other times, things will pop up as I’m writing, and I stop and do the research to get that scene down. I write in a very linear fashion. I can’t skip ahead to write and chapter and come back to a different one if I get stuck. I obsess my way out of it, lol. I like to say that I’m not a plotter, because for the most part, the scenes play in my head like a movie. I’ll write down a couple of lines to describe that scene so that I can place it where it’s supposed to go, like checkpoints that I use as I figure the rest of the story out.
Musings: Are you a full-time writer? Does writing come naturally or were you motivated by another author or certain event?
CCJ: I am fortunate enough to be able to write full time, and I spend as much time as I can writing, between tending to my two little girls and my husband. Writing is something that comes very naturally to me, to the point that I honestly feel “off” if I go more than a day or so without doing it. I have a Rolodex of characters in my head, waiting for me to tell their stories.
And I’m absolutely motivated by my amazing peers in the indie author community. It does my heart well to see us out here succeeding, and putting our stories into the world.
Musings: Who are some of your favorite authors?
CCJ: I can’t possibly answer this, LMBO! I have a really hard time naming favorites, because there are so many whose work I love, so I’ll just go with one all-time favorite, who has held this spot since… basically forever, lol. I will always be grateful to the librarian who saw that I was on my fifth read of the “Little House on the Prairie” series and put an Eric Jerome Dickey book in my hands. It was definitely not age-appropriate, but I was reading on that level, and it worked for me. He opened my eyes to a world where the characters were blackity black. Black as hell, and unapologetically so, while still being professional in their jobs, successful, well-off, well-educated, and would still play a game of spades with you and kick your ass. That was everything to me then, and still is.
Musings: How do you pick your cover art because I must say that they are very eye-catching and appealing? I particularly love your “cartoon” or artistic covers.
CCJ: Thank you! I actually do all of my cover art myself, even those illustrated covers. Before I started writing full time, I was a graphic designer, so I was able to roll that skill into something that helps me in this industry as well.
The illustrated covers are very, VERY time-intensive, lol! All of the graphics are computer generated, so it involves a lot of fine adjustments, and color correcting, etc, but I can make the characters look exactly like what I have in my head.
The photo covers aren’t as easy. I troll stock photo sites like a madwoman, and I’m so glad that recently, it has been easier to find black people in stock photos that aren’t super cheesy, and even if they are, I can take a few creative liberties to turn it into something I love, and hopefully the readers love as well.
Musings: Do you strictly write AA romance or have you delved into the multicultural or interracial genre?
CCJ: I am strictly black romance, and don’t see myself wavering from that any time soon, or ever. I do have characters who are (black) Latina, or mixed race, or have a different cultural heritage, but ultimately, they’re black. It’s very important to me to showcase black love in different shades, and circumstances, etc. And besides that… all the characters that come to me are black, LMBO.
Musings: Which do you find easier to write, serials or stand alone novels?
CCJ: I don’t even know if I have the capacity to write a true standalone, lol! Most of my books can be read separately from the others, as they tend to follow one couple, but share the same setting, same group of friends, etc. The one exception is my romantic suspense series, the If You Can series. Those are all connected, via one story arc, and I swear I’ll never do that again! Keeping the storylines and details all together, when plotting doesn’t come naturally to me, was hellish.
Musings: Tell us about the Wright Brothers! This book is blowing up, and I’ve read and heard nothing but good things (Yes, it’s in my overflowing TBR, and I’m saving it for a day when I need a serious pick me up.) How did this series come about and how many books will there be in the series?
CCJ: The Wright Brothers came completely out of nowhere for me, lol. I was reading a book from a series that follows three brothers (Zuri Day’s A Good Dose of Pleasure) and when I got to the end, I messaged my friend who’d recommended it to me, and told her I wanted to write a series like that too, LMBO! I was actually in the middle of writing something else, with a completely different, much more angst-y, heavy vibe, and it was exhausting me. I wanted to do something cute and sexy and fun, so I did!
I already had this idea that had been nagging at me (tiny spoiler alert) of a father/son combo who ends up dating a mother/daughter combo, but neither of them knows. So I said, okay, I’m finally going to move forward with that… so what next? From there, my head just started spinning and spinning, and the characters filled themselves in for me. I really had no idea what the actual plot would be when I sat down to write the first words, but I focused on having fun with it, letting the characters say what they wanted say, develop the way that felt natural for them, etc, and ended up with a project that I absolutely love.
The series will follow the three Wright Brothers. The veteran/student Jay, who we met in Getting Schooled. Justin “The Bestseller”, who is an author – think Eric Jerome Dickey-ish, actually! And Joseph, the oldest, who is a doctor. Jay is the baby brother!
Musings: What else can readers and fans look forward to from Christina C. Jones this year?
CCJ: Well, I have a lot on my plate this year! The two other books from the Wright Brothers series, I’d like to write another paranormal, as well as more romantic suspense. I have a few follow-ups planned for some of the projects I’ve released in these past two years, and at least two more books in my Serendipitous Love series. All of that may or may not happen this year, but I’m certainly looking forward to the ride!
Whew! Thank you so much Christina! I love doing author interviews because sometimes we only get to see the surface or what an author discloses on their Amazon page or author bio. This sista does writes books and designs her own covers! How effin boss is that?!
Get to know author Christina C. Jones personally by connecting with her:
Amazon: Where all of her books are available on Kindle Unlimited!