Meet the Author Monday: Christina Courtenay

Christina Courtenay

It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Christina Courtenay, author of Promises of the Runes.

About Christina Courtenay:

Christina Courtenay

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip/dual time and time travel stories,  and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she  has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the  Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has  won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with  Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014) and the RNA Fantasy Romantic Novel of  the year 2021 with Echoes of the Runes. Promises of the Runes (time travel romance  published by Headline Review 13th April 2023) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur  genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

About Promises of the Runes:

He travelled through time to capture her heart.

Ivar Thoresson is desperate for adventure. As an archaeologist specialising in Viking times, he wants nothing more than to travel back to the ninth century as his loved ones have done, to learn everything he can about the era which fascinates him. And whilst his adopted family have always made him feel loved, the chance to meet a true ancestor, the warrior Thorald, is a temptation he cannot resist.

But while Ivar is preparing to go, he uncovers an amulet which shows him a vision of an arresting woman with red-gold hair. Clearly in distress, she is pleading for help. Convinced of the power of the charm and its message, Ivar’s journey takes on a new purpose. He steps back in time determined to follow his destiny – and find the woman who has called to his heart.

Author Interview with Christina Courtenay:

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  1. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? 

I write the kind  of stories I want to read myself and hope the readers agree with me – I try to find  original angles and unusual settings to make things interesting. At the moment  I’m working on a Viking series that features various members of the same family.  I’ve tried to keep it fresh by having them all travel to different parts of the world so  that the readers and I can visit various places and go on adventures that suit each  character.

  1. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with  connections between each book? 

Some of my books are connected, but they can  always be read as standalones. I really dislike cliffhangers at the end of books,  especially if I have to wait a whole year for the next one in the series! As a reader,  I enjoy when characters from a previous book make a cameo appearance – it’s fun  to get a little glimpse into their future (as long as all is well with them, of course). 

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

Joining the UK’s Romantic  Novelists’ Association as a probationary member. I learned so much and made  wonderful friends! 

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

Happy readers who keep coming back  for more! 

  1. How do you select the names of your characters? 

I keep long lists of suitable  names and whenever I find one I like, I add it so I’ll have lots to choose from when  I need them. If I’m writing about a specific period in history, I always look up  names from that time so that they suit the story and the characters. 

  1. How long on average does it take you to write a book? 

I can write a first draft in  about six weeks, but then I polish/edit the story for ages until I’m so sick of it, I  can’t stand to look at it any more! That can take anything from a few months to a  year. 

  1. How do you handle writer’s block? 

I always start my writing day by reading the last  chapter I wrote the day before and usually that catapults me into the story. If I get  really stuck, I’ll go and do something else, or I will work on a different story for a  while. 

  1. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Promo and marketing! I really  wish I could delegate that to someone else as it takes so much time out of each  day and doesn’t come naturally to me. 

  1. Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?

Yes, I love  interacting with readers and I’m on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I’m afraid  TikTok has so far defeated me … 

  1. Have any of your books been made into audiobooks? If so, what are the challenges in  producing an audiobook? 

Almost all my books have been made into audiobooks  and for the most part, I don’t have much to do with it. However, with the Viking  series I included some words/phrases and names in Old Norse, and now each  time a book is being recorded I speak to the narrator beforehand. We go through  the pronunciations together, after I have first learned them myself with help from a  lady who has a PhD in Old Norse. Although I speak Swedish, which is similar, it’s  still a challenge sometimes! 

  1. What was your dream job when you were younger? 

Archaeologist – I still wish I’d  pursued that but I was too lazy as a teenager and didn’t want to put in the hard  work needed. Really regret that now! 

  1. What is the best part of your day? 

When I can sit down and read a book written by  someone else!

  1. Favorite artist and favorite song? 

So many, but two favourites are Roxette’s Listen  to Your Heart and Def Leppard’s When Love and Hate Collide. Currently I’m  obsessed with Imagine Dragons – I just love Radioactive! 

  1. If you could only have one season, what would it be? 

Autumn! I hate being too hot  and although I love snow, it’s such a hassle having to dress warm all the time.  Autumn is the perfect time in between and I really like mist! Very atmospheric. 

  1. If you could cure a disease, what would it be?

Cancer – it has taken too many  people I love!

To learn more about Christina Courtenay, here’s where you can find her:

Author Website:
Twitter: @PiaCCourtenay
Instagram: @ChristinaCourtenayAuthor

Meet the Author Book Promotion

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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