An Interview with Christine Hughes

Please help me welcome Christine Hughes to my blog today.  Remember to leave a comment to be entered into the prize drawing.

1. What inspired your latest book?

I wrote a few paragraphs and saved them on my computer. Months went by and I hadn’t thought about them, hadn’t thought about writing at all actually. Then I was told I was losing my job due to budgetary constraints. My husband had been telling me that I should “do something” with writing and I had always blown him off.

While cleaning up my computer, I found the file with those few paragraphs, printed them out and read them almost daily for a little while. Then one night I was watching The Vampire Diaries, the one with the Founder’s Day ball and Stefan had gone all vampy so Damon had to step in and dance with Elena. Well, the song that was played while they danced in called “All I Need” by Within Temptation. That song flashed a whole book through my head and I began to make a playlist that surrounded those ideas. Once I had my playlist, I began to expand on those paragraphs (that eventually became the prologue) until I finished TORN.

2. What is your least favorite part of writing?

Editing and revising is by far the worst part for me. It’s so hard for me to find little issues like comma usage, grammatical mistakes and such because I wrote it. I find it hard to slow myself down and really look at what I wrote. When it comes to revisions, I can be so difficult. I’ll never complain to an editor out loud, or I haven’t needed to, but when I’m asked to change a scene, it hurts me. I wrote it so l like it best how it’s written. Then again, once it’s changed due to recommendations or whatever, then I can usually see their point of view and realize all that shouting I’ve done in my head had done nothing but give me a headache.

3. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

Music. I am in no way musically inclined. As a matter of fact, my singing voice might be better compared to nails on a chalkboard than anything remotely melodic. But, for some reason, music inspires me. Not the melody but the lyrics. If I can see the story in the words, then I can base a character, a plot, an emotion on them.

4. Give us an elevator pitch for your book.

TORN: When Samantha’s father dies and she finds out her life isn’t what it seems, she must join the fight between two groups of fallen angels, the Faithful and the Exiled, in a race to save humanity. In spite of the unforgivable betrayal of her best friend, the newly acknowledged love for her guardian angel, the face to face confrontation of the dark angel who killed her father and the growing need to allow darkness to take over her being, Samantha has been charged making the choice between fighting alongside the Faithful or succumbing to the darkness of the Exiled.

5. Do you have a view in your writing space? What does your space look like?

Writing space? I seem to be a traveler. While I was writing TORN, it was the summer and I tended to wake up very early and sit outside as often as I could and get as many words down before everyone else woke up. I’d send the kids outside to play and I’d be on the deck with my mac book and playlist.
When I started writing Three Days of Rain I started off doing the same thing but for some reason it wasn’t quite working. I eventually made my way to my local Barnes & Noble. People watching with my grande earl grey coupled with a new playlist and earbuds pushed me through that manuscript in less than six months.

6. Do you write under a pen name? Why or why not?

No. I haven’t found a reason for me to do so. I’m not against it and I totally get why some people do but I don’t need to. At least not now.

7. What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on revisions and edits for a manuscript that is totally out of my comfort zone. Three Days of Rain took so much for me to write and I don’t want to change anything but I know I have to. Other than that, I’m figuring out where my third manuscript will take me. I’m thinking psychological thriller but I’m not totally sure yet.


When Samantha’s father dies and she finds out he was an angel because of what he was protecting, she must join the fight between two groups of fallen angels, the Faithful and the Exiled, in a race to save humanity. In spite of the unforgivable betrayal of her best friend, the newly acknowledged love for her guardian angel, the face to face confrontation of the dark angel who killed her father and the growing need to allow darkness to take over her being, Samantha has been charged making the choice between fighting alongside the Faithful or succumbing to the darkness of the Exiled.



Chapter 1

The Cabin

Run, Samantha. Don’t look back. Just run.

I repeated this mantra over and over again as I sprinted through the trees. Focused, like my life depended on it and knowing that one day it would, I ran. Through the damp woods, past branches that tore at my skin, and hurdling over logs, I ran. My breath mingled with the crisp fall air but I didn’t feel the cold. I felt nothing but the pure and relentless adrenaline that pumped through my veins. As the sun rose and cast its broken beams through the trees, I ran. With only a single thought: I have to get there.

I knew he was following me. He was close. So close. I couldn’t let him catch me.
My legs carried me over slick moss and rotting bark. I flew over downed trees, grabbing for branches to help me over. I was fast. Faster than before. Faster than yesterday. My focus was singular. The task at hand was all I could think about. Get through, Sam. Faster, Sam. Jump, Sam.

I swore I could navigate those woods with my eyes closed. I could see the next obstacle that lay ahead of me yards before it came into view. And when I concentrated hard enough, those obstacles began to disappear.

I burst into the clearing and could faintly make out his barely labored breathing behind me. He was so close I could smell him. I dug in and pumped my legs faster. Always faster. I knew I was going to beat him this time. I had to. I closed in on my destination. All I had to do was jump. I had to make it over the water. Over the creek on the other side of the clearing.

Samannnnnnthaaaa…. Run!

The intrusive voice pulsed through me and drowned out the mantra in my head, breaking my rhythm and I stumbled over a rock I was sure hadn’t been there yesterday.

Damn it! The eerily familiar voice that had settled comfortably in my head like a squatter, had the worst timing It teased like a schoolyard bully and I wanted to scream. But I couldn’t. I had to run. I was almost there. Come on, Sam. Fifty feet. Forty feet. Thirty feet. Almost there. As I braced my body for the jump over the swollen creek, he caught my ankles in mid-air and dropped me to the ground with a bone jarring tackle onto the muddy bank.

“Son of a bitch,” I growled.

I fought back, jumping up the way I was taught, fists at the ready. I caught him off guard, for the first time, with a jab to the chin and a roundhouse to the stomach. Then I did a back spring, landing well out of his reach and quickly regrouped. The grin on his face as he rubbed his chin told me I surprised him with that one. And now I was in trouble.

“Lucky shot, Sam. Nice kick. Too bad this one’s on me.” His cocky bravado triggered an extra jolt of adrenaline inside me. He’s not gonna take this round. Not this time.

For a few seconds we circled each other, anticipating the other’s next move. He crouched and lunged at my knees. I jumped to grab the branch above me and he missed, sprawling out in the dirt. But not for long. He was on his feet again before I’d even let go of the tree, his eyes merely blue slits of predatory focus. I had a total of three seconds to figure out my next move before he lunged again, targeting me mid-waist.

Instinctively, I dropped to the ground, and sprung forward, drilling him into the trunk of the nearest tree. Rain had started to fall, shrouding the sound of my movements as I quickly disappeared behind the brush. I needed to work out how to nail him with an element of surprise.

He growled in frustration but his annoyance didn’t matter. I was winning. I could feel it.

My hands and knees were scraped and dirty. My hair was a tangled mess and the sudden rise in humidity brought on by the rain wasn’t helping. The scent of decaying vegetation around me did nothing to mask the stench of my sweat.

His voice taunted me. “Come out, come out wherever you are. You can’t hide from me forever. You think you can camouflage yourself from me? I can smell you.”
Think, Samantha.

He was right. I couldn’t sit there all day getting soaked in the rain waiting for him to find me. Through a small gap between the leaves, I could see him looking, scanning the trees and underbrush. Then his eyes focused where I crouched. I needed to act, now.

The forces of nature seemed to heed my need for action and the sky erupted, complete with booming thunder and darting strikes of lightning. I belly crawled behind bushes until I was on his right. His eyes still boring into the spot I’d just vacated, he took a step forward.

I slowly stood and crept up next to him. He turned around and I caught his cheek with a right hook but he grabbed my hair and yanked my head back. I yelled, in surprise and pain. The look on his face made him almost unrecognizable and for a moment I was paralyzed as the maniacal voice stole through me once again.

Samannnnnnthaaaa… Run!

He took advantage of my shock and swept my legs out, dropping me face first into a vat of mud.

So not how I had envisioned this ending.


A former Army brat, Christine Hughes moved quite often. She spent much of her time losing herself in books and creating stories about many of the people she’d met. Falling in love with literature was easy for her and she majored in English while attending college in New Jersey. Not sure where her love of reading and writing fit, she became a middle school English teacher. After nine years of teaching others to appreciate literature, she decided to take the plunge and write her first novel. Now at home focusing on making writing her new career, she spends her time creating characters and plot points instead of grading papers.

Music has become an integral part of her writing process and without the proper play list, Hughes finds the words don’t flow. At least a few times a week she can be found at the local Barnes & Noble with her Mac and headphones working on her next novel. Her YA novel Torn will be released by Black Opal Books in June 2012.

3 Interesting Facts:

1. I attended 13 different schools, including college, due to my family’s military relocations.

2. I met my husband when I was 14.

3. My favorite book of all time is Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.


13 thoughts on “An Interview with Christine Hughes

    • Thank you for having me! I’ve had a great day made even better by the comments below. So many people have been so nice and encouraging while I’ve been on this journey.

  1. My husband recently re-read Fahrenheit 451, and is collecting as much Bradbury as he can find.

    What about that story makes it your favorite?

    • F451 just seems so prophetic to me. I read it and looked around at my world and just wondered how in the heck Bradbury got so much of it right. Reality tv, wall televisions, ear buds, etc… And I loved when my students were able to see it too. My classrooms and I had many great conversations about the novel.

  2. Great post, Christine. I’m with you as far as singing goes, but I find lyrics of the songs very inspiring. Wish I could use some, but as long as there’s music, another book will pop in my mind.

  3. Loved your post and your book sounds amazing. One I have to read. I also look to music for inspiration. Mainly for character building. My kids laugh because they were raised with the radio on all the time. There bedtime music was what was on the radio at that time.
    Thanks for sharing

    • M family used to make fun of me because I knew no lullabies. Instead I sang Pearl Jam and Nirvana to get my kids asleep.

  4. Hey Chris,
    this is a fabulous interview. Great inside into your writing habits. Always love to hear about how others find their drive.
    And the opening of TORN is amazing. You really pushed it. Fast paced. Adrenaline loaded. Great. Well done, gal!

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