Wednesday, January 7, 2015

[Year-Round YA and NA Guide: A List of My Most Anticipated 2015 Releases] Q & A with CHRISTINE BRAE, Author of In This Life

I'm so excited for this post and interview that I have for you today! I have been introduced to this author last year and was easily hooked by her books. From then on, I've been chatting up with her and supporting her (and her books) in any way that I can. Even organizing a blog tour. *winks* She's also one of nicest and sweetest author that I've had the chance of interacting with. So, I'm really really excited to finally meet her this coming September!

I tell you, this interview has been a long time coming. I've been meaning to interview her for the previous blog tour but sadly I didn't have much time to come up with questions. So, when I organized this event ... I knew that I have to have her participate on this! I grabbed that opportunity and TADA. Here we are. 

I chatted up with Christine Brae a couple of days ago and asked her questions about herself, her upcoming book - In This Life and about the MIBF '15 book signing event! Read along now and know more about her and her book. Plus, she left a very special message to her Filipino readers! <3

Author: Christine Brae (Website | Twitter
Publication Date: February 1, 2015


"Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,

They’re in each other all along."


They say that life is full of choices. When you’re young and idealistic, you believe that the path you choose is the road that will lead you to your destiny. 

But what if, along the way, fate decides to step in, and no amount of logic or rationality or even prayers can save you from your fortune? When the sacrifices you make, the love that you find, and the bright promise of the future are all snatched away from you, you’re left alone to pick up the pieces of your life.

This is a story about love, found in a faraway place by two very unlikely people. It is also a story about friendship and loyalty and fighting for what you have despite the illogical mystery of fate. It is a story of faith and acceptance, and learning that even the best-laid plans are powerless against the alignment of the universe.

From the beaches of Thailand to the streets of New York, three friends, Anna, Dante, and Jude will learn the hard way that once providence steps in, there is nothing in the world that can change what is truly meant to be.

Why is this book included on my list? It's a Christine Brae book, so it's a must read for me! I adore how she writes and how powerful her words can be. Plus, she's a Filipina and am fully supporting her! If you haven't read a single book coming from her, you might want to change that. Stat. I reviewed two of her books here on my blog recently and here are the links for that: The Light in the Wound and His Wounded Light. By the way, that's a duology and I really love the story of it. I haven't had the time yet to craft a book review for Insipid but I would also recommend that to you. 


Hi Christine! Thank you so much for granting my request and giving me this opportunity of interviewing you in such a short notice. I’m so excited to finally have you on my blog. I know that it’s been a long time coming! Before I proceed in asking questions about your upcoming book,  In This Life, I must ask you first something about yourself. Who’s your favourite author/s and what are your favourite books? How did this particular author/s and these books influence you as a person and as a writer?

A:  Hi! Thank you so much for having me today. Before anything else, I would like to say how great it is to be here with you.

I have so many favourite authors, too many to name. I grew up reading all kinds of books from Enid Blyton to Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew) and then I became obsessed with Stephen King.  I have always been a fan of Anita Shreve, Colleen McCollough and many other romance writers. I also have many favourite authors who started out in Indie, most of whom are my good friends - Tarryn Fisher, Colleen Hoover (not Indie), Calia Read, Melissa Brown, Andrea Randall, Karina Halle, Willow Aster, CJ Roberts, Tiffany DeBartolo and so many more.

I don’t believe that books have really influenced my life that much but I know that I have admired specific writing styles over the years.

Q: Have you really dreamt of becoming a writer? Who or what inspired you to become one?

A: Actually, no. I never really thought I would be a writer. When I was younger, I loved to write short stories and poems but they were only addressed to a specific someone J I didn’t know that it would be something that I would be pursuing publicly.

Q: When did you start writing and how long do you finish a manuscript?

A:  I started writing in 2013 after I decided that it would be good therapy to write a little bit about my life.  The first book took me about 7 months to finish. Every other book has taken about three months but I normally sit on these manuscripts for a few more months. It allows my mind to stew a little bit so that I can put more finishing touches as I distance myself from them for a period of time.

Q: How do you manage to write such beautiful stories despite you being a full time career woman, a wife and a mother?

A:  As you already know, it took me a few years to adjust to life in the U.S. My Alex and I moved here when we had the first two children and I became focused on building a career which was complicated by the fact that I didn’t go to school here. The pressures of bringing up children without any help (they had one yaya each! LOL) coupled with the drive to succeed professionally took all of my time in the early years. As the kids got older, our careers took off and up to this day, I’m never in the same place for very long.

My mind – it remains active twenty four hours a day. I have ideas that just keep on coming, characters that talk to me all day long. And so, I learned not to sleep! Seriously, I learned how to function on very little sleep.

Q: When you aren’t writing, where would we most likely find you? What are your hobbies aside from writing?

A:  Well, there hasn’t been much time for me to do anything but work and write lately, but I’m a runner – I run when I can. I also love horses, so I used to spend a lot of time riding. I’ve also been into Pilates for almost ten years. I am reconnecting with it again, trying to get my body back in sync with the rest of me. I read quite a bit, and I love to travel with friends and family.

Q: Since In This Life isn’t out in book stores yet, I won’t be asking much about the story and the characters. But can you give us an idea on how you came up with the story line for this book? Was it an idea that you’ve had for quite some time now or just a random idea you came up with?

A:  The people who know me well know that I’ve had a rough year. In This Life was born out of the feelings and emotions that I went through at that time. A friend suggested that I should devote all my anxieties into putting them into words, so that’s what I did!

Q: Is there a character in In This Life based on someone you know or loosely based on yourself? Are there certain scenes in the book that’s based on your experiences or of your friends? Give us a teaser for In This Life.

A:  Every story I write is a story about a story of a story. The people that I come across every single day, the feelings that they evoke in me, the reactions that I have towards them and the lessons that they teach me – these are always captured in my books.

Q: Among all of the characters in In This Life, who do you feel very connected to and why?

A:  All of them – Dante, Anna and Jude are little bits and pieces of the people who have touched my life. I feel connected to each one in different ways. It was very hard to let them go, to leave them be at the end of the book
Q: How is In This Life different from the previous three books that you’ve released? Is it more emotional? Do we need to hoard tissues already?

A:   Okay. So this is the first time I’m going to open up a little bit about this topic. In This Life is very different from any of the books I have written. For one, it focuses on some philosophical issues which I’m not going to divulge until the book is released. To me, this book really reflects the year that I’ve had – and so it is filled with all kinds of crazy emotions.  I didn’t cry when I wrote TLITW, and I bawled like a baby when I wrote HWL.  Insipid was the product of a time when I wasn’t thinking too clearly. But In This Life – well, it was written when the fog had cleared and there were now some answers. I wanted to write about those answers, because I know that many women have gone through what I have.

A:  I do have a playlist but let me post the songs that I wrote ITL to:

Q: How excited are you to be coming home here in the Philippines on September 2015 and even doing a book signing at that?

A:  Oh my gosh! You don’t know just how excited I am to be going home! This is going to be the highlight of my year! I haven’t been back since 2010, so it’s been a while.  I can’t wait to see my family, spend some time with my friends and meet all of you!

Q: Any message to your Filipino readers? 

A:  I do have some things to say to all my fellow kababayans.

First of all, I AM TRULY THANKFUL to everyone who has taken the time to read my books. It was really difficult for me to come out to my family and friends from Manila about writing these stories. But you guys have made it all so worthwhile. 

Second, I would like to invite everyone to read them before I come so that we can all get together and talk about Jesse, Alex, Dante, Jude and Lucas.

Last but not least, I’m really looking forward to meeting all of you, so please stay in touch. I hope to be able to organize a Meet and Greet outside of the signing so I can see you all! 

Q: Lastly, can you complete this sentence for us. In This Life …
A:  God has a plan for you.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, CHRISTINE! For everything! *hugs and kisses all the way from the Philippines* I can't wait to meet you!!! 

And before I end this blog post, I would love to give a massive shout out to KC Chavez for emailing me and introducing me to Christine Brae! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for the push and making me read her books. Stat. <3

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