Jen: Today w e welcome Chris Cannon back to Romancing the Book. Chris, will you share a short bio with us?
Chris: Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and several furry beasts.
She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies.
Jen: Please tell us about your new newest release and where the idea came from.
Chris: The Dating Debate is the 1st book in the Dating Dilemma series.
Nina Barnes thinks Valentine’s Day should be optional. That way single people like her wouldn’t be subjected to kissy Cupids all over the place. That is, until her mom moves them next door to the brooding hottie of Greenbrier High, West Smith. He’s funny, looks amazing in a black leather jacket, and he’s fluent in Harry Potter, but she’s not sure he’s boyfriend material.
West isn’t sure what to make of Nina. She’s cute and loves to read as much as he does, but she seems to need to debate everything and she has a pathological insistence on telling the truth. And West doesn’t exactly know how to handle that, since his entire life is a carefully constructed secret. Dating the girl next door could be a ton of fun, but only if Nina never finds out the truth about his home life. It’s one secret that could bring them together or rip them apart.
I liked the idea of someone who always insists on the absolute truth falling for someone who spends his life trying to keep a family secret hidden. Nina is a snarky, outspoken girl while West is a keep to himself brooding loner kind of guy. When you put these opposites together it makes for an interesting relationship with lots of opportunities for humor.
“Why are you hiding from Cole?” I asked.
“My brother told him to ask me on a date.”
“You don’t want to go out with him?” Vicky said. “Why? What’s wrong with him?”
“Nothing. He’s a great guy, but he’s never read Harry Potter.”
Nina stated this like it was a crime against humanity. I tilted my head and studied her.
“What?” she asked.
“I’m trying to figure out if you’re Ginny or Hermione.”
“I’m pretty sure you’re Draco,” she replied.
“There you are,” Jason called from across the backyard with Cole by his side.
“I am going to suffocate my brother in his sleep,” Nina said as she smiled and waved.
“I’m not joking,” she said. Cole and her brother crossed the backyard to join us. “Hey, Cole. I didn’t know you were here.”
“I stopped by because I wanted to ask you something.” The poor guy looked at the small crowd of people and seemed to reconsider his mission. “Nina, can we talk over at your house, maybe?”
“Actually, there was something I wanted to ask you.” Nina pointed at Vicky. “Do you know Vicky? She and West used to date.”
Cole nodded. “Sure. Hello, Vicky.”
Vicky smiled. “Hello.”
“The Valentine’s Dance is coming up,” Nina said, “and the last I heard you weren’t seeing anyone, so I think you and Vicky should go to the dance together.”
Cole tilted his head and looked at Nina like he didn’t quite understand the situation. “You want me to ask Vicky to the dance?”
Nina nodded like this was a fabulous idea.
She seemed to enjoy throwing people off-balance. Maybe it was time someone did it to her.
“Since Nina and I are going to the dance, it makes sense that you’d ask Vicky.”
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Chris: I’m a punster. I wish I could plot. One time I outlined a story and then I couldn’t write it because I knew how it ended. Part of what keeps me going is figuring out what my characters will do next.
Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
Chris: Sweet. Snarky. Romance.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Chris: Every night after work I come home and drink a huge cup of coffee. I’m pretty sure my brain turns caffeine into words. Once I’m fully caffeinated, I sit down with my laptop and Pete the shitzu to write.
Jen: Who has influenced you as a writer?
Chris: I love the banter from Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. The snarky humor inspired me to write my own irreverent characters.
Jen: If you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Chris: JK Rowling because I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I’d love to find out how she created such an involved world with such amazing characters.
Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading now?
Chris: Right now my favorite author is probably Cassandra Clare. I loved The Mortal Instruments series, and I’m enjoying the Lady Midnight books too. Her books have my favorite combination of kick-ass chicks with snarky banter.
Jen: What’s been the highlight of your career to this point?
Chris: The highlight of my career so far has been when people contact me from all over the world to tell me they enjoy my books. And yes, that sounds like I’m sucking up, but it’s true. Knowing that other people enjoy my stories is amazing.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Chris: The 5th book in my shape shifting dragon series, Going Down In Flames will come out sometime this summer. I’m also working on another book in the Dating Dilemma series.