We're so excited to welcome Montana author Christine Carbo to the store to share her newest mystery thriller- A Sharp Solitude. We love a good Montana mystery and Wendy, our Mystery Maven says: "My favorite part of Christine Carbo’s mysteries are that they are set in Glacier National Park, with all its beauty and wildness! While not a 'series,' they have interlocking characters, so a minor character in one book may become the main character in the next book. I like that because it means readers don’t have to read the books exactly in order, but they all go together." In anticipation of Christine's new book, Wendy had a few questions for Christine.
W: You seem to know a lot about many places in Glacier National Park-how much time do you get to
Christine: Since I became published about four years ago, my life has gotten extremely busy and has included much
more air travel, which means I have less time for hiking and getting into Glacier in general. I still try to go
several times a year though, and I try to go once or twice during each off-season. I love the park in the fall, but
summer is my favorite, even with how insanely busy it gets.
W: Is it harder to write from a male character’s perspective, and how do you do research for that?
C: In my latest book, I have two main characters: one female, one male. The female plays a bigger role in the
story, but I don’t find it too difficult to write from the male perspective. I grew up with two older brothers, so I
tagged along quite a bit, and that allowed me to see the world through a male’s viewpoint some of the time. I
think that ended up helping me quite a bit. However, mostly, what I try to do is write about a human with a
particular set of problems and then go about how that particular human being (male or female) would go about
solving those problems. Sometimes a male will go about things differently than a female precisely because of
their gender, but I find that emotions are emotions, and we all have them. There are, of course, nuances in how
those emotions get expressed or dealt with, and I try to be true to how I think a character would operate given
their circumstances. In general though, I try not to get too hung up on gender.
W: What is your process for starting a new book, and how long does it take to write a book?
C: Oh gosh, I’m not sure I have a good grasp on that process. It seems to change with each book, and is usually a
messy, disorganized process. Often, some nugget of an idea from something I’ve heard, read or thought about
in my past will stay with me or keep coming back to me, which makes me realize I have an idea that interests
me enough to dive deeper into it and develop it into a story. Then, when I finally come up with some form of a
suspenseful situation or premise (not necessarily a plot yet), I’ll begin to mull it over and take random notes. At
some point, I know I just need to start writing, even if I don’t have it all figured out. I often write without an
outline, and poke my way forward in the dark. Eventually I get there, but sometimes I wish I was more
organized from the get-go. Creativity can be a messy process for some writers, and I happen to be one of
those whether I want to be or not.
W:. Do you know the whole story ahead of time or does it develop as you write?
C: Oops, I think I just answered this above. I definitely don’t have the whole story figured out ahead of time, not
even close. Sometimes I know the perpetrator and work toward that ending, but with two of my books, I didn’t,
so I wrote several options into the story to give myself choices as I got closer to the end. Like I said, it can be a
little messy, but for me, that’s the beauty and magic of the process. Somehow, the muse seems to kick in and it
all begins to come together as if I really had a master plan all along. It can be very frustrating, but when it all
begins to come together, it’s immensely satisfying.
Christine Carbo will be sharing her newest book A Sharp Solitude at the store on Wednesday July 18th at 6pm. Be sure to stop by for this and more!