Christina Courtenay lives in Herefordshire and is married with two children. Although born in England she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, the family moved to Japan where she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East.
Christina is vice chairman of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. In 2011, Christina’s first novel Trade Winds (September 2010) was short listed for The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Award for Best Historical Fiction. Her second novel, The Scarlet Kimono, won the Big Red Reads Best Historical Fiction Award. In 2012, Highland Storms (November 2011) won the Best Historical Romantic Novel of the year award (RoNA). And The Silent Touch of Shadows (July 2012), Christina’s fourth novel, won the award for Best Historical Read at the Festival of Romance.
Christina was appointed as chair of the Romantic Novelists’s Association in 2013.
Below is a Q & A with this author.
How would you describe your novel?
A contemporary YA romance with a UK/US culture clash (the heroine is a British girl who has to go to an American high school for a year).
What gave you the inspiration for the story?
I spent three years at an American high school myself and at a recent alumni reunion, I started to think back to that time and this sparked the idea for the story. The heroine is how I would have liked to be but wasn’t – independent, strong and self-confident – and the hero is the kind of boy I would have liked to date.
Where and how do you write?
I can write anywhere with my laptop, but my favourite place is at my desk with a proper keyboard (so much easier to type on!). I don’t do much plotting beforehand, I just sit down and write until I get stuck, then I might try and make an outline plan of where the rest of the story is going.
Who do you base your characters on?
I almost always use a real person (actor, celebrity, rock star or similar) as the inspiration for my characters’ looks, then I invent a completely new personality for them. I love going to the cinema and finding new hero/heroine material!
What three things would you take if you were to be stranded on a desert island?
My iPad (loaded with as many books as it would hold), chocolate and a Swiss Army knife I think (the biggest kind with every gadget under the sun).
Author photo © Marte Lundby Rekaa
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