Interviewing Author Christina Hamlett
Q1. Tell me about yourself.
A. Writing and theatre have been passionately entwined for as long as I can remember. My first job out of high school was that of a movie and theatre critic for a weekly newspaper. In a magical case of being in the right place at the right time, this led to me getting cast as a chorus girl and understudy by a local melodrama company (despite the fact I had never been in a play before). This was just the start of 16 years treading the boards as an actor and director, half of that stretch running my own touring theatre company, The Hamlett Players. Throughout all of this, I was penning scripts, writing for magazines and newspapers, and getting my books published. In addition to a plethora of projects, I teach online playwriting and screenwriting classes and am a professional ghostwriter (which does not mean I talk to dead people).
Was my journey an easy one? Absolutely not. Much of it was trial and error because the resources were simply not available which exist today (i.e., books, websites, blogs, chat rooms). In the early days, I also tended to take rejection personally rather than recognizing it was the manuscript that didn't click rather than myself as a human being. I aggressively learned from those rejections and figured out how to adapt the material to a publisher's wants and needs or simply research a different platform that could be a better fit for what I had to say.
In my personal life, my beloved and I exchanged our wedding vows at Stirling Castle (Scotland) in the same chapel where Mary was crowned Queen of Scots. We are both gourmet chefs, love to travel, and are the owners of Lucy, quite possibly the world’s cutest dog.
Q2. What are your favorite books to read?
A. Mysteries, historical fiction, chick-lit, and humor.
Q3. When did you decide you were going to write a book?
A. I’ve known since I was 10 that I’d one day be an accomplished author. At 10, however, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t composing anything which would set the publishing industry on fire. And so I contented myself throughout adolescence writing plays for my puppets and marionettes and supplying all of the voices. Is it, thus, any wonder I’d gravitate to the theatre as an adult and then playwriting wherein I could put words in the mouths of actors? The decision to make writing a full-time career stemmed from the realization I didn’t really enjoy working with other people in an office. Many of them, however, did supply workaday comic relief and inspiration for future characters who would become chalk outlines on the floor in novels involving murders.
Q4. How did you come up with the name of your book?
A. Which one? So many to choose from and reflecting a diverse range of genres—romantic suspense, chick-lit, time travel, humor, nonfiction. For the purposes of this interview, though, I think the title which will resonate the most with fellow wordsmiths is “Office For One: The Sole Proprietor’s Survival Guide.” Not only is writing a solitary craft but it is also a professional business and should always be approached in that context. It’s tough to go it alone without getting lonely, and the book’s title delivers on the promise of guiding entrepreneurs at any level through what they need to know to thrive in a competitive market. (Available on Amazon.)
Q5. What are you working on for 2021?
A. Lots of new plays and monologues for the Brits () as well as some new books, including one titled “101 Plots for Stage, Page, and Cinema.”
Q6. How long have you been writing?
A.’s been writing professionally for 46 years. Pretty amazing since I only claim to be 35.
Q7. What advice would you give other authors?
A. If you want to write a novel, commit to writing one page a day. Just. One. Page. Doesn’t sound like much effort, does it? But if you stay the course for a year, you’ll have 365 pages to show for it. There are, however, two conditions. The first is that you don’t get to take a day off. Not for holidays. Not for weekends. Not because you’ve caught a sniffle. And if you torque away and turn out seven pages in a single day, good on you. But this does not give you permission to then goof off for the following week. Those seven pages have definitely put you ahead of your goal but we’ll still expect you to be back at it the very next day writing your one page. Secondly, do not edit as you go. Save the editing until you are completely finished. I’m convinced a lot of aspiring scribes never finish their books because they’re too busy agonizing over whether they have used all of the most perfect words in any given sentence. How far would Dickens have gotten, for instance, if he had written, “It was the best of times? It was—no, scratch that. Doesn’t work. Is ‘best’ really the best word to use here? ‘Best’ compared to what, exactly? Readers will expect me to elaborate. Maybe I should just say ‘most marvelous’ instead. But then what do I follow this up with?”
Q8. Where can people find you online?
Q9. What is your favorite coffee drink?
A. Sunday white mochas made by the hugsman . Everyday coffee is Raspberry Crème or Peppermint Patty.
Q. 10. What is your favorite coffee shop?
A. Misha’s on King Street in Alexandria, Virginia.
Q11. Do you plan on making a new book in the future?
A. I have six new books currently in the works as well as dozens of new plays.
Q12. How many books have you written?
A. Forty-three books and 225 plays. I have also ghostwritten books for a number of my clients.
Q13. Did you go to college to be a writer?
A. I was already a writer before I went to college. I went to college to get my degree in Communications with an emphasis on Audience Analysis and Message Design—an area of specialization which led me to work in all aspects of media. I still use it extensively in developing new ideas for novels and plays and in advising my ghostwriting clients on whether their projects are marketable.
This was fun and I appreciate the opportunity.
Writing, Publishing & Media