Monday, October 5, 2015

Time Runs Away with Her By Christine Potter ~ GIVEAWAY ~ INTERVIEW

Time Runs Away with Her
By Christine Potter


Crystal: I am so happy to host Christine Potter. Welcome Christine! I am so excited to have you here today.  Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?

Christine: I’m sitting in my office, looking out the window at what’s left of my vegetable garden on October 2nd:  mostly kale and nasturtiums.  There are a few ripe cherry tomatoes, too, but it’s chilly and wet outside and cozy in here at the computer.  I like to eat nasturtiums in my salad at dinner. So do the local deer, unfortunately, and they don’t care about getting their feet wet.  If you haven’t guessed, I live out in the woods, in an old house on a creek.
The house was built in 1740.  We have two ghosts, and two tom cats, all friendly.  I’m a writer, a poet, and a recovering English teacher.

Crystal: What are you currently working on?

Christine: I’ve been doing a bunch of promotional writing for my new YA novel, Time Runs Away With Her, out today on Evernight Teen. I’m also drafting a sequel. That’s going to be a fun book!  Like the first book, it’s set in the year 1970 and has time travel.  I love my characters and it’s fun to hang out with them more.

Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for either your current release or the WIP you are working on now?

Christine: Five years ago, I was in Canada, on Prince Edward Island. Somehow I’d never read Anne of Green Gables as a kid.  And you have to know that Anne of Green Gables is EVERYWHERE up there.  So I read it, and totally dug it. Anne got me thinking about books I’d loved as a young person in the 60’s and early 70’s.  I tried to seem tough and intellectual back then—but I loved Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time. Before long, I knew I had to take time away from poetry (which is what I’ve written my whole life) and write a novel for young adults. Bean, my main character, has red hair as a shout-out to Anne.  Like Lucy Maud Montgomery, I wanted to set my book in simpler times than today. And like her, I wanted my book to have a strong sense of place.  Time Runs Away With Her is very much about the little villages along the Hudson River—but with time travel!  And…um…The Grateful Dead.  You’ll have to read the book to understand!

Crystal:  Do you have a favorite snack to munch on while writing?

Christine: I hydrate instead.  I have an evil Diet Coke habit, although sometimes I do iced coffee.  When I was workshopping Time Runs Away With Her at Hedgebrook, which is a retreat for woman writers on an island off Washington State, I used to go down to the communal kitchen and swipe these odd little string bean things they kept around for us.  They were sort of like if string beans were Cheetos.  Totally addictive!  Except I think they were healthy.

Crystal:  Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?

Christine: Hmmm…I have a few, but I don’t want to create any spoilers!  I really love my opening because it’s the one scene in the book that is drawn directly from my own life. I once succeeded in getting my own mom mad enough at me to throw me out of the house in the snow. Here’s my main character, Bean Donohue, dealing with the same thing—and in the same year, 1970:  

Snowflakes spangled the long red hair spilling over Bean’s collar.  Only three blocks to Zak’s house, she told herself––but that was nuts.  She was also well on the way to Suzanne’s if she kept going. In one house she passed, a couple sat, facing away from their picture window, watching a woman in a sparkly red gown singing into a microphone on TV. Blue light from the screen flickered out into the night. Zak probably gives drawings to everyone, Bean thought.  Mine’s only a doodle.  Doesn’t mean anything.  There was almost no traffic, just the occasional car driving by slowly and almost silently in the snow.
        Then she was at the corner of Route 8E and Sickles Avenue.  Zak’s house was two doors down, on Sickles. Bean had seen the school bus drop him off there back when they were in junior high, before everyone was way too cool to ride it: The Loser Cruiser.  She looked down Sickles.  Snow falling under the streetlights made the night a little less dark.  
        What was it Mr. Kaminsky had said about frostbite in Health?  She couldn’t actually have frostbite, could she?  Bean slipped one hand out of its glove and felt the tip of her nose just to make sure.  How could you tell, really?  Maybe you could have creeping frostbite. Stealth frostbite. 
       “Oh, HELL,” she said out loud to nobody, and turned left. This really was a special situation.   
       The windows of Zak’s house were mostly dark, but upstairs were some orange paisley curtains with lights on behind them. It looked like someone was maybe watching TV downstairs, too.  
       But there was no car in Zak’s driveway. Probably only Zak’s mom was out.  That would be a good thing, right?  Bean knew Zak was like her in one way: his parents were divorced.  What would he think if she knocked on his door?  Were girls even supposed to do that? She shuffled through the snow and stood for a moment in front of the house, stomping the stadium boots to warm her feet.
       A shadow passed behind the paisley curtains, and Bean’s stomach lurched.  Was that Zak?  She thought of how far it was to Suzanne’s house, of the walk back to her own house, of her mom closing the drapes.   Then, she stumbled up Zak’s slippery front steps, and rang the bell.

Crystal:  When you are not busy writing wonderful stories to keep us lucky readers entertained, what do you like to do? Do you have a hobby? 

Christine: Like Bean, I love music.  I play guitar, dulcimer, and when I can get my hands on one, a chime stand.  Chime stands live in 19th century church towers, and they’re like little carillons: they’re also called tower bells. I played tower bells when my organist husband had a job with a church that had some. They are LOUD!  Tower bells versus a stack of big, mean guitar amps?  The tower bells win.  I also DJ rock and roll music.  A bunch of friends and I have a little internet music station called Area 24 Radio. (   I’m on Thursday afternoons. And I’ve written poetry since I was seven, but that’s a passion—no hobby!

Crystal: Do you have a favorite background noise you like to have going while you write (TV, Music, kids playing)?

Christine: I really need it quiet.  I like it if there are some natural sounds going on outside—like wind, or if the creek’s running high enough for me to hear it. Writing during a snowstorm rocks! I love music so much that if I try to play it while I write, I listen to it instead. Like I said, my husband’s an organist, and so we have two actual pipe organs in our house.  I hate it when he has to prep for a wedding because brides always want The Pachobel Canon, which drives me nuts while I’m writing.  We call it The Taco Bell Canon.  If you’re thinking of getting married, choose something else!

Crystal:  Thank you for visiting today. It has been a pleasure to visit with you. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Christine: I’m proud and honored to be here.  Time Runs Away With Her is my first novel, and it’s incredibly close to my heart.  Let’s hope that nasty hurricane misses everyone!


It’s not easy being Bean. Bean Donohue lives for her guitar, but her mom threw her out of the house during a snowstorm for singing. No way she’s going to get permission to go see The Grateful Dead at the Fillmore East. 

Zak, her almost-boyfriend, will get drafted if he doesn’t get into art school, pot makes Bean paranoid, and her best friend can’t stop talking about sex. 1970’s not for wimps—but neither was 1885...or 1945. So why does Bean keep sliding backwards in time?

Time Travel Romantic Suspense, 74k

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          Although it
was cooler than it had been upstairs, the night was still close, and the heat
had made Bean slow and sleepy. I could wring out my hair like a
 and it would dribble on the floor. The
party swirled around her: ladies in rustling dresses of blue and yellow,
gentlemen in evening jackets laughing together.  

          At the other
end of the room was a cut crystal bowl, full of what looked like iced tea. Bean
felt like she could dive into it. Standing in a circle around the punch bowl
were a few more men in evening jackets.

          How can
you even think of wearing a jacket in this weather
? She wandered over to the punch,
which smelled wickedly alcoholic, like the bottle of rum Juuulia bought to make
eggnog every Christmas. If she picked up one of the tiny glass cups next to the
bowl and ladled punch into it, would it seem to those men in their stifling
evening wear as if the glass were filling itself? That was kind of amusing,
actually, but probably not a great idea. Besides, the stuff smelled like it
would make you more thirsty, not less.  
Maple leaves
outside rustled again in the breeze, and the breeze offered no relief. She
thought about Zak, and wondered if she’d be too miserable and sweaty to hug him
right then, if he were with her. Which, of course, he was not. She thought
about her room at home, her all-year Christmas lights, her guitar. She closed
her eyes and tried to will herself back.


          Outside, in
the garden, Edwina laughed again. What a wonderful laugh she had! It sounded
like it came straight from her belly, like she wasn’t afraid of being
un-ladylike. Was she the one who had been crying on Bean’s
last trip to this time and place? It certainly seemed like the same evening:
the party, the Japanese lanterns, the night’s humid breeze...

Author Bio:
Christine Potter lives in a small town not far from the setting of Time Runs Away With Her, near the mighty Hudson River, in a very old (1740) house with two ghosts.  According to a
local ghost investigator, the ghosts are harmless, “just very old spirits who don’t want to leave.” She doesn’t want them to.

Christine’s house contains two pipe organs (her husband is a choir director/organist), two spoiled tom cats, and too many books.  She’s also a poet, and the author of two collections of verse, Zero Degrees at First Light, and Sheltering in Place.  Christine taught English and Creative Writing for years in the Clarkstown Schools.  She DJ’s free form rock and roll weekly on, and plays guitar, dulcimer, and tower chimes. 

Facebook book page for Time Runs Away: *

Twitter: @chrispygal

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