Kathy: Today I welcome Christine Verstraete, author of the kid’s mystery, Searching for a Starry Night, and the nonfiction book, In Miniature Style II.

Christine: Thanks Kathy for letting me take up space on your blog! Now on to the questions!

A little is good seeing I’m short. Ha! (Okay, you can groan.) But seriously, I guess I’m a split personality writer – fiction one day, nonfiction newspaper and mag articles another. I’m also a dog lover, having had a dog all my life, and an animal lover in general. Plus I like collecting dollhouses and creating miniatures to fill them.

Kathy: I’m very excited to hear about some of your latest news!

Christine:  Well…. besides my other books, I have a new project I wanted to share: I love dogs and try to include them in a lot of my work. There’s Petey the Dachshund in Searching for a Starry Night, there’s a German Shepherd in my YA girl zombie book which I’m sending around, and yes, there are even dogs (near 100!) in my miniature house shown in my miniatures book, In Miniature Style II. (You can see the miniature dog project on my http://cverstraete.com/miniatures.html)

In my story, “Perfect Timing,” a rescued pup helps cafe owner Gina Mason find love and thwart a would-be robber. It is part of the anthology, The Corner Cafe: A Tasty Collection of Short Stories, available for http://tinyurl.com/7wfeg9h”Kindle. (Other formats are coming.) Information can be found on the stories can be found during the blog tour, with links at my blog, http://candidcanine.blogspot.com”>Candid Canine.

The anthology, The Corner Cafe: A Tasty Collection of Short Stories, edited by Dani Greer and Helen Ginger, supervised by Bob Sanchez and cover by Sherry Wachter, features stories set in or centered around The Corner Cafe. Authors besides myself include: Marian Allen, Shonell Bacon, Karen Casey Fitzjerrell, W.S. Gager, Helen Ginger, Dani Greer, S.B. Lerner, Audrey Lintner, Morgan Mandel, Maryann Miller, Bodie Parkhurst, Bob Sanchez, Mary Montague Sikes and Red Tash.

Kathy: Do you plan your characters out or do they develop as you write?

Christine: I confess: I’m an outliner. I often get an idea (from who knows where), think on it, and then outline it out. But with shorter stories I usually know what will happen so a lot of it comes as I write. The characters, though, make themselves known early on. Odd how that works, you know?

Kathy: How was your interest in writing originated?
Christine: I was the kid who always had her nose in a book. I remember wanting to write at some point, but didn’t really become interested until I began writing religious poetry. In high school I got interested in newspaper writing and decided that would be my college major. I’m still doing that.

Kathy:  What main genre do you write in?

Christine:  I don’t have any one favorite, though I’ve always loved reading horror and have been writing more spooky or paranormal type stories. But I like writing light, “fun” stories, too.
About the Books:

In http://www.cverstraete.com/searching-for-a-starry-night-mystery.html” Searching for a Starry Night, Samantha Ann Carlton would rather spend her summer vacation anywhere but a spooky old house in Wisconsin…like Lake Geneva! Somehow Sam knows it’s going to take more than a few days to find a missing painting no bigger than her hand.
Maybe things won’t be so bad, she thinks, since she gets to take a friend’s lovable but mischievous Dachshund, Petey, and her best friend Lita. If they’re lucky, the three of them can find the miniature replica of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and help Sam’s mother get it to the museum where it belongs. It’s not going to be easy, Sam realizes, when she discovers her own family has some spooky secrets. Then Petey digs up an ancient curse, and Sam fears her friendship with Lita is doomed…
Will they find the miniature masterpiece in time? Will Sam and Lita go home friends — or enemies?

http://www.cverstraete.com/in-miniature-style-ii.html” In Miniature Style II has dozens of stunning photos, over 40 how-to projects, and profiles of talented miniaturists and their work. Updated features, new photos & dozens of new how-to projects including half-scale and miniature doll projects by IGMA artisans and other skilled miniaturists.

Kathy:  Thanks for stopping by, Christine. I know the The Corner Cafe: A Tasty Collection of Short Stories is going to be a great success.  Be sure to check out The Corner Cafe: A Tasty Collection of Short Stories. And give a quick visit to Christine.