Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
Thanks for having me! I appreciate the invite. My name is Cristina Hodgson, I’m a mother of two, born in Wimbledon, London. I work as a freelance journalist and write a mix of romcoms and women’s contemporary drama. I’ve worked as a script-writer for an Indian director and recently reached the top 15% of the BBC writer’s Room of Drama.
What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
My first novel, a romantic comedy called “A little of Chantelle Rose”, is about a young woman who is scouted out by a Hollywood movie agent after seeing her as an extra in dodgy gangster B-movie. She is offered a million-dollar role (not that she knows what this role is until it’s too late). The original idea behind this novel was based on my own experience as an extra in a gangster movie. My experience gave me an idea, and then my imagination, or rather the protagonist—Chantelle Rose—took if from there.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
A lot of my novels are set in Southern Spain which is where I currently live. Driving through the nearby countryside triggers a lot of ideas. I find driving together with running outdoors aids in getting me over my writing blocks.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
I mix up names, ages, physical features ALL the time! I should probably use an excel or something to keep track, but I end up having multi-coloured post-sticks all over my desk as reminders. But the biggest mistake, and this isn’t plot-related, rather an issue of not saving the WIP correctly. I have lost countless of words on several occasions. I now use Dropbox or e-mail my MS to myself on a daily basis.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Bad reviews defiantly affect me, less with each title I publish, but they still hurt. Though the stories I write aren’t about any aspect of my personal life, they are still my babies. A lot of hard work goes into writing a novel and getting it published. Hours of sweat and tears, research, edits. It’s easy to criticise without taking into consideration all the back-stage processes that go on before the book is released. I now try not to take the negative feedback too much to heart.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
Even though I have four books out in the market and another three still unpublished, I still find it amazing that I can actually write a book. That my mind is capable of making up a story and that I can structure it so it actually makes sense to others. The worst, that it’s a solitary process. Just you and your mind trying to turn an idea into something worth reading. You can share your doubts, plot-twists that come to a dead end. But the actual writing is down to individual perseveration.
What are your plans for future books?
As I’ve said I currently have three unpublished novels. Currently in the hands of quite a prestigious publisher who is considering them. If they are ultimately rejected. I hope to self-publish them by the end of the year.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
Before my life as a writer, I had a long career in sport, reaching national and international level. I won a sports scholarship to Boston College. After a period in Boston, I returned to the UK and graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Sports Science. Amazingly, none of my novels, to date, are about running!
Where to find me:
Titles by Cristina Hodgson
“Author Cristina Hodgson has an engaging writing style; dialogues are crisp, the settings are engaging, the plots are perfectly paced…”
“Ms Hodgson writes fast-paced romantic comedies that keep the reader in stitches” InD’tale Magazine