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Thursday, April 9, 2015

#interview with Isabella for Forever Faithful

About Christine Svendsen

Christine Svendsen is the founder and chief executive of Sapphire Books Publishing, a leading United States publisher of LGBT books. Christine founded the company in the face of rejection from big-time publishers who either told her that they weren’t looking for books of her type or that they wanted her to rewrite her stories completely. She defied them all by establishing her own publishing company, which now features a long list of award-winning LGBT authors. Today, Christine publishes books through her company and writes under the pen names of Isabella and Jett Abbott.

Christine’s most recently published novel under the name of Isabella is “Forever Faithful,” the sequel to “Always Faithful,” a book based loosely on being a former military officer’s wife and the adventures of living on a military base.

Other novels by Isabella include:

          “Broken Shield,” which covers the topics of spousal abuse and how it can lay hidden in a relationship, even when the person being abused is a cop.

          “American Yakuza” I and II, tracing the adventures of a multicultural character who tackles the male dominated world of the Japanese mafia.

          “Executive Disclosure” and “Surviving Reagan,” a series about Chad Morgan, an executive protection specialist, and Reagan Reynolds, a daughter ready to take the reins of her father’s company until her plans get derailed by her own misguided determination.

Novels by Jett Abbott include two books: ”Scarlet Masquerade” and “Scarlet Assassin.”

Christine is currently working on a new novel called “Time Stamped.”

When she’s not writing, Christine teaches college part time, rides motorcycles, and spends time remodeling her cabin in the Sierra foothills. She lives on the central coast of California with her wife and has three wonderful sons.

Contact Information:
Sapphire Books Facebook page

Founded by Christine Svendsen, Sapphire Books Publishing is “the gem of lesbian publishing.” Dedicated to quality fiction that reflects the lives of the lesbian community, the company publishes romance, erotica, paranormal, mystery and intrigue, fantasy, and other fiction where the main characters are lesbians. Since its inception, the company has grown to include a cadre of highly acclaimed LGBT authors, including Linda Kay Silva, Kim Pritekel, Beth Burnett, and Linda North. Sapphire Books are available in hardcover, softcover, and ebook formats throughout the world.
1. What is your story's heat level?
The main characters in Forever Faithful have a passion for each other that comes out in the way they interact intimately. Most of my novels have intense love scenes. I run the gamut of sensual to downright kinky, as in American Yakuza.
How do you approach the sex scenes? I want them to be sexy and hot, and I want the reader to say “damn” after they’ve read one of my sex scenes. I like the visual aspect of a sex scene. So often times there isn’t a lot of talking.

2. How do you maintain activity as a writer when sitting at a desk all day?
I work out regularly with heavy weights, walk, and try to stay pretty active when I’m not writing. If I have a problem with a scene and I can’t quite get it right, I walk away and do something else and come back to it.

3. What is it that you loved about the main characters in your story?
I love strong, determined, flawed women. I think that translates to the page and in my writing. I’ve written about women who were cops, firefighters, in the military and found themselves in situations that they knew were wrong or bad for them. They have to work their way out of those situations and oftentimes fight to stay upright.

4. What do you feel is your strongest type of writing? Humor? Angst? Confrontation scenes? Action? Sex? Sensuality? Sweet Romance? And why?
I like to think that I write intense storylines with great intimate moments between the sheets. I’m not much for chick lit, or a BBQ romance that you can read in an afternoon. I wish I could write humor, but I think for me it comes off as more of a sarcastic or quick wit. I like to create novels that take the reader somewhere, and with someone, they would never find themselves with normally. I want the reader to think, “I’d date her in a heartbeat.” Or “Oh, God, why can’t I find someone like that.”

5. Are you social media savvy? If so what do you suggest for others? If not, why not?
I like to think that I am. I have a Facebook presence with both a regular page and a fan page. I have a website (, and I have pages on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumbler and Instagram. I post on my Facebook pages regularly, sharing photos, asking questions, running contests, and giving away free books. I like interacting with readers on a regular basis and have made friends with a lot of people who come to my page. I tweet, but not as often as I’d like.
 I think an author without social media is hurting themselves. It’s where a lot of connections are made. We are more accessible these days than in the past. I think in some ways readers expect it and I think they like it when you’ve taken time to talk to them. But, it’s a delicate balance between pimping and sharing experiences with the readers. I’ve seen authors burn themselves on social media by being too pushy, trying to sell their books, or being political and turning off readers.

6. What are some things from your life or things you have observed that you've infused into your stories?
All of my books have one character who rides a motorcycle. I love to ride and have ridden from the age of twelve. I also think that women who ride have a certain style that incorporates well into a strong, sexy woman. Controlling a piece of machinery that can go a hundred miles an hour and stay vertical takes some skill. I think those optics translate well. I’ve lived some of the struggles in my books. I’ve been a military wife. I’ve succeeded when people told me I’d fail. I worked hard to get where I am today and I’ve had to make decisions that weren’t popular, but had to be made. I’ve met some of the women in my books. They may not know it, but they have been inspirational to me and my writing. I hope I’ve done them justice between the pages of my books. Of course I’ve never met a vampire, but I’d love to. As for the sex in my books, my wife tells me that she can’t listen to me do a reading if I read the sexy stuff. Her response is, “Do you always write about our sex life?” I just say, you write what you know.
7. If you had an unlimited budget, where would you like to visit for story-related research?
I’d love to set a story in Tuscany, but then wouldn’t everyone? I tend to write about places that I’ve been to. I’ve lived in the south and on the west coast, so I set most of my stories there. I have constructed locations that are an amalgamation of several places.
8. Any fun facts about the research for your book?
Research is the life blood of a book. If you get it wrong a reader won’t hesitate to let you know, either in a review, via an email, or a message. I’ve ridden my motorcycle 100 miles per hour, crashed my bike, and walked away with only a broken collar bone, shot all of the guns in my books, and well, for the kinky stuff, you’ll just have to read and wonder.
9. Finally, tell us a little about your newest release!
Forever Faithful is the second book in the Faithful series. This book picks up where Always Faithful left off. It was partially based on my experience as a military wife and some of the people I met along the way. I wanted to focus on the family side of things in this book. Nic Caldwell is a Marine who is being deployed again, but this time to Afghanistan. Her wife, Clare, is left behind to wonder if Nic will meet the same fate as her first spouse, who died in Iraq. Nic comes pretty close to fulfilling that concern. It a nutshell, it’s a book about surviving a deployment, PTSD and how love conquers all.
Blue on green meant that an Afghanistan soldier or civilian, someone considered a friendly, was shooting at U.S. military. Afghanistan civilians and soldiers, once cleared, were often in the compound. The U.S. trained them, worked with them, getting them ready to take over from U.S. forces. Some of the civilians were day laborers, and interpreters, indispensable in Nic’s line of work, and suddenly she wondered if Ami had reported for work today.
Poking her head up again, Nic couldn’t see anything moving. Crouching still, she motioned for the soldier next to her to go around the opposite side of the pallet stack. Nic shuffled low towards the door of HQ. Hugging the wall, she peeked around the corner and then jerked her head back. A quick look and her gaze lit on two soldiers lying in a pool of blood and another soldier was sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall, clutching his chest. A stampede of feet pulled her attention away and toward three men running towards her with their weapons drawn and aiming at her. Standing, Nic’s hand rose, signaling the men to stop.
“What’s the situation, Colonel?” an Army staff sergeant asked.
“Two soldiers on the floor, one leaning against the wall, and I can’t see anything else.”
 “We’ll take it from here, Colonel.”
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  1. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

  2. I really like the interview!

  3. Thanks Rita, I hope you'll check out some of the books.


  4. Hi Mai,

    Writing is a craft and it gets better the more you do it. So, write, write, and take a class and then write some more. The only difference between someone who's successful and someone who isn't, the successful person didn't stop writing. Classes are also great, too.


  5. HI Ree Dee,

    Thanks for taking the time to read the interview!


  6. Thank you for the thoughtful answers in the interview. I'm sharing with my writer's club next month about social media. I liked getting your opinion on it.