Christine Nolfi

 In Interview

nolfi_second-chance-grillLast week I reviewed Second Chance Grill, Christine Nolfi’s terrific and heartwarming story of love, redemption and small town life. Christine graciously agreed to do an interview and we couldn’t be happier here at Glit Girls because this is a pretty special woman with a lot to say. Read it and then please check out her book.

Xo Sara

I would like to begin by thanking Christine Nolfi for taking time to give our readers a “chance” to know the woman behind the story.

When did you first realize you were a writer? Not just when you began putting pen to paper, but when you realized writing was in your blood?

All writers begin with an insatiable hunger to read. During childhood I’d wander through libraries drawing my fingertips across the spines of books. I felt like I was touching other souls, reaching into lives I would only know through their words. A moment of realizing, of becoming, never arose. I simply carried the ever-present notion that I was a writer.

Second Chance Grill paints a vivid picture of a small town community and its many colorful personalities. Since I am a big city girl who moved around a lot, grasping the provincial life as colorfully as you did would require a great deal of research. Did you draw from personal experience and, if not, how much investigation did it require?

I’ve lived in cities as large as Los Angeles and towns as small as Newbury, Ohio. But I think Second Chance Grill’s colorful cast came from years working in public relations. I wrote ad copy for small, rural companies and large corporations. The number of “characters” encountered would fill ten books.

Along with the small town life, the story also deals with many medical issues. Having gone through the heartache of cancer with my father, I know how realistic your depiction was. How difficult was writing such a heavy storyline?

I’m sorry to hear about your father. I hope he’s doing well.

Writing a heavy storyline was difficult, certainly, but also cathartic. Early in life my four adopted children had suffered abuse and neglect. We spent years walking the corridors of The Cleveland Clinic dealing with one health issue after another, which made depicting Blossom’s struggles easy to grasp.

 How much of your own personality did you put into Mary?

Very little, perhaps. Now, Anthony and the whole Perini clan would remind you of my large, boisterous extended family. And I divorced when my children were young—I certainly understood Anthony’s struggles as a single parent.

What part of the writing process do you feel is unique to you? For instance, do you have any rituals, music that inspires you, etc?

Creating a compelling novel requires mind-body balance. I start writing early in the morning then knock off around lunchtime to head to the gym. After an hour’s workout, I return home to edit the morning’s pages. I eat a diet heavy on fruits and vegetables. None of these rituals are particularly unique. They do provide the stamina to consistently produce quality fiction.

Second Chance Grill was the second in a series. Are there more installments in the works? If not, what are you working on now?

With luck, the women of Liberty, Ohio will catch fire with readers, allowing me to extend the series indefinitely. I could easily write a dozen novels about the town—Meade and Finney have their own stories and romances, and I have a very poignant plot worked out for Theodora and her nemesis, Ethel Lynn.

The response to Second Chance Grill and Treasure Me has been wonderful. I’m hoping to write about the town far into the future.

Do you have any advice for first time authors who want to publish, but may not know how to, or are scared?

Many writers fear publication because they’re convinced they don’t have the expertise or must first complete a formal education. But here’s the thing: no one can teach you how to write a story in a singular voice. There isn’t a fresh plot to be had on the entire planet, but your life experiences are as unique as the way you choose to depict them. If you have the courage to put emotion on the page and possess the desire to improve, eventually your distinctive voice will emerge. Successful novelists are writers who refused to give up.

What are you currently reading and do you have a recent favorite?

Recent favorites? I admire Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain for the sheer audacity of telling a novel from a dog’s point of view. Last night I finished Spare Change by Bette Crosby. While I might take issue with some of the novel’s structure, I simply fell in love with the mastery of her characterizations. Crosby writes with heart.

Can you tell us something about yourself we can’t find online? Some anecdote that might have helped you along your writing journey—a moment of inspiration, clarity, humor, etc?

I’d probably win an award for near misses with traditional publishers. My books would invariably receive compliments from editors who weren’t sure how to market stories that drew from the romance, mystery and suspense genres. An anecdote? A literary agent once took an hour from her day to call to lend advice on revisions for Treasure Me and explain she couldn’t offer representation because I was meant to be a “big book” author and she only represented romance.

THANKS CHRISTINE WE LOVE YOU FOR BEING A GREAT WRITER AND SUPPORTER! Below you will find all of her information…check it out and tell us what you think.

Nolfi+Author+Photo1Christine Nolfi owned a small public relations firm in Cleveland, Ohio. She closed the firm after traveling to the Philippines to adopt a sibling group of four children. She has been writing novels full-time since 2004. Her debut Treasure Me is a 2012 Next Generation Indie Awards finalist. Her most recent book Second Chance Grill was released in October.

Second Chance Grill:

Sara O'Connor
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