Well, it’s our final Mix-It-Up Interview for this series. I’ll try to do this again in the future, but I wanted these four interviews of the other Waterfall Press authors as we lead up to the release of Deepest Roots of the Heart.
Christy Barritt’s release was on Tuesday! I’ve been chomping at the bit to share her new book, Dubiosity, with you! This suspense/mystery novel draws you into a world of missing persons, suspicious deaths and near deaths, and even a secret society. Now frankly, that kind of thing often ends up cheesy and unrealistic, but she did a fabulous job avoiding that.
Unfortunately, she was too busy for a phone conversation, but she was gracious enough to answer a bunch of questions for me. I really appreciate it. So, here’s Savannah sharing a bit about Christy for us.
Chautona: So, Savannah, maybe you could share some of Christy’s quirks with us?
Savannah: Well, she sings ALL the time.
Chautona: So her life is a living musical. We have something in common.
Savannah. Yeah, and she’s not singing, she’s humming. Sometimes she even dances, which is always a little scary.
Chautona: Oh, I get that too. One of my kids’ friends saw me dancing once and said, “Mrs. Havig… don’t ever do that again.” [laughs] So, what is something that most people wouldn’t guess about Christy?
Savannah: Um… she has a hard time peeling boiled eggs.
Chautona: Boiled eggs. Well yeah. That is something most people would guess. I’ve actually read articles on the best way to boil eggs so they’re easy to peel. I kid you not. So, why do you think Christy chose Waterfall Press to publish Dubiosity?
Savannah: Because Dubiosity has conspiracy theories and secret societies, and it takes places on the forgotten shores of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Need I say more?
Chautona: Uhhh… hmmm I think I missed something. I’ll have to do some research on that. Or is this a hint that you were going for the legal protection of the publisher’s team. So, we should be worried about this secret society. *glances around and puts on tin hat* LOL. [an aside: removing tongue from cheek now] So, will Christy be using your character again? Please say yes.
Savannah: I’ll probably have a guest appearance in the next book in the series, but I’m waiting on confirmation.
Chautona: YAY! I really like you. I’d also like to see more of Lucia and Marti. Turning this a bit more serious, what event or events do you think has impacted Christy’s writing the most?
Savannah: Time and time again it’s been the hope after heartache—after the loss of her father, her brother, betrayal by friends. Anytime when she’s had to turn to God for strengthening
Chautona: That is something I think all authors can relate to–how life’s curve balls drive you closer to the Lord, and as a result, we gain new insights into human nature and the Word. That helps us really give a richer storytelling experience, heartbreaking as it is. Hey, so what situation did Christy get you into that you thought she’d never get you out of?
Savannah: I thought I was going to die, if that tells you anything. I had to abandon everything that was safe to me if I wanted to find answers. Doing that very thing has hurt people in my life before, so I didn’t want anyone else to suffer because of my actions.
Chautona: And yet if you hadn’t done that, others would have suffered because of your inaction. Strange how those things work that way, isn’t it? So… Which character do you wish she’d never written?
Savannah: If I tell you that, I might give away the whole book. 😉
Chautona: Fair enough… so suffice it to say, the “bad guy” (or girl but you know what I mean). But see, I can’t agree with that. If she hadn’t written the villain, then there wouldn’t have been a book. And you got out okay–barely maybe, but you did. Soooooooo you know… *whistles*. Okay. I’ll behave. So, who is your favorite character—besides yourself—and why?
Savannah: I thought Clive was fascinating. If you read the book, I’m sure you’ll understand why.
Chautona: I agree with you there. He was a nice mixture of imperfect perfection, wasn’t he? I mean, he didn’t have it all together, and yet he had the important things down. I also happen to really love his name and who he was “named for.” That made me smile. So, if you could go back and tell yourself one thing at the beginning of the last story, what would it be?
Savannah: Stop worrying so much.
Chautona: Snort. Okay, that’s hilarious. That’s like telling a bleeding man to stop hemorrhaging. [laughs] And yet, isn’t that what God tells us to do? He just says it right out there. “Do not be anxious.” “Fear not.” “Cast your cares upon Him.” We’re constantly told to stop it. And I guess that’s why. Because all that telling us to stop doesn’t just make it happen, does it?
Now, if you read Christy’s books, which would be your favorite?
Savannah: It’s really hard to choose, but I have added Random Acts of Murder to my Christmas list this year.
Chautona: *rushes off to add it to her wish list, pauses, and dashes over to the Kindle account to see if her husband has bought it yet* Score! It’s there. It’ll be the next thing I read maybe! And, on that note, which of Christy’s characters do you wish you could meet?
Savannah: That’s easy. She writes about a crime scene cleaner named Gabby St. Claire. I think Gabby is great—nice and plucky and not afraid to stand up for other people. I think we could be unlikely friends.
Chautona: Those are my husband’s favorite books. He’s read all of them, I think. Every now and then I get an email from Amazon that says “I’ve” just purchased another one. I tell you, next time I get sick and am stuck in bed, I’m going to have a Squeaky Clean Mystery marathon! (sorry, but I do not wish for the stomach flu in order to do it–not yet, anyway). And where does Christy write?
Savannah: Sometimes in her office, but she finds her desk doesn’t inspire creativity. She likes going to quiet places—sometimes a bookstore or coffeehouse and sitting in a corner. It also helps her to be away from the Internet because social media is a big distraction! I’m constantly on her case about that.
Chautona: Social media is a blessed curse, isn’t it? I love interacting with my readers, and I LOVE when one of them says, “go away and write.” It’s nice to see that balance of wanting to interact with my reader friends and them anxious for the next book or episode. So does Christy plot out every detail or do you and/or the other characters sometimes surprise her?
Savannah: She hardly plots anything, at least not until a third of the book is written, so I surprised her a lot! She feels like the stories are more organic that way. She does goes back and plot more toward the end to make sure she’s telling a good story.
Chautona: I find that a lot of the Waterfall authors do that. We’re all a bit free spirited in the beginning and then knuckle down at the end. That’s awesome. So, what does Christy have planned for 2015?
Savannah: She’s writing three more books for Love Inspired Suspense. She’s also releasing two more books in her popular Squeaky Clean series about crime scene cleaner Gabby St. Claire, another book in The Sierra Files, one more installment in the Holly Anna Paladin series.
Chautona: Sounds like a busy year for her. Exciting times. I’ll have to let Kevin know that he can expect a couple more books from her at least. I don’t know if he’s started The Sierra Files, but I bet he will. Now, how do you picture Christy’s retirement?
Savannah: I actually can’t picture Christy retiring. Writing makes her so happy and brings her so much enjoyment that I never see her stopping.
Chautona: I understand that. I joked with Nicole that my retirement would be from my coffin. But I did wonder years ago when I started if I’d get burned out. Yeah. I don’t see that happening. So… what were Christy’s best and worst subjects in school?
Savannah: Her best subject was anything creative—especially writing. She also enjoyed humanities and literature classes. Her worst subject, by far, was math. I hear she still hates it to do this day.
Chautona: Well, she’s not alone. A lot of famous authors were terrible at math. I mean, look at Fanny Crosby. She wrote like half the hymns sung in American churches for YEARS… and when she was in school the headmaster finally excused her from doing math because she simply couldn’t do it!
Wow. Well, thanks for stepping in and giving us a bit of information about Christy. I hope she’ll forgive you for ratting her out about math and eggs–oh, and dancing. I’m including my review of Dubiosity below, and then we’ll get into giving away a few copies of this fabulous book!
Christy Barritt has a winner here. I love suspense and mystery, so I expected to like this book. Considering my husband is a huge fan of Ms. Barritt’s work, I had high hopes for a well-crafted story.
She didn’t fail.
Dubiosity combines multiple plots in a seamless, flawless story of secrets, murder, and a twisted mind behind it all.
I’m one of those obnoxious people who usually doesn’t make it through half the book before I figure out who did what and usually why. So, when I find a book that not only keeps the why in the dark as well as the who, I’m in heaven. I had three main suspects throughout the book, and the one I WANTED to be the guilty party wasn’t. That’s some seriously good writing right there. When an author can make you suspect someone, make you suspect someone else, and then add a third suspect to your list, and only one of those three people you really DON’T want to be guilty–and then they are… that’s a fun read. Another proof of Barritt’s excellent storytelling is her turns of phrases. Careful, skillful use of words created suspicions in the most unlikely of times and places.
But a good story–an exciting story–isn’t enough if it isn’t well told. Barritt did everything I love in a good story and none of what I dislike. As an author, I have my own writing pet peeves that often get in the way of my enjoyment of the story. Things like repetitive phrasing, sentences starting with “It was he/she who,” or non-varying sentence structures grate on my nerves. Most authors usually have at least ONE of those things at least once or twice. Either Ms. Barritt didn’t have them at all, or she wrote such a well-crafted story that I didn’t notice. Either way, it was fabulous.
But, aside from the interwoven and suspenseful plots, she created several fascinating characters. Savannah is a delightful mix of strong independence and broken vulnerability. I found her grief and the way she held herself responsible for the criminal actions of others due to her own struggles to be realistic and a perfect blend of beauty and raw emotion.
Clive’s own situation, so similar to hers, illuminates the differences in how two people who both once claimed faith in God handle adversity. For some it drives them away from their faith while others are pulled back into fellowship with the Lord.
But even the minor characters were well developed and deeper than one would expect. I want to know more about several of them–Marti and Lucia in particular.
So, if you love exciting story lines with interesting characters, Dubiosity is the book for you. And… I say we all beg Ms. Barritt for a sequel. And FAST!