What surprises we find on the internet. A few months ago I was hooked on Ancestry.com searching for bits about my family that I didn’t know. My aunt always kept track of my mother’s side of the family but I wasn’t aware of anyone learning about my father’s side. And with my beautiful grandmother slowly losing her memory, I wanted to study her side: the Tetreaults. Yep, you read that right. My grandmother is a Tetreault from upstate, Eastern Massachusetts. I was able to track my family’s history all the way back to being immigrants from Quebec, Canada in the 1800s. But the search was halted, so I decided to go in the other direction and see if I had any distant cousins that I didn’t know about.
Through my grandmother’s uncle’s lineage I found a bunch of people around my age. I decided to just type their names into Google for the heck of it and found a woman named Christina Tetreault, a fellow romance writer from Massachusetts. As it turns out, we’re not completely sure we’re related. We don’t think so, but we have adopted each other as cousins anyways. So without further adieu, please meet my “cousin” Christina Tetreault, author of The Teacher’s Billionaire and The Billionaire Playboy – the first two books of the Sherbrooke’s of Newport Series.
Eryn: Tell us about your Sherbrookes of Newport series?
Christina: For the most part my series focuses on the Sherbrooke family and those close to the family. As the owners of Sherbrooke Enterprise, which runs one of the largest hotel chains in the world, the Sherbrookes are one of the wealthiest families in the world. Warren Sherbooke is the patriarch of the family. A former United States senator, he is running for president when we meet him in the first book. He is married to Elizabeth Sherbrooke who is from an aristocratic English family. Her father is an Earl. She was married prior to meeting Warren and had one son, Dylan, who is the hero in The Teacher’s Billionaire. Together Warren and Elizabeth have two children Jake and Sara. I intend for the series to include 4 books. The first two are The Teacher’s Billionaire and The Billionaire Playboy. Currently, I am working on Sara’s story. The plan is for the fourth book to focus on Callie Taylor’s best friend Lauren. Lauren was a secondary character in book one.
Eryn: When did you know writing was your passion?
Christina: I first knew writing was my passion around the age of 10. I used to sit down at my grandmother’s old manual typewriter and make up stories. I would type until my fingers hurt from banging on the keys or until I ran out of paper.
Eryn: How do you inspire yourself to write? Any quirks or rituals you go through before you start?
Christina: I always seem to have ideas running through my head. It doesn’t seem to matter where I am or what I am doing. One quirk I can not seem to overcome is the fact that I have to write everything long hand and then type it into the computer. I have tried to just sit down and type on the lap top and it just does not work for me.
Eryn: What is your writing routine? For instance, are you an outliner, do you make character studies, do you set page or word goals at all…etc?
Christina: Tough question. Before I start writing I have a general idea for a story but nothing set in stone. I do a very rough outline listing each characters’ characteristics, if they have any emotional issues to overcome that sort of thing and then I just start writing. I don’t like to set page or word limits because I do not always know where a story is going to take me and how long it will take me to get there.
Eryn: What do you love the most about the writing process?
Christina: It would be easier to tell you what I hate about the process. Lets see what do I love about the process? I love creating characters and learning about them as I write. I love creating happily ever afters for them. In my opinion nothing is better than a good romance where the characters overcome their difficulties and find true love.
Eryn: Besides your heroes and heroines, who is/are you other favorite secondary character/s?
Christina: It’s hard to answer this question too. Often my secondary characters later become my heroes and heroines. In book one my favorite two characters were Jake Sherbrooke and Lauren McDonald. In book two my favorite secondary character is Sean O’Brien. (Eryn – P.S. I like Sean too. He’s such an awesome brother. I love what he says to Jake, protecting his sister)
Eryn: Are any of your characters based on anyone in particular, either in personality or looks?
Christina: I never intend to base my characters looks on anyone, but once I have started writing them I usually end up finding an actor, actress or model who matches the picture I have in my mind. For example I actually started The Teacher’s Billionaire 6 years ago, long before the new Hawaii Five-0 came on television but as soon as I saw Alex O’Loughlin I knew he was my Dylan Talbot. While I was working on book 2 Once Upon A Time began and the minute I saw Josh Dallas I knew that he fit exactly how I thought Jake Sherbrooke looked.
As far as personalities go, I never set out to base them on people, but my husband insists that I do. No matter how many times I disagree with him, he says that Callie Taylor has some of my personality characters and that Lauren is actually one of my good friends.
Eryn: If you could be one of your characters, who would you want to be and why?
Christina: If I could be any character I think it would have to be Charlotte O’Brien from book 2. She is a strong woman who has followed her dreams. So many of us put our dreams on the back burner because we assume they are just that. At the same time she still gets her happily ever after. And with a billionaire to boot.
Eryn: What’s next for Christina?
Christina: Right now I am working on book 3 on the series. This one focuses on Sara Sherbrooke who readers saw in both books 1 and 2. I hope to have a rough draft done by the end of the year. At some point once this series is done, I want to try writing a historical novel as well as a paranormal romance. I have some ideas jotted down for both.
Eryn: Now to get a little more personal What was the first romance you ever read and what effect did it have on your life?
Christina: The first romance novel I read was A Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey. I was a freshman a Umass Dartmouth and at the time I was single. My long-time boyfriend broke up with me not long before I graduated from high school the previous June and I was rather down on men and love. This book let me fall in love not only with the romance genre but with love and romance itself. Not long after that I started trying my hand at romance novels.
Eryn: As writers many of us have favorite words or phrases that we love, what are yours?
Christina: I cannot really think of any words or phrases that I love.
Eryn: And what is your least favorite?
Christina: My least favorite phrase has to be ‘It is what it is’. For some reason that phrase drives me up the wall. (Eryn – Me too! Hate that one.)
Eryn: Like the characters in your books, you are from New England. Where are you favorite places to visit for fun, visit for history, to relax, to eat out, to be alone, and to be alone with your loved one (minus children)? Doesn’t have to be specific, you could say alone I the woods if you want.
Christina: I love going up to New Hampshire especially to go hiking, specifically the White Mountains area. In fact my husband told me he loved me for the first time on the top of Mount Washington 14 years ago this past August. Here in Massachusetts I like to go to Old Sturbridge Village. It is a place comprised of old buildings that have been brought from different areas of New England and arranged to look like an 1800’s New England town. There are actors there to play the roles of town people and you can see everything from the blacksmith making horse shoes to the woman dying the yarn for making clothes.
Thanks so much for having me today Eryn.
Author Facebook: www.facebook.com/christinatetreaultauthor
The Teacher’s Billionaire
http://is.gd/zzKypP FREE at Amazon
The Billionaire Playboy