Interview with Christy Swagerty

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in two small towns in Northern California. This massively influenced my writing in two ways: 1) when I didn't have a friend who could understand what I was going through, I turned to writing more to express myself; and 2) I needed desperately to get out of the small-town-attitude, and I thought writing was going to be my ticket, so I wrote more and more and more. Turns out, it has been sport that has taken me out of the small town life, and around the world! But writing is now my vehicle for communicating that journey, and that's more than I ever could have asked!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Playing and coaching volleyball or walking around somewhere in Europe!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My very first read stories were nursery rhymes and Beatrix Potter books. However, the first story I remember really altering my life perspective was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I related to the character Clarisse very deeply, and realized that my enthusiasm for life would only be appreciated by the right kind of people - and to surround myself with those people as my friends!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Inspired me to "stuff my eyes with wonder" and "live as if I'd drop dead in ten seconds."
Royal Road to Romance by Richard Halliburton. Showed me that "travel" is so much more than being a tourist; it's about saying "yes" to new experiences and breaking a few rules alond the way.
The Walking Drum by Louis L'Amour. Epic historical fiction novel about a sojourner through medieval Europe. It's the coolest story I've ever read, and I want to be every character in the book.
Lost Horizon by James Hilton. I love everything by Hilton (Random Harvest is another great choice!), but LH really challenged me to process time, aging, and history in a whole new way. It also taught me that "Shangri-La" is whatever - and wherever - you want it to be.
Daniel Deronda by George Eliot. Beautiful story of race and wealth struggles in Victorian England. Compares and contrasts as only Eliot can, proving which values are most important in people and in relationships. BBC did an excellent mini-series of it as well, I highly recommend it!
What is your writing process?
I choose a central theme, then a few sub-themes. If I have more than three or four sub-themes, it becomes a series. My writing is how I remember, and the inspiration to not forget great experiences drives the words onto the page.
How do you approach cover design?
A cover should encompass as much of the book as possible in one scene. Color, fonts, sizes, and spacing are all crucial to the final product. I also show cover proofs to a wide audience of honest friends to select the most popular cover.
Published 2015-08-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Four Years in Paris
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 26,790. Language: English. Published: August 14, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region, Nonfiction » Travel » Trip Journals
A compilation of memories in France from an evolving expat who only ever wanted to be French. Follow Christy Swagerty from 2011 to 2015 as she moved in and around the Île-de-France region while working abroad. Four Years in Paris takes you on a journey of a twenty-something American experiencing the fun and faux pas of living abroad for the first time.