Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Straight Chatting from the Library: Christine Potter

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Christine Potter will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What is the favorite book you remember as a child? As a really little kid, I was totally into a set of richly illustrated books from the 1920s and early 30s that I inherited from my mom. They had fairy tales and poems and as you got into the more advanced volumes, longer stories that were probably excerpts from contemporary-to-then children's literature. I think they were called The Bookhouse Books. When I got a little older, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle was my favorite book.

What is your favorite book today?

I truly don't have one. It's often the last book I read. I read like a maniac. I'm also a passionate cook and I read cookbooks like novels.

Do you have any bad book habits?

Sometimes I take my Kindle into the bathtub stuck inside a plastic baggie. This is a very bad habit because I could drown the thing. Plus, baggies are terrible for the environment!

E-Reader or print? and why?

Both. If I'm going to be traveling, the Kindle is great. Paper books are heavy. For authors I know personally, though, or things I fully expect to love, I prefer paper. I like turning pages.

One book at a time or multiples?

Usually one book at a time, although sometimes I'll have a non-fiction book open for a long time, or a poetry book, while I'm also reading a novel. More than one plot at once makes my eyes cross.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)

I bookmark—or sometimes I leave the book open upside down next to my bed. And then my husband's cat knocks it on the floor at 3 AM. And then there is a book avalanche.

Favorite book you've read this year?

Surprise: it's non-fiction! I loved Bettyville by George Hodgman. It's a memoir of caring for a spirited mom who has dementia, and since I have been doing that, it speaks to me. It's also wicked funny and makes you cry at the same time. Tears and laughter at once are my gold standard. I write about mothers and daughters a lot in my young adult fiction, especially my newest one, Gracie's Time.

When do you do most of your reading?

I read a lot when I'm traveling. On the airplane, everyone else is asleep and I am reading. I LOVE reading on long-distance train trips. I often read in the bathtub in the afternoon after I've finished the day's writing and have come back in from exercising. I haven't ruined a Kindle yet! If I'm really into a book, will attempt to read it on the treadmill. That is usually a bad idea.

Re-reader or not?

Only really special books. I have a theory about this. I think that all literature has the capability to be Scripture. I think Scripture is just narrative that's profound enough that people have read it like a hundred million times. I have read The Scarlet Letter so many times I could probably recite it; I used to teach high school English. I think it's one of those Scriptural books. I feel the same way about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

What would make you not finish a book?

Cliché. Heavy-handed character development. I can stay interested in a book that has a gentle, slow-moving plot if it's got something else to love: atmosphere, or amazing characters. I hate being hit over the head worse than being bored, I guess.

Keep books or give them away?

So far, I've kept most of my books except when I have "loaned" them. Which is to say gifted them because nobody returns books. But we are at point of explosion in this not-so-big house! Time for a Little Library out front!


October, 1962
It's almost Halloween, but something a lot scarier than ghosts is on everyone's mind: nuclear war. After President Kennedy's speech to the nation about the Cuban Missile Crisis, Grace Ingraham overhears her parents' plans to keep her safe. She'll be sent off to live with a wealthy uncle—in the nineteenth century.

Gracie's from a family of Travelers, people who can escape into time. Too bad her mom and dad haven't Traveled since their honeymoon trip to the Lincoln Inauguration. So Grace will have to go alone—even though taking a wrong turn can have serious consequences: like heading for 1890, and ending up …in 2018.


“Dylan, this is Gracie Ingraham,” said Claire. “She’s going to be staying with us.”

“Hi,” I said. Dylan smiled a huge smile, a really fine-looking smile. Maybe it was strange to be noticing that just then, but some people have great smiles, and he’s one of them. Dylan has a smile that makes you smile, too. He put down his cocoa and stuck out his hand. I shook it.

“Hey!” he said. “Dylan Musser. You going to school here and all?”

Most guys I knew were kind of weird around girls. They got embarrassed. Or worse, put on some kind of embarrassing he-man act. This was a nice change. Then I wondered what high school might be in 2018. I couldn’t even imagine it. Probably really hard. Something else to worry about!

Claire jumped in. “Eventually. She just arrived. We’re giving her a few days to settle in.”

Maggie cruised his ankles, too. “Maggie-cat!” he said, “Good kitty!” He stroked her back and she turned her turquoise-blue eyes on him.

I tried not to stare at Dylan. Guys look much better with a little hair, I decided. His was in a crazy red halo around his head. He wore jeans like Claire’s and Father Higbee’s, and a black hooded sweatshirt with funny little holes in both cuffs he could poke his thumbs through. He kept playing with them—thumbs in, thumbs out.

No one said anything for a second.


Christine Potter lives in a very old, haunted house, not far from Sleepy Hollow. She’s the author of the time-traveling Bean Books series, on Evernight Teen: Time Runs Away With Her, In Her Own Time, What Time Is It There? and Gracie’s Time. She’s also a poet, with several books in print (the most recent is called Unforgetting). Christine loves all kinds of music, DJ’s, and plays dulcimer and guitar.

Blog: http://chrispygal.weebly.com
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Potter/e/B001K7URHS/
Facebook personal page: https://www.facebook.com/christine.potter.543
Bean Books Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/beanstravels/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0369500326/
Evernight Teen: https://www.evernightteen.com/gracies-time-by-christine-potter/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/955027


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  1. Thanks so much for the interview!

  2. I read cookbooks like novels, too (and some DO seem to have a character arc)!


  3. Thanks, Rita! Hey, Trix. And I get what you mean about cookbooks. They DO have character arcs, the best ones!

  4. Looking forward to reading this one!