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Interview with Christina Sinisi

Christina Sinisi is a multi-published author, whose career as a psychology professor aids her in writing characters with depth, and insight into their mental health issues. Growing up with sisters of her own, Christina feels drawn to stories about families, both broken and blessed. Read on to learn more about this Southern Christian Mama, whose dream of writing became a reality.

Welcome, Christina! I’m thankful for this opportunity to interview you and get to know you better. Why don’t you start off by telling us something your readers don’t already know about you?
This is very hard because I feel like I put myself out there on the page, if anyone recognizes the details, so readers may know a lot. But let’s choose, when I was growing up, my sisters and I roamed this Virginia mountain where we chased wild horses and climbed rocks and sucked on persimmons, half the time out of season. The last is not a good experience, if you’ve ever made that mistake.

While the persimmons might have not been pleasant, it sounds like you have good memories of your family. How would you describe yourself?
Southern Christian Mama

What was your favorite book when you were a kid? Did it play any part in your writing style today?
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott, one of her lesser-known works. And yes, it does play a small role in my writing because the romance and the tragedy (okay, maybe that was in the follow-up book), but the nerd got the girl.

Have you always wanted to be a writer then?
Since I could write—so about since third grade.

What book is currently on your bedside table?
A Measure of Mercy by Lauraine Snelling

I’ve read that one and loved it! Are there other books or authors that have influenced your own writing?
Karen Kingsbury and Rachel Hauck are the Christian contemporary authors whose work has influenced me. Eloisa James is my mentor; someone I’ve worked with over the years and a dear friend.

Is writing your full-time career? Or would you like it to be?
Writing is not my full-time career—I wish it could be. Instead, I am a tenured professor of psychology. My day job helps me write characters with depth and problems, just like real humans.

A professor of psychology? That sounds fascinating, and I can see how it would be useful when crafting characters. Tell us about your first published book. What was that journey like?
On June 6, 2019, I saw a call for a Christmas novella due by the end of the month. I’d been writing off and on my whole life, so I had the experience and background. Then, I sat down and wrote the book in three-and-a-half weeks. When I received the news that the book was accepted, I reached a goal of a lifetime. Mind you, I’d been writing and submitting to publishers for over a decade.

Three-and-a-half weeks! That’s amazing, even for something with experience. When you’re planning a new book, what comes first for you — the plot or the characters?
Stories tend to come to me in dreams or daydreams like segments of movies—so both the characters and the beginnings of a plot come at the same time. After I start with that scene, I then create a storyboard and work out the characters’ GMC. (Note: GMC stands for Goal, Motivation, Conflict)

Let’s talk about your new book, Why They Call It Falling. What can you tell the readers about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
Haley is back. She’s a little four-year-old that’s in the previous books and as, one reviewer stated, you will want to pull that little girl out of the pages and squeeze her cheeks.

I love child characters! Personally, I think they add so much humor and heart to a story. Do one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart?
I love both my hero and heroine equally, which is a good thing since in my first published book (that one written so quickly), the hero might have been less well developed. In this book, Justin becomes a real hero to me in all senses of the word by the end of the book.

What was a key challenge you faced when writing this book?
The heroine, Emma, suffers from clinical depression but denies the problem. I needed to address the issue with sensitivity and face the struggles—and dangers—that arise with loved ones when depression cripples one person.

Wow! Mental health, until recently, was something not discussed enough in Christian fiction. It’s wonderful that you are using your knowledge and work experience to address these sticky issues. What was the highlight of writing this book?
The marriage proposal. To me, the proposal is one of the most romantic ever because it’s an anti-proposal—not fancy, just deep-felt love.

Before we end the interview, do you have any current or upcoming projects you’d like to tell us about?
I don’t have release dates, but I have several more in the works. Hope of Hatteras, a follow-up to Christmas on Ocracoke, is a challenging and hopeful story of a girl suffering from anorexia and a young man fighting his family’s reputation in the Outer Banks off North Carolina.
Gina Holder is an indie author and stay-at-home mom. She’s had an infatuation with books for as long as she can remember. She loves sharing uplifting messages from God’s Word and introducing readers to new and new-to-them authors on her blog at When she’s not writing, Gina enjoys playing the piano, cooking, reading, watching Hallmark mysteries, and solving “escape room” puzzles. She’s been a member of ACFW for several years, and loves growing in her craft as an author. She published her debut novel in 2017. Gina lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter.

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