The MuseItUp September MG/YA blog-a-thon is continuing and today’s guest is Christine Verstraete. Christine, http://cverstraete.com, is an award-winning journalist and author published in fiction and nonfiction. She loves writing short horror as in her eBooks, "Motherly Love" and "The Killer Valentine Ball." Her recent short stories were published in DAW Books anthologies such as the latest, Hot & Steamy: Tales of Steampunk Romance. She also is author of a nonfiction book on miniatures, IN MINIATURE STYLE II, and a children's mystery, SEARCHING FOR A STARRY NIGHT, A MINIATURE ART MYSTERY. All books are linked at my website (above) or blog, http://candidcanine.blogspot.com.

Welcome Christine. Can you tell your readers something interesting about yourself AND/OR your favorite character.

Hi C.K. Thanks for having me here. My favorite characters usually have four legs and bark, though I do enjoy writing the human kind as well. My most unique talent may be that I enjoy creating, collecting and writing about dollhouses and miniatures.

That’s funny that your favorite characters bark. J And even though I’m too old to play with dolls, I still love dollhouses. So now, what was your favorite book as a teen? Tell us about it and how it affected you as a person.

I don't remember an exact favorite as a teen, but my all-time favorites were "Misty of Chincoteague" and the whole slew of horse books. I always loved animals, but like many kids, I adored horses. I was lucky enough to later have a grey Appaloosa for a while as an adult.

Tell us about the genre you have chosen to write in. Why do you enjoy writing it?

I seem to gravitate towards humor and horror, sometimes even daring to cross the two a bit as I did in my eBook, "The Killer Valentine Ball." Horror, after all, can be kind of funny sometimes in a weird sort of way. (Buy: Kindle, http://tinyurl.com/3pu8hu2  - or Muse Bookstore, http://tinyurl.com/647pn87)

That is a great mix to write both humor and horror…together! Tell us about your new book. How did it come about and share your favorite excerpt/scene.

My latest is my nonfiction book, IN MINIATURE STYLE II, which contains profiles of different collectors, how to-projects contributed by them and myself, and photos of mine and their collections. It was fun expanding on the original eBook and adding new projects. It is available in various eBook formats and print. (See author page - http://www.writers-exchange.com/In-Miniature-Style-II.html - for PDF and link to print.)

Thanks for the link. How has writing affected your life? And what’s your favorite part of being a writer?

Being a journalist, I've been involved with newspapers since junior college and continue to freelance for a daily and write in other media. I love fiction, but I guess newspaper is in my blood, so for me it's sad seeing papers having such a hard time these days.

What advice can you give regarding the writing process?

Write every day whether you feel like it or not. If one thing isn't working, then move on to something else. Writing is dedication. I'd say even take a journalism course: great training on being brief and learning to meet deadlines. There are no excuses.

Regarding publication and marketing, what advice can you offer aspiring writers?

Keep at it. Be visible. Be active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Instead of just authors trying to sell to other authors, get involved in other lists and groups dedicated to other hobbies. Collectors often are readers too and may check out your books as long as you don't go overboard in promoting your work.

Good advice. How can your fans find, follow or friend you?

I'm updating my website and moving it, so hopefully there isn't a gap when it's offline but keep checking back – http://cverstraete.com

Check my blog: http://candidcanine.blogspot.com

Facebook, friend me: http://www.facebook.com/christine.verstraete

Thanks for joining us today, Christine. Your book sounds wonderful and I’m definitely going to have to check it out. And thanks to all our readers for stopping by.

C.K. Volnek