As Seen Through My Specs

brokenWe are so excited to host our first interview here on As Seen Through My Specs, we have the amazing new author Christa Cervone with us, she’s a fellow New Englander, and as well as being a fellow author and University employee, she’s also an Adam Levine lover which makes her aces in my book.  Christa was kind enough to sit down (virtually) with us to talk about her new book, some upcoming projects, the incomparable Minsky and how she partied like a rock star to celebrate. (Review of Broken)

MG: Hi Christa, first off thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us here at As Seen… We’re excited to have you as our first author interview. And congratulations on all the success of the book.

CC: Thank You! The honor is all mine.

MG: As of this morning your book was ranked #225 Paid in Kindle Store, #12 in Erotica, #12 in Kindle Store Erotica, and #95 in Romance. Did you have any idea, even with the hype surrounding the book’s release, that it would become so popular?

CC: Absolutely not. I am blown away.

MG: Tell us a little about you when you aren’t the author of a crazy popular swiftly selling novel who is Christa?

CC: I am a married mom of three. I am a soccer and boxing mom. I work full time at a local university where I also attend. I returned to school last summer to complete my Bachelor’s Degree. I also have a photography business. Yah, my life is insane.

MG: Sounds like there is never a dull moment, how’d you find the time to write a book? How long do you think start to finish it took you to get from conception to the book out now?

CC: I stayed up really late many nights. There were nights where I will still be up when my husband was getting ready to go to work. I lived on 3 to 4 hours of sleep. It took me from Columbus Day Week to mid-January to write Broken.

MG: I think it’s really awesome that your husband has been so supportive of you!

CC: Yes, my husband is truly amazing!

MG: So did you go the self-publishing route, or are you working with a publishing house/group?

CC: I self-published Broken.

MG: What challenges and freedoms came with self-publishing and what surprised you the most in the process?

CC: I actually thought self-publishing was very simple. Being friends with authors was definitely helpful. I asked a lot of questions.

MG: I have to tell you I really loved your book, I read a LOT of books and the story was so well done, it was engaging from the outset and I really enjoyed the way you kept things moving, and kept me “turning the pages”. I felt like Leila and Garrett were realistic characters, everyday kind of people.

CC: Thank you. I tried to make characters that people can relate to. I love reading about the wealthy. But after a while it seems like all the same thing. I wanted to write something different.

MG: I agree, the rich kinky dude virginal young girl has been beaten to death!

Should we expect to see another book from you? Do you have any projects that you’re working on now that you can talk to us about?

CC: Yes. I have started writing “Going the Distance” It will be told from the man’s POV. His name is Gabriel “The Saint” Sullivan. I will be doing the same thing like I did with Alex. Only this time I will be working with an Active Duty Marine Brian Telinda.

MG: Excellent, and I’m excited to hear that you are doing the next book from the male POV

CC: I had such a great time writing Garrett I thought why not.

MG: Are you planning a hard copy print run of Broken?

CC: Yes, at some point this month.

MG: You used social media to bring attention to your book. How important to your success do you think the use of Facebook and other platforms helped?

CC: Social Media is huge for Indie Authors. Indie Authors have a huge following on FB. I was one of the followers. LOL

MG: I’m an avid reader, well book addict really, I know FSoG got you started on the idea of writing and that through your love of reading you connected with Teresa Mummert (who I love by the way, even more so now that I know you are both also in love with Adam Levine).  Who are some your favorite authors and what are you currently reading/what’s on your TBR?

CC: I am currently reading Suicide Note by Teresa Mummert. I also have a Beta copy of Wanted by Kimberly Knight. Since I haven’t really read much I have a laundry list of books. I really want to read Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. I have two Sinner’s books to read by Olivia Cunning and I cannot wait for Gina Maxwell’s new book. I love fighter boys.  Oh and Walking Disaster too.

MG: I’m really looking forward to Suicide Note and Wanted, and let me tell you those Sinners books are amazeballs, I’m loving this whole rocker trope.

CC: Olivia can write her ass off.

MG: I know, I wish I had her level of skill.  Talk to us a little bit about how/why you involved everyone’s favorite war vet, modeling, internet sensation Alex Minsky?

CC: Well when I began writing Broken I wrote the Garrett who actually wasn’t Garrett he was a character named Zane. I think military men are extremely attractive and figured why not make the lead a Marine. So Zane was a military man I had this vision in my head of what Zane looked like. I found a guy on FB who fit the character perfectly. One thing led to another and he agreed to do my cover.

MG: What did Alex bring to your story?  How much of what you two talked about made it into the story and made Garrett the character he became?

CC: One night in December I saw a picture of Alex and thought WOW he would make a great cover model and I thought of him for “Going the Distance.” I messaged Alex and asked him if he would ever consider doing a book cover. He responded almost immediately saying yes.  I sent him an excerpt of Broken and he was game. So after Alex said yes. I got curious and Googled Alex. When I found out he was a Marine that changed everything.  I sent him a message back asking him if he would talk to me and if I could add his story to Broken. He again said yes. We set up an interview for the next day.

MG: Is he as wacky to talk to as he seems? He looks like he’s a hoot and a half…

CC: Alex is exactly who he is on FB. Which made my job really easy. There was no limit as to what I could ask him.

MG: I can only imagine how that conversation went…ah to be a fly on that wall LOL

CC: Yeah, it was pretty funny

MG: Garrett talks a lot about the tattooing as a form of release from pain for him, was that Alex’s experience?

CC: No, that was written before Alex.

MG: You talked about using Alex as your cover model, how amazing was that experience? And how long did you spend working together to get the amazing photo that became your cover?

CC: My entire experience going to LA was amazing. Not only did I get to meet Alex. I got to meet some amazing ladies I met on Facebook. My trip started out as a trip from hell. I got stuck in Dallas after my plane had issues. I was supposed to arrive in LA on Friday night but I didn’t get there to Saturday Morning. It was a world wind trip. I was there for about 30 hours.

MG: Can you tell us a little bit about the beauty he’s snuggling on the cover?

CC: Her name is Brittany Marie Flores. Alex found her for me. She was a sweetheart and really fit Leila. She and I both share a love for Disney. I told her that if my book makes a lot of money I will personally take her to Walt Disney World. LOL

MG: I love the 70’s style orange over exposure on the cover photo, how did you end up with that?

CC: That is all the work of my amazing graphic designer, Todd M. LeMieux. I gave him four pictures and told him to do his thing and he ROCKED it! I am in love with my cover.

MG: Even in the e-book world covers are important, he did a great job!

Is there any part of you incorporated into your characters; are you somewhere in Leila or Nicole?

CC: Nicole is a real life person. How she and Leila met in the book is exactly how she and I met. Leila has a lot of me in her.  A lot of the characters in Broken are my real life friends.

MG: That’s really nice!  What did you do to celebrate your success?

CC: I went out last night with Nicole and Hillary to On the Border. I had a few margaritas and a couple shots. I did a tequila shot with my husband. I had to honor Leila last night. I also got to meet two local fans that I met on Facebook.

MG:Sounds like fun was had by all…  Are you hoping to make writing a full time gig?

CC: Most likely not. But you never know.

MG: I suppose it’s the dream for all of us who write.  As a final question what suggestions or advice do you have for those of us out there thinking about writing a book, or getting ready to go the self-publishing route?

CC: For me I had a handful of people who read my book while I was writing it. I really appreciated their feedback. They would tell me what they liked and didn’t like. I had to grow a thick skin. And just write. Get it all out. I was consumed by Broken. I couldn’t get the story out of my head.

MG: I know the feeling, my book is based on how my husband and I met and started our relationship, it’s my baby, but also this crazy all-consuming fire at the same time, it’s a little love/hate right now LOL

Christa: That is how mine started; how Leila and Garrett met is exactly how my husband and I met.

MG: You’ve been amazing!  Thank you so much for your time Christa, we’re so excited that you agreed to be part of our first author interview. Congratulations on all your success so far, and our best wishes that all your future endeavors will be just as successful and we’ll have plenty of your books to review!

CC: Thank you for having me. It has been great!

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So after I finished my interview with Christa I sent a message to Alex Minsky asking if he could say a few words about his experience working with Christa and Broken.  Quite frankly I wasn’t sure I’d hear back from him, he’s crazy insane popular these days and I’m sure everyone wants a piece of him, but you know, if you don’t try things nothing will ever happen.

Well Alex shocked the crap out of me and sent a message back right away; I mean seriously I couldn’t get a pizza as quickly as I got a response from him.  He’s a sweet kid and seems to be managing his instant fame well.  Plus he was incredibly polite, when he wasn’t being cheeky, and called me ma’am (which made me feel old but I’ll move past that).

In typical Alex style he had this to say, “It was flipping awesome working with her! She’s one hott tamale. And the cover was real fun, I had a boner the whole time ;P”

So many thanks to Christa, and Alex, for being a part of As Seen’s… first of what I hope to be many interviews.

The story of how Leila and Garrett met is based on how Christa met her husband, the book I’m currently writing is also based on how I met *my* husband.  As part of the review and interview we’re giving away 2 copies of Broken, a digital copy from the e-book seller of your choice, and once the paper back is available we’ll also have a signed copy to give away. 

How do you win?  Leave a message in the comment section below about how you met your special someone, or share the neat origin story of someone you know.  We’ll select two winners on March 15. 

13 Responses so far.

  1. rosie says:

    The first time I saw my husband I nearly melted. It was instant attraction for both of us. Here we are 26 years later still in love. We have 4 children together. We are very Blessed!

  2. Stephanie says:

    My husband and I met during trade school for the Marine Corps. We had class together all day. I thought he was such a teacher’s pet and such a know it all! That all changed when a big group of us went out for a night on the town. We totally clicked and the next morning I stopped by his barrack’s room to invite him to eat breakfast with me. We were pretty much inseparable after that. Well, except for when he got deployed to Iraq and then I left a month later. The day after I got back from Iraq we got married! We’ll be celebrating our 10 year marriage anniversary this year!

    • Melanie says:

      Hi Stephanie, Congrats you are one of the winners! If you could contact me at [email protected] with your contact information, we can send along your copy.

      Many thanks for visiting As Seen Through My Specs and sharing your story with us!

      Melanie

  3. Annah says:

    My boyfriend and I are high school sweathearts! We’ve been best friends since 8th grade and finally got together senior year. It’s been 5 fabulous years!

  4. Diana Sears says:

    Great interview. Looking for broken. Now.

  5. Andie Wardlow says:

    I met my bf when i was 19. My friend Jackie cane to pick me up from work and when i went to get in the car this really cute skater pink got out of the front seat to let me sit there. It was really sweet and i made a big deal saying he didn’t have to but he insisted. So on the ride home i hate to admit i smoke, but i lot a cig up and was talking and i went to ash it out the window and it sparked inside the car! And Joshua was like Oh my god my eye! I burnt his eye! So embarrassing!!! Of course i start apologizing, feel super terrible. And he’s like its ok don’t feel bad and is comforting me. Fast forward 6 months and Joshua finally tells me he likes me more than a friend, and that he always has and that the night we met he had just broke up with his girl and he didn’t want to rush and me be the rebound girl. All very sweet just as i was giving up hope. Anywho about a year after we stay dating Josh is talking to a buddy telling him how w met and about how the her tricked me because i didn’t burn his eye with the cigarette ash!!! I asked him why he did it and he said he was setting his hook!!! I guess he set it well we’ve been together 15 years.
    [email protected]

    • Melanie says:

      Hi Andie,

      Congrats you are one of the winners in the contest. I’ve sent email to the address you’ve provided. Please let me know how to get your prize to you.

      Many thanks for reading As Seen… and for sharing your love story.

      Melanie

  6. Judith Hill says:

    I’m a lifelong single myself, but one of my best friends was in the Marines. While stationed in Hawaii, she hopped a helicopter to fly over to Oahu, and since her headset didn’t work she pinched the butt of the Marine helo’s crew chief to get his attention. They were married less than 2 months later, have 3 kids, and now 4 grand-kids. Semper fi!

  7. Dawn Bush says:

    How I Met My Husband…
    Goofy girls, teenage boys! It was my junior year of HS…I was out with friends driving home from a school sporting event. My friend noticed a car of boys (from a different HS) who she knew. We decided to follow them! They pulled into the local McDs and proceeded to park. Thinking they were going to grab a bite, we followed behind to look for parking space…BUT, when the boys jumped out they didn’t head inside…the walked over to a fence in the back of the lot and used the “green latrine”… Talk about a “deer in headlights”! We pulled up behind them and “brightened” their world! Lol! After they did their business…my friend introduced all of us. For me, it was literally love at first sight. I knew I was meant to be with him. That was 26 years ago! Almost 18 years of marriage and 3 kids later, we are still together!

  8. Nicoleta D. says:

    I met my husband via Internet 16 years ago when this way of meeting people was still taboo in a way and people were judging you. I was in Romania at the time and he had been living in Canada for ten months then. He is originally from Romania, too, but we never meet in our home county before. We met on-line and got to know each other that way before I came to join him in Canada. Fast forward 16 years and we’ve been happly married for all this time and have two beautiful boys, 7 and 5.

    Thank you for this contest! It’s a fun one 🙂

  9. Melanie says:

    Wow, great stories! Keep them coming everyone, I love learning how people met their true love…

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