Inside the literary mind of author C.J. Peterson

Reading was always my way of escaping, as is writing. Writing, however, allows me to be in control of the story and how it ends.

Roxanne Burkey, one half of the writing team that produces the highly successful Enigma Series, recently featured an interview by author C.J. Peterson about her writing, and she has allowed us to reproduce the interview.

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I get tickled when I have the chance to speak to an award-winning author. C.J. Peterson is my special guest today. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as me.

Thank you, C.J. for taking the time to be with me. Not only are your books page-turners, but the story of your journey is inspiring. Let’s talk about you!

How did you get started writing and publishing novels?

I’ve always written, but publishing is another story. I mostly wrote for myself over the years. However, when I met my husband and read one of the books to him, he encouraged me to publish the books.

After a lot of research, I had difficulty finding a publishing company that fit my books. So, I decided to go the Indie route.

Since then, my sister and I have started our own publishing company – Texas Sisters Press. I guess you could say that my writing/publishing career has gone full circle!

C. J. Peterson

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about many things. They include obviously writing, people, bees, and photography. I love photography because it allows me to capture an image, frozen in time. My favorites are capturing people when they don’t know I’m taking their picture. I also enjoy taking eye-catching landscapes!

As for writing, as I said above, I’ve always been a writer. Reading was always my way of escaping, as is writing. Writing, however, allows me to be in control of the story and how it ends. That’s the thrill of writing for me. I’m what’s known as a ‘pantser.’ I write by the seat of my pants. Honestly, I sit down, pray, and type. I never know how the story will end when I start it. I don’t even have a clue as to the direction the story will go. I love that about writing!

As for people. People are similar at their core. It’s their experiences which make them who they are. Whether the experiences are good or not, those experiences are what shapes them. I love talking to people and listening to their stories. I find people absolutely fascinating.

Bees are another passion of mine. Bees help the environment and have many different benefits. They pollinate many of the foods we eat each day. As a matter of fact, if the bees die, the planet will die within four years. Bees also produce wax, propolis, royal jelly, and of course, honey!! All of these products are used in daily life. Raw honey also has many health benefits! I could go on all day!

What interests you outside of writing?

My husband and I own an apiary. Many of those benefits are described above. We are in the process of collecting melted wax, where I’ll make balms and candles out of it. We currently have eleven hives and hope to add to them each year.

We also love to travel! We have two little guys (a stuffed koala and monkey) who travel with us. I know this may sound strange, but the little guys are known as Chief and Sarge. They have their real-life adventures on social media for kids to enjoy. We also just launched their first children’s book!

How many hours a day do you put into your writing?

That depends on the day. There are days where I write for eight to ten hours. Then, there are days where I don’t write at all. I’m not one of those who feel guilty about not writing every day. There are many projects I handle every day. Whether it’s the bees, writing my blog, recording my podcast, or working on the myriad of other projects I enjoy, or even just taking some me time, I know my writing will get done on time.

Do you read your book reviews?

Sometimes I read them. When each book comes out, I look for constructive points in the reviews, as well as those who enjoyed the books. The constructive ones, I take notes. For those who enjoyed them, I keep them for those days where I feel like the most horrible writer in the world. The words in those reviews encourage me to keep writing. As for those negative reviews, well, the books weren’t written for that person. Not every book is for every person.

Do you leave hidden messages in your books that only a few people will find? 

Always! Those who need those messages, or those who those messages are for, find them, and contact me when they do. I love it when they do too! I thoroughly enjoy hearing from readers.

Which of the characters that you created is your favorite and why?

Well, there are many characters over the years that I have enjoyed. Picking just one is like picking a favorite child. Each one created, I hold close to my heart for different reasons – including the bad guys.

Can you tell me a little bit about your next book and when it will be available?

I’m currently working on three books at the same time. The next one coming out is a rewrite of my very first published book – Strength From Within. I hope to have it available in the fall for release.

In the current books released, the characters crossover storylines within the series. Strength From Within is the story of Stacey Spencer. Stacey comes into play in the Grace Restored Series at the end of book 1 – Seasons of Change. Her story is finished in book 3, Spring Shadows.

Here is the Summary for Strength From Within:

Pine Crest was a quiet little Ohio town, just outside of Cleveland. To the outside world, it seemed to function as any other small town. However, upon closer inspection, Stacey and her father, Sam Spencer, discovered the dangerous secret that was this town’s reality. Corruption had such a massive stronghold that survival seemed to be the way of life.

Asserting her normal independent attitude in this new environment as the new kid in town could find Stacey in trouble. However, the strength inside her forces her not to back down.  Once Sam figures out what is going on, he cannot turn a blind eye to it either. By fighting back, can Spencer’s help free this town from its bonds? Will it ignite a spark of hope or an all-out war? What would you do if your town was held captive? Would you comply   or would you fight back?

Isaiah 40:31: But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Can you tell me a little bit about the characters and how you have gotten traction with them?

My characters face many things through their books. Whether it’s Casey Carter in her firefighting world, or Katie MacKenna overcoming her domestic violence past to become a strong, independent young lady, or Stacey Spencer standing up against powerful people in the new town they moved to in order to help everyone in their town…they all have a strength within them that they never knew they had until they needed it.

The characters also are real. They trip, stumble, and fall flat on their face in life, but with the help of God’s Words, and those He surrounded them with in life, they come through stronger than ever.

Please click HERE to find C.J. Peterson and her books on Amazon.

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  • Kelly Marshall

    C.J. Peterson sounds like she enjoys life to the hilt. I love the fact that she as an aviary. I can see she is like most writers who were first readers and transitioned into writing the book “their” way. Great interview. There is a lot of substance in this article.

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