How did you come to be a writer?
I had to write a story in 5th grade for a statewide test. I wrote this vivid shipwreck story. I still remember the day my teacher called me up. His mouth was hanging open. He held the paper up and said; “this is amazing”. To me, however, it wasn’t work the way that my peers had seen it but rather, fun. From that moment on, I began writing story after story in my room about imaginary worlds.
That said; as an adult, it has been a journey into finding the confidence to put my work out there to the public. One of my critique partners, a dear friend, and brilliant author said to me; “I’m going to give you a kick in the pants. It’s time you publish all this great work you have.” So, I am.
Your memoir is very honest and engaging. What did you draw from to share your personal story?
Actually, Uninterrupted Joy never started out as a memoir. I began journaling so that my future child or children would understand what my experience to bring them into this world was like. When I learned I was infertile, I had a million questions for my mom about her reproductive years and she really didn’t have any information for me. I remember thinking that I wanted some kind of document so that my children could not only learn from, but share in the experience that went into bringing them into this world. My intent in writing changed upon my son’s birth when I learned he had Down syndrome.
What were your goals in sharing your experiences?
Oftentimes, moms and dads of children with special needs are put on this pedestal and made to feel saintlike. I remember when my son was born, crying. A lot. And so many people made me feel guilty for crying and being angry and afraid. I wanted to share my experience so people realize that it’s okay to feel those sentiments; that most (if not all of us) have been there--but the important thing is to not get dragged down in despair. You have to dig deep within yourself and find purpose and determination to give your child every imaginable opportunity.
What kinds of things do you consider your best supports in writing this book and others?
My husband is the key support that allows me to even sit down and write. Being a full time teacher and mother, there would be no time in the world for me to pursue my dream as a writer unless my husband allowed me to do so. He has become the full-time cook and household cleaner just so I can write. And there are so many times when he’ll send me away for a night to a hotel so I can do nothing but write, eat, and sleep.
Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them?
I had made the decision to publish Uninterrupted Joy several years ago…but things held me back from doing so. The memoir is a very candid look into my personal life and my relationship with friends and family members. For a long time, part of me balked at sharing such intimate details. I began blogging over at Lady Scribes where I freely wrote about my fertility struggles and the joy in raising my son, so gradually, I began to feel more comfortable in sharing the part of my life that is represented in Uninterrupted Joy.
What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
Not to sound cliché (which means I’m about to be cliché), I look back at my journey to motherhood and marvel at my evolution as a woman. Before I was pregnant, I believe there was an element of naivete that went with my dreams of being a mother. I imagined it wouldn’t be hard. Silly, I know, right? But when the struggle to become pregnant is so hard, you can’t imagine anything being more difficult.
What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world, and about people in general?
The memoir really forced me to look at myself and the person I was. It highlighted a great deal about my strengths, my weaknesses, and my relationship with others. It is hard to have to confront the reality that before my son, I was not nearly as good a person as I thought I was. That is probably one of the hardest things for me as a mother to a child with special needs.
What are you working on now?
My usual genre is historical romance set in the Regency time period. Believe it or not, I’m working on two full length novels both belonging to different series. I feel like it’s wrong of me to admit that! The first series I’m working on is The Broken Betrothal Series. Book 1; Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride will be released in February.
In addition to that series, I’m working on book 2 in my Brethren of the Lord Series which is kind of a Jane Austen meets Bourne Supremacy. Book 1, Mistress of Deception is complete and I’m nearly finished with Book 2…which is as of now, untitled!
What is one thing about yourself people would be surprised to learn?
Hmm…after writing Uninterrupted Joy, I kind of feel like I’m an open book! LOL Sorry for the poor, intended pun. Since the year I concluded my memoir, I underwent eight more rounds of fertility treatments and am now miraculously pregnant on my tenth and final IVF cycle. I’m having two little girls who have been giving me a whole lot of trouble already!
If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
My dream job has always been being a mother. I’ve been so blessed to finally be a mother…that if I wasn’t a writer, there is nothing else in the world I would rather do than be home with my child and future children.
CHRISTI CALDWELL blames Judith McNaught's "Whitney, My Love!" for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and pick up her laptop to try her hand at romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections, and she rather enjoys torturing them before crafting them a well deserved happily ever after!
Christi makes her home in southern Connecticut where she spends her time writing her own enchanting historical romances, teaching history, and being a full-time wife and mother!
You can find Christi at:
Memoir: My Journey through Infertility, Pregnancy, and Special Needs
-- January 2014
Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride
-- February/March 2014
Links to buy Christi's current work:
A Season of Hope --Regency Christmas Novella
Winning a Lady’s Heart (A Danby novella) -- Available Now
Author's Note: This is a novella that was originally available in A Summons From The Castle (The Regency Christmas Summons Collection). It is being published as an individual novella.