Cristy Rey

What was the first book you ever wrote and what inspired you?
I wrote a memoir, almost a full-length, fully completed book back in 2004 called Atari and the Twenty-something Year-old Itch (or Boyfriend Not Included). I’d written a lot before then. I’ve always been a writer, but this is was the first closest to fully-realized work that I’d almost completed. It was about my dating life which, at the time and for years after that, is one tragi-comedy after another. Atari, in the title, is the nickname I gave to a guy in the last college course I ever took for my Bachelor’s, a short fiction writing class. I nicknamed all the classmates. It’s actually a pretty hilarious book. My imagination is right on those pages and it’s non-fiction, which is the best part. If anyone asks (and they do), “Is this really what’s going on in your head?” the answer is an unequivocal, totally honest, “Yes, obviously. It’s non-fiction, real-time, memoir.” Maybe I’ll put it out one day.

My friend, Jennie, and I used to talk about turning it into a graphic novel or a comics series where she would draw and ink it and I would just write the words and story. She drew some amazing comics of us. This was right up her alley. We never did and, I think, a part of that was that I was writing it in real-time. I wrote then as I write now: marathoning. But, on that subject in particular, I was pretty active. I had a buzzing social life that made its way onto the pages by necessity but required me to actually live it in order to have material to write. It became a part of me and, in a way, it burned me out and, by extension, burned itself out. It’s tough staying out till 5 a.m., going to work full-time, then writing for hours and hours on end, and then going out all over again. I needed time to sleep!

Can you tell us about your work including titles and share your amazon links?
Weeping Angels is an intense romantic story about the love of sisters, the tragedy of alcoholism and depression, identity crises, and coming to terms with loss of different kinds, loss of loved ones and loss of our past, of the people we used to be and of the people we used to want to be. At the core are two stories: the death of young woman and the budding relationship of two people who are brought together solely and serendipitously by her death. While it is fiction, it is a real story. It is a true one, though it is not a factual one. It is not a conventional romance. It’s romantic, but it’s more than that.

Buy Links
Barnes & Noble

What drew you into the romance genre?
I don’t write romance, I write romantic stories. But I know what you mean. I’ve always found romance, as a genre, to be limited by very constrictive conventions. But it’s so comforting and, when done right, it can be so entertaining and titillating. It’s great escapism. In it’s own way, it’s fantasy. I mean, it’s not high fantasy or urban fantasy or any of that, but it is a fantasy. I like that about romance. I like romantic movies and movies that aren’t romantic but have romantic subplots. For as cynical and pragmatic as I am, I’m incredibly drawn to those stories. Interpersonal connections, intimacy, building trust, conflicts of personality…those are interesting to me. Again, when done right, it can be funny, sad, suspenseful, comforting…it can be all the things!

Is romance your favorite genre to read as well as write?
Like in the above comment, romantic stories: yes. I like romance in everything. It’s a daydreamer’s delight, as far as I’m concerned. Give me a compelling enough story and I’m there with you 100%. As far as the genre in general, there are times when I just need romance. Straight up trope-heavy, HEA, ridiculously unrealistic situations and characters, etc. It’s like a soap opera you can’t get enough of.

Can you tell me something about yourself that may surprise your readers?

I always say that I’m a boring old knitting cat lady. That’s true. I mean, it’s a part of me. I guess what might be surprising is that, in spite of it and probably even because of it, I legitimately hang out with legitimate rock stars. I am not ashamed to admit that, in a lot of ways, I live a totally enviable life. And, most of the time, I’m just a boring old knitting cat lady librarian. Three cheers to contradictions!

Are you excited to be a part of the upcoming Ropin Romance event?
I am. I love being exposed to new readers and, considering that for most of the authors on the roster, I am also a new reader, I get to enjoy it on two totally different, totally satisfying levels.

What do you to help with writers block?
I don’t really get writer’s block. I mean, I get stalled in work not because I “can’t” write, but because I’m distracted. I’m working on something else. I’m at work. I’m really into a TV show and I’m marathoning ten seasons of it. Whatever it is. I always tell people that the only way to be creative is to indulge in the creative so, as far as advice goes, I suggest diving headfirst into something that you can get really “into” and just geek out about that. When you’re ready to come back to work, you’ll have a whole host of other experiences and new thoughts to draw from.

If you had to choose three words to describe what type of writer you are what would they be?
Riot grrrl romantic.

What is your author pen name and do you have more than one?
This is the only name I write under. Maybe, one day, I’ll choose to go in a totally different direction but, for now, it’s hard enough to keep up with just Cristy Rey…even for Cristy Rey.

If you had to pick a favorite author who would it be?
Ah, the impossible question sneaks up on me again! I have too many. Too too many. I’m a lifelong reader. Everytime I make a discovery, I get so enthusiastic about it, that it immediately becomes “my favorite of all time.” But, I’ll tell you what. The closest thing to accurate I can answer is Neil Gaiman.

Since many of the readers that will be seeing this interview and participating in the takeover will be new fans. If you had to describe your writing style and books in a single sentence what would it be?
I always say that I write the books Jane Austen would have written if she had been a riot grrrl.

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