Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
Since this is for a Christmas in July series of posts it is okay to do a Christmasy question, right? We’re going with yes … So, what is your favorite Christmas tradition?
I’d have to say, “tree night.” The Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving (it all depends on if the tree people are here yet) the whole family goes down to a little tree lot down the street and we begin the great tree quest. Some years, we just walk up and I know in a glance which one will win the arguments.
Oh, yes. There are arguments. #4daughter and #2son make sure it happens. She’s on a mission to get the best tree ever—one that’ll last until next June. He, on the other hand, is on a mission to get her riled up so she fights for her tree. Therefore, he picks another one and rallies troops behind him to go to battle.
She usually wins. And because she fights to the death, so does he.
Do you have a least favorite character that readers love?
Well… we all love to hate Chuck Majors. Does that count? The guy is a total jerk… but under that jerkiness there’s a good guy hiding, desperate to be liked. And that’s kind of the problem, you know. There was always that kid at school who no one liked, and usually it was because he or she (usually a he, I noticed) tried too hard. That’s Chuck.
Fun aside, Chuck really exists, and his name is really Chuck. His last name is not Majors, however. And the first time I met him, the guy who ended up becoming my husband almost slugged him. Right there in the sanctuary at church.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
I always give a different answer to this one. Today it’s what I learn that grows my own walk with Jesus. I spend hours studying the Word, looking at how it can apply and not apply in ways people think it does. By the time my characters get through their situations, they learn things that teach me, too.
Of your Christmas books which would you say is the most enjoyable?
Okay, so that’s a loaded question. It depends on what you’re looking for. If you want light and fluffy, well… I’d say 31 Kisses. Still, my personal favorite is probably The Matchmakers of Holly Circle. However, last year’s Christmas on Breakers Point had the best reviews and reception of any Christmas book I’ve ever written. It’s funny. People said over and over how they didn’t expect it to deal with death. Um… the first two lines of the description point out that it is about a man’s last Christmas.
Still, it’s not a morbid book. It’s full of love, laughter, and what Christmas is really all about. And, it kicks off a series of books about the fictional Independence Islands off the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. In fact, my first book in that actual series, Dual Power of Convenience, comes out at the end of this month!
If you lost your memory do you think you would still write?
Well, if you take Ella’s experience in None So Blind, it could be a total no. She struggled to do things she used to. But… that was because of how or why she lost her memory. Well… I think that probably would play into it. Oh, dear. I answer like an author. “Well, if we go this route…”
I’ll say this. As long as my personality didn’t change, I think I’d still write. The curious question for me is if I’d write some of the same stories again or not. Hmmm…
Can/Do you listen to music while writing?
I do sometimes. It can’t have words, though. If there are words, I sing. If I sing, I don’t write. Not exactly a good way to ensure productivity!
What I listen to depends on what I’m writing. I subscribe to focusatwill.com and have their acoustic track set for most writing. I put it on twenty-minute cycles and get up and walk around for five minutes at the end of each segment. This keeps me moving and helps me take a moment to think about what I’ll write next. I’ve kind of become Pavlovian about that service. I hear their music, and my brain says, “Time to write.”
However, some books/series have their own “soundtracks” in my mind. The Madeline Mysteries, for example, have a ragtime playlist on YouTube that I listen to. It’s some competition from 2012 or something, but I love it.
I have to add this question — the Agency Files is my favorite series of all time — Is the series nearly over? How many books do you plan to write if it isn’t over?
The Agency Files is both almost over and never going to be over at the same time. So, the current thread of Agency Files is almost over. This year Pointed Suspicion will release followed by Take Cover next year. However, then we’re going to either go to the West Coast Files or something I haven’t named yet that shows how the agency got started. This’ll both show Mark starting his agency and then when Keith is brought in. I just don’t know which one to do first. 😀
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I am so excited for Havig’s books coming out this year!
Have you read any of Chautona Havig’s books yet or are you going to grab your first now!?