Monday, May 12, 2008

Meet Christy Barritt - Interview & Book Giveaway

Christy BarrittToday I’m pleased to welcome author Christy Barritt. Her latest book, Suspicious Minds, is the second in the Squeaky Clean Mystery series. Let’s meet Christy!


Christy Barritt is a freelance writer, author and speaker. Her newest book, Suspicious Minds (Kregel, 2008) is a lighthearted mystery about a sassy crime-scene cleaner who likes to stick her nose into police business. The first book in the series was Hazardous Duty, a finalist in the ACFW Book of the Year contest. She’s also the co-author of Changed: True Stories of Finding God in Christian Music (Standard, 2005).

Christy enjoys teaching and speaking at various functions, from writers groups to women’s luncheons. She has a passion for sharing the truths and lessons that she’s learned throughout her life. For two years, she was an assistant editor at Standard Publishing. When her father became ill, she moved home to be closer to him. The move propelled her back to her first love—writing—and she hasn’t stopped since.

She’s married to Scott, a teacher and funny man extraordinaire. They have one son, Eli Samuel, and two dogs, Duchess and Benji. When Christy’s not writing, she enjoys having coffee with friends, taking crazy road trips that usually involve no maps and flipping coins, and making her 24-month-old son giggle


JA: Your new book is Suspicious Minds. Please tell us about it.
CB: In Suspicious Minds, crime-scene cleaner Gabby St. Claire takes a mold remediation job to make ends meet. While in the crawlspace of a dilapidated old house, she finds Elvis—dead and still wearing his blue suede shoes! Gabby can’t resist sticking her nose into another investigation. Along the way, she tries to figure out her love life, her spiritual life and the wacky world of Elvis impersonators!

JA: How did you get the idea of incorporating a dead Elvis impersonator into this story?
CB: I’ve been writing for my local newspaper for five years now. One interview I did was with an Elvis impersonator (or, an Elvis Tribute Artist, as I was quickly informed) performing at a senior citizens’ center. I had no idea what to expect before I went. After I finished the interview (and I’ve had easier times getting interviews with senators than I did with this guy after his show), the president of his fan club came running after me as I walked to my car. She presented me with an autographed picture of him. I thought, this man has a fan club? The ideas spun from there.

JA: This is the second outing for heroine Gabby St. Claire. Are there certain challenges to keeping a character fresh and interesting when she’s the center of each book?
CB: Definitely. I have an overall character arc for the series and for each book. Gabby is such an interesting character, so complex in many ways, that it’s simply a matter of choosing which of her issues to deal with in each book! I actually loved writing about the same character—at this point, I know her so well that I instinctively know how she’ll react to a situation or how she thinks. Writing book number two was a lot of fun.

CB - Suspicious MindsJA: What do you hope people take away after reading Suspicious Minds?
CB: First of all, I hope they’re entertained and have a great time reading the book. I also want them to learn a little about themselves by learning about Gabby St. Claire, my protagonist. She struggles with questions of faith and issues of loneliness. I think we can all learn a little about those areas.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
CB: I’m writing the third book in the Squeaky Clean Mystery series. Gabby, of course, has to get into some more trouble! But she also explores her relationships… from friendships, to romance, to God. She has some unresolved issues from her past that she needs to lay to rest. And, of course, she has crime scenes to clean! I have a couple of other projects as some other publishers. We’ll see what happens there!

JA: What inspired you to write become a writer?
CB: I’ve always loved stories and I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a writer. I studied communications at college and worked at a publishing house after graduating. Today, I don’t just write books… I’m also a stringer for my local newspaper and a freelancer for a couple of magazines. I love to tell stories!

JA: Who are some of your favorite authors?
CB: Too many to name them all. But here are some of my favorites: Linda Hall, Siri Mitchell, Terri Blackstock and Mary Connealy.

JA: You’re a worship leader at your church and have written a book about finding God in Christian music. How has music, Christian and otherwise, impacted your life?
CB: Music has always acted as a soundtrack for my life. It ministers to me so deeply. I’m one of those people who constantly sings or hums or whistles. I often find that when I’m going through a tough time, God will place a song on my heart that ministers to me. I may not realize it at the time—I may just be singing absent-mindedly. But all at once I realize how the lyrics apply to what I’m going through.

JA: If you could pack up your family and take off for a fantasy vacation, what would be on the agenda?
CB: I’ve always wanted to go to Venice. On my agenda? Eating lots of good Italian food and riding down those streets of water!

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
CB: Just visit my website at

Thanks for visiting with us, Christy. May God continue to bless you in your writing journey!


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Suspicious MInds just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll combine the responses of my Blogger and ShoutLife blogs to pick a winner at random on May 19th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) ShoutLifers will be contacted via ShoutMail. Good luck!


windycindy said...

Happy Monday! I have just read another of her interviews and book review. I love the cover of her book. The story line sounds witty. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks,Cindi

Nora St. Laurent said...

Thanks for introducing me to Christy I haven't heard of her before. The interview was good and the book sounds intriguing. Please enter me into the contest.

Bethany said...

Love, love, love it!! I just had to laugh when I saw the cover after reading the story line and story about the Elvis impersonator! What a great title, and another great book. "Hazardous Duty" was fantastic, and I can't wait to read "Suspicious Minds". Please enter me.

jimmynmatthewsmom [at] gmail [dot] com

luv2read said...

Enter me in the contest. THis sounds like a good mystery read.

lollipops said...

I would love to win this book. I've read her first one and loved it.


vernetlh at yahoo dot com

Pamela J said...

Sounds like we have a couple things in common: Love of music and 'Vacation in Venice' dreams (only I have already been to Venice. when your dream happens, be sure and look up the artists along the water on decks, they make great charactures of people that could spur on book ideas)
The book sounds very fun and I'd like to be entered into the drawing. Thanks.
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I love the name of this book, and the series too! Please enter my name in the drawing. Thanks and God Bless! :o)
smile_y9 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Karin said...

Sounds interesting...Please enter me--thank you!

ChristyJan said...

Christy's Squeaky Clean Mystery series sound like fun reads. Please enter me to win a copy of Suspicious Minds.
From one Christy to another ~ I love taking road trips without maps also.

kamewh said...

Sounds like a very interesting book and the interview was great! Thank you for the giveaway!

Toystory said...

Mysteries are my favorite read...and this one sounds really interesting because when I was a kid - I had an older girlfriend who was "in love" with Elvis -- she had Elvis everything. I, a bit younger, had no interst at all ~~ till much later :)

Lucie said...

Ooooh, pick me! (Bright neon green flashing lights) Loved the interview with Christy and very interested in reading her book "Suspicious Minds". Thank you for the opportunity to win a book and for the interesting interview!


Lucie In CA (at) aol (dot) com

Brittanie said...

I loved her first one. Enter me please. :)
treewaterduchess at yahoo dot com

Beth said...

I enjoyed the interview and think the book sounds interesting. I'd love to read it. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks


tetewa said...

Sounds like a fun series, I'd like to be included!

stampedwithgrace said...

this sounds like a really fun read!
I'd love to win :)

Cheryl Shryack said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like a great one. Please enter me in the contest.

Mary Connealy said...

YAY! I made the list of 'favorites' of course Christy is probably afraid I've found out where she lives!!!! So she felt it best to include me. :)

I can't wait to get my hands on the book, Christy. It wasn't in the store yet last week so I ordered it. So don't include me in the drawing.
I loved Hazardous Duty.

Carole said...

I love mysteries and am thrilled to discover Christy's series. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Donna Moore said...

I am intrigued. I haven't read anything by Christy and would love to try this one. runninmama[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

Charlotte Schofield said...

Please enter me in the drawing! looks good!


Dee said...

This sounds like a fun book, thanks for the chance to win!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for reading my interview, everyone! I look forward to finding out who wins my book! God bless!

Christy Barritt

anne said...

WOnderful interview which I found fascinating. Your book sounds compelling. I enjoy mysteries.

Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed reading the interview. This book sounds like a wonderful mystery and I would love to get entered in the drawing to win the book.


Jennifer AlLee said...

OOOH, so many awesome ladies have stopped by! Christy's book is really causing a stir. I've gotta say, I love her concept. Whoever wins this giveaway is going to be one lucky lady!

Anonymous said...

Please enter me, I've read the first one and am looking forward to reading the sequel.

bookwurm70 [at] yahoo [dot] com


Anonymous said...

Hi! Great interview! I loved Christy Barritt's first mystery, and I cannot wait to read the next one! Please enter me into the drawing. Thanks!


traveler said...

Great to learn about this new author. Thanks for this special giveaway. Sounds wonderful.

petite said...

The interview was interesting and the book soulds delightful. Would enjoy reading this lovely giveaway. Thanks.

Jennifer AlLee said...

Our winner is... Lucie! Congrats, and thanks to everyone who stopped by!