About Me

About Me – Christine Ashworth

I am the daughter of a writer. In the 1960s, I’d fall asleep to the sound of my dad’s fingers on his manual typewriter. My father, Chet Cunningham, had over 350 novels published during his lifetime. He wrote genre fiction: men’s action series and westerns, mostly. Sometimes under his own name, and sometimes under a “house name” owned by the publisher, where he was one of two or three authors putting books out for a specific series. He always wrote to market, in order to sell his work.

Because my dad was a writer, I grew up knowing that writing for a living was not only possible, but absolutely doable, and a valid career choice. When I was still a teenager, my brother, Scott Cunningham, started getting published first in men’s action series and westerns, and then in non-fiction in the metaphysical world. He had over 20 books published by Llewellyn Worldwide before his untimely death in 1993, the most noted one being Wicca – A Guide for the Solitary Practicioner. So I had two solid examples of writers who lived off the income from their writing.

In my twenties, I started writing Peter Whimsey fan fiction that never saw the light of day. In my thirties, I had babies and a corporate career. When I got laid off in my early forties, I started writing contemporary romances (mainly because I’d been reading romance novels since I was 13), but I shied away from adding much sex to the books. I wrote a lot of them that never got published for various and sundry reasons. Then, in 2011, I wrote a paranormal series that, due to market demand, did have sex in them, and they got picked up by a small publisher. I was off and running! Well, I had a book published, at least. And finally the entire 4 book series was published and is still available.

I am constantly learning by reading widely, not just in the romance market, and I have learned fairly recently that all books, in order to be powerful and leave an impact on your reader, must take the reader on an emotional journey. This is of course true for fiction, but it’s even more important for non-fiction.

In writing and publishing, I always look to the market. No book is going to sell itself, no matter how good it may be. One thing that I strive to keep in mind when I start a new book is, why this book, why me, why now, and what do I want the reader to walk away with, when they close the book?

At its finest, fiction takes us out of our current world and into a better place, whether the book is a thriller, a romance, a young adult fantasy, a western, or a science fiction novel (or any of the other myriad genres out there today). Being able to write a book that touches someone, that takes their mind off their troubles for a while or otherwise provides a bit of an escape, is an honor and a privilege I do not take lightly.

Welcome to my world.