It’s hard to imagine a Harvard-trained physician penning stories about love and longing, but Dr. Christiana Jones has never been described as ‘conventional.’ Born in Nigeria, she spent every night pressed dangerously close to a kerosene lamp with a book in her hands, while her family bemoaned the lack of reliable electricity. As an adult, her colleagues would traipse off to yoga classes while Christiana, a.k.a. ‘Dr. Doom,’ donned her Taekwondo black belt and earned her fight name.
But for all her interests and passions, Christiana’s heart inevitably returned to storytelling. To this day, her greatest joy is crafting moving stories with strong heroines that pay tribute to the courage and resilience of women working in medicine. Saving lives day after day might take a heavy toll on their personal lives, but that doesn’t stop them from chasing their dreams and following their hearts.
Christiana loves to connect with her readers, so feel free to stop by and say hello, or join her mailing list for releases and updates.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I can't think creatively and type at the same time. So I write out my novels on paper and then type everything up. It takes longer that way but if I try to type new material, I'll get distracted fixing typos and will lose the creative flow.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I've read thousands of books and have been influenced by so many. This must be the hardest question for avid readers to answer. I love a wide variety of romance/women's fiction novels: contemporary, historical, time travel, suspense. Recently I've really enjoyed books by Susanna Kearsley, Amy Harmon, Kristin Hannah, Diana Gabaldon, Jojo Moyes and of course, Nicholas Sparks, a king of romance in a world dominated by women writers.
What are you working on now?
I'm working on my third novel which addresses the significant impact of a stressful career on a female physician's marriage and family life. This is a big issue for doctors, women in particular. And what affects doctors will affect patients.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
If you're looking for easy, this ain't it. If it's hard, you're doing it right. Write, get better at it, and stick with it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The best advice I heard was giving myself permission to write a shitty first draft. By letting go of the quest for a perfect or even good first draft, I can simply let the story pour out and then in the oh-so-important editing phase, polish it into a readable manuscript. Readers pick up a book looking primarily for an engrossing story. If its packaged in beautiful prose, that's a bonus.
What are you reading now?
I am in between books. (A rare condition that won't last long.) I just finished reading The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms. It's a beautifully written novel celebrating Moms' commitment to being there for their children but also reminding them of the importance of making time for themselves and celebrating who we are. There's love, humor, New York City. I loved it.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I've recently left my full-time job as a physician to raise my children and focus on my writing. I will continue to write novels that showcase the heart and resilience of women physicians, bring to the forefront some of the situations that negatively impact our practice of medicine, and hopefully bring about change.
If you were stranded on a desert island and allowed to take three or four books with you, what books would you bring?
Does my ebook reader count as one if I had a solar-powered charger? If so, being stranded on a desert island sounds like heaven to me. But if I MUST choose only 3 books, I'd rather drink sea water and die of thirst. Too dramatic? Okay. Sigh. I would choose an erotic romance by Sylvia Day (I am stranded alone, right?), a book on meditation so I can find peace in my solitude, and a book on carpentry so I can build a boat to get the damn island once I get tired of the solitude.