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  • Anna P.

Indie Support Sunday: Christine Layne

Christine Layne is a new-to-me author, but that just means I’ve got three new books to add to my TBR! While she published her debut Because of Blake in 2023, Christine’s also writing dark dystopian and horror under a different name (even if she hasn’t published them yet). Like a lot of us indies, the desire to see her name in print was one of the things that pushed her to self-publish!

When asked for tips for aspiring authors, Christine dropped some pretty good ones, especially since I believe in all of these points too! And if you’re looking for recommendations that are more classic than the usual suspects, Christine’s got you covered there as well. She might have three books out right now, but she’s really excited about what else is coming—a boy next door/second chance romance and one with opposites attract!

Because of Blake, Love Hops and Mud, Love and Chemistry are out right now and available in Kindle Unlimited!


Who or what inspired you to write?

I don’t know what necessarily inspired me to write. I know from a young age I wanted to have my name on something I created, and spent years following paths down different artistic avenues, but writing alway eluded me. 

It wasn’t until my second son was born that I was finally bitten by the writing bug. I began telling myself stories as I would fall asleep in order to distract myself from the inevitable midnight feedings my newborn baby would wake up for. Eventually, I decided to write these stories down and followed through to their endings.

What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author? 

I think the best part is not having to wait on a publisher to make decisions. The timelines (aside from editors and cover designers) are my own to designate.

The worst part is definitely having to wear all the hats. I’m not only the author, but I’m also in charge of finding readers, editors, cover designers, and proofreaders. I have to do all the marketing, formatting, and promoting. It’s exhausting.  

Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?

When I published my first romance novel in June 2023, I was in the process of querying a book in a completely different genre. It was taking forever, and was very disheartening.

In order to satiate my intense desire to have my name in print, I decided to self-publish my romance novels. Once I did that, I was hooked. Now that I’ve done it and know how much control I have over my art, I don’t know that I ever want to do trad publishing. 

When you’re not writing, what do you do to get the creative juices flowing?

One of two things: I either re-read the WIP and wait for inspiration to strike, or I just start writing and let the creativity come to me. Sometimes the latter results in deleting whole sections and redoing them, but it helps get me in the right direction and that’s always worth it.

If you were to recommend books to me (in any genre), what would they be?

My top 3 favorite books are 1984 by George Orwell, Diary by Chuck Palahniuk, and The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I also adore The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. 

What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?

  1. Just write it down. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just get the words on paper. Fix it later.

  2. If you’re stuck on a scene, just type what’s supposed to happen (I do it in Bold Uppercase Letters). For example, once I had a steamy scene to write and I wasn’t in the mood, so I wrote THEY BANG HERE, and moved on. I came back to it later.

  3. Get yourself at least one if not two or three good critique partners. I have two that I work with very closely on my 1st and 2nd drafts before my MS goes to beta readers. They help me identify plot holes, or places where I could expand, or cut. 

  4. Learn to write in distracting places. I have two kids. I had to learn to write even when chaos is breaking out. 

  5. Don’t rely on friends and family to support your craft. These are usually the first people we turn to, but while they love us, they often aren’t the ones who we find our courage through. Find readers in your genre and let them be your support. 


Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in? What is your favorite thing about the genre?

When I began working with my CPs, they were both contemporary romance authors and I had never read a romance novel. After reading their books, I thought the genre was so much fun and began working on my own.

I think my favorite part is that you can make it as complicated or simple as you want. There doesn’t have to be a subplot necessarily, or you can have a ton of moving parts to the story.

If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?

I actually write dark dystopian and horror under a different name, though I’m not published yet. Those genres are a whole different ball game, but they can be really fun!

What are your most and least favorite tropes?

I don’t know how to narrow my favorites down, but I think my top 3 would be enemies to lovers, second chance, and forced proximity (in no particular order).

The only trope I truly don’t care for is the bully trope.

What are some tropes you want to write in the future?

My next planned novel is a lovers to enemies to lovers and I’m excited about it. I’m also planning a boy-next-door/second chance novel, and an opposites attract. 

What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?

Mental health issues are a subject I think could be more prominent. In Because of Blake, my FMC Maggie, deals with deep grief that she never truly dealt with. It causes a lot of struggles for her, and there is talk of therapy in the book. 

If you write open door romance, why did you choose that and what inspires your sex scenes?

The spice is life! I’ve read a couple closed door romances and they aren’t my jam. I want my smutty payoff after all the tension and I want to see it! 

I don’t know how the sex scenes come to me. Most times I tend to let the characters lead the way and they do all the work!


What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?

All my stories, published and otherwise, usually come from one scene that pops into my head. I get that scene going and then build the rest of the story from there. 

My first novel, Because of Blake, came to me one day as I was checking the mail. Love Hops came about because I envisioned two characters tasting beers with spicy results. 

Can you briefly tell me about your books?

Because of Blake is a sweet story about a single mom overcoming the loss of her husband and moving on with her hot neighbor. It spans two years and is an emotional ride.

Love Hops is a transformative story about a woman who turns 40 and realizes her life wasn’t what she wanted it to be. On top of finding a new career path, she finds love with a man she never would have considered dating in the past. 

Do you already have a favorite character from the stories you’ve written?

I don’t know if I have a favorite, but Blake is pretty perfect and is hard to beat in both the real world and the fictional world. 

If you were to cast your book for a movie/television show, who would you cast in the lead roles?

Because of Blake

Maggie - Natalie Portman

Blake - Matthew Lewis 

Love Hops:

Lena - Ana de Armas

Del - Josh Duhamel 

How much of yourself do you put into these characters?

Bits and pieces. I don’t plan it, I just write the character and sometimes I get more of myself than I want, but it’s whatever’s right for the book. 

Is there one common element that readers can find in all your stories?

All my female lead characters are vegetarians, but otherwise I try to switch things up. 

What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?

Future projects include, but aren’t limited to, enemies to lovers office romance dual POV, boy-next-door second chance romance, opposites attract male POV romance, and a miscommunication forced proximity romance. 

When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?

Honestly, I just want my readers to feel something. I’ve had a couple readers tell me that Because of Blake made them cry, and other readers have said my books have made them laugh. I’m just happy to have a reader feel anything when reading my work.


  • Paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks

  • Contemporary, fantasy, historical or romantic suspense

  • Single and Dual POV

  • Standalones, series or standalones in a series

  • Open door, ajar door or closed door romances

  • Music or silence when writing—Depends on where I am, but mostly silence.

  • Plotter, pantser or plantser

  • Water, tea, coffee or….wine?

  • Cold or warm weather

  • Write better in the morning, afternoon or night?

  • Illustrated or photo cover?—Depends on the story. I’m more drawn to photo covers as a reader, but I’ve had both types on my novels!

Check out Christine on InstagramThreads, TikTok and Facebook. And also remember to sign up for her newsletter.


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