Thursday, April 17, 2014

Steve Byers of "Catch a Christmas Star" Talks about Marriage, Romance, & Family

I love a good story, and it's even better when it's true.  I'm also huge fan of Steve Byers who recently starred with Shannon Elizabeth in the Hallmark Channel's "Catch a Christmas Star."  (As shown.)
When I asked Steve recently about who his first on-screen kiss was with, and he said it was Jennifer Steede, the actress who is now his wife of thirteen years, I knew there had to be an interesting story.  Graciously, Steve answered my numerous questions, and I'm sure his interview will leave you smiling as it did me.
Me: You tweeted recently that the most memorable comment from family or friends the first time you were on television was, “Who is that you’re kissing?  Is it special effects?”  Was it a girlfriend, friend, sister, or other family member giving you a hard time when he or she said that?
Steve: Nieces and nephews. They don't get the difference between me and the "guy on TV" tends to be the harshest critics anyway.
Me: Now, as you’ve told me before, that was in the 1997 movie “A Simple Wish” when you and Jennifer were the kissing couple at the very beginning.  You’re both from the Toronto area, but given how large the city is, had you met Jennifer before you filmed that show?
Steve: Yes. We met at school. It was love at first sight for me... I wore her down eventually.
Me: What attracted you most to Jennifer initially?
Steve: I wish I could sound less superficial but she was super cute and took my breath away.
Me: At what point did the two of you start dating?
Steve: After one of our mutual friends played cupid and pointed us at each other one night. Apparently it turned out that there was a mutual attraction (so she says ;) ) and that was that. I am a pretty shy guy and probably never would have approached her otherwise.
Me: Did the two of you work on the filming of anything else together?  I know you were each in an episode of “Mutant X,” but you were in season 3, episode 10 while she was in episode 19 of the same season, so it doesn’t really seem like you’d have run into her while working on that.
Steve: We both worked on the same film in Germany as a matter of fact. Completely unrelated parts and had no scenes together. We were able to spend a short time together near the Rhine in Koln but it never amounted to much more than that. We did get to squeeze in a couples massage while we were there. That was a first.

Me: How did you propose, or did your wife propose to you?
Steve: I proposed. I had a garage sale tux my mother had bought me for 10's pretty fancy. Waited for my lady to come home from work...I left out a jar of jewelery polish with a bow on it on the counter for her to find and when she asked what it was, I stepped out in all my ruffled glory.

Me: Was eloping in Las Vegas planned in advance or was it more of a spur-of-the-moment thing?
Steve: It was "planned" in advance. Our friends were going and they invited us. We decided that if we were going to Vegas the only natural thing to do was get married.
(Photo of Steve and Jennifer in Las Vegas.)

Me: Did you have any kind of crazy theme for your Vegas wedding, like one of those Elvis guys presiding or anything like that?
Steve: No theme. It was the $75 special at the "Little Chapel of Flowers" that turned into one of the most amazing pay it forward days of our lives. At every turn we were reminded of the kindness of strangers.

Me: Was your honeymoon in Las Vegas too, or did you go somewhere else?
Steve: I still owe my wife a proper Honeymoon. We kept cancelling due to'll be a Honeymoon reboot.

Me: I noticed your wife hasn’t filmed anything since 2007, and I know you have a couple of kids. Did she give up acting to devote her full time to motherhood?
Steve: I'm proud to say that not only is she the best wife ever, she decided that her first passion was now raising two amazing little girls.

Me: What’s the most awesome thing about your wife you think people should know that most people don’t?
Steve: She puts up with me.

Me: Have you ever made any crazy romantic gestures you’re willing to tell us about?
Steve: I'm terrible at the romance game. I did recently order a Lobster delivery to our house from  @LOBSTERCRUISES while I  was away that took my game from zero to.... better than zero. It was for her Birthday so I guess that takes it back down a notch. The best romantic events are supposed to happen for no reason.
Me: That sounds really sweet...and delicious.  Now my stomach is rumbling :)  Thanks so much for taking time to answer my questions.  I can't wait to watch you this June in "Rocky Road."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spontaneous Teleportation

Spontaneous teleportation--it's an epidemic! 

...Or at least my kids would have me believe so.

Yep, you can tell simply by talking to the youngest of my kids that I'm a big scifi fan.  How?  Well, just ask her how she got the candy or any other object that was put away that she wasn't supposed to have. 

Typical conversation:

Me: Where did you get that?  (Knowing the candy was previously wrapped and in the cupboard.)

Kid: It teleported!

Now the older kids have gotten the idea and whatever it is that is either out of place that they were supposed to put away or that is in their hands that they weren't supposed to be eating or getting into, spontaneously teleported to it's current location.

So...either my house is sitting a the entrance to a portal or other such astronomical phenomenon which causes items to magically disappear or reappear in the house, or my kids are very creative liars.  I'm relatively sure it's the latter. 

I reserve the right to change my views on that if I find Thor standing in my living room :)

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

So, I'm not Telepathic-- Steve Byers Would Be a Great Werewolf

So disappointed. I'm evidently not telepathic.  Hopes of a new and exciting career are dashed! :)

Steve Byers, sweet and incredibly tolerant of a silly super-fan (A.K.A.-- me) is not currently auditioning to be a werewolf.  Still, he'd make an amazing one.  Don't you think?

It was brought up that a blond werewolf would be easy to see, but hey, if he were in the snow, not so much.  It could give him a serious strategic advantage. Still, someone really should cast him as a werewolf.  He'd be great.

Top Reasons Steve Byers Should Be Cast as a Werewolf

7. Having played both good guys like Chris in "Catch a Christmas Star," Jason in "Falcon Beach," and John in "Alphas" he's shown us how he can great he can be as a really sweet, good guy.

6. The personality change though, would be easy for Steve, or at least his excellent acting abilities would make it look easy.  We've seen him play evil as Desaad in "Smallville" and he's eerily convincing. 

5. He's built for the part.  Actors who play werewolves are in great shape and Steve fits the bill to a T there.

4. Steve has a great sense of humor--who wouldn't want to spend hours a day on set with him, whether he's a werewolf or something else?  But I definitely think he fits the bill as a werewolf.

3. Werewolves don't age much (or at all depending on the series) and Steve looks so incredibly young.  He'd be a wonderful, youthful, werewolf.

2. He has a scifi/paranormal fan following already. Most recently, fans of "Alphas" loved him and fans of "Smallville" loved to hate him, so he'd be an asset to the cast of any scifi/paranormal show. Cast him as a werewolf and watch the fans tune in.

1. This is the perfect solution to his raccoon problem at home.  Raccoons who try to invade his space would be in for a BIG surprise when they encountered a werewolf instead of the sweet-looking Steve we all know and love.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Werewolves, Telepathy, & Steve Byers

Am I newly telepathic?

Fingers crossed.  Waiting with baited breath for a reply from Steve Byers via Twitter.


I dreamt that he was auditioning to be a werewolf --the movie kind, or course, not auditioning to actually be transformed into one, though that would certainly be interesting.  If werewolves were really, there might be a demand among some for transformation, so I suppose, that barring all reality, there would potentially be werewolf auditions of those who want to howl at the moon and run through the trees, shifting into a wild beast, trying to prove they're worthy. 

I suppose to be clear I should say that I dreamt he was auditioning to be "cast" as one of the shape-shifting, occasionally furry, creatures.  ;)

Furry...hmmm...those blond curls would make an awesome wolf's coat.  Yep, I can see it now, along with the clear blue eyes and sparking white fangs. Maybe Hollywood will show us... (Hint, hint.)

About me:  I'm a young adult paranormal romance writer, Belgian chocolate lover, and huge fan of Steve Byers.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Invisible Dragon- A Guest Post from Peter Maxian

A guest post from Peter Maxian, author of The Invisible Dragon Adventures, who interviewed me about my 'starring' role in the stories about Christina BraveStar.  I'm posting this on my blog at his request.

Peter: Hi Christina. I wrote the Christina BraveStar adventures on a whim, after reading some of your writing and your tweets. How does it feel to be immortalized in a fairytale character?

Christina: Awesome! Surreal! Like I've stepped into an alternate reality or parallel universe!

Peter: I'm glad to hear that, the stories are meant to inspire those sorts of feelings. Does the "fairytale you" inspire the "real you" somehow?

Christina: That's kind of hard to say. I'd describe it more as looking through a mirror where you see things the way someone else sees you. I'm not entirely certain if I'm making sense. Of course, the Christina BraveStar stories are based a mixture of my daydreams and real life experiences. What I find fascinating is what is apparently interesting to a third party - in this case, you. When I tweet or blog my random thoughts and experiences, I see them from a completely different perspective than the Invisible Dragon does. Stuff that I may throw out there because it's running through my head, that I regard as rather mundane, becomes quite captivating when incorporated into an Invisible Dragon adventure. I suppose it'd be accurate to say that Invisible Dragon stories bring to light some of the splendor of my everyday life and daydreams that I'd miss otherwise. In essence, the common becomes beautiful. On a related note, however, it is most certainly inspiring that a fairy tale version of me exists, and the nickname of Christina BraveStar couldn't possible be better. I love it!

Peter: Writing the stories does something similar for me - they help me see the world through the eyes of the Invisible Dragon. Have you got any ideas for your own BraveStar stories?

Christina: This is kind of a tough question to answer. The best way I know how to answer it is with a cooking analogy, so here goes. You could ask me if I have ideas for baking a cake. I'd say, "Sure." And if I were to go to the kitchen I would come out with a delicious chocolate cake, with homemade frosting. It might have bananas mixed into it to make it super moist. I'd love eating it.
However, if I told you that I sure was in the mood for a chocolate cake, and you went to the kitchen and came back with one, it might have cream cheese filling and an icing of dark chocolate was poured onto the cake when it was still hot.  The frosting would have permeated all the levels of the cake, but from the outside, it looked just like a chocolate cake. Then, when I took a bite, I'd have an explosion of flavor, and it'd be amazing because I had no idea the frosting went down into the cake and wasn't just on the top. Nor would I know that it had filling, until it was in my mouth. The combination of the surprise of the awesome filling and frosting would make it a more dynamic experience than if I made my own cake.
You see, I could tell you exactly what I'd like to see myself do in an Invisible Dragon adventure, but then part of the surprise would be lost. I'm a writer, and I could write my daydreams, most certainly. I write magic into the characters of my books each time I write. But there I'm the magician, not the recipient of the magic. If I were to say what I wanted to see in an Invisible Dragon adventure, the "secret ingredients" so to speak, would become known to me. Some of the "magic" that I experience when I read the stories the Invisible Dragon creates would be gone. When my hodgepodge of thoughts are filtered through the Invisible Dragon into a unique story, they become magical, not just for others, but for me as well.

...At this point in the interview the real Invisible Dragon offered a comment... ;-)

Invisible Dragon: All that talk about chocolate cake got me so hungry, I couldn't concentrate enough to figure out what you were trying to say Christina.

Christina: OK. I was trying to make the point that when you (Peter) write them, they are magical. And since I’m in the 'audience' so to speak, as the reader of the story, I get to enjoy the magic.  If I told you what I wanted to read, it’d no longer be as true for me.  A magician creates magic for others, not for himself.  When I write, I create 'magic' for my readers, but I’m the magician in that scenario, so I’m ‘in’ on the secrets.  I can't surprise myself. Am I making any sense?

Peter: Actually what you are saying gets to the heart of why I write down the adventures of the good Invisible Dragon. I write them as gifts, a special kind of gift. And now I'm recording some as audiobooks. Speaking of which, does the bad American accent in the audiobooks make you giggle?

Christina: The whole thing makes me giggle, from the stories to the song. And the giggling has nothing to do with any accent.

...Following the interview, the Invisible Dragon would not stop talking about chocolate cake, until Peter went out and got him some as an afternoon snack...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Can We Capture a Dream?

The following is a guest post by editor and writer, Elizabeth Simons.
Can we ever capture a dream?
Whether it’s a daydream or a night dream, it is ephemeral. It’s a place with an other-worldly quality to it, filled simultaneously with hope and despair. Hope that the best of what we see will come to life and despair that our own inadequacies will always stand in the way and prevent its coming to birth.
When I was a child the dreams were so sweet because they took place in a realm that never existed in my everyday life. In my early years I was a fairy tale princess with a pure white horse, living in a castle where suffering was not allowed. Later, I was just a girl who was cherished.
Funny how things change.
Or they don’t change at all. My situation didn’t change, no matter how much I wished it would. The loftiness of my dreams expanded while my life spun out in a carnival ride of hopelessness.
There had to be a better world, and when I was 18 I left home to find it. I was young enough to believe that things could change, but too foolish to realize that fantasies could not transform people and situations. I could not wish a world into existence, no matter how tightly I closed my eyes and longed for it.
So I turned to writing about it. I scribbled furiously in my journal every night, analyzing my dreams from every conceivable viewpoint. I was eloquent in my despair but incoherent about hope. Why were things this way and not that way? Why did I feel chained to circumstances I could not control? When did the dreams become the reality while the real world retreated? Why was I unable to control them? More to the point: Why did I believe that, in the end, my world had always been and would always be an irredeemable still life?
I was tired. This kind of writing was not a way out but a retrenchment, a fast track to egocentrism. It was eternally repetitious and embarrassingly boring. And it was too easy.
I had to change the dream. I had to step inside it and transform it. As long as I allowed it to shapeshift into unfulfilled expectations I could never hope to see it clearly, not only for what it was but for what it could become.
Again, I turned to writing. I had to look at the dream as a stepping-stone, a paradoxical path to becoming more awake. I could not deny its sweetness nor decry the reality I wanted it to replace. I had to embrace the whole picture of my life as bent but not broken, dream-filled but not oblivious, and hopeful without being in denial. This kind of writing was anything but easy.
I am not master of the dream, but I am master of myself. I love that the dream is born outside time but comes to life within it. As I write, its gossamer qualities bloom on the page. I try to bring dream and reality together. Anything is possible.

In the end I did not capture the dream. I set it free.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Advantages of Associating with Other Writers

I go to a local writer's group. Each time I go to a meeting, I feel motivated anew to write more regularly and to make writing a higher priority in my life.  Meeting with other writers is encouraging and gives me new ideas.  It also gives me a sounding board for some of the ideas I have running around in my head. Moreover, it's fun.  I love getting to talk about one of my passions with others who are just as passionate about it

With a houseful of kids, however, blessed as I am, it can be difficult to make it out of the house to meet with other writers.  Sometimes, the best avenue available to me is the telephone or e-mail.
Occasionally, I'll call a fellow writer and professional editor and bounce ideas off of her.  Not to mention, I always enjoy hearing how her projects are progressing.

Sometimes, I shoot an e-mail off to a fellow author in Austria, an imaginative writer who is also a great sounding board for marketing ideas.  Not to mention a person whose unique perspective on things is pretty much always encouraging.

Occasionally, I simply tweet fellow authors. That also can lead to new ideas, end writer's block, and get the gears in my head turning.

Basically, whether it's through e-mail, phone, twitter, or a writers' meeting keeping in touch with others who share my passion keeps me motivated and keeps the new ideas flowing.