In addition to possessing a funny, whip-smart pen, Christa Ann Banister has the gift of gab.
She talks. And talks. And she keeps on talking.
Maybe this is in part what separates her from the mighty throng (or small army) of chick-lit writers working today, other than the fact that her dynamite debut novel, Around the World in 80 Dates, is already creating a tidal wave of underground buzz.
That's right. After years of working as a respected music critic and freelance writer for various Christian publications: CCM Magazine, Crosswalk.com, Christian Single, ChristianityToday.com, not to mention kickstarting the inaugural Christian music blog for MTV's Urge.com, Christa has inked her first novel about her erstwhile adventures in dating, and she hopes that her story will inspire countless twenty and thirty-somethings in their quest for snagging Mr. Right, even as they hold fast to their Christian values.
Inspired by authors Judy Blume and Jane Austin, and a host of other writers including F. Scott Fitzgerald and C.S. Lewis, Christa tells the tale of Sydney Alexander"a gal who is not shy about life, her faith, or her career as a travel writer. Yet finding her lifelong soul mate proves to be a bit more elusive than she had originally thought.
"In a lot of chick-lit books it seems like the girl's ultimate goal is to get the guy," Christa says. "And she wants to get the guy for sure, but she's very ambitious as well, and she loves life and is willing to try all kinds of different adventures"all without letting go of her Christian values."
And in answer to the question of whether this romantic roller-coaster is fact or fiction, Christa plays coy: "I'll have to be honest and say that the experiences that Sydney, the lead character, goes through in the book are very similar to experiences that I've had in the past. And of course I had to protect the guilty, so I changed a few names and a few situations, but some of situations were inspired by actual events."
In the end, Confessions is a novel that is full of pluck and wit, and humor, and it is a shoo-in to become a classic for any guy or girl who is in the throes of navigating the pitfalls and quirks of the single life, all without letting go of what they believe.
Christa lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband, Will. They love to play Scrabble and throw darts on a map and dream about going wherever the darts land someday.
They have no pets.
And until her book hits the New York Times bestseller list, Christa is happily employed as a freelance writer for her many, many clients.