Skip to main content

Interview with Christy Barritt

Captain’s Log, Stardate 11.13.2006

Today I’m joined by my fellow ACFW member (and fellow debut novelist) Christy Barritt! I’m glad she could join me because she only just had a new baby a few months ago!

Christy's latest novel is Hazardous Duty.

Buying a gun to kill your wife: $3,000
Hiring Trauma Care to clean afterward: $1,500
Having that same cleaner uncover evidence that frames you: priceless

On her way to completing a degree in forensic science, Gabby St. Claire drops out of school and starts her own crime scene cleaning business. “Yeah, that’s me,” she says, “a crime scene cleaner. People waiting in line behind me who strike up conversations always regret it.”

When a routine cleaning job leads her to find a murder weapon the police overlooked, she realizes that the wrong person is in jail. But the owner of the weapon is a powerful foe . . . and willing to do anything to keep Gabby quiet.

With the help of her new neighbor, Riley Thomas, a man whose life and faith fascinate her, Gabby plays the detective to make sure the right person is put behind bars. Can Riley help her before another murder occurs?

“Christy Barritt’s novel, Hazardous Duty, is a delightful read from beginning to end. The story’s fresh, engaging heroine with an unusual occupation hooked me, and I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend Hazardous Duty.”
—Colleen Coble, author of Fire Dancer, book one of the Fire Jumpers Series

"With Gabby St. Claire, Christy Barritt has created a fun sleuth in a unique profession. Hazardous Duty provides both humor and an engaging mystery. The twists and turns of the whodunit are matched only by the surprises of Gabby's spiritual growth and romantic entanglements."
—Sharon Dunn, author of the Ruby Taylor mysteries including Cow Crimes and Mustang Menace.

"Christy Barritt is a bright new voice on the fiction scene, destined to rise above the others with her fun, intriguing mysteries. . . . Stay tuned and watch for more from this gifted, talented author..You'll love it."
—Cheryl Wolverton, multi-published author, award Winner, The Choice of Readers (IRCC Winner)

"The next time you're tempted to watch CSI reruns, read this book instead! Spunky, sassy Gabby St. Claire sparkles in this new series. She'll keep you turning the pages."
—Siri Mitchell, author of The Cubicle Next Door

And now, here’s Christy!

How did you come up with the idea for Hazardous Duty?

One of the publications that I used to write for asked me to write a profile on a crime-scene cleaner. As soon as I realized that was actually a career, sparks began flying in my head. Before long, Gabby St. Claire was born. I was in the middle of writing another book, but I had to stop and write her story right then. She wouldn’t let me rest until I did! I’m working on book number two right now and the gal still won’t let me rest. What can I say? She’s a very demanding girl!

Your bio says you had "a short jaunt in the independent Christian music field." Tell All!

You may regret the “all” part. :) Here goes … At the end of my college career, one of my girlfriends and I began playing and singing together—me on the guitar and she on the piano. A local producer heard us and really liked our sound. He’d produced another album, which had been picked up by a big label and one of the songs got to number one on some music chart (I could have told you five years ago but now I’m drawing a blank!).

This producer liked us so much that he wanted to cut an album for us. We worked with him for awhile but ultimately decided to part ways. By this time, we’d already written a lot of our own songs. We’d also invited another friend of ours who played the viola to join us. Someone once called us the Mod Squad of Christian music: we were one white, one black, and one blonde. Okay, I have no idea if that’s PC, so moving on…

We ended up doing an album on our own. We had a great time together playing at coffeehouses, churches, camps, retreats and concert venues. We got to open for some Christian groups that we really admired. I remember one two-week period where we did 12 concerts—all while working full-time. What can I say? We were dedicated!

It’s kind of a long story what happened from there, and it’s a little sad. The short of it is that my father became very ill, so I moved back home to Virginia from Cincinnati. The good news is that through moving home and the emotional toll my father’s sickness took on me, I had to have a release. That’s when I turned back to writing—something I’d always loved. I wrote one of my first books while sitting by my father’s bedside. A small press ended up picking it up, and I dedicated that book to my father, who passed away four years ago last month.

You lead worship at church! (So do I--I play an indifferent guitar and mostly on-key singing). What do you play?

I play the guitar and sing. We do a lot of songs from the Passion projects. It’s funny because I never thought I would be a worship leader. I just didn’t think it was my thing. But the doors kept continually opening and I finally got the hint. Once I started doing it, I absolutely loved it! I still love it. There’s just something about being before the throne of God and singing his praises with other believers that’s unlike anything else on this earth.

To be honest, though, I’m at a place right now where I’m backing off from doing it every Sunday. I have a four-month-old, which complicates things quite a bit. I’m really searching for God’s voice as to what I should do. I miss leading worship, but I’m also learning that I can’t do everything … or, at least, I can’t do everything and do it well.

Finish this sentence: Writing a novel is like...

Having a baby--painful but rewarding. Believe me, I know. This year I gave birth to my first baby and had a novel released! :)

Do you have a favorite scripture verse for your writing?

Proverbs 16:3: Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed. This helps me not to define success in earthly terms but in heavenly terms. In earthly terms, success would be not only having a book published, but having it go on to sell lots and lots of copies. Of course I would like for this to happen. But more importantly, I want to listen to God's sometimes still, small voice. Faithful obedience to my Creator is the biggest success I seek in my life. It’s also an easier virtue in theory than to actually live out.

I love ethnic food--give me anything I can't pronounce and I'll at least try it. Do you have a favorite ethnic food? Do you cook anything you're particularly proud of?

Oh, I love Middle East food. My current favorite is baba ganoush. It's so yummy! And I think it's healthy, though I can't be sure. I'll just assume it is to make myself feel better when I eat it. :-)

As far as something that I cook, I have to say that whenever I make my Stromboli, it gets rave reviews. I don’t make it very often because, for one, it’s fattening and two, it’s involved. Usually I make it when we’re having friends over to eat. I think it’s one of the reasons my husband keeps on inviting people over—he knows that’s the only way he’ll get me to make it!

If you were a cartoon character, who would you be and why?

Fun question. I’d have to say Wonder Woman. Even as a little girl, I would dress up like her. I made little wrists cuffs and a tiara out of paper and I taped them in place. Then I’d fight the bad guys and fly away in my invisible jet. What can I say? Wonder Woman rocks!

Camy here: Thanks for joining us, Christy! So can I come over to have some of that stromboli?


Bible in 90 Days: Days 13 & 14. My Life Application Bible has a list of why the second generation of Israelites turned away from God to worship the Canaanite idols.

Well, first of all, they hadn’t completely driven the Canaanites from their land. That was their foremost problem. So the foreign gods were still being worshipped by the slave Canaanites.

But the list is interesting because it looks so much like the excuses people give today: Immediate self-gratification, sensuality approved, low ethical standards tolerated, neighbors’ sins approved, selfishness condoned, freer and less ethical business relations, compromise and cooperation practiced rather than an ethical stand taken.

Worshipping God is hard. But He also never said it was easy. And I’m seeing the parallels between my generation and the Israelites, apart from all the weird stuff like bowing down to idols, Asherah poles, and sacrificing children.

Writing: I posted another article on developing your writer’s voice at my Story Sensei blog, and a Health and the Writer column at WriterQuotes blog.

Wrote some on Saturday, but not near as much as I wanted to. I had so much time and I just wasted it staring at the blinking cursor.

Diet: I exercised 5 days last week and I exercised yesterday! Now for another 5 days this week! I love Denise Austin. She’s challenging but not too hard.

Popular Posts

Merry Christmas! Enjoy The Spinster's Christmas

As a Merry Christmas gift to all my blog readers, I’m going to be posting my Christian Regency romantic suspense, The Spinster’s Christmas , for free on my blog! I’ll be posting the book in 1000-1500 word segments every Tuesday and Friday. (When I do the calculations, it’ll finish around the end of May.) Why am I posting a Christmas story when it won’t be Christmas in a week? Because I can! :) The Spinster’s Christmas is the prequel volume to my Lady Wynwood’s Spies series . Right now I’m editing volume 1 of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, and it’s on track to release in 2020. (If you’re on my Camille Elliot newsletter , you’ll be sure to hear when it’s available for preorder.) I anticipate that the Lady Wynwood’s Spies series to be about ten volumes. I think the series story will be a lot of fun to tell, and I’m looking forward to writing up a storm! Below, I’ll be listing the links to the parts of The Spinster’s Christmas as I post them. (I created the html links by hand so please l

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

How can I pray for you?

Photo credit: 日本語訳は下をご覧ください。 I hope you had a good Thanksgiving, taking time to be still and remember God’s grace. My IBS has gotten a little better, but I’m still not entirely in control of my symptoms. There are simply too many things I don’t know if I can eat or not, and when I try things, if they affect my IBS, then I’m out for about a week at a time. My writing has slowed down more than I’d like. Please pray for God to heal my IBS, and for me to learn what God wants me to learn by allowing these struggles. Just as I’m struggling, if you are too, remember that God is with us and has a reason for everything that happens to us. Lord, thank You that You are always with us and have control over everything that happens to us. Help us to surrender to You and do Your will, no matter what is going on in our lives. Amen How can I pray for you today? Please leave me your prayer requests! Prayer requests can sometimes be private things, so to keep your

Grace Livingston Hill romances free to read online

I wanted to update my old post on Grace Livingston Hill romances because now there are tons more options for you to be able to read her books for free online! I’m a huge Grace Livingston Hill fan. Granted, not all her books resonate with me, but there are a few that I absolutely love, like The Enchanted Barn and Crimson Roses . And the best part is that she wrote over 100 books and I haven’t yet read them all! When I have time, I like to dive into a new GLH novel. I like the fact that most of them are romances, and I especially appreciate that they all have strong Christian themes. Occasionally the Christian content is a little heavy-handed for my taste, but it’s so interesting to see what the Christian faith was like in the early part of the 20th century. These books are often Cinderella-type stories or A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) type stories, which I love. And the best part is that they’re all set in the early 1900s, so the time period is absolutely fasci


「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します! ひとり寿司 寿司シリーズの第一作 キャミー・タング 西島美幸 訳 スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。 ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。 そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。 エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。 レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり —— 過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。 *** ********** 「エイデンに電話するわ」ビーナスはアパートに入り、食料品が入ったバッグを床に投げた。 レックスは、ビーナスのコスモポリタン誌から目を上げた。「どうして?」 「ベンが外でコソコソしてるのを見たの。エイデンがあなたのボーイフレンドだ、ってことをまだ疑ってるんだと思う」 「うわー、何でかな。実際、彼氏じゃないしね」 「だけど、近づかないでもらいたいんだったら、ベンを納得させないとダメよ」 「ドアベルに出なきゃいいじゃない」 「私、男の気持ちを読むのは得

Toilet seat cover

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Update August 2008: I wrote up the pattern for this with "improvements"! Here's the link to my No Cold Bums toilet seat cover ! Okay, remember a few days ago I was complaining about the cold toilet seat in my bathroom? Well, I decided to knit a seat cover. Not a lid cover, but a seat cover. I went online and couldn’t find anything for the seat, just one pattern for the lid by . However, I took her pattern for the inside edge of the lid cover and modified it to make a seat cover. Here it is! It’s really ugly stitch-wise because originally I made it too small and had to extend it a couple inches on each side. I figured I’d be the one staring at it, so who cared if the extension wasn’t perfectly invisible? I used acrylic yarn since, well, that’s what I had, and also because it’s easy to wash. I’ll probably have to wash this cover every week or so, but it’s easy to take off—I made ties which you can see near the back of the s


「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します! ひとり寿司 寿司シリーズの第一作 キャミー・タング 西島美幸 訳 スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。 ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。 そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。 エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。 レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり —— 過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。 *** ビーナスはベンの視界をさえぎった。「ここは大丈夫だから、もう帰っていいわよ」 「でも——」 ビーナスは、また彼の目の前でドアを閉めた。 「何——」 ビーナスはレックスの言葉をさえぎり、ドアの隣の窓から外をのぞいた。「よかったわ、レックス、エイデンが来てくれて。あなたの巻き爪を全部切ってくれるわよ」ビーナスの声が小さい部屋に響き渡った。 どうやって礼儀正しく答えようかと決めかねているように、エイデンの表情は少し硬くなった。多分、(そうなの?)とか(それはおもしろいね)とでも言う

Join Camy's Patreon!

At the moment, I’m releasing all my books in Kindle Unlimited, which requires my books to be exclusive to Amazon. However, I wanted to accommodate readers who prefer other ebook distributors and also reward my fans who might like my books a little ahead of schedule. ​So I started a Patreon where patrons will get BookFunnel links to download my latest ebooks about 2-3 weeks ahead of the release date. The ebook files are DRM-free and BookFunnel is great about helping you to load it onto your ebook reader or phone/tablet or computer. My Patreon is “per creation,” which means you won’t be charged every month. You will only be charged when I’ve posted a new book. For example, if I post a book on April 15th, you’ll be charged on May 1st. But if I don’t post a book in May, you won’t be charged on June 1st at all. This is because with my health problems, and since some of my books are over 100,000 words each, I’m not able to write a book a month, and I certainly don’t want to charge my

Camy Tang's November newsletter

My Camy Tang (Christian Contemporary Romantic Suspense) newsletter went out this week, but in case you missed it, the link is below. In my newsletter this month, there’s an update on my personal life and publishing schedule, and I also linked to a blog post about what the TV show Supernatural has to do with GONE MISSING, the 6th book in my Sonoma series Click here to read my Camy Tang newsletter for November. I also forgot to post the link for the October newsletter, so you can click here to read it.