Ten Reasons I Love my Fans!

IMG_0168On Saturday, I spent the day at the Montgomery County Book Festival.  And wow!!  What a blast.  I got to laugh, hug and just have fun with so many readers and writers!  Mari Mancusi and I gave two panels and it was a blast.  I gave away bookmarks, posters, bracelets and I signed books. Lots and lots of books.  I loved every minute of it.  But the best part was just hanging with my fans.  Hearing them compare favorite scene from my books was montgomery county book festivalunreal. I can’t even begin to tell you how great that made me feel.  Thank you so much to Natasha Benway and all her team of librarians and sponsors who organized this festival.  Anyway, it got me thinking about the reasons I love my fans.  And here’s a top ten list.

 

  1. My fans are readers. I’m a reader, so instantly we have this one thing in common, and more importantly, without readers I wouldn’t have a career.
  2. My fans give me a boost of self-confidence. We all have our down days, right?  It’s a bad hair day, or that time of the month.  And we’re pretty certain we suck.  Well, if it’s one of those day, and I run across a negative review, it stings like a paper cut.  Logically, I know that my books aren’t going to appeal to everyone.  Books are like ice cream, everyone has their favorite flavor, and I can’t appeal to everyone’s flavor requirements.  But still …it stings.  That said, all I have to do is go back and reread an email from one of my fans who tells me I’m one of their favorite authors and that sucky, stingy feeling fades.
  3. My fans light a fire under my butt and make me become a better writer. I’ll be cruising along, writing on my next book, thinking it’s pretty good and then I’ll read a comment or get an email from someone who says, “I can’t wait for your next book, because I know it’s going to the best yet!”  And right then it hits me.  I’d better get off the cruise control and work a little harder.  They expect this book to be better than the last one.   Yeah, that fire is hot and it can burn!  Ahh, but I need it.
  4. My fans remind me how lucky I am. I get a lot of emails from fans who are also writers.   People who are struggling to finish a manuscript or desperately trying to sell that manuscript.  Maybe they are just trying to improve their manuscript.  Writing is hard and I’ve been there in the trenches.  I’ve been unpublished and struggling with the huge goal of wanting my book to be in the hands of readers.   I always encourage those writers to never give up, but by encouraging them, I’m made aware of how lucky I am to be where I am.  It reminds me to never take my career for granted.
  5. My fans prevent me from looking like an idiot. Have you ever planned a party and worried no one would come?  My public events are very much like parties.  And my fans show up to my parties. And the party at the book festival last Saturday was a blast.  Thank you to everyone who came!
  6. My fans post about my events. Not only do my fans come, but they retweet or share my Facebook posts.  At my last event in Arizona, I had people attend that learned about the event from one of my other fan’s posts. The fan who posted the event couldn’t even attend, but she put it out there and several people came because of it.   So thank you for reposting and tweeting.
  7. My fans are living, breathing promotion of the best kind. Nothing, no kind of promotion is better than word of mouth.  I met several fans at the book festival who told me, I can’t stop talking about your books and now, all my friends read them.   And it’s true.  I seldom buy a book just from an on-line review, but if someone I know tells me how good a book is, odds are . . .  I’ll go buy it.  So keep telling your friends about my books.
  8. My fans remind me of what’s really important. Okay, I have to be honest.  I write to entertain, I don’t set out to write stories that will inspire, teach a few lessons in friendship, or to show readers that they aren’t alone in struggling with their problems.  However, because my characters are dealing with issues (loss of a loved one, a parent’s divorce, parents who just don’t understand us) then, these lessons are woven into the books.  And when I get letters from fans telling me how much my books inspired, motivated, and lifted their spirits, I’m totally blown away.  And it reminds me how important relationships are in our lives.
  9. My fans post reviews and comments. I love it when I pop on my blog and see all those comments.  And when I see the number of reviews I have on my books.  I’m just tickled pink, guys.  Plus, a lot of reviews gets you some free promotion.  So, I really appreciate them.  And you guys are the ones who do them.
  10. My fans get me—I mean really get me. Yeah, I know some of you are thinking, seriously, C.C., we don’t even know you, so how do you know we get you?  Well, if you are a fan, you enjoy my books, hence, you “get” my books.  You get my characters.  You probably love my characters.  You laugh with my characters.  You may have even cried with my characters.  These characters are a part of me. I created them.  I laugh with them. I cry with them.  Della, Kylie, Miranda, and yes, even the guys, they are all bits and pieces of my internal makeup.  In those pages you read, and some of you reread, there is my sense of humor, my idea of what’s important, and you’ll find what tugs at my heart strings.  So you see, you get me!  So just get used to it.

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Thanks Street Team and Fans Club!

I said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m always watching to see who on my Street Team and Fan Club are busy reposting, commenting, sharing and retweeting for me, and especially leaving reviews at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc. I promised I’d send surprises to those of you who do the most promotion for me. So, I have sent out gifts to Taryn Courville, Regina Barnes, Monica Coburn, Gabrielle Saunders and Bethany Avery. You guys totally rock! Now don’t forget, I’ll continue to follow my Street Team and Fan Club members, and I’ll be sending out more surprises to those who do the most to promote me. So, get busy. Next time, it could be you!

 

 

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Time and Spending It!

Old_clockTime.  It’s this mysterious thing we can’t touch, and yet it controls us.  Oh yes, we try to control it.  Try to manage it, but it’s such an elusive little thing and so, we often fail.  We used to wear it around our wrists, now we mostly carry it around on our cell phones.  We check it quite regularly, to see where we are in our day, to make sure it hasn’t gotten away from us.

 

We spend time every day.  Some days we don’t even think about spending it.  We’re on a fast track of life and we just do it.  We don’t even consider what we spend time on.  Some days it passes so fast, that we wonder where it went, other days, it seems as if it crawls by with the speed of a one legged turtle.

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The thing that most of us do, and I’m as guilty as anyone else, is take time for granted.  We think it will always be there.  You know…  When we say, I’m gonna do that later.  Someday.   It’s on my bucket list.  I’ll do it when I get around to it. “A round tuit.”

 

 

 

IMG_0135Yesterday, on Sunday, I was in my study, working. (I admit it, I’m a bit of a workaholic. I’m actually trying to work on that.)  Hubby walked in and asked, “Are you gonna work today, or do you want to do something different?”  When I turned back to look at him, I saw the white rose, held in a drinking glass, he’d taken the time to pick and bring to me the day before, sitting on my desk.

You know, if anyone has a little different outlook on time, it’s him.  You see, for the five years he was on dialysis, it often felt like he was living on borrowed time.  Now that he has a kidney transplant, he’s sort of been given a new time account.  Time looks a little different. I think he takes time for granted a little less than others.

So I looked back and told him.  “Let me finish this scene and then let’s do something different.”  Yeah, I love my career, and I believe in setting goals and making them happen, but sometimes I need to be reminded that time is like everything else in life.  It needs to be balanced.

So we took off on a country drive.  It was kind of gloomy, even rained a little, but we loved every mile and enjoyed just talking.  We saw a Mexican Eagle, we’d never seen one before.  Spotted a few hawks, silhouetted in the big bare oak trees that looked almost spooky.  We drove to see some family, that lives out in the country, and went to eat at country restaurant we’d never tried.   We drank a bottle of wine, laughed and just visited.

clockWhen we got home, I gave my hubby a big thank you.  I needed that time. Today, I’m gonna write some more scenes, but I’ll take the time to smile at a stranger.  Give someone I love a hug.  Call someone I haven’t spoken with in a while and just say hello.  And I’ll spend some more time with my hubby.

What’s on your list? How are you spending your time?

 

 

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

valentine-rosesValentine’s Day is fast approaching and I can’t wait. Hey. I write romance, of course I love the holiday made for lovers. Do you give a card to your significant other? Did you know that approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas?  That’s a lot of cards! And roses? On Valentine’s Day, nearly 189 million stems of roses are sold in the U.S alone.

So, I thought you’d enjoy some more Valentine’s Day trivia:

  1. Pope Gelasius established Valentine’s Day in A.D. 500 in an attempt to appropriate the ancient pagan Roman fertility festival, Lupercalia, into Christianity.
  2. According to Welsh tradition, a child born on Valentine’s Day would have many lovers. A calf born on Valentine’s Day, however, would be of no use for breeding purposes. If hens were to hatch eggs on Valentine’s Day, they would all turn out rotten.
  3. The most popular flower on Valentine’s Day is a single red rose surrounded with baby’s breath. The red rose was the flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.
  4. Shakespeare mentions Valentine’s Day in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and in Hamlet.
  5. On Valentine’s Day, many people buy flowers. Different colored roses have different meanings. Red means love, yellow means friendship, and pink means friendship or sweetheart. Red carnations mean admiration, white carnations mean pure love, red chrysanthemums mean love, forget-me-nots mean true love, primrose means young love, and larkspur means an open heart.
  6. The first recorded Valentine was sent February 1415 by the English duke of Orleans. He sent of love letter to his wife from his jail cell in the Tower of London after the Battle of Agincourt. It is currently on display in the British Museum.
  7. Each year 300,000 letters go through Loveland, Colorado, to get a special heart stamp cancellation for Valentine’s Day.
  8. Esther Howland (1828-1904) was the first person to create Valentines to sell in the United States. She first patented a lacy Valentine in 1844—and by 1860, her factory was selling thousands of Valentines, earning over $100,000.
  9. Valentine’s Day was first introduced to Japan in 1936 and has become widely popular. However, because of a translation error made by a chocolate company, only women buy Valentine chocolates for their spouses, boyfriends, or friends. In fact, it is the only day of the year many single women will reveal their crush on a man by giving him chocolate. The men don’t return the favor until White Day, a type of “answer day” to Valentine’s Day, which is on March 14.
  10. Nearly 10 new candy “conversation heart” sayings are introduced each year. Recent additions have included “Yeah Right,” “Puppy Love,” and “Call Home. And FYI: Valentine candy “conversation hearts” have a shelf life of five years.

So, how are you planning on spending Valentine’s Day? With a loved one? Or perhaps you’ll get up the nerve to declare your love to someone special. Who do you think Della should spend her Valentine’s Day with? Chase or Steve?

Whatever you do, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day 2015.

See You There!

Any one in the Houston, Texas area, I’ll be returning to the Montgomery County Book Festival in Conroe, Texas on February 21st at the Lone Star College, 3200 College Park Drive (Hywy 242). I’ll be there along with many other fabulous authors from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. I’ll even be sitting in on a paranormal panel with Mari Mancusi. So, if you live in the area, be sure to come by for some of the fun!

Winners!

Last week’s winners of Shadow Falls: The Beginning are Jasmine Adams and  Victoria. Please email your mailing address to cc@cchunterbooks.com. Congratulations! You have till Feb. 16th to claim your prize.

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Writers’ Block, a TV Series and Kylie

I’ve been getting a lot of emails recently asking me questions about writing and my writing process. So, I thought I’d post an interview that originally appeared at Miss Literati (http://www.missliterati.com/ml/home), that answers a lot of those questions.

What’s the planning process like when writing a series? Did you outline what you want to happen in all of your books before writing them?

I call myself a panther because I write by the seat of my pants and I do not plan very well. Even in the synopsis of the series, I didn’t know what the main thrust of the whole thing would be. My plan was to end the first book with finding out what Kylie was. When I got writing it, I was into chapter 12 or 13 and I decided maybe the whole series should be about figuring out what Kylie is.

posterWhat did you find most challenging when writing this series?

Having just one point of view was difficult for me and taught me a lot. It was important that everyone had a story. And with all have these things going on, I really needed to get into [everyone’s] heads, but couldn’t leave Kylie’s point of view.

Writing and getting the story from one point of view taught me some tricks of the trade. Kylie had to be very aware of the people around her and be able to read them. She either knew their story and she knew there was a story.

What drew you to paranormal writing?

Well, I’ve always loved ghost stories! As a writer, we need all these different options. When you’re plotting a scene, they tell you to name ten things that can happen. Then they say not to take your first choice or second choice because a reader would expect that to happen. In the paranormal world, anything is possible! I’m drawn to the endless options of what can happen.

This was your first time writing a series. How does it differ from your other writing? 

No matter what, a book needs to have a beginning, middle and end and I feel like I’ve been able to feed that to my readers in each book with the mysteries of the ghost. After each ghost Kyle’s story continues. I totally get why readers are drawn to series now!

Is Kylie based off of yourself at all?

KylieAs soon as I got into the characters, it was magical to go back and be my 16-year-old self. I definitely plagiarized my life a little with Kylie. But she’s cooler than me. I was a misfit, a quiet wallflower. At 16 my parents got a divorce and my girlfriends took a ride on the wild side. I was stuck and analyzing everything. I’ve always been the type of person that analyzes things. I wanted to think things through.

All the characters have a little of me in them actually. I knew I wanted to have a character also be dyslexic, so I had that be Miranda.

We didn’t know you were dyslexic! What an accomplishment to overcome that and become a writer! Did you struggle a lot when getting started?

Being dyslexic, I suffer from leaving out words. I don’t see the little words like so, is, to. I have a couple people that read through my work and check for spelling errors like that. I will forever have my mistakes and never be able to write a perfect copy.

But dyslexia helped me realize things in life are tough and you don’t always get it right the first time. When I started writing, I didn’t expect to get it right. The rejections I got didn’t stop me. If a rejection came in, I’d still continue to work.

They also say that dyslexia makes you read people and pick up on things better. I think being more intuitive definitely made me a better writer.

That being said, I really didn’t start reading until I was in third grade. I didn’t start reading a lot until I was like 18 or 19. But for me, my love of writing is the same as my love of storytelling. I really am a storyteller more than a writer. Being raised in the south, I was told that if a lie made a story better it wasn’t a lie. So I’ve been telling fiction my entire life.

What’s your drafting process like? Do you have many drafts for each book you write?

writers-deskYa know, I don’t have a lot of drafts when I write and I don’t normally have a lot of revisions. I think this is because I write very linear. Something happens, and because that happens, this happens.
About how long does it take you to complete a book?

It varies on whether or not I have a whole lot of interference in my life, but normally a book takes me about two-and-a-half to three months to complete. I find myself finishing about three books a year.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

I was raised by my father who was a plumber and never in all my life do I ever recall my father waking up and saying, “I have plumber’s block, I can’t work.” There are days that I am much more fruitful and then there’s days when I decide to blog or focus on marketing a little instead.

I treat writing as a career. I can’t afford to buy into the fact that there is a muse helping me and if I don’t have that muse then I can’t write.

How is the transition from writing adult romance novels to YA paranormal novels?

The transition isn’t too hard because I am a character driven writer. I write from the character and once I find her, I see life through her eyes and see what her goals are. I torture my characters and give them problems and conflicts. I know what they don’t want to face and then I make them face it.

I don’t think my voice changes a whole lot when writing romance and YA. I think the characters and the age of the characters define what the thought process will be.

What’s one of your goals when writing?

One of the steps I really try to do is make all my characters human. I really want everyone to be able to relate to them. I want everyone to say, “I know someone just like that.” It was important for me to build these characters with human interaction and where people can relate.

Do you see the Shadow Falls series becoming a book-to-movie series?

Well, it has received a lot of interest and I do have a film agent. What he is looking at right now though, is a TV series. These kinds of deals are a long process so who knows what will happen. But it’s definitely something I’m open to!

Winners!

The winners of last week’s giveaway-a copy of Shadow Falls: The Beginning are Charlene and Shonnia. Congratulations! You have a week to claim your prize by sending you mailing address to cc@cchunterbooks.com.

Another Giveaway!

SFBeginningDidn’t win last week’s giveaway? Well, good news! I have two more copies of Shadow Falls: The Beginning to give away to two lucky people who leave a comment here. (Sorry, but I have to limit this giveaway to US residents.)

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Book Signings, Workshops and Laughter

I’ve often been asked what I’d be if I wasn’t a writer. My answer? A comedienne. And even though I chose to become a writer, I’m lucky enough to still be able to let the funny side of me out to play. It comes out in my writing (remember when Miranda turned Sock into a skunk?), but I also get to let it out when I teach a workshop or speak at a book signing.

I was in Tuscon, Arizona on Friday for a book signing at Mostly Books, and I never laughed so much. Some of the laughter came from me telling my stories ( I can laugh at myself), but much of it came from talking to my readers and other authors. If you can’t tell, I’m a people person, and writing is an isolated profession, so when I have the opportunity to visit and make new friends, I jump on it. And that’s what I did in Tuscon. So I thought I’d share a few of my photos.

ChristieHere I am giving my Deep Point of View workshop. Believe it or not, those are just some of the rejection notices that I received over the years. And that suitcase if full! But I loved standing up there helping other writers understand how to go deep into a character’s point of view to make their stories more complex and interesting. But I also got to make everyone laugh, too!

 

 

 

 

IMG_0101Lunch was fabulous and it gave me the opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

 

 

 

 

IMG_0083This was the view from my hotel room.What are those things on the horizon? We don’t have those things in Houston.

 

 

 

 

IMG_0090Here’s a photo of Mostly Books, where I had my book signing. Thanks to everyone who came out to meet me.

 

 

 

 

IMG_0107Had a great time getting to know some of the Tuscon writers. Thanks to Cricket for the great table conversation.

 

 

 

 

FullSizeRenderAfter conference drinks with the board members of Tuscon RWA.

 

 

 

 

As you can tell, I had a great time in Tuscon. It was a place I’ve always wanted to go. I love going to these thing, but it’s also great to come home again.

Giveaway!!!

SFBeginningSo this week, I’m giving away two copies of Shadow Falls: The Beginning to two people who leave a comment. It’s a great way to introduce a friend to the world of Shadow Falls, or you can just keep it for yourself. So be sure to leave a comment telling me your favorite funny scene from any of my books.

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More Miranda News

beautiful teen girl portraitA few weeks ago I told you that I was writing a novella about Miranda. Well, believe me, it turned out to be much longer than planned, but hey, some girls need more pages than others. After all, Miranda has a big adventure. So, it’s finished, and I thought you might like to learn a little bit more about what happens in Miranda’s novella.

In Miranda’s story, Paranormals in Paris, (the title will change) Miranda learns:

Past mistakes can turn into lessons to help secure our futures.

Who you are shouldn’t be all about the boy you like.  Be true to yourself.

When you’re following your dreams, nothing should stop you.  Not even opening a door and stepping in a pile of purposely placed horse crap.

Just about all parents keep secrets, and Miranda’s parents were keeping a doozy.

Sometimes the person you think is your arch enemy can turn out to be something so different.

It’s never enough to depend on someone else to rescue you.  You need to be willing to rescue yourself.

Doing the right thing doesn’t automatically mean it will be easy, or that it isn’t scary.

When all else fails, just turn someone into a kangaroo with pimples.

Where will I be?

I’ve got a few upcoming appearances and book signings. So, if you’re in any of these areas, please come on by and say hello.

January 23, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, I’ll be at Mostly Books in Tucson, Arizona. For more details, follow this link: Mostly Books.

March 27-29, I’ll be teaching workshops and attending the California Dreamin’ Conference near Los Angeles. You can find out more here: California Dreamin’.

May 12-17, I’ll be kicking up my heels at the RT Booklovers Convention. I’ll be teaching several teen workshops and participating in their Giant Book Fair on May 17th along with 800+ authors. If you live in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, you can’t miss this one! For more information check out this link: RT Booklovers.

I’ll be updating my calendar as I schedule more appearances, so keep checking back. I hope to meet you at one of my events!

 

 

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Why do Writers do that and Other Questions Writer’s Get?

Writer21.  Why do writers write?

Sometimes it’s because we suck at everything else.  Sometimes it because it’s the only career where it’s okay to hear voices in your head.  Sometimes it because we can’t kidnap people and get them to act out our stories.  But most of the time, it’s because we don’t know how we feel about something until we write about it.

2.  Why do writers stare in to space, eyes unfocused, their expression as blank as a drunk rock?

We’re working, leave us alone.

3.  Why when approached by someone at a book signing and someone tells a writer how much they enjoyed their book, the writer looks them dead in the eyes with complete surprise and says, “Really?”

Okay, this might be a surprise to most of you, but most writers consider themselves artist. And everyone knows that artists are insecure little twits.  Even after we hit the big time, we still are afraid someone will discover our secret:  we don’t know what the crap we’re doing.  We are just making it up as we go.

4.  Why do writer’s talk to themselves?

We are not crazy.  Insecure yes, crazy…not really.  And please, doesn’t everyone exchange a little dialogue with themselves?  Second of all, half the time we’re not talking to ourselves.  We are talking to non-existent people who we call characters.  And before you ask, yes, they do talk back.

5. Why is it that writers can read ten, twenty, even a hundred good reviews, but when they read one bad review, they are certain their career is over?

What part about us being insecure little twits did you not understand?

6.  Why do writers continuously check Amazon and other sights for the reviews knowing they are very likely to run into another bad review?

We love pain.

7.  Why do writers talk about their characters as if they are real?

Who said they aren’t real?  If they didn’t feel real to us, how could we write their stories?

8.  Why do writers often ask readers to post a review?

Because the only thing worse than a bad reviews are no reviews.   And because many on-line retailers will do extra promotion if a writer has a lot of reviews.

Unspoken_revised (1)9.  Why do all writers seem to want the readers to run out and buy their book as soon as hit the stands?

It’s not because we need a quick buck, or because we crave instant gratification.  Though that might be true in a lot of cases, but it’s mostly “the list.”  The New York Times and USA Today all use the first week of sales to measure a book’s worth.

10.  Why do writers eavesdrop on strangers sitting in the booth next to them at a restaurant?

Either our characters are having an off day or because every now and then we want to check and see if the real world is more exciting than our imaginary worlds.  If it makes you feel any better, we usually go right back to our imaginary worlds.

11.  Why does it take so long for a writer to write the second book in their series?

Because they’re always checking their numbers and reading and recovering from the bad reviews.

12. Why do writers spend weeks writing scenes and then wake up one morning and delete it all?

Sometimes it’s because that scene didn’t deserve to live.  Sometimes it’s because we are stupid and believe me we often regret it.

writers_mug_she-rb503262d5323460483ddf16094d5cf73_x7jgr_8byvr_51213.  Why do writers claim to love their characters and then do mean things to them?

It’s called conflict.  While humans try to avoid it in real life, if writers don’t beat up their characters enough, readers get bored.  So, you readers make us writers sadistic individuals.

14. Why do writers kill off characters?

Because sometimes they piss us off.  They either won’t stop talking, won’t tell us things, or won’t do what we tell them.  Then occasionally, it’s because your editor makes you.

15.  Why do writers allow their pages to go to print with typos and grammar mistakes?

We don’t mean to, wetry to catch every mistake, but when you are talking about a 120,000 word books, a few typos may get over looked. Of course, the blame can fall on the editor or the line editor.  Then . . . and this is huge, it could be because believe it or not, we aren’t perfect.  We would like to be perfect, who wouldn’t, but nah, we’re just human. We try our best.

16. Why do writers ask people how they liked their book when they really don’t want to hear the truth?

Because we expect people to do the right thing and lie.  That and because well, we’re often insecure little twits.

17. Why do so many writers complain about their covers?

Because a lot of times, they completely suck.   Yeah, I know some of you think we get to pick our covers.  But it’s not always so.

18.  Do writers really mentally imagine the villains in their books are people they don’t like and kill them over and over again.

Hey…it’s one of the perks of being a writer.

19.  Do writers actually learn something from their characters?

Every single time.

20.  Is it true that every character a writer writes is in some way an expression of themselves?

Oh, so now you’re saying we’re not only crazy, but we have multiple personality disorder? Okay, fine, I’ll admit it.  Yes, every character I write has some of me in them.

WritersRevisionTowel21.  Isn’t it unhealthy to spend so much time in an imaginary world?

Yes, it’s an occupational hazard.  Every job comes with some drawback.   We suffer through it for our fans.

22.  Why is it if a writer accidentally loses some pages, he’s certain that those were the best pages he’d ever written?

It the same reason when a fisherman loses a fish, he knows it was the biggest one he’d ever snagged.

23.  Why do writer’s use pseudonyms?  Are we scared our strange stories will attract strange people?

No!  Well, at least I don’t use one because of that.  After all, I’m pretty strange myself. Seriously, some people use a pseudonym because they write in multiple genres and they don’t want a reader to pick up a book and be disappointed that the book is not in the genre they expected. When I sold my first book in 1993, the publishers wouldn’t allow a writer to use their own names because they wanted to own it.  Later when I sold to Dorchester, I chose to use my real name.  Then when I sold to St. Martins, they suggested I use a pseudonym because my Christie Craig name was tied to romantic comedies.  And while my young adult series has humor, it’s different.

So did I answer your questions? If not, leave your question for me in the comment section, and maybe I’ll answer it next time.

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Pay It Forward

Ten things I learned about myself and life in 2014:

  1. I’m such a wimp that I had to save one of my villains,  J.D., who was originally a complete bada$$. About half way through the book, I started feeling sorry for him and went in, rewrote a few scenes, and saved his butt.
  2. I can put out six books in one year. (I don’t recommend it.)
  3. If I stay away from the computer too long, I get hives—in strange places.
  4. I’m allergic to hospital food. It makes me fat.  (Almost a month in the hospital with hubby cost me about eight pounds.)
  5. I am addicted to late night forensic files. Is there a patch for that?
  6. You can drive on a flat tire longer than you think, especially when you are chasing down the hit and run driver who sideswiped you and slammed you into the curb causing the flat. (Another one I don’t recommend doing.)
  7. You know the insurance you buy just in case you can’t make the flight? They try really hard to make it so you don’t collect.  Too bad I’m the type of person who would chase down a hit and run driver and wouldn’t quit.
  8. Never judge a book by its cover or genre. Yes, I’ve known this but was reeducated in the rule when my top two scores in the prestigious RITA Awards, were books I wasn’t excited to read.
  9. Women are indeed the stronger gender. I saw this over and over again when I met all the caregiver-wives sitting bedside with their spouses.
  10. The old adage, “It’s the thought that counts” doesn’t always hold merit when the gift is a live squirrel your dog just brought through the doggy door and dropped at your feet with such enthusiasm.

Yup, I learned a lot this year, and I had a particularly rough end of the year. I spent almost a month at my hubby’s side when he was in the hospital. If you’ve ever had a loved one in the hospital for an extended period of time, you know how tiring and frustrating it can be. There were some days that seemed to stretch on forever. But I wasn’t alone, I brought some books and my laptop. I have to tell you, reading and writing provided me such a wonderful escape. It helped get me through some trying times. So I want to pay it forward. I want to give someone the gift of reading, a gift that might help them through their trying times. So, email (don’t post it here!) the name and mailing address of someone you think has had a tough year—someone who you think would enjoy reading one of my books—to cc@cchunterbooks.com. You don’t have to tell me why it’s been hard for them if don’t feel you should share.

Then once every three months, I’m randomly going to select a name from those sent in and I’ll send out a signed copy of one of my books with a note just saying someone is thinking about them.

Winner!

Last week I asked you to tell me your New Years resolutions, and you had some great ones. I wish you all luck with achieving them. The winner of a print copy of Unbreakable is Rebecca Hickman. Congratulations! Please email your address to cc@cchunterbooks.com.

 

 

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Looking Back at 2014

What a year it’s been.  Between both my author personas, Christie Craig and C.C. Hunter, I’ve released six books this year.

I’ve traveled all over Texas: Terrel, San Antonio, Dallas, Euless, and Palacios.  I’ve jumped a plane and flown to Wisconsin, Maine, Alabama, Ohio, and Phoenix, where I talked about writing and shared my passion for this career and the art of storytelling.

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I’ve visited with old fans, hugged and laughed with old and new fans, and made so many new friends.  Some of them even looked a little strange.

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I’ve watched a miracle as my hubby got a new kidney.  I spent almost a month living out of hotel, so I could be close to the hospital during some later complications.  The good news is that I have him home now and he’s improving and the kidney is working.

I’ve had a year of joy, tears, love, laughter and success.  I could have done without some of hubby’s health issues, but considering things are looking up, I’ll call it a good year.  I hope you, too, have some good times to reflect back on in this year.  I wish this New Year will bring all of us more love, laughter and success and a lot less tears.

Happy new year

 

 

WINNER!

Wow! So many of you have gotten some really weird gifts. Rats? A plastic cereal bowl? An empty box? A toilet brush? Gosh, you have some weird friends and families. It was a tough decision, but the winner of a paperback copy of Unbreakable is Amanda who received used panties. YUCK! Amanda, you have one week to email your mailing address to cc@cchunterbooks.com. Congratulations!

Giveaway!blank list of resolutions on blackboard

This week I’m giving away another paperback copy of Unbreakable to someone who leaves a comment telling me about your New Years Resolutions. What is on your list? What are you going to change about yourself or try to do better?

 

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Happy Holidays!!

Wintry Happy Holiday TagsIt’s a busy week for everyone. The gifts are bought, the tree decorated, and my cookies are in the oven. I love baking those delicious sugar cookies that I can decorate. I still need to wrap a few presents, but I expect they’ll be done in time.

I’ll be spending Christmas Day with family. My children are grown now, but they’ll still be here with us for the holidays. I always loved watching my kids’ faces light up when they were little and they opened something they’d asked Santa to bring. It seems like it was only yesterday, and now I’m watching my granddaughter’s delighted face.

FullSizeRenderI did receive one early present. It didn’t come through the chimney, but the doggie door. Lady, my Border Collie mix, brought in a live toy and dropped it at my feet. Neither I nor the squirrel appreciated it. Imagine me screaming, hubby running, Lady barking, and the poor squirrel raising hell. Long story short, we managed to get the terrified squirrel back outside. I know Lady brought me the squirrel out of love, but that was probably the oddest present I’ve ever received.

I’m wishing you a day surrounded by family and friends, good food on your table, books at an arm’s reach, laughter and love.

UnbreakableI posted on Facebook that I have a few paperback copies of Chase’s novella, Unbreakable. So I’m giving away one copy to someone who leaves a comment. So, what’s the oddest present you’ve ever received?

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