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.

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!

 

 

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.

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.