Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Paying It Forward

Sorry about the lateness of today's blog. The release of the latest Dresden files book, Changes, by Jim Butcher overwhelmed me momentarily. If you're a fan, he'll be at Murder By the Book here in Houston tonight at 6:30PM.

Despite my rant on Friday, I truly believe in paying it forward. Why? Because I've been the lucky recipient of folks who believe the same thing.

Roughly six years ago, this cute little blonde waltzed up to me at my first RWA chapter meeting. Her words dripped with Southern drawl, and she wore the most adorable hat. Frankly, that's all I can remember of my first encounter with classy Christie Craig. My own fear of new people and new situations blocked out most of the rest of that day.

A few months later, Christie asked if I'd like to meet for coffee. I was a little shell-shocked. Why would a published writer want to spend time with a newbie like me?

Over pumpkin and vanilla lattes, she talked about getting her first book published in 1993 and how she hit a dry spell in fiction. She put her daughter through college by writing over 10,000 magazine article. We discussed books, our current projects and how life is all about change and you can never stop learning. We discovered we had a lot in common. Growing up in small towns and taking the first opportunity to get out. Moms who weren't exactly all there in the mental department. The love of a terrific novel. And over the course of the next several years, we evolved into critique partners.

She's bent over backward helping me with plotting, emotional nuance, and my personal devil-POV. If I call with a question, she drops everything and gives her undivided attention. That's not to say we haven't had differences of opinion over certain stuff, but we respect each other's opinion enough to agree to disagree.

I've learned a hell of a lot about craft just from proof-reading for Christie. She'll downplay her talent at times. Her battles with dyslexia irritate her to no end. But she never gave up her dream of getting published. And finally in November 2006, she got that call from her agent that not only had she sold her second manuscript, but her third, fourth and fifth as well.

Shut Up and Kiss Me is Christie's seventh novel. This is my 100th Blog Post. So in honor of these two milestones, I'm giving away a signed ARC of Shut Up and Kiss Me.** It's damn funny book. I should know. I've read it already.

For a chance at winning the signed ARC, please leave a comment. Make sure you leave a name if posting an anonymous comment. You have until 11:00AM CDT Thursday morning to post a comment. I'll have GK draw a name at noon, and I'll announce the winner.

FINE PRINT and LEGALESE CRAP: Due to postage regulations and costs, I will only be able to mail the ARC to someone in the U.S. or Canada. I can't put folks outside of these two countries in GK's hat. You're still welcome to leave a comment though!

** P.S. Signed by Christie, not by me.


  1. Nice post =). And congratulations on your 100th blog post! How long did that take you, I wonder? 100 days? 100 weeks? Or somewhere in between?

    Zita [zita(at)dal(dot)ca]

  2. LOL Call it somewhere in between, Zita. I wasn't consistant at first, but part of my resolution for 2010 was to use a blog post, no matter how tiny, as a writing warm-up so I'd post every day. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Yay for both milestones! So many people in my WisRWA chapter are fans of Christie's, and after reading Divorced, Desperate and Delicious, I'm there, too! It certainly helps that she's such a sweetheart. :)

    I'm looking forward to finishing the series and Shut Up and Kiss Me sounds great, too!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. It's so nice when you get the chance to meet someone that not only becomes a good friend but a mentor as well. You are lucky to have met Christie, and we are all lucky that her books sold. The world would be less funny without them.


  6. Geez, CHristie! If you'd stop stalking your agent and editor, you wouldn't need a lawyer. And we won't evenget into the ropes and handcuffs!

  7. You're so lucky to have such a super star as a mentor! I'm drooling with envy! Congrats on your milestone blog post and thank you for sponsoring a great contest.

  8. I love the post congrats on both milestones. I have read all of Christie's books and love them. I have recommended many of them, infact at my last RWA Chapter Meeting I went to I was sitting talking to a few women and mentioned Christie's work and they were writing it down. It is always nice to find a new author and new books to read.

  9. I'd like to be included, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

  10. No need to enter me, Suzan (although typing that hurts. Christie writes great stuff). Christie asked me to post this at my Win a Book blog, so I did.

  11. @Michlle and Peg,

    One thing to remember-when I met Christie, she was trying to break back into the fiction market after decade-long absence. Heck, she didn't even have an agent at that point. What I admire about her is her perseverence. There are no guarantees in this crazy publishing business, but Christie didn't give up. Not once!

    And even when she hooked up with her agent, the Captivating Kim Lionetti of BookEnds, LLC, poor Christie was rejected left and right, generally for being too quirky. She still didn't give up!

    (And this says a lot about Kim as an agent too. She never gave up on Christie either.)

    Christie refuses to let me give up either. In fact, she's been my shoulder for rejections, my cheerleader for requests, and a demanding taskmaster questioning why I haven't sent pages to her lately.

  12. Thanks for passing on the word, Susan!

  13. Congratulations to you both! I needed to hear that today about perseverence. Great post! I can't wait to read Christie's next book!

  14. I would love to read Christie's new book!


  15. Ooh, I wanna read "a damn funny book"!!! I love the title too. I think there was a great country song back in the 90s with the same title.

    Mary (Bookfan)

  16. Congrats on 100! I'm new here but I read the killerfiction blog all the time. I love Christy's sense of humor and I just bet you have a good one too! Thanks for the contest.

  17. Joelle "refhater"April 6, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    Congrats to both of you on your milestones! Hope you are both having a great day!


  18. Two wonderful milestones, congratulations to both of you! Christie knows what a fan I am, I brag about her books to anyone who will listen...LOL Even sent my mom home with a couple this last weekend. I have no doubt she'll love them and run out to buy the others. ;-)

    Very much looking forward to SHUT UP & KISS ME and getting to meet Christie this July in Nashville!

  19. Congrat to both of you on the milestones! Great post! Christie I am a big fan of your and I can't wait to read your new book! Its at the top of my list of books! Thanks for the chance to win Shut Up and Kiss Me! Its going to be fabulous!

  20. I love Christie's wacky heroines and hot heroes...so please throw in my name for Shut Up and Kiss me!

    Congrats to both of you on your milestones and great friendship :)


  21. We were just chatting about Christie and her brilliant use of a box of condums in an earlier book... Can't wait for the new one!

  22. Suzan . . .


    We all have our ways of showing our love, Suzan. LOL. And once my agent and editor got over the being tied up and handcuffed, they were totally into the whole thing.

    I do have to admit, I lucked up getting an agent and editor who can put up with me. I mean, try telling your agent you need her to get in the shower so you can take a picture of her. Hey, she did it. And poor Chris Keeslar, I would send him updates on the book I was I working on that read something like...Oh, there's a skunk, and naked man in a bath tub bathing in women's douche and V-8 juice in Shut Up and Kiss Me. But don't worry, later, he puts on a pink bathrobe.

    Chris would always reply..."Okay. . . I think. Keep me posted."

  23. Found your site via twitter and I am loving your site & Blog. Congrats on your 100th post. Would love to read Christie Craig's latest book.

  24. My friend and co-worker Suzan H gave me a copy of Divorced, Desperate and Delicious. I loved it!!!!! Now I'm hooked on Christie. Please put me in for the ark. Can't wait to read the next book.
    Carol J.D.
    P.S. Christie's books would make great movies. Hollywood doesn't know what they're missing.

  25. Wow. You guys sure know how to make girl feel good.

    I see so many names I know from my blog, from other loops, and names I've heard Suzan speak of. And to your newbies, I hope to see you again, both here at Suzan's and at Killer Fiction, my blog on Tuesdays. Thank you all for posting and visiting with Suzan. I just love introducing my friends to other friends. Ain't Suzan great? And I don't think I said congrats to Suzan for 100th post. I'm honored to be part this big accomplishment.

    Thanks again everyone.


  26. Brandie NickersonApril 7, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    Christie is truly a wonderful person and a great writer. I was a newbie (well, I'm still a newbie), but last year, I met the same little blonde with the Southern drawl. The same easy-going, open, beautiful person at a strange, somewhat scary RWA meeting that made me feel so welcome and confortable. She also shocked me with the geniune offer to help that touched my heart.



  27. Thanks for stopping by to all the Killer Fiction regulars!

    @Beth, thanks for reminding me I still need to set up a Twitter acount. Honestly, I don't know how some folks manage all the social networking! I barely have time to take a shower most days.

    Actually, I think Carol JD would prefer I took the shower since she has to deal with me on a daily basis - LOL

  28. Two wonderful accomplishments. Congratulations to you both! Please count me in on the giveaway.

    Cheryl S.

  29. Great giveaway!

    Please count me in. Thanks.

    avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it