Reader Question: What Did Your Kids Say When You First Got Published?

This question is from beta reader Kristi Davis:

Q: What did your kids say to you when you first got published?

A: What a sweet question! My kids, who are now 15, 18, and 21 years, have been watching me write fiction at all hours of the days, nights and weekends for nearly ten years now. I think it seems normal to them. So, on the day I got my book contract, I hung up the phone in my den and turned to my then-13 yo – who was lounging on the couch the way all 13 yo’s do, with his body slung over the seat and only his hands at attention on his phone keyboard – and said, “Oh my God, I just sold my book!”

I think his exact reaction was “Cool” (with a quick glance up from his phone).

Deep sigh. …

But since then, all three of my kids have expressed mostly pride.

Although none of them has read my book (they’d all rather die, I’m sure, than read anything their mother has written regarding love scenes), they did all post pictures to Instagram on the day my first box of books arrived from my publisher. A few weeks later, they all took pictures of me in random Barnes and Noble stores posing near my book (once even in Missoula, MT, and once in Salt Lake City, UT), and they all feel the need to rearrange the shelves in the bookstores whenever they see it so my book is visible. They’ve all written me Mother’s Day or birthday cards that go on and on about how proud they are that I followed my dream, and made it come true. My daughter even called me an “inspiration.”

Nothing could be better.

This reader question and answer originally ran in my June newsletter. If you’d like to sign up for my newsletter, and get all the posts mailed directly to you, sign up here. We also do monthly giveaways and have “sneak peeks” at chapters from upcoming books. Have a question? Send to laurenchristopher [at] live [dot] com!

What I’m Reading: A Fun Blog Series

I read a LOT — for work, for my book club, for my writing career, for fun, to relax, and anytime I’m in a long line waiting for anything.

So I thought I’d start to share some of the fun pieces I constantly run across, in case you’re always looking for fun, new things to read, too.

One blogger I started reading last year is Shay Shull, who writes the Mix and Match Family blog. And she’s been writing the most fun-to-read posts over the last two weeks as she adopts a daughter from China. She outlines the process, her day-to-day activities there as she and her husband wait for their new daughter, and how she’s keeping her two older kids entertained. Here’s where the series starts: China, Days 1-3.

Then there’s: China Day 4, China Day 5, China Day 6, Ashby, China Days 9-10, China Day 11, China Days 12-13, China Days 14-15, and that’s as far as I’ve read. (She doesn’t have forward nav on her posts, so I put all the links up there for you!)

I normally like to read Shay’s blog because she’s cute and sweet and seems like such a good mom, and her kids are adorable. Her husband is a former football player and seems like such a good dad. And she’s also the sister of one of the Bachelors — Sean, who married the girl he met on the show. So if you want more to read, you can dig back into Shay’s archives and read all about her life! (She also gives really great fashion advice.)

But the China story just seemed particularly interesting, and the process of adoption, and the good, open hearts of the parents who do that.

I loved reading it, and hope you do, too.

 

TEN GOOD REASONS Preorders Now Available!

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So, wow, I can’t believe it’s 2015 already and my second book is finally ready to make its debut! I’ve been waiting for this for quite a while. (It feels like I wrote it a long time ago.)

TEN GOOD REASONS — Lia and Evan’s story — is now available for preorder on Kindle and Nook as well as paperback. You can reserve your copy now and not get charged until April 7 when it comes out officially and will pop up in your reading device. (You’re also guaranteed the best price between now and then.) I’m so excited for this book! — Here are five places where you can now preorder:

Barnes and Noble (Nook or paperback): http://bit.ly/13TN4RV
Amazon (Kindle or paperback): http://amzn.to/1ysU85T
iBooks/ iTunes: http://bit.ly/1xxVhqS
Powells: http://bit.ly/13TO6NZ
Book Depository (free shipping outside the U.S.): http://bit.ly/1BrqTzZ

I’ll be sharing sneak-peeks of upcoming chapters in my newsletter, so if you want to read along, sign up for the newsletter here. I’ll be sharing up through Chapter 4, then when your book arrives on April 7, you can pick up right from there!

And I’ll also be giving away a couple more ARCs (advanced reader copies), so stay tuned for that also.

Right now, I’m putting together a Review Crew for TEN GOOD REASONS, and I thank all of you who volunteered through the newsletter. For those who I could squeeze in, I’ll be reaching out to you soon through email.

It’s going to be a fun year! Here we goooooooo ….

Fresh Start to a New Year

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So how is the new year treating you so far?

Mine has started with a bang! New writing deadlines, a child flying back to college, general clean-up of holiday stuff, feeling behind already, a few feelings of omg-is-it-really-only-week-ONE?, and … wow … snow!

We got snow on our Southern California mountains on Dec. 31. (So not technically 2015, but it was still exciting and felt like a nice way to start a new year!)

This is called Saddleback Mountain, and it’s normally dry and brown, with some flashes of green in the spring after it’s rained for a bit. (Unfortunately, the green only lasts a nanosecond.) But the morning of Dec. 31, I pulled out of my housing tract, glanced to my left to look for oncoming traffic, and sucked in my breath when I saw this:

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I seriously breathed out “Wow!” right into my empty car. I did a quick U-turn and parked on the side of the street to take the above photo. (The things in the street are palm fronds that blew off the trees and into the street the night before, during our rainstorm.)

Hubby had called me in the morning and had told me there was “snow on Saddleback,” but I wasn’t prepared for THIS. Usually when there’s “snow” it only covers that very top peak, not ALL the mountains!

So I drove up to the lake (about a mile up that road) and took these:

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I wasn’t the only one! There are a ton of people standing right behind me taking the same photos, and there were even cars parked on the side of the street with snow on them, who drove from about a mile away, from the base of the mountain. I guess they were even able to play with snow in their back yards! It was such a treat of beauty for us.

This last photo is one of my favorites because in all my 18 years in this town, I’ve NEVER seen snow on top of those mountains to the right! What-the-whaaaa?

(Plus, who doesn’t love a nice palm-trees-against-snow picture?)

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So that got my new year off to a crazy, you-never-know-what-to-expect start! I hope the rest of the year is filled with such magnificent, beautiful surprises.

How is your year going so far?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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My greetings might sound a tad belated, but that’s okay, right? We’re still celebrating! My tree is still up. My Christmas music is still playing in my car. I still have Christmas bags and tissue paper out. We still have lots of Christmas candy sitting around (tempting me), and I still have that “vacation” feeling. My older kids are still home from college. My youngest is still home on break. So as far as I’m concerned, we’re still in the throes of celebration. Merry Christmas!

This picture is from my tree, which — incidentally — I’m SO GLAD you all talked me into putting up despite the house of destruction. I love it! Here’s how it came out:

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I didn’t haul out my big box of decorations and unwrap all 100+ personal ornaments, so it might look a tad impersonal, with only balls on it. In fact, maybe it looks a bit like a tree you might see in the JCPenney women’s department or something, doesn’t it? But I’m really glad I put it up! It was pretty, and it lent a festive feeling to the whole house. Plus it would have seemed weird exchanging gifts that we all pulled from the upstairs hallway.

So anyway, the top picture is one of three new ornaments we got this year and that are now hanging amid the red, gold and pink women’s-department ball ornaments. I showed you the first one my mom reconstructed for me. The second one was a “Batman” ornament from my daughter’s friend to my daughter. (Inside joke, I guess.) And this top photo is the third: an adorable “Friendship” ornament given to me by my friend Michelle when we had a Girls Night Out of four friends earlier this month.

I particularly loved it because it really encapsulated the year for me. This year was really a year of friendship for me, with friends new and old. So many new friends I met after launching the book — I appreciate each and every one of you who write me sweet letters about the book, or visit my Facebook page and write me notes there, or who send me emails. I love all of you, and you are exactly why I love to write — I’m writing for you!

And so many old friends, too, made a reappearance this year: I think because our 30th high school reunion was in September, and it encouraged so many of us locals to reconnect before, during and after the reunion. Or many friends I didn’t see at the reunion, but they reached out outside of it and we had lunch or dinner. It was really a “reconnect” year, and made me think so much about childhood friends and what strong ties we all have to our pasts, to our old neighborhoods, to each others’ parents and siblings, to our old teachers, to our shared eras, and so many shared life experiences.

It’s been a very memorable year. And I hope 2015 continues the wonderful feeling of connectedness and friendship!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!

 

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