Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Featured Author: Chrissy Anderson

Last November, Chrissy Anderson was here to talk about her first book, The Life List, and she brought Leo, one of the main characters, too. We were also treated to an excerpt from that first book in the trilogy. I'm happy to report that the second book, The Unexpected List, is now out, and Chrissy is back with a guest post and another excerpt. She's also received A Blue Million Books' Daredevil Award for accepting the Dirty Dozen challenge and answering all twelve questions. First, a refresher on The Life List, and a little bit about The Unexpected List:

The Life List

The Life List is the ultimate chick lit novel and most of the story is true. Chrissy Anderson, a twenty-eight-year-old fashion executive, created a seven-point life list at the age of sixteen, and she's been steadily checking off the boxes and mocking the style and life choices of everyone around her ever since. Her life begins to run amuck when she unexpectedly meets a much younger man, Leo, who makes her question her "perfect life."

Chrissy's lifelong friendships and her marriage are put to the test as she tries to sort out her feelings for Leo. With the help of her brassy, no-nonsense therapist, Dr. Maria, Chrissy learns more about herself than she anticipates. But, it isn't until the untimely death of her best friend that Chrissy is catapulted into long overdue authenticity and scrambles to correct the mistakes of her past...trying to figure out if it's Kurt, Leo or both that she has to get rid of to make everything right.

Women of all kinds--twenty-somethings, housewives, and superwomen wanna-bes- will all be able to relate to the pressure of constructing the ideal life, only to fall short. Not everyone will agree with Chrissy Anderson's decisions, but all will pause as they follow along on her journey to ask, "What would I do if I were her?"


The Unexpected List

Chrissy Anderson’s The Unexpected List delivers another charismatic combination of romance and anguish, peppered with large doses of wit. In this second novel from The List Trilogy, Chrissy, who is now divorced from her husband, Kurt, is finally free to pursue a “truly, madly, deeply” relationship with the man of her dreams, Leo.

And it looks like Chrissy is finally going to be able to have her wedding cake and eat it too as Leo valiantly tries to make all of her dreams come true. But once again, Chrissy’s world, and her relationships, are turned upside-down as someone else close to her dies. And, an unexpected gift forces her to grow up--fast. For a second time, Chrissy is pushed to make a choice between love and obligation. What will she choose this time?

Your favorite characters from The Life List are back. Dr. Maria, Slutty Co-worker, and Chrissy’s best friends from high school, Courtney and Nicole, continue to laugh and cry with Chrissy as she learns how to pick herself up and move on to achieve the life she’s always wanted, and now knows she deserves.



Excerpt from The Unexpected List

That old saying, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, is super true. And, since I know this so well from personal experience, I know I’ll eventually get to the acceptance stage of what Kurt just unexpectedly showed up to my cottage to tell me. The difference this time though is I’ll probably arrive at acceptance at the same time as everyone else.

I was on the phone with Leo. He and Taddeo had been hard at work rebuilding the Hedge Fund business, and the work officially started when they renamed it, T.L. Capital. Hearing that Leo’s initial was now in the title made me think his stint in New York was going to be longer than the four or five months he promised. But when I nervously asked if I should change his mailing address, he said “Baby, like I said, I’m coming home.” He was still on target to open up a west coast division of the business in March. I was relieved to know that my drugs would be back at my disposal in three months. It was during my explanation of comparing being with him to injecting heroin that the walls started vibrating.

“I’m serious Leo! Heroin is like taking the best orgasm you’ve ever had and multiplying it by like...a billion, and you’re still nowhere near how good it makes you feel!  Yep, you’re like my heroin! I tried you once and now I’m addicted for life!”

His deep and sexy laugh makes me want to crawl into the phone and end up in his mouth!

“But Chrissy, have you ever tried heroin?”

“Well no, but-”

The pounding startled me so much that I let out a little scream.

“What’s wrong?”

“Someone’s at the door.”

“What the hell? It’s ten at night!”

I thought the same thing and it scared me. There are only two reasons for a ten-at-night door pounding; a booty call or a scare-the-wits-out-of-you emergency. Seeing as though my booty call is currently an airplane ride away, I knew the night was about to take a turn for the worse.

“CHRISSY, OPEN THE DOOR! PLEASE, I NEED YOU!”

That’s Kurt’s voice. Oh shit, he found out about the engagement! But how?

“Talk to me.  What’s going on over there, baby?”

Remember Chrissy, you made a vow...no more lies.

“I don’t know, Leo. I think it’s...I think it’s Kurt.”

“Open the door and put him on the phone.”

“Seriously? There’s no way I’m...”

“OPEN THE GODDAMN DOOR AND PUT HIM ON THE PHONE!”

You know what? Leo has every right to be mad, and I think this time I need to let him handle his anger directly with Kurt. I wonder though...would I be thinking so rationally if the ass-kicking had the potential to be anything more than a verbal one? Uhhhhh, that would be a BIG, no! Honest to God, I fear the day these guys have a face-to-face encounter. I don’t think either of them could hold back the urge to punch, and the thought of them hurting each other is too much to bear. Reaching for the door handle, I think...until then, let the verbal war begin.

Nothing could’ve prepared me for what I saw when I opened the door. There was Kurt, trembling, with tears streaming down his face and large pools of dried blood covering his sweat-drenched shirt. I dropped the phone at the same time Kurt dropped to the ground.  Yes, I knew the night was about to take a turn for the worse when I heard the pounding, but there was absolutely nothing that could’ve prepared me for how bad a turn the night- no, scratch that. There was absolutely nothing that could’ve prepared me for how big of a turn my life was about to take when Kurt opened his mouth and starting screaming.

From Chrissy:

It took a chance encounter with a young stranger at a bar to realize my life list was bullshit. But did I have the courage to correct the mistakes of my past? Was I strong enough to defy the wishes of everyone around me and become the woman I was meant to be?

You can find the answers to these questions in The Life List. I'm Chrissy Anderson, and this is my story through my life choices--some good, some stupid, some sleazy. Sure, I've made some big mistakes. But, I learned from them and came out the other end in a pretty damn good place. My hope is that I can help you do the same.

Guest Post from Chrissy Anderson

(Originally posted on Chicklitplus.com)


Buriiiiiing, buriiiiing, buriiiiing…

“Hello?”

“Hi, is this Chrissy Anderson?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Hi, hunny, this is Rita Wilson. It’s an honor to speak to you.”

(Long dubious pause on my end of the receiver)

“Hunny...are you there?”

“Rita Wilson? The Rita Wilson...as in Mrs. Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson?”

“Yep! Hey, listen, I read The Life List, and I have to tell you I was blown away. It’s not your average chick-lit read, and Chrissy’s not your average chick-lit heroine; she’s opinionated, judgmental...snarky. I found her personality hysterical, clever and totally relatable!”

“You did?”

“Are you surprised?”

“Well, no, not surprised with what you said. It was my intention to write about myself as an authentic person that women of all kinds-twenty-somethings, housewives and super woman wanna-bes- could relate to. I think all of us can connect to the pressure of constructing the ideal life, only to fall short. I guess...I’m surprised the book found its way to you. I’ve been trying to get a copy of it in your hands for over a year. I think the closest it got was to your agent’s assistant’s assistant.”

“Are you kidding? I found my way to your book! Everyone in Hollywood is reading it. You’ve created something really special, and I want to help you take it to the next level. It’s got to be a movie.”

“That’s exactly what I think!”

“You know what I love the most about it...well, beside the fact that the role of Chrissy’s therapist, Dr. Maria, is made for me!”

(OMIGOD, OMIGOD, OMIGOD!  I’ve been blogging about that for over a year!)

“I love that The Life List is part I of a trilogy. This whole project has the shelf life of a can a soup! It’s going to last forever. And the whole love triangle thing happening between Kurt and Leo, and how you took two men who are polar opposites, sexy and compelling in their own right, and made them both these guys that Chrissy could easily fall in love with...it makes me giddy with excitement! I went to your website and voted for my choice. Love how you have the ability to do that there! It’s so cool to see how the votes are split between the two guys, isn’t it?”

(OMIGOD, OMIGOD, OMIGOD!  Rita Wilson went to my website!)

“I go crazy thinking about the marketability of your work, Chrissy!”

“I know, right? Show me one woman who can’t identify with something I went through in this book, and I’ll show you a woman who is either very young, very much in denial, or the very luckiest woman on earth.”

“Well, hunny, I hope right now you feel like the luckiest woman on earth, because we’re about to make all of your dreams come true. Your convoluted and chaotic real life love story is about to become the American version of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Are you ready?”

******

Aaaaaaand this is where you hear a record scratch.

******

I’m chick-lit novelist Chrissy Anderson, and the pipe dream above has been my pipe dream ever since I wrote the first word of the first chapter of The Life List. Introduce me to one chick-lit novelist who says she doesn’t have a pipe dream like mine, and I’ll slap her senseless for being a big fat liar! Isn’t world-wide recognition and critical acclaim for a story well-written why we stay up long after our day jobs are done, our families have been fed, the laundry folded and our kiddos have fallen asleep? Don’t we write with the hope that women everywhere will benefit in some way from the distinctive words we scour the thesaurus to find and fill our novels with? Every single time we hit CTRL-S before logging off of the computer don’t we let out a big sigh and say a little prayer that something huge will happen with our work? Don’t we all secretly wish that someone like Rita Wilson will stumble upon our books and be so moved by them that she insists on acting as a force accelerator, catapulting our work to Twilight-like proportions?

No?

Well, poop on you. I do! In fact, most days it’s that pipe dream that keeps me going. It’s that pipe dream that pushes me to enroll in promo day after promo day on KDP select, pimping myself out to any book blogger and website that’ll help me get more downloads than the month before. It’s that pipe dream that eggs me on to spend countless hours (and dollars I don’t have) promoting those promo days on e-reader websites, knowing that half of them forget to plug me on the right day. It’s that pipe dream that gives me the courage to shamelessly promote myself to my 799 facebook fans. It gives me the strength to draft another blog for my website (www.askchrissy.net) and SEO the crap out of it. To spend my weekends doing book signings...scouring the Internet for opportunities to advance my rankings on Amazon’s best sellers list...Oh, and let’s not forget about cramming in some time to write the last novel in The List Trilogy

For me, my pipe dream is my lifeline. I mean, I’m certainly not failing (far from it actually), but if you’re a relatively un-known writer like me, you know the struggle I’m talking about here. You know how hard it is to beat last month’s downloads, to make a buck from a sale, get a 5 star review, get another Facebook fan, pull off a higher ranking on Amazon...to get the time to write an actual book, let alone read one! My pipe dream is what makes me smile through all of the trials and tribulations of being a small fish in this big intimidating literary ocean. It’s what gets me excited and...hopeful--hopeful that all of my creativity, hard work, and wit will pay off. If you’re an ounce of the dreamer I am, you know the kind of motivation I’m talking about. 

So I know I’m not alone. Share your pipe dream with me in the comment section. Who knows...maybe one of us reading this has the ability to fulfill one! C’mon, let’s get silly and support each other. Anyone know Rita Wilson?

Chrissy Anderson Answers the Dirty Dozen

1. Name one thing you couldn’t live without. 

Aside from any person who I love (that would be too obvious), I have to say mascara.  I know, it’s ridiculous answer, but it’s the truth.

2. If you could only keep one book, what would it be? 

The Shack.  For a completely non-religious person like myself, it really got to me.  I re-read it about twice a year.

3. Your last meal would be...

Thanksgiving dinner

4. Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore? 

A library. 

5. You won the lottery. What’s the first thing you would buy? 

I’d buy my parents a new car. They’ve been driving the same one for almost twenty years.

6. Would you rather be stranded on a deserted island or the North Pole? 

100%, no doubt, I’d pick the Island.

7. You’re given the day off, and you can do anything but write. What would you do?

Clean my house and cook a delicious meal. My happiest days end with a clean house and meal that I had the time and attention to prepare. I LOVE TO COOK!

8. You’re driven to a private plane and told it will take you anywhere your want to go. Where would it be? 

Germany. I’ve only been once and for a few days. The people, the castles, and the history...it was pure magic. I’d do anything to be there with my husband.

9. You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?

I can’t even pretend to want to be someone who is pretend. It’s not in me.

10. Where would your dream office be? 

In my home...exactly where it is.
 
11. If you could do only one, would you rather read or write? 

Write.  I’m a woman in motion. It’s hard for me to sit still and read. I feel guilty.

12. One of your main characters has to die. Which one would you kill off? 

D’oh!  Too many wonderful ones have already died. Uhhhhhh, I guess I’d say...No, no, no, I can’t say. It’ll ruin Part III of The List Trilogy!  You ALMOST got me with this one, Amy!!!!

Hmm...well, I'll let you off on that one, but only because it would be a spoiler for the third book.


About the author:

Who is Chrissy Anderson? Does it even matter really? I guess it would matter to the real Chrissy if she wrote The Life List for fortune and fame. But she didn't. She did it all for you. Hold on, scratch that. Of course there were some self-indulgent components to the whole shootin' match, but at the end of the day, she sees bits and pieces of her checkered past in almost every woman she encounters and she wants to help them, tell them they're NOT crazy.

Women of all kinds--twenty-somethings, housewives, and superwomen wanna-bes- will all be able to relate to the same pressures Chrissy felt of constructing the ideal life, only to fall short. And I suspect there will be a lot of exhaling going on as those women read The Life List. Not everyone will agree with Chrissy Anderson's decisions, but all will pause as they follow along on her journey to ask, "What would I do if I were her?"

Chrissy Anderson spends her life doing exactly what she always wanted: doting on those she loves. A former fashion executive, she is a writer, wife, and mother whose own life events inspired The Life List. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with the love of her life and her beautiful daughter

"The difference between doing something and nothing is EVERYTHING."


Connect with Chrissy:
Website | Twitter | Facebook |Amazon

2 comments:

  1. Oh no....your answer to #12 scares me.....but I will be first in line to pick up The Hope List and find out. Love your books Chrissy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know! She's killing us! Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer.

    ReplyDelete