Christie has triumphed over dyslexia and rejection to keep writing the stories of her heart and is an amazing & inspiring person, but when I asked her what inspired her...I was totally suprised by her answer. I'll let you read her words for yourself:
What Inspires me?
I love sunsets and I can sit and stare at one for as long it lingers—until that last little glimmer of color fades from the sky. I love to spend time on a beach. I love the soothing sound of the waves washing up over the sand. And if I have a glass of red wine and a book in my hand, and some friend or family member close by, I’m a happy camper. But if there is one thing that has encouraged and driven me to accomplish more in my life, it’s not a sunset, the beach or a glass of wine. And as much as I love my family and friends, it’s not even them. It’s fear.
I know that’s strange, but let me explain. I’ve always been a bit of a scaredy cat, a play-it-safe kind of gal. Even as a kid, I didn’t push the envelope. Mom said, “Hold my hand and look both ways before you cross the street,” and I did. And as an adult, my need for security, a sense of safety and certainty, still lingers. If mom lived here, I’d probably still be holding her hand as I cross a street. And it’s the biggest thing that I don’t like about myself.
Not because I want to break rules, live on the edge, or that I have a need to live some dangerous lifestyle. Heck, I don’t believe there’s a good reason to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, I’ve met very few roller coasters I liked, and when the mad cow disease was out, chicken became my best friend. I simply don’t like risks.
(of course, then she writes Don't Mess With Texas & stirs up all kinds of trouble *grin*)
So you see, it’s not that I want to embrace fear. It’s my unwillingness to let fear stand in my way that has driven me to take chances, and forced me to step out of my comfort zone. Whenever I’m faced with a new opportunity, if I feel that tribulation in my gut, that wiggle in my stomach—and if I didn’t have broccoli the night before—I always have a come to Jesus talk with myself. So I guess you could say, it’s not so much fear that inspires me, but my apprehension of letting fear hold me back.
For example, when my agent told me it was time to shop around a proposal to other houses, and oh lordy, when she phoned me and said that an editor from St. Martin’s Press had called her and asked if I would write a young adult series for them, the fear kicked in big time. Both of those instances gave me a major case of stomach flutters and I’d had no broccoli the night before. I’d worked hard to finally be in a good place with one publisher, I liked my editor and he liked me. I was in a place where I kind of knew how to write a humorous romantic suspense. I’d built a nice little comfort zone, thank you very much. But I didn’t know Jack about working with other publishing companies or about writing young adult books.
(The first book of her new YA paranormal series, Shadow Falls)
What if I tried to write YA and failed? What if my new publisher didn’t think I was funny? That wiggle in my stomach, that uneasiness I felt at putting my big toe outside the comfort zone, had me breaking out in hives and hyperventilating. But ultimately, that fear forced me to say yes to both things. The venture into YA turned out to be one of the best career moves I’ve ever made. Not only has it opened up a new avenue for my work, but I’ve grown as a writer all around. And working with a new publisher is opening new doors in my career as a romance novelist.
(Here's book 2 of her Shadow Fall series, already out!)
As writers I think we are constantly being faced with challenges, be it the choices of self-publishing or not self publishing, of writing in a new genre, sending out queries, or handing our work to a new critique partner. Considering my experiences, I encourage everyone to look both ways before you cross a street, don’t jump out of airplanes, be leery of roller coasters, and eat more chicken. (Broccoli is questionable.) But don’t hesitate to step out of your comfort zone. And if fear tries to hold you back, grab it by the throat and knock it out of your way. Never let it stop you from growing as a writer or as a person.
Christie Craig AKA C.C. Hunter
Woot! Thanks Christie for sharing a part of your journey & for your sage insight. I will definitely NOT jump out of airplanes...and keep your words in mind when dealing with fear. :)
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If you have any questions for Christie, post in the comments. She has graciously agreed to visit from time to time today. :) Happy reading & writing!