Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Why Do I Write Humorous Romantic Suspense?

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And June 11th, Tomorrow, pop over to this great little site, http://goodbadandunread.com/ and read an interview of yours truly. Who knows, you guys might learn some more of my secrets. All you have to do is click onto the spiked-haired ducks to get to the Chats and Interviews.

Have a great day, guys!!

CC

CONTEST, CONTEST, CONTEST!
This blog post is also up at Dorchester's website. I blogged a bit about this a couple of years ago, but considering the subject, it makes a perfect blog to run with the release of GOTCHA! And today, I'm giving away a copy of GOTCHA and a Christie Craig pen and note pad. So make sure you post a comment. Also, make sure you jump over at Dorchester to see how you can win a whole basket of goodies from me.


All it takes is writing about your own defining moment, humorous or serious. Both will work. And if you post one here today, I will count that as a submission.

Also, today I'm guest blogging, plus hosting a contest, over at Romance Writers Revenge giving tips on writing over-the-top characters. And at Everybody Needs a Little Romance I'm guest blogging about my first kiss and giving away prizes over there as well.

Why do I write Humorous Romantic Suspense?

I’m a believer in defining moments. I believe events/situations often propel us to follow certain paths. Recently, I journeyed back in my own life to find the defining moment that could have driven me to write my latest release GOTCHA!

Amazingly, I stumbled across a situation. You see, my heroine in GOTCHA! works at a pizza place. And so did I.

It was 1984, and the beginning of a very dire day. I was caught by six of LAPD’s finest, guns drawn, while I had thousands of dollars strewn around me on a bad hair day. The bad hair is an added little detail that some wouldn’t consider important. But let’s face it, if all eyes, all attention, guns included, are going to be focused on you, don’t you want your hair to look good?

I worked at Pizza Hut in the big city of Los Angeles. The day before, I’d gotten a new perm. Let’s just say the hairdresser could have uncurled me an hour earlier than she did. I woke up late that morning, pulled a pair of shorts under my huge T-shirt that read “Bad Girl,” grabbed my uniform and headed to work with my hair looking like I’d stuck my fingers in an electric outlet.

Anyway, I was at work and other than getting dressed, taking a pee break, and trying to tame my hair, the only thing left to do was count the register drawer. However, when I opened the thirty-minute safe, I found the weekend manager had failed to make deposits, so I had thousands of dollars to count and deposits to fill out. I was pissed. I tossed the money onto the Pizza Hut floor so I could make heads and tails out of the register receipts. I was furiously counting money when I heard a tap on the window to my right.

The first thing I saw was the gun. Now, I’d never had a gun pointed at me, so I didn’t take it well. Then I saw the man behind the gun wore a police uniform. I relaxed a smidgeon, but then I heard another tap. At the window to my left was another officer with another gun. Let’s just say, there were several more taps before I was: 1) motioned to get up, 2) told to hold my hands in the air, 3) told to go answer the ringing phone. (Have you ever tried to answer a phone with hands in the air?)

Turned out, my cook had accidentally set off the alarm. The alarm company called the police. The police saw a crazy woman in shorts and a slept-in “Bad Girl” T-shirt with electric-styled hair, sitting in the middle of the floor, slinging money and they called for backup.

After a long phone conversation during which I tried to convince them I worked there, I was removed from gunpoint. Their farewell warning: I didn’t have an alarm until the alarm company came and reset it. Fine, I said. I had bigger problems, I’d peed in my pants when I saw the first gun and really needed to change clothes.

Anyway, it was after the lunch crowd, empty restaurant, and time for a bathroom break, when an irate man came in, demanding his credit card be returned. We didn’t take credit cards and due to his lack of cash to pay for his meal, my manager had taken his card a few days prior. Suspicious when I heard the story, I’d called to see if the card was stolen. It was. Told to cut the card in half and send it in, I was going to receive a hundred dollar reward. Cool, right?

Wrong.

This irate guy wanted the stolen card back. I didn’t want to explain about my reward, so instead I did what most of you would have done. I lied. I said the card was in the thirty-minute safe, and explained he’d have to wait. (Meaning I had thirty minutes to come up with a better lie.)

He wasn’t happy. And to make his “not-happy” point clear, he pulled out a huge, HUGE, hunting knife and proceeded to clean his nails. So, I did what any normal woman with bad hair would have done. I smiled, pretended not to be panicked by his oversized fingernail cleaner, peed my pants for the second time that day, and hit the silent alarm. But opps…the alarm didn’t work, remember?

So I went to the phone and pretended to answer an order, with my back to the armed credit card thief, (imagine me thinking he was right behind me with knife ready to plunge) and called 911. They gave me a great piece of advice. Hit the alarm.

Try explaining the whole guns at the window to a 911 operator while panicked didn’t work well. The operator then asked one question. Was anyone in the restaurant other than the cook and me and the nail cleaner? I told him no and he said to get my cook, who was in the back making dough, and run out the back door.

I was about to bolt when a woman with a baby came in and seated herself. Now, I’ve always been the “save yourself” kind of person, especially when I blamed the woman for not noticing the man cleaning his nails with a knife big enough to skin Bambi, but . . . there was the baby.

I walked to the booth and whispered for her to leave through the emergency door. I turned around to get the cook and run out the back when two shady looking dudes walked in. For a second, I thought they were with the credit card thief. But nope, one of the two men came sauntering toward me and the other headed toward the bathroom.

I was prepared to explain that we were . . . out of dough or needed to close for mold inspection, anything to get them to leave so I could escape the big knife.

But that didn’t happen, because the shady-looking dude pulled out a gun. Then in an equally shady voice, he told me to get behind the counter. (See what I mean about it being a bad day?)

I promptly made up my mind. If I lived through that, my pizza and perm days were over and I was buying stock in big-people diapers. Then the second man, who appeared to have gone to the bathroom, came charging around the corner with his gun drawn, and they both turned their weapons on the knife-wielding credit card thief. Yup, they were undercover cops 911 had called to my rescue.

I proceeded to drop to the floor, bad hair, wet pants and all, and had myself a cry.
Looking back, I think the whole bad-hair, knife, and gun experience was the catalyst for my writing humorous romantic suspense and maybe GOTCHA! in particularly. I hope you enjoy my

39 comments:

jimnduncan said...

That was awesome Christie. Horrible, but awesome. What a great story. Can't say I've had anything close to that or can think of anything remotely close as being humorous.

My moment as it were, is far more subtle. Freshman year of college, I endured one of those somewhat common, angst-filled time periods of depression which I suppose can be termed 'a crisis of faith.' One of those times when you are all philosophical about everything, the weight of the world is upon you, and the nothing in life makes much sense. What does it all mean? I actually read chunks of the encyclopedia of philosophy. I wanted to know why I was here. What was the meaning of life? Was there a god? Yes, I know, a bit sacharine but there you go.

This gradually went downhill through the course of my freshman year. I spend a lot of time in bed not doing much of anything. What was the point? Nothing mattered. There was no god, no reason for anything. I failed out. I went to bed many nights thinking it would be ok if I never woke up. I floundered around for months afterward, aimless. Eventually though, I came out of it. I came to the realization that even if there was no god (still am an atheist), there was indeed one thing worth living for, that made everything ok in the world.

Love. Love made the everything worthwhile. I still hold to that belief. Love for my family, my wife, my kids. It's the one thing to hold on to no matter how crappy the world is around you or how meaningless a lot of things in life can seem. It makes the world go round, and is one of the defining traits of mankind. So as a 'moment' I don't guess it really is, but that timeframe in my life has probably defined me more than anything else in 40 odd years.

Christie Craig said...

Jimnduncan,

Great story. And yes, love is worth loving for.

Thanks so much for posting.

CC

terrio said...

I cannot imagine a story like this happening to me. Ever. I get nervous when a cop walks by and the gun is in his holster, I can't imagine the new undies I'd need if the thing pointed at me.

I've had a few defining moments, but one I remember is the moment I realized my decision to get a divorce was the right one. For a year after I asked for the divorce, I struggled with the decision. As you know, you go through lots of things at that point. Lots of scary unknowns and everything image you had of your future changes.

But one December night, when my ex came crying to my door because the young blond bimbo he'd cheated with and married had left him high and dry after only 5 weeks of marriage, something switched. I'll never forget the feeling of something lifting off my shoulders and I was positive I'd done the right thing.

I sent him out to dinner with our daughter so I could wrap some presents, and I've never regretted or doubted my decision since. Nor do I feel a thing (except sever irritation, as is to be expected) since that moment. Total, instant liberation.

Thanks for blogging with us on the pirate ship today. You're everywhere!!! LOL!

jbrayweber said...

Oh dear Chrisite!
What a wonderful story!! Really made me laugh!

I, too, had a simliar run-in with the police, guns drawn. Except, instead of a pizza place, I worked for a "head" shop. (one of those places that sold music, t-shirts, posters, sex toys and smoking accessories - not he best place to be confronted by the men in blue.)

It was close to quitting time and I was in back getting dressed for a concert. My co-worker, bless his heart, plugged in my curling iron for me and accidentally set off the silent alarm.

For the sake of making this a short story, being dressed like a 80's rock groupie, in the office of a questionable business, being searched and having a terrified co-worker NOT come to your rescue - well things could've gone better. And Dang it, I was late to my concert!!!

ahhh - good times, good times....
LOL!
Jenn!

Christie Craig said...

Terrio,

I had one of those moments like that, too, with my first hubby. And you are so right. It's so liberating.

Thanks for posting and I'm having a blast over at THE SHIP.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Jbrayweber,

Okay, that's too funny girl. I see you all fixed up.

Life is a hoot, isn't it?

CC

NoLimitsThinking said...

Why do I (try to) write romance? To reconnect with the wonderful world of my imagination, and the spirit of hope and happy endings that I covered up with years of obligations and messed up priorities.

Perhaps the defining moment was really an escalation of years summed up in a sunshine-through-the-clouds moment of realizing how my health, marriage, and relationship with my children - all of it was so negatively affected by what "I had to do" to please someone else in order to line someone else's pockets who didn't know my name and couldn't care less if I worked there or not. Knowing there had to be more to life than THAT I did some serious soul searching, had quite a few long discussions with my husband, spent hours analyzing our finances, and then one brief conversation with my boss. That was it for life as I'd known it for over seven years.

Now I'm navigating my way through the unchartered, and somewhat choppy, waters of becoming a romance author. My body is healthier, my marriage is stronger, and I am directly involved in my children’s' lives. I'm looking forward to achieving my dreams and living a well-balanced life, making sure every day counts for something.

Perhaps not as humorous as your own moment of enlightenment, but just as life-changing in its own way.

Oh yeah, and as a woman with naturally curly hair with a mind of its own - I've had more than my share of bad hair days, especially in the humidity of Wisconsin summers.

Congrats on the new release.

Christine

Christie Craig said...

Christine,

I love your moment. It's so wonderful when we have those moments where we see what's important. Balance is totally the key. Thanks for reminding us.

And as for bad hair. I don't do perms, but I still get those days that I have to wear a baseball cap.

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Edie Ramer said...

That's too funny, though it must have been horrible at the time. It's all fodder for books.

RK said...

Love your stories Christie --both the published and personal. :)

Please throw my name in the hat for "Gotcha!"

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Oh, Christie, if you were anyone else I'd never believe such a crazy tale! LOL I swear, I couldn't help but think of Stephanie Plum as I was reading. I can't wait to read Gotcha! Thank God you weren't harmed, but it sure does make for a great story. ;-)

I don't have anything nearly as incredible to tell, but let me see...Well, every year around the 4th of July back in Illinois we'd have the Jaycees carnival. It was always held in the parking lot of Eagle Foods and the strip mall connected to it. My friend, Michelle, and I had parked behind Walgreen's across the street. It was dark, of course, when we decided to leave, and as we strolled around the corner and headed behind Walgreen's for my car, we heard a noise and realized we weren't alone. Some man was standing on the hood of his car in the shadows, so we could barely see him. He lit his lighter and told us to come closer. We both stared in shock as we realized he was, um....pleasuring himself. *G* Michelle frantically pulled my keys from her pocket and we rushed to my car. It seemed to take her an hour to get the friggin' key in the lock, but thankfully the dude didn't give chase...pretty sure he just 'finished' before hopping in his own car...LOL We drove around completely freaked out for about an hour before finally heading home. I think we were 16 years old. I'll never forget that for as long as I live!

Jo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christie Craig said...

Edie,

You are so right. It's all fodder. And it does come out when you least expect it.

Thanks,

CC

Christie Craig said...

RK,

Thanks. You name is in the hat girl!!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Oh Donna!!

That would have scared me worse than the knife at sixteen years old.

Don't you wish you knew the right thing to say to people like that--hings would made them feel as small and ignorant as they really are?

CC

Keri Ford said...

I've heard this story, Christie, but it was just as funny this time around, and I bet ever bit as funny the next!

I've only had one experience of seeing a cop tap on the window and show me his gun. I was a bank teller and thank goodness someone had goofed and hit the silent alarm. "Good practice run" they said. My heart didn't agree.


**If you have visited with Christie as EverybodyNeedsALittleRomance.com be sure to do so!!

Christie Craig said...

Jo,

How amazing. I'm jealous of your defining moment. I'm sure that really helped you become who you are. I think any time we are pushed from our comfort zones, we do a little growing up.

Thanks for sharing.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hi Keri!

Yup, here we're talking guns and defining moments, at your place we're talking about first kisses.

Thanks Keri for popping over.

CC

Faye Hughes said...

Hi, Christie,

Great post, girl. And I think your experiences really helped to make GOTCHA! one of your best books published to date.

(Of course, you guys just wait for DD&Deceived! Oh, man, is it good! lol.)

Faye

Refhater said...

Thanks for the smile Christie! It's been a tough day. Today was the funeral for an old friend who passed away from cancer.

As for a defining moment in my life, Mine was the day I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Odd as it sounds, it was a good day for me. I had validation that there was something wrong and I wasn't crazy.

Jane said...

I never tire of hearing that story. Not sure if I would have survived that incident.

Sandy said...

LOL I can tell you, Christie, I can hardly wait to read Gotcha. If it's as funny as your blog posts, I'll be in stitches.

That was a great account of your day at the Pizza Hut.

catslady said...

I love hearing that story too - I have always loved humor in my reading or tv shows - afterall as your story shows - you can find humor in anything and some people (you) have a wonderful knack of finding the humor in everything!

vicariousrising said...

So, which was more traumatic? All the knives and guns... or the perm?

What a horrible day. I want to hug you for all the PTSD you must be still slinging around-- except that it gave you a sharper sense of humor over the absurd.

Glad you made it through to laugh about it.

Virginia said...

Great story Christie! I always love to read your stories! Love your books also, because they have so much humor in them. Congrats on your new release! Can't wait to read it.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Faye,

See why I love her guys!!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Refhater,

Oh darn, girl. I'm so sorry about your friend. My heart goes out to you.

And about that defining moment, I know exactly what you mean. I had something similar happen to me. Nothing is more troubling than when people (doctors) think you are crazy!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Thanks Jane!

You would have survived. Probably as wet as I was, but you would have survived. LOL.

Thanks,

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hi Sandy,

Thanks a mil. The way I see it, if I had to live through it, I should be able to use it for something.

Thanks so much for stopping in.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Catslady,

Sometimes it's laugh or cry, and I'm telling you crying makes me ugly and laughing burns more calories.

Thanks so much for showing up.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Vicariousrising,

For sure it wasn't my favorite day. This southern gal was ready to run back to the country and small town Alabama.

And yes, everything I experience goes into to my to-be-used data.

Thanks for popping in.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Virginia!

Thanks girl. I hope you enjoy GOTCHA! as much as the others. It's always good to see your name appear on the blog.

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

donnas said...

Great story. And love really can solve many many things. Gotcha sounds great, I look forward to getting the chance to read it.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Caffey said...

Christie, I so love how you tell your stories both as fiction and non fiction! The suspense was building reading this post and to find this all so did happen was just wow. I think you handled it so much more better than I would have! I can see where this inspired you to write this book. Did you too use this incident in your book as well!

Sending a hug too!

Christie Craig said...

Donnas,

Thanks girl. I hope you enjoy Gotcha! Whenever something like this happens, it takes a while before I can see the humor in it, ahh, but seeing the humor in it, make it feel better.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Caffey,

No, this scene doesn't take place in the book. Macy is a delivery girl, but I can guarentee you that she finds herself in some situations as funny or funnier.

Thanks,

CC

Bridget said...

Hi! No need to enter me; just posted this on Win A Book.

Michelle said...

Holy moly Christie, that's horrible. I can see why you'd never want to get a perm or work with pizza ever again.

I don't think i've had my defining moment yet. There have been plenty of moments but nothing quite compares to what you went through.

Picked up my copy of Gotcha last week and can't wait to read it!

Caffey said...

I so can't wait to read this! Thanks Christie!!