Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Lean Cuisine Kind of Celebration!

It happened. And like most things in life, it happened when I wasn’t expecting it. When I was so busy, I hardly had time to rationalize it or to believe it.

I know I’m jumping ahead of myself. I do that when I’m excited. You see, last Wednesday, I accomplished something that I’d dreamed about doing, a big pie-in-the-sky or win-the-lottery kind of a dream. One of those you fantasize about, but deep in your heart you know the odds aren’t really in your favor of ever achieving it. You see, I, or I guess I should say, C.C. Hunter, hit the New York Times Best Seller List for Children’s Series.

My editor had forewarned me—Not that I would make it, but that I probably wouldn’t. Now, that sounds bad, so let me explain. She had held her breath for me to hit with book one in the series and then again with book two. I was close, but no cigar. However, she explained that with a third book in a series, you move to a different list and the competition is really tough. “I think you’ll make the USA Today list,” she said, encouraging me. And I held tight to that possibility.

But while holding tight, I didn’t even have time to fixate on it. To say I’ve been busy lately is a great understatement. I’ve been completely in the weeds, deadlines up the yen yang, promoting a new book release, and events left and right. On Wednesday morning, I had signed books at (TLA) the Texas Library Association. Then I rushed home to work on a very, very long to-do list.

I was leaving at six the next morning for the Missouri City Writer’s Conference where I was to give four workshops. A conference that I hadn’t had time to prepare for yet. I didn’t know what I was wearing, (I prayed I had clean underwear) I hadn’t printed up my handouts, or my notes for my talk, and I hadn’t packed. I was balls to the walls trying to make up for lost time, when my phone rang. I answered my phone and heard a woman screaming to high heaven and saying words I can’t post on the blog. (I love my editor!)

I had made the New York Times—I hit #7 for my entire series, Shadow Falls, on the Children’s Best-selling series list. Holy Crap!!

At that moment, I thought about running out to buy a bottle of champagne. But nope, when I drink, I am not productive and I had a lot of production yet to do. And just when I thought I was making headway and hit the print button to get my handouts and notes printed out, my printer chose right then to bite the dust. Have you ever had a ten-minute conversation with a dead printer, called it names you wouldn’t normally have said, and yet couldn’t stop smiling because you were still so darn happy with some news?

Anyway, I ran around like a crazy woman on speed, and my wonderful hubby followed me, trying to help and trying to understand my mutterings. It sort of reminded me of when I was in labor; he just kept telling me it was going to be okay, and asking what he could do every time I screamed. I think he even offered to rub my back once.

“I have to pack!” I told him, and when he looked like he was going to offer to do it, I came to my senses. I was not going to let him decide what I was wearing at the conference. Love the man, but he doesn’t have an ounce of fashion sense. (Plus, he would probably decide I didn’t need a bra. And believe me, the people in St. Louis wouldn’t have appreciated that!) Finally, we both calmed down a bit. He hooked up a different printer to spit out my handouts and notes, and then ran to get copies.

Knowing I hadn’t eaten anything most of the day, on the way home, he stops off at the grocery store and picked me up my favorite Lean Cuisine dinner.

At ten that night, I finally found the four minutes to stick the thing in the microwave. I wolfed down the entrĂ©e and drank the last two ounces of red wine I had in the house that had been opened three days before. (I think it was still good. I believe it was the excitement and stress and not the wine that caused the stomach flutters. ) Anyway, while I ate, hubby looked over at me and said, “If you ever tell anyone that the night you hit the New York Times, I brought you a frozen dinner, I’ll kill you!” (Sorry, babe! Just make it quick and easy, okay?)

Sleeping that night was slightly difficult. It’s hard to rest while hyperventilating from “damn-I-really-did-it” nerves. And at five in the morning, before I left for the airport, I went to my computer and saw that I’d also hit #49 on the USA Today list. Guys, I didn’t need a plane to get to St. Louis. I was flying so high I could have floated there.

And here’s the most important part of this blog: Thank you!! Thank you to all my readers who have helped me get here. Thank you for picking up my books, for laughing at my jokes, and for those emails that gave me encouragement and inspiration to keep going, even when the going got tough. Thank you to all my writing buddies who supported me, to my family who shared my dream of publishing. And to my hubby whose continues to give me great ideas for blogs.

And thank you to all the people at the Missouri Writer’s Conference for celebrating my news with me.

C.C.

26 comments:

TerriOsburn said...

Now I'm crying. You deserve it all, Christie!!! Congratulations. And here's to many more weeks on those lists!!!

scmitchell said...

Congratulations Christie! What a wonderful accomplishment.

S. C. Mitchell
http://scmitchell.wordpress.com/

Linda Warren said...

Christie,
Congratulations!! What an accomplishment. Keep flying.LOL
Linda

Brandie said...

Christie, you are such a beautiful person. I love you, your husband, and your books :-) You deserve it! You really do. Congratulations again!

Brandie

Leslie Langtry said...

Christie! That is an amazing and hilarious story! Congrats on making the list - and slow down Girl!

Francine Infortunio said...

Christie, You are so sweet and talented and you deserve all the accolades. Congratulations!

Diane Kelly said...

Sooooo incredibly happy for you, Christie! Your books are awesome! I know when a book is really good when it's something that would not normally appeal to my husband but I catch him reading it. He picked up Born at Midnight when I left it lying on the bed and I caught him reading it. He kept asking me where they got the blood and read until he learned it for himself! When you write so well that you can lure a middle-aged man into reading a book intended for a teenage girl audience, you know you've written a really awesome book! The rest in the series were wonderful, too! I hope you enjoyed the Lean Cuisine!

TessStJohn said...

How wonderful for you, Christie!! You so deserve it!!!

TerriOsburn said...

BTW, I see nothing wrong with him buying that Lean Cuisine. The fact it's your favorite and that he KNEW which one is your favorite win big points in my book. :)

Christie Craig said...

Ahh, Terri,

No tears! Well, unles they are happy tears. I had a bunch of those.

Thanks so much.

CC

Christie Craig said...

S. C. Mitchell,

Thanks!!! I'm not sure it's really sunk in. I'll forget about it and when I remember, it's like..."Really? It really happened?"

Thanks for stopping in.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Hi Linda,

Thank you. Your encouagement means the world. Congrats on all your success. You are one darn great writer!!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Brandie,

You rock!!! My hubby will love knowing he's apprecaited.

And seriously, he's given me so many great blogs.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Leslie,

Thanks girl. A slow down would be nice. I'm projecting one in my near future.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Francine,

Thanks, girl! I really do appreciate all my writing buddies and readers. Especailly all my RWA chapters buds!!!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Diane,

Thanks so much girl. I'm sure that Lean Cuisine was pretty darn good, too. Although, I"m not sure I tasted it. Shock will do that to you.

And girl, here's to you hitting those list soon!!!

CC

Christie Craig said...

Tess,

Thank you so much. The hard thing about publishing is there are so many awesome writers. So many who deserve so much more than they get. I consider myself very lucky, and wish the same to everyone who puts their hearts and souls into writing.

CC

Christie Craig said...

Terri,

Hubby will be so happy that he earned some points from you. LOL. He really is my partner in all of this. He calls this "our career" and he's right. I wouldn't be here without all his support.

Thanks,
CC

Kristi said...

Congratulations Christie! You deserve it.

Jessica said...

Congrats! you totally deserve it! Love the series!

Terry said...

I am so very proud of you Christie!!!!!!!!!!!!

Terry said...

I am so proud of you CHRISTIE!!! You are my hero for so many reasons.

Francyne said...

Been a long time coming and you deserve it. Congratulations.

Donna Marie Rogers said...

I'm a day late, but wanted to say again how thrilled I am for you, lady! You work so hard and deserve it more than anyone! What a dream, to hit the NY Times bestsellers list...sigh...Hope I know that feeling some day...LOL

Gemma Halliday said...

You know, there are some people who hit that list and you think, "Well, crap. What's she got that I don't got?". And there are others who hit and you think finally all is right in the world. Today, all is right in the world. I could not be more happy for you, CC!

Rashda Khan said...

Congratulations Christie! So well deserved! :)