Novelist Chrissy Anderson shares her pipe dream…
Buriiiiiing, buriiiiing, buriiiiing…
“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!”
“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?
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 enrol 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 852 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?
Who is Chrissy Anderson? Does it even matter really? I guess it would matter to me if I wrote The List Trilogy for fortune and fame. But I didn’t. I 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, I sees bits and pieces of my checkered past in almost every woman I encounter and I want 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 I 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. Certainly not everyone will agree with my decisions, but all will pause as they follow along on my 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.