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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chris Marie Green: Book of the Heart


Hello again to you all! A big thanks to Lee for inviting me here to talk about a term you've probably heard before--"book of the heart."

You've no doubt known some authors who've written a book of the heart. These are novels that inspire great pride and love in a writer, a story that has poked at you for years but, alas, it may not have found a home in traditional markets. Most books of the heart are different from the mainstream, and that's the reason it might not have found an easy place to shine.

But not these days. With indie publishing, the marketplace is full of books of the heart, and I'm happy to say that THE SHE CODE is mine!

A little background: I wrote this story, about a recent college graduate who was trying to find her way in the world, years and years ago. You see, my main character Mandy Halsey wanted more than anything to be a comic book penciler, but besides her attempt to secure her dream job, she was dealing with the trials and tribulations of finding the perfect guy out in the world. There were a couple reasons this book never quite found a home, although it did come close...

#1: Before I put THE SHE CODE under the bed, only to realize that now is the perfect time for publishing it, the pop culture landscape was revolving around stories about women and their close female friendships. But I wanted to explore what happens when you have a long-time friend who suddenly changes, just when your life is undergoing so many alterations during your early 20s. I wanted to tell the story of a girl who gets her heart broken not only by men, but by the childhood best friend who doesn't seem to fit into Mandy's life anymore. This book's main theme was about the *breakup* of a friendship, and that was soooo not SEX IN THE CITY. But I really believe that this kind of breakup is something we've all gone through in our lives. However, even as we see the breakup happening, we cling to those friends; we even have our own ways of staying ultra-loyal to them. That's why I invented a set of rules--Mandy's "She Code"--to describe the lengths females will go to in order to strengthen and preserve our friendships. (By the way, I'll be releasing a short story along with THE SHE CODE next month that revolves around a new She Code "rule," then two more novellas by the end of the year with their own central "rules." There are just so many!)

#2: Mandy was a comic book penciler. It wasn't a glamorous job like fashion design or a travel writer, just more of a quirky, niche career. But more important, because of Mandy's career, I wanted to tell the story in a way that you don't normally see in mainstream books--I wanted to use sketches and actual comic panels to 1) illustrate each She Code rule and 2) tell a subplot story as if Mandy were the one drawing the art. That was a lot of extra work for a publishing house, and I have to say that everyone who has put THE SHE CODE together now has had a few headaches! The end product is so very cool, though, and when I saw it, I couldn't stop glowing. Talk about a dream come true!

Of course, the fictional Mandy Halsey didn't do the artwork. I didn't even do it. An extremely talented artist named Billy Martinez of NekoPressComics.com brought Mandy's art to life, and I was very lucky to hire him!

As luck would have it, THE SHE CODE isn't out quite yet--since this is an indie project, the scheduling is inexact, but we're aiming for August. If you'd like to know the exact date, please come over to my Facebook She Code page at https//:www.facebook.com/TheSheCode for the release announcement. I would also love for you to join me on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ChrisMarieGreen) or Twitter (@ChrisMarieGreen) just so we can chat!

Speaking of chatting, I'm giving away a signed copy of NIGHT RISING, Vampire Babylon, Book One, to someone who leaves a comment on this blog about your own friendships. Have you ever had one that went sour like Mandy's? 

THE SHE CODE (New Adult Single Girl)

Featuring sketches and comic panels by Billy Martinez of Neko Press Comics!

“I suspected my friendship with Sheila was doomed on the night she blew my boyfriend....”

Meet Mandy Halsey, fresh out of college and determined to go from being a receptionist at the assembly line comic book house where she works to being a real-live penciler by the end of the year. That’s the plan, anyway.

But life isn’t cooperating. First, her job feels like a dead end. Second, her personal life isn’t exactly on fire, either, especially since her best friend seems to be moving in on every guy who catches Mandy’s eye. Is it just Mandy’s imagination or has Sheila totally changed since graduation, becoming someone who’s almost a stranger?

No way, because the BFFs grew up with The She Code. See, girls have rules with each other, so surely the friend Mandy grew up with wouldn’t ever break the Code—and break Mandy’s heart at the same time...


THE SHE CODE, a new adult/single girl/geek lit hybrid, is all about the bright side of angst—because there definitely is one!


Chris Marie Green is the author of the urban fantasy Vampire Babylon series from Ace Books and the upcoming Ghost for Hire series from Roc (Feb. 2014, Only the Good Die Young), which features a fun-loving spirit from the 80s.
She tries her best to avoid international incidents whenever she takes a break from her first love, writing, and cheats on it with her other true love—traveling. Like Mandy, she has an alter ego, but Chris’ Luka is named Christine Cody, who wrote the dark fantasy Bloodlands trilogy.

You can find her at www.chrismariegreen.com or hang out with her online at https://twitter.com/ChrisMarieGreen andhttp://www.facebook.com/chrismarie.green.

***Chris's winner is Gina Conkle!  Gina, please email totebag@authorsoundrelations.com with your mailing information!***

24 comments:

Mary Preston said...

What a wonderful project. Most creative all round.


I've been lucky with my friendships.

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

Hi, Mary, and thank you! May all your friendships be just as fortunate. :)

sin said...

I have had several friends who are friends only when it suited them. If another mutual fried talked to them they ignored me. Then when that person no longer talked to them they were my "friend"

It is a shame that some people think it is a competition to see who has the most friends or be there only when it suited them :/.

Chris I love your Vampire Babylon series. :)

stormvikki said...

Unfortunately I've had a few friends that turned out to not be friends. Some people have hidden agenda's...

Ginny Lynn said...

Cute concept. You give me hope for writing multi genre books. Keep up the great work.
))) Corset Hug (((
Ginny Lynn, Wench Writer

petite said...

Your post was delightful and very special. Friendships that endure are so important. But I have had a lengthy one that just ended, unfortunately these are difficult to sustain when one gives and gives and it is not reciprocated.

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

Sin, thank you! So nice of you to say. :)

That stinks about those fair weather friends.

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

Vikki, yikes. That sounds ominous!

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

Ginny, so good to see you here! Writing across the genres does present branding challenges, but, like you, I love to write. Exploring different stories is what keeps me writing all the time. :)

Good luck with your books, too!

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

Petite, oh, no. I'm sorry to hear this. It's so heartbreaking when this happens. Hugs to you!

Ginny Lynn said...

Waving. I'm thrilled to have a 2 wk break between semesters so I can get back to the two I'm writing. And back to the friends, the good ones are a gift. Being solo in my endeavours, this year, has shown me that.

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

Awesome, Ginny! Go go go. ;)

Judy Duarte said...

Chris,

I can't wait for The She Code to release! What an awesome premise and unique story idea. :)

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

It came with a great critique partner! ; ) Thank you for all your work and support, Judy. You are the best!

Gina Conkle said...

Hi Chris,

THE SHE CODE is a great idea. Exploring friendships and love with the graphics mixed in is a great idea (at such a rapidly changing time in life -- early adulthood!). I love it!
Now I know why Vikings weren't top on your list at Comic Con. :-)
Gina

traveler said...

The She Code is wonderful and interesting to explore. I think it is special and unique. Many friendships need work and others are easy. to me they have to be genuine.

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

Gina! Thanks so much. :) And I keep saying I'm about to read your Viking book (which sounds way awesome, too!) but I have to get my butt in gear!

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

Thanks, Traveler! You're so right about the "genuine" part friendship. What happens when that "sincerity" becomes superficial? I've had that happen with a friendship. Suddenly, you're talking about things that don't matter much at all. I'm so, so lucky to have my friends, and this book makes me realize that.

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

(Vikki, your reply is below!0

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

(Sin, your reply is below!)

Lory Lee said...

I'm not going to call it changing or them who doesn't fit in my world, maybe it's facing new chapters in our lives. I haven't spend some quality time with my two best friends since high school nowadays. One got busy with her family, she has two kids already and busy with work. She doesn't text or call anymore or even send messages on Facebook.The other got busy with her studies (she's back to college) and her personal life. So yeah, it's hurts like hell. But I understand them. Because every time we see each other, it's like we just saw each other yesterday. It's pretty amazing! :)

Eli Yanti said...

I had a few friends that not are good friends for me :(

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

That's a nice end to that story, Lory! Isn't it funny how, when you get together with old friends, you aren't sure what to talk about first because there's so much to cover! But it's also like you haven't lost a step with good friends :)

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

: ( Eli. You are not alone!