3 Lessons I Learned As A NaNoWriMo YouTube Guide

Very serious moment from one of my NaNo videos.

Remember that time I was a NaNoWriMo YouTube Guide? I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since then! I learned a lot of great lessons from being a YouTube Guide, and I’m sharing them in my latest guest blog post on Writing Belle’s website: http://www.writingbelle.com/2017/09/award-winning-author-christie-stratos.html.

There are some lessons you learn only by making mistakes, and there are some you stumble into. I hope you enjoy my post about setting unrealistic goals with good intentions, impacting others positively by accident, and honoring your accomplishments.

Thanks for reading!


WOW, I can’t believe that Anatomy of a Darkened Heart is now a year old! What better way to celebrate and thank you all for your incredible support than to have a Kindle book copy giveaway? Watch my video below for details (really easy to enter the giveaway) and for all the massive thanks you deserve.


I’m so excited to announce that last night I finished the final draft of Locke and Keye and sent it off to my editor! It has been quite a long haul full of unexpected changes and complete turnarounds from the original idea. I started out with the concept of a 10,000 word novelette based on the different customers visiting a locksmith shop, and I ended with over 50,000 words – a full-size novel – based on the locksmith shop’s charming but controlling owner and his carefully picked, loner employees. I’m going to do a video on the painstaking process shortly, including the enormous overhaul the book underwent and how I stayed motivated when things got confusing and my time became limited.

I’ll let you know as soon as I have a publication date, but now I can say with even more certainty that Locke and Keye will be published this fall. Yay!


Online Author Events This Weekend

This weekend is going to be a very exciting one for me!

Author Event #1: Saturday, September 10 at 7 p.m. EST, join legendary indie authors and me for a live discussion of all things writing. The author roster includes LE Fitzpatrick, Jason Greensides, Joe Compton, Julie Northrup, Cindy Schneider, Karina Kantas, and me, with host Marnie Cate. Click this link to watch!

Author Event #2: Sunday, September 11 at 10 a.m. EST, I’ll be interviewed by Josh Robertson, who is a prolific writer and matchless multitasker. We’ll talk about reading, writing, and anything that comes up.

I hope to see you at either (or better yet both) events!


The Liebster Award: Get to Know Me

Thanks to the talented and difference-making Michelle Diana Lowe for nominating me for The Liebster Award!

Here are my answers to her unique 11 questions:

1) How long ago did you start blogging?

Oh dear…I think I started around 2012! I had blogs before that, but I wasn’t interested enough to keep them up.

2) What is your favourite day of the week?

It has to be Friday or Saturday – those are both my film noir movie nights. 😉

3) What is the nicest thing you have ever done for a stranger?

I donate clothes yearly or twice yearly to a local charity, but besides that I once noticed a car’s parking meter running out and put in an extra quarter.

4) Who is your favourite band or artist?

I don’t have one. I like a little bit from lots of different artists and groups. I probably like the most from Moby.

5) Do you prefer orange juice or apple juice?

Either! I love them both. Orange juice in the spring and summer, apple juice in the fall and winter (because I can make apple cider out of it).

6) Name one of The Spice Girls?

Posh Spice.

7) What book did you read last?

I just finished The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham, and it was absolutely fantastic. Read my review here on Goodreads.

8) What is your favourite TV show?

That’s too hard! I love The Honeymooners, Miranda, Seinfeld, The Good Wife, Downton Abbey – a good variety of favorites.

9) Are you an an author as well as a blogger?

Yes! I’ve written many short stories, poems, essays, and haikus, some of which have been published and two of which won awards. My book Anatomy of a Darkened Heart is for sale here on my homepage, via Amazon, and via Smashwords.

10) What is your next goal in life?

To make being an author my full-time job. I have a loooooong publishing plan, so I’m pumped to make it happen. In the meantime, my next book, Locke and Keye, will be out in fall 2016.

11) What is your middle name?


I nominate the following people for The Liebster Award for bloggers – David Kelly, David Ellis, David Spell. All the Davids!
Here are 11 questions for my nominees:

1) If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

2) Do you have or did you ever have a nickname you hated?

3) Do you prefer the cell phone age or do you wish cell phones didn’t exist?

4) What time period would you live in if you could choose any one you wanted?

5) If you could live in any fantasy world – anything from a video game, book, or movie – where would you live?

6) If you could teach one lesson to everyone, what would it be? This doesn’t have to be book or writing related.

7) Would you rather carry on sleeping a certain amount of hours every night or would you prefer to not sleep at all Monday-Saturday, then have to spend all of Sunday (24 hours) sleeping?

8) What is the best thing to ever happen to you?

9) If you could melt one book into yourself so you’d always have all of its words with you, which one would you choose?

10) Approximately how many books do you have in your home right now? Library books count.

11) What is your ultimate dream?

Below are the rules that each nominee needs to follow:

And finally, here are 11 random facts about me:

1) If I could own all the dogs in the world, I would.

2) Chocolate is the best thing ever invented.

3) There’s nothing scarier than fuzzy mold.

4) If I don’t write for too long, I start to get very moody and depressed.

5) I wish every book I own was also on a shirt in my closet.

6) I’ve never taken a writing class.

7) When I was young, I really thought I could read every book in my lifetime.

8) When I was young, I wanted to be in the Olympics. Still kinda do.

9) I hope to someday teach at my alma mater.

10) I never thought I would write historical fiction. Ever.

11) When I was young, several times I started writing The Book of Information in which I wanted to publish literally all facts, definitions, and objects in the world. I really thought this was possible.

Interviewed by Too Full To Write!

I’m thrilled to be featured on Too Full To Write today. I was interviewed by David Ellis, a fellow author who writes poetry, short stories, and flash fiction. He also took part in 2016’s NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month), and you can see the poems he wrote throughout the month here.

In our interview, I discuss why I write, the research I do, writing motivation, my 15-year publishing plan, and more, including who I would want to act in an Anatomy of a Darkened Heart movie. See the full interview here. Take a look at the other authors David has interviewed on his site as well!

How to Write Historical Fiction Without Really Trying

Today I’m excited to have a guest post on Amie Winters’ blog, the author of Strange Luck and soon-to-be-published The Nightmare Birds (available for pre-order now!). Amie and I write very different books, but we have tons in common, from collecting fun socks to being writers from childhood. In fact, tomorrow is her monthly Throwback Thursday Writer event (#tbtwriter), so check back in with us both for this month’s fun (and usually funny) posts.

Before I wrote Anatomy of a Darkened Heart, I was sure I would never write historical fiction, even though I enjoyed reading it. In fact, I didn’t think it was possible for me to include that much research in a fiction book. So how does someone who is convinced they can’t write a genre end up with a debut novel, an upcoming fall publication, and a 10-year publishing plan that all revolve around that “impossible-to-write” genre? Find out in my guest post on Amie’s blog! Click here to read.

Indie Pride Day FB Party Takeover

Today is Indie Pride Day, and it’s going to be a day of fun and giveaways! My time slot at the Facebook party is 6:20 p.m. to 6:40 p.m. Eastern Time, and here’s the link. I will have multiple giveaways and easy ways to win, so be sure to stop by! See you then!


Indie Books Be Seen 2016


Video Summary: Writer Gaming and All About the Reading Tag

What videos did I put up this week? I have two for you!

I was tagged to do the “All About the Reading” tag, which was very fun. What do I hate in a book? When I read, do I care most about characters, plots, or a beautiful writing style? What about a favorite quote? All those questions and more are answered in this video!

As you probably already saw all over my social media, I’m so excited to have worked out the issues I was having with recording my gaming, and now the first ever episode of my Writer Gaming series is up. Thus begins our adventure into American McGee’s Alice and our discussions about dark books, writing, and all things Alice!