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Dream Come True!

Published February 25, 2017 by Maryanne

sam_2169Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, author

Yesterday my life changed.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the email that my third book that I’ve been shopping around for almost a year was going to be published — traditionally!

My first two book efforts were self-published, which was an incredible experience in itself. I am forever grateful for making the effort of putting out two of my own books. It was exciting hiring good friends to do the cover and to proofread. And then be in charge of my own marketing experience, getting myself on radio stations, in libraries, and record stores for book signing events. What a ride!

Then it got to a point where I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t go for the instant gratification. What would happen if I shopped my third book around?

“The Gypsy Smiled” is in a unique category, music fiction. I did not invent that genre, as I’ve seen it used before. Last year I sent it out to several publishers and then waited.

And when I least expected it, I was contacted by a traditional publisher! My book will be published and available all over the world in the next three to six months!

So, not to be secretive, but I’d rather stop here and when the book is published, I’ll talk about it — especially how super cool my publisher is!

All I will say, at this point, to anyone — don’t give up on your dreams! Keep believing in yourself and enjoy every bit of the ride. I mean, the chances of being published traditional are pretty slim; and I am so humbled to be one of the fortunate ones.

You just have to love what you do, whether you are successful or not. Love every minute of the process: the writing and the writer’s block; the success and the rejection letters; the praise as well as the bad reviews … and the long days where it seems like nothing is happening, because it really IS; the universe is just getting all the ducks in order for you to start shining.

It happened to me, and it could happen to you!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, now an upcoming traditionally published author, has self published two books, both available on Amazon:

On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X4

Love Cats (in paperback and Kindle versions): https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513

She is also an award-winning journalist, currently writing for Vitamin Retailer magazine and New View Media news publications; as well as proofreading legal ordinances at Coded Systems in Spring Lake, New Jersey. 

Wishing Everyone a Sweet ’16!

Published January 1, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9440Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta and husband, Dennis

Happy 2016! Let’s make it a sweet one!

For the past month or so, I’ve been slacking off on blogging. Why? Because I am living the dream of being a writer. Last August I was hired as managing editor of DiningOut magazine. And just yesterday I was hired to write for a media group that has 17 New Jersey newspapers!

My career in 2015 was amazing. It was spent book editing (I’ve helped two people publish their books, two others copy edit, and am now working on another), public speaking, and publishing my second book “Love Cats” (available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513). Then by mid-August I was officially hired as managing editor of DiningOut, which is part-time so I have all the freedom to pursue my other creative outlets. Though I’m not sure if I’ll be publishing my third book “The Gypsy Smiled” in 2016 or not.

While some authors love to bang out books left and right, I like to do so when I can have the time to enjoy and nurture them. 2016 may or may not be the time. I spent most of my adult life earning a living as a writer and journalist. Writing a book was never on my bucket list. It just happened — twice. And it bothers me that so many people think of being an author as something “better” or more important than journalism. I think just the opposite. I think articles are fabulous because they are timely and current and give you instant satisfaction. Plus, the fact that in writing articles, you interview so many people. Learning about people is such a great experience and makes anyone a better person, as it’s always a better idea to listen than to talk. That’s why journalism (and book editing other people’s work) keeps the ego in check. In this line of work, I’m rarely asked about my life and that is fine. (And probably why I love to share my feelings via blogging when I do have the time to think something out and express it in words!)

So looking forward to much more journalism in 2016, of course after the nice three-day weekend (though writers are so addicted to their craft, they always sneak a little work in)! Write to live and live to write!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning journalist. Her first book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

Live in the Moment!

Published November 18, 2015 by Maryanne

always-live-in-the-moment-source

Last night I had a meeting with a client who is writing a very cool book and I am helping him edit it. We had the greatest conversation about spirituality and living in the moment. We agreed that some people take themselves way too seriously and are too dogmatic about their beliefs to see the beauty of what is in front of them.

I once knew a girl who was very dogmatic about her version of “spirituality.” She was into yoga, vegan-ism, creativity, Buddhism, the universe and so on. BUT do not mention Jesus Christ in her presence. She did not want to hear it. She thought it was so funny to share the story about a guy she was dating answering the door naked when a Jehovah Witness came to the door. And that they never came again.

What a shame, she (and her date) missed the point.

True spirituality is being in the moment. Just because something isn’t your belief, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a message there. A subtle point I make in my upcoming book, “The Gypsy Smiled” — that you can learn something from anyone no matter what their walk in life. The lead character Lucy snubs a younger guy who is interested in her because of his youth; but he’s actually wise beyond his years. Then goes to a new age spa, but it’s not the retreat that evolves her, it’s her ex-boyfriend who is there and teaches her a valuable life lesson. (You can vote to help me get a book contract for “The Gypsy Smiled” by going here: http://soopllc.com/blog/book-ideas/gypsy-smiled-maryanne-christiano-mistretta/).

This morning two Jehovah Witnesses came to my door. Unlike my former friend, I love when they come to my door even though that is not my religion. I love getting the Watch Tower magazines and learning more about Jesus Christ. Today’s message was about Jesus bringing Peace on Earth. It was a powerful thing to hear, but I do believe it will happen. I hugged both Witnesses and thanked them. I went off to run my morning errands feeling elated. Had I answered the door naked, discouraging the witnesses, I wouldn’t have heard such a powerful message; the message of having faith in Jesus Christ.

Those Jehovah Witnesses will never know just how happy they made me today. But I have to give myself credit, too, for opening the door and opening my heart to a message.

I shared this story with my client and he said, “You were in the moment!”

The client is a vegan, but he’ll eat waffles with his little girl at a pancake house. That is a great father! When you can bend your own rules so others around you can be happy, it’s a beautiful thing. Be in the moment!

We can’t advance in our spirituality if we take ourselves too seriously. Check out the following video that my friend Marie sent to me this morning, it puts it all into perspective:

My Favorite Colour is Autumn

Published November 2, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_9136My husband’s PT Cruiser from restaurant window

Energized, alive, and ecstatic!

Here in New Jersey, we are enjoying the best autumn we’ve had in ages. The weather has been absolutely the best it’s been in a long time. Days are warm, yet crisp, ranging between 50 and 70 degrees. And, yesterday, the day after Halloween, so many houses and venues still had decorations up, so my husband and I basked in the Halloween joy of the season!

SAM_9142Waiting for my food at Beana’s

Still celebrating the Halloween weekend and approaching Cinco De Mayo, it seemed like a perfect time to grab a Mexican meal. We pigged out at Beana’s in Rahway (http://www.beanasmexicanrestaurant.com/). I had shrimp fajitas with a side of guacamole. Sitting across from me is my handsome husband, who doesn’t like having his pictures on the internet, but take my word for it, he’s super! ❤

SAM_9130Caldwell Chiropractic

We LOVE this clever chiropractic advertisement! But luckily since I started using Young Living Oils over a year ago, I haven’t the need to see a chiropractor or an acupuncturist! At 52 I have the back of a 20-something! If I sleep wrong, I just mix a bit of Pan Away with some coconut oil and I am good to go! That can be YOU! Email me and I’ll hook you up: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

SAM_9134Pumpkins!

Whether they’re real or fake, pumpkins are just the cutest part of the season. Last night my husband and I went to a “Pumpkin Sail” (yes, a pumpkin sail, not sale!) Children carve pumpkins then send them down the lake on a platform with a votive candle inside. It was so pretty watching them float along the river, heading down to the little falls.

And, finally, in Halloween spirit, we visited the house of The Watcher in Westfield, New Jersey.

If you Google, “The Watcher, Westfield, New Jersey” you’ll come up with a crazy story about a phantom watcher who writes anonymous notes to residents. The most recent residents were terrified and are suing the people who sold them the home because they weren’t told about what’s been happening at this house for ages.

My husband was brave enough to go up to the doorstep. I stayed behind. From where I stood it looked like the mailbox was full of mail. The vibe was creepy. Not a soul to be seen and an empty driveway. However, the homes around The Watcher house were full of life, lights on, Halloween decorations and cars in the driveways.

When my husband reached the doorway, the floor of the porch creaked!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513

 

Don’t Ever Friend a “Fan”

Published October 22, 2015 by Maryanne

Selena's MurderFan murdered superstar Selena

A year ago when I published my first book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” (available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X) it was suggested by an author friend that I start a Facebook page. Over the years I’ve had so many problems on Facebook, I didn’t like the idea. However, I started it up once again because it did help sell a lot of books. Then once I started doing book signings, “strangers” started coming to my events and “friending” me on Facebook. I had a very hard time using the word “fans.” It sounded so … so … so old and weird, like I was Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard” and the “little people” were peons buying my product.

Weirded out by “fan” I started calling those who brought my book, my “beloved readers.” It sounded more endearing than “fans.” But deep down, I wanted my readers to really be friends. They were buying my books and I felt I owed them my life. Dumb move. Making friends with fans is the biggest mistake any author, artist, actor, or musician can ever do. Fans are not friends.

Take the extreme case of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, singer, songwriter, fashion designer who was murdered by a crazed fan. Her family told Selena she was too trusting. And her murderer confessed she killed Selena because she was jealous.

I too, was told all my life that I was too trusting. I’m friendly and personable and make friends very easily. Only to get stabbed in the back over and over again. I’m honest. I’m sweet. And I’m vulnerable. Twice in this past week I was told I was “too nice.”

I said to my husband, “I need to harden up.”

He said, “No, being sweet is what makes you special. You just have to remember, these people are not your friends.”

I’ve learned (the hard way) there’s a place for fans — in the audience. Do not exchange phone numbers. Do not friend them on Facebook. Do not let them take you out to dinner. Do not meet them for lunch. If they give you a gift, kindly accept it.

Learn how to be a respected author because you paid your dues in getting there. There is no shame in calling someone a “fan.” You earned the right to say that. You don’t always have to be so humble. Humble means people will take advantage.

As much as we’d like to believe everyone is equal, we are not.

Let’s be real. We’re not in the same league as Oscar winners and rock stars. And on that same note, our fans are not in our league either. Even if we’re just doing book signings in libraries in front of a small audience and getting royalty checks every few months, it’s a helluva lot more than most people are doing and that will provoke jealousy (the root of all evil).

People can be very nice to your face and stab you in the back. They might be excited and honored to be your friend at first. They may introduce you as their “author friend.” They may put great reviews of your product on Amazon. They may come to your events and tell you how beautiful you are. This doesn’t make them a “friend.” It’s like the old saying, “Easy come, easy go.” When people put you up on a pedestal, they’ll be the first to knock you down when they find out you’re human.

Or as the ego always dictates, they’ll knock you down when they find out you disagree with them politically, or spiritually, or even if you eat meat and they don’t.

We live in a crazy ego-driven world; people are control freaks and users. People only love you when it’s working to their advantage. Everyone loved the All American Ricky Nelson until he grew his hair long. That is what his song “Garden Party” is about — not pleasing others. Others don’t want you to have an  opinion of your own. If it doesn’t match theirs, you’ll have hell to pay.

I won’t get into the ugly side of being an author because some fans are so vain they’ll probably think this blog is about them. So let’s just say nasty people are good at it because that’s where their heart is — in a nasty place. If only that energy was directed into doing something creative, they’d be the ones signing autographs too. But they’re not … so the smoke starts coming out of the noses and the eyes turn green with envy.

Though I take my chances in writing this to: #1 bring awareness, as you’ll never know who you are helping (hence my “Why Are Women Catty?” blog I wrote several years ago and is still getting a ton of “hits”); and #2, blow steam. I believe a good vent, even if it’s cryptic, is very healthy. This is why I am 52-years-old and have a beautiful head of natural shiny chestnut brown hair — not dyed! (And this is where people say, “Get the fuck out of here!” and can’t believe it. But, yeah, I don’t lie. I’m honest to a fault!)

But back to keeping fans in their place … This is why my husband advises: “Stick with your peers.”

Those peers are my true friends who I can fight and disagree with, but who will never, ever really hurt me. Those peers are also the super cool acquaintances I’ve made in the creative world — the deejays who will have me on their radio shows or simply give me a shout out; my fellow authors who will surprise me with an email; the celebrities I’ve interviewed who on rare occasions drop me a line — even years after I’ve interviewed them; the librarians who book my programs; and anyone I work with in the art/music/publishing media world. That’s why I love my career so much, it’s about being with your friends and doing a little bit of work — an easy, breezy, enviable life.

So, to any new authors reading, I say, appreciate who you are and be real about it. Don’t humble yourself so much like I did that you put yourself in a vulnerable spot, set up for abuse. (Note: This is why famous celebrities on Facebook and Twitter DO NOT interact with their fans).

Have a little pride in yourself and realize that it’s OKAY to have fans and enjoy the fact that you do. Just keep them at bay. This way when you inadvertently piss them off, the worst thing they can do to you is write you a bad review. And at worst, bad reviews are pretty funny. At best, they are bad-ass because it means people are reading — and that’s just what a writer wants!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta’s second book “Love Cats” is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle formats (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513). Her former fans loved it!

Book Signing at Fanwood Library, Fanwood, NJ

Published October 14, 2015 by Maryanne

FanwoodBook Signing at Fanwood Library, Fanwood, New Jersey

I look forward to another book signing. This will be my first time at the Fanwood Library, reading from “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X).

I’ll also be selling copies of my second book “Love Cats” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513).

Happy National Book Lovers Day!

Published August 9, 2015 by Maryanne

Book LoverYes, that was me!

Happy National Book Lovers Day!

If you’re a blogger, it’s probably very likely you’re an avid book reader. In my 30s I used to read one or two books per week!

Some of my favorites are:

  1. “The Christmas Pig” by Kinky Friedman
  2. “The Good Good Pig” by Sy Montgomery
  3. “Paleo Manifesto” by John Durant
  4. “Letters From the Earth” by Mark Twain
  5. “Finding of the Third Eye” by Vera Stanley
  6. “And I Don’t Want to Live This Life” by Deborah Spungeon
  7. “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret” by Judy Blume

What are you favorites?

Of course I wrote a few too!

“On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X)

“Love Cats” (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/)