the gypsy smiled

All posts tagged the gypsy smiled

The Gypsy is Still Smiling!

Published January 15, 2018 by Maryanne

The Gypsy Smiled -- THE COVER!!

My name is Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta and I’ve been writing professionally (meaning, being paid to do so) since 1995. That was the year I stood on St. Mark’s Place, in New York City, and was thrilled to see the magazine on display at a newsstand that contained one of my articles. It was one of my life’s happiest moments.

As a writer, the thrills never stop. Your first rejection list (which means people are reading), your first article in print, your first check, your first award, the first time you get to edit someone else’s work, the first time someone asks for your writing advice, and of course your first published book.

My first two books were self-published. Then my third was picked up by a traditional publisher. I was shocked. When the publisher first contacted me, I thought it was yet another self-publishing company hawking business. But, no, it was a real publisher — and wow, just wow!

Within the year, my fictional story, “The Gypsy Smiled” was published.

“The Gypsy Smiled” is music fiction chick lit, inspired by a legendary song by the legendary Lou Christie, “The Gypsy Cried.” I loved the song — and Lou Christie — so much that my book is a tribute to him. The characters who are 1980s goths have a secret passion for the 1960s; so much so that they transform Lou’s music and make it their own.

The lead character, Lucretia, is trying to make it as a musician, but something is holding her back. Then she meets an exotic, positive woman named Gypsy who guides her.

Innocent enough, with no malicious intent.

However, sadly during my time of working out the kinks, a clueless beta who read my work was fixated on the word “gypsy” which she thought was a dig on the Romanian community. (Meanwhile, I have a few friends of Romanian descent who had NO PROBLEM AT ALL with me using the word). I fought to keep the book as is.

After the book was published, I thought my woes with the publishing company were behind me until I was passed on to a publicist who — after the book was published!!! — wanted me to change the entire book because she found it “offensive.”

Do people not get out much? Hallmark Movie Channel had a feature about a “gypsy fortuneteller” not to long ago. And there’s also a TV show called “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.”

When “politically correct” turns to “nit picky incorrect” — it’s not only dumb, but disgustingly “holier than thou”!

I took a private poll on Facebook and people I haven’t heard from in ages came to my defense. The word was used in a classic song, the book is a tribute to that song, and “gypsy” was NOT used as a slur, but in a most glorifying way. (Thus other kick ass gypsy songs like “Gypsy” by Stevie Nicks; and “King of the Gypsies” by Johnny Thunders).

Life can be so ugly when you’re falsely accused for doing wrong, when you work so hard, night and day, to make the world a better place. When I worked at Montclair Times, I made the paper the first in New Jersey to write about gay marriages, followed by the transgender community; I’ve also spent many a day in violent areas in New Jersey to report on a story about the good teens and policemen are doing for the community.

That said, the suggestion by a publicist to change the title of my book “The Gypsy Smiled” was the most asinine thing I ever heard in my life; as the word was by no means meant to be harmful!

I’m no longer going to exhaust myself being defensive to ignorant, judgmental people. Life goes on; and my life certainly isn’t one lived in vain, that’s for sure! I look in the mirror in the morning and say to myself, “I like me” as I await what the day brings. And when someone has to put others down without knowing even five percent of their personality and good doings, they must not like themselves very much.

And not wanting to work with that negative energy, I declined any help from the publicist.

As for the future of “The Gypsy Smiled” without a publicist, the book may just be cult status at best. At least I never compromised myself or my values. I kept my art true.

I refuse to be a sell-out because of someone’s minuscule opinion that is so wrong. In my heart, I feel I created a piece of art that pays homage to someone I highly admire. And that is certainly something to feel proud about.

Like my character Gypsy, I am smiling!

To purchase “The Gypsy Smiled” in Kindle or paperback, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 — Happy New Year!

Published December 28, 2017 by Maryanne

DSCF1213 - fun

Unlike prior years, I’m almost afraid to say “good-bye” to 2017. It was certainly a memorable year; and a true blessing that for the first time in a long time no one very close to me passed away. (And I beg the universe to keep it that way for at the very least the next three days. If we can have an equal 2018, I’ll be forever grateful!)

In addition to many book signings, radio shows, library lectures, a great big elevation in my career, my private time with my beautiful husband, cherished moments with great friends (you know who you are!) and more concerts and lunch/dinner dates than I could keep track of, there were five outstanding moments that 2017 offered. Here they are, in date order:

  • February 2017, I got the word that my third book “The Gypsy Smiled” was to be traditionally published! By September, it was available on Amazon! https://www.amazon.in/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9
  • September 2017, during my “Learn & Listen: The Life and Music of David Bowie” series, a special guest showed up to perform the encore song. Three-time Grammy winner, Rob Fusari wowed the audience with his version of “Young Americans.” And I am now in the process of filming a documentary about the “Learn & Listen” series, with Rich Timberlake and Jayne DiGregorio working hard behind the scenes.
  • October 2017, I was chosen by the NJ Poet’s Society to read my poem “All About Eve” for the All About Eve Art Festival. It was an incredible honor and a night I’ll never forget!
  • October 2017. From June through November I worked as editorial assistant, then associate editor for a magazine. In October I was honored to go on a business trip to Atlanta, Georgia for a few days. Always mixing business with pleasure, I took it upon myself to check at Peter Noone (for the 5th or 6th time) at the City Winery. Atlanta was a beautiful place to visit, especially in late October while their daylight still goes strong until around 8 p.m.
  • November 2017 was the icing on the cake! Renna Media hired me as editor and writer for their 21 publications. Now over a month into this gig and I can honestly say I am ecstatic! With plenty of time to work and play, I can still handle my Pear Tree Enterprises (https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/) business on a part-time basis. After working for a magazine for five months, it feels like I got my life back again. I get to work at home in my pajamas, but also go out and about to meetings, to cover hyper local news, and was extremely honored to write the tribute about Pat DiNizio when he passed, which made the cover of his hometown newspaper.

While no one close to us passed, I was very sad to see the following go (in no particular order): Pat DiNizio, David Cassidy, Adam West, Glen Campbell, Gregg Allman, Tom Petty, Chuck Berry, author William Peter Blatty, Jerry Lewis, Mary Tyler Moore, Erin Moran, Jim Neighbors, and Charles Bradley. (Yes, there were many more, but these are the ones that were most dear to my heart; may they rest in peace.)

On a happier note, I’ve always believed that how you start the year is the prediction of how the year will be. With an old fashioned tradition of “dinner and a movie” my husband and I ended 2016 by going to see “Why Him?” Setting the tone of the new year with LAUGHTER was the way to go, followed by fine dining, and that extra special kiss at midnight made 2017 unbelievable. We create our own magic — and this is what it’s all about!

 

 

My Third Book Signing at Randy Now’s Man Cave

Published December 17, 2017 by Maryanne

DSCF1105Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Today was my third book signing at Randy Now’s Man Cave in Bordentown, New Jersey.

It’s always an honor being here. The store is incredible with vinyl and oddities. So many legends have performed here; and signed books here, that I’m humbled, big time, to be among many greats.

I favor doing book signings, but for those who aren’t in my area, the books are available online.

On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist can be purchased here: https://nextcenturypublishing.com/product/on-the-guest-list/

Love Cats can be purchased here: http://touch.kaspersky.com/kis_cup_f8f731b4-629f-4b7c-923c-495d87bf7e09/1513260348

The Gypsy Smiled can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

 

Publishing Contract For “The Gypsy Smiled” With Your Vote!

Published November 18, 2015 by Maryanne

IMG_4772Model Ashley, for possible book cover idea

Hey gang, my third book “The Gypsy Smiled” is ready for publication and if I can get 1000 votes, Something Or Other will give me a publishing contract!

Please vote and share! http://soopllc.com/blog/book-ideas/gypsy-smiled-maryanne-christiano-mistretta/

“The Gypsy Smiled” is the story of Lucretia “Lucy” Christiansen, a singer/guitarist in her mid-20s, trying to make it in the music business in the late 1980s. Because she’s working two jobs to support herself, she can never make it to band practice on time. Therefore, the leader of her all-girl goth outfit, Daughters of Darkness, kicks her out of the band. The creepy thing is — Lucy was warned that this would happen. An eccentric psychic named Gypsy told her so. Lucy is now feeling like a failure and drowning her sorrows by record store hopping. Though she loves gothic music, she’s also a big fan of “oldies” artists like Lou Christie, who she dreams of working with, creatively. During her record shopping trip, a young fellow goth named Dionysus develops a crush on her and starts following her around like a puppy dog. Lucy fails to take him seriously, especially when she finds out he still lives at home. Plus she’s more focused on revving up her musical career than romance. But Dionysus, real name Scott, turns out to be a killer guitarist and wants Lucy to sing in his band. His father is a famous Elvis impersonator, so Scott knows people “in the biz.” Lucy agrees to be in his band, but Scott has more on his mind than being “just friends.” Knowing how career-focused Lucy is, Scott puts his feelings at bay and they work their musical magic together.

Things are going beautifully until Lucy’s former band mates instigate a fight between her and Scott, causing him to wonder if Lucy is just using him as a vehicle to launch her career as a singing sensation.

Lucy desperately seeks help from psychic Gypsy.

Gypsy has the answers but Lucy lacks the trust. Fed up, Gypsy sends Lucy to an all expense paid new age vacation spa in the mountains; where Lucy could find her own answers.

❤ Thanks for your support!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X) and “Love Cats” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513)