All posts tagged writers

Love Cats Now Out of Print — Seeking Traditional Publisher for New Edition!

Published July 30, 2019 by Maryanne

Love Cats front and back cover

Love Cats by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

It was the ’80s and it was hot! The romance of Beck Stewart and Janey Peyton took place in the new age dance clubs. They bonded over their love for books and music; and of course their intense sexual chemistry.

But major red flags were revealed when Beck brought Janey home for the very first time. He not only discovered that she was a snoop, but that she wasn’t fond of his beloved cat Morticia.

Then the drama truly reared it’s ugly head when Janey’s jealousy got the best of her. You see, Beck was a hard worker. Janey was a trust fund baby who didn’t have to work. Janey began spending her lonely days going on sexual escapades to “get back” at Beck for “neglecting” her.

Will this couple make it? And what happens when a kitten shows up at Janey’s doorstep? Can she learn to love cats?

Love Cats was my very first work of fiction. Making a living as a journalist most of my adult life, I only knew how to speak of the truth. When creating these characters, I did so much research to “re-live” the 1980s through them. I wanted the book to be as authentic as possible. I wasn’t going to use phrases people use today in my book.

I also had a good friend, Todd Gordon, who is a screenwriter, go over Beck’s words. Is this how a guy talks? I asked him.

In Beck, I wanted to great a guy who was cool, but also a bit of a pushover. In many romantic novels, you see the woman as a victim. I wanted to illustrate that men can be victims too in the world of romance. Throughout Love Cats Beck remains hopeful for the relationship, until Janey pushes his button to the max the time she comes home when the sun comes up, wearing a completely different outfit she wore the night before.

With Janey, I wanted to create the most selfish character possible. As a late bloomer in social media, I started using Facebook in 2013, against my better judgement. One of my clients, who I helped ghostwrite a book, sold me on it. She said that she was able to sell many books thanks to her presence on Facebook. When my first book, On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist, was self-published, my publishing company said that I sold more books the first day than the average author sells in a year! Anyway, being on Facebook, I witnessed firsthand how selfish people could be. You can’t blame social media. People were always like this, but social media magnifies it tenfold.

For example, in my article for Gasm, “Selfish Sex” I explain how I believe most of the population are takers: http://gasm.org/article/and-now-back-to-me/

When I see selfishness taken to the maximum level in real life, I can only imagine how bad these people are in bed. With that, I created sex scenes where the lead character Janey Peyton takes. She’ll get her rocks off and not reciprocate.

But as a humanitarian who believes people are truly good, I give Janey’s character much room for growth. And how else can that happen but through making a major connection with a little animal. In this case, a kitten who shows up at her doorstep.

Throughout the book, I keep the 1980s element, in both music and style. For example, nose rings were far from popular back then, but every now and then, you’d see some cool person wearing them. I also featured Betsy Johnson fashions, and some throwbacks who still wore featured hair in the 1980s. There’s a major fashion upgrade when Janey Peyton gives Heather makeover tips and she emerges with her blonde hair slicked back like the ladies in Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video.

While it was the 1980s and ’80s music was a stand-out, I didn’t ignore the fact that there were 1960s bands doing reunions, like The Monkees.

And what would a book about cats be without some reference to the play, Cats? Lyrics by both Robert Smith (The Cure) and Iggy Pop were purchased (and used by permission) from Hal Leonard Music publishing.

My all time favorite review from a reader spoke volumes about the novel: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-cats-maryanne-christiano-mistretta/1122001262

Since Love Cats was published May 2015, I’ve donated portions of proceeds to various animal groups. Now that it’s out of print, it seems to be more popular than ever as it’s climbing the Amazon ranks! Just last week, I received a phone call from a stranger asking, “How can I purchase Love Cats.” Knowing that it was now out of print, I told him he could try Amazon. I only have two copies left for myself. I noticed that Amazon was selling two books for $44.17. With some poking around, I discovered they were bought by another book selling company and you can now purchase them for over $80!

I’m determined to make another great go of it in a second edition, so readers do not have to pay extraordinary prices to feel the love that is Love Cats!

Love Cats was my second self-published book. Since then I’ve published three other books, traditionally. This is why I am turning down self-publishers who have been soliciting me ever since Love Cats first became out of print (and will continue to do so).

There is now a  Love Cats Too in the works. It’s the conclusion with characters from Love Cats and my other work of fiction, The Gypsy Smiled (not yet out of print and available on Amazon): https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following traditionally published books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261


Overnight Success Is Not a Real Thing

Published June 26, 2019 by Maryanne

Monkey AroundIs it business or monkey business? 

During my years as a journalist, people contacted me to publicize themselves. (Or just for a great story in general). It was a dream come true writing about bands (both famous and up and coming). I shared the story many times about how I interviewed The Jonas Brothers before they were a household name.  Those years were an amazing run in my life.

Then I started getting into writing books. And public speaking.

All of a sudden, publicists were coming out of the woodwork wanting to make me a “star.” Five years later, none of them impressed me.

Finding a good manager/publicist is like figuring out who to give your virginity too. It may take a long time. It may not happen at all. But whatever the case, don’t just give money to anyone.

I didn’t settle for love and ended up with a very happy marriage. So, why should I settle for a publicist/manager? In the end, I want it all — including a dream publicist/manager!

My goal in finding one would be:

  1. Someone who doesn’t lead with money. When someone (like the last scam artist) suggested that I create a Go Fund Me page in order to use her $7K per month services, I ripped her. I told her, if I was interested, I’d pay CASH in PAYPAL. And that Go Fund Me pages are to support those in real need, like people with cancer or hurt animals … Not publicists. Her plea of desperation for money was a major red flag. She spoke about money before she spoke about what she could do for me. Our phone consult lasted a mere five minutes while she put me on hold several times to talk to her friends at the restaurant. How can you ask for money when you barely spoke to someone? She didn’t even purchase one of my books, so how could she promote me? SCAM ARTIST ALERT! Another one said he could get me to warm up for Tony Robbins if I paid him $50K. He said Tony Robbins always wants him to be his opening motivational speaker act, but he’s too busy with his own stuff. I researched, and asked around. Nothing told me there was any truth in this man working with Tony Robbins.
  2. Someone who believes in me. Several years ago I exhausted myself interviewing potential managers. During one interview, a retired guy said, “Are you any good?” I ended the interview quickly. Why? Because he didn’t do his homework before the interview. If he read my newsletters and saw that I was consistently working for myself since 2009, he’d KNOW I was good. To me, being at the top and not lasting isn’t a good thing. But being somewhere in the middle and having longevity IS! I interviewed a woman who was putting me down while wanting the job. It reminded me of the “Sex and the City” movie when Carrie Bradshaw is interviewing potential assistants and asks, “So, why do you want this job?” It’s mind-blowing that people would want to work for you, but don’t get you. It makes no sense and is sure to go nowhere fast.
  3. Someone with a great track record. Yes, I know a few people like this. They are so good they don’t have time to work with me — yet! I say YET in high hopes that someday these women/men may have a window of opportunity for me. This could be another pipe dream–kind of like how some women wait for their dream guy to divorce his beautiful wife. But when you have in mind something special, it will manifest. It always does. Just don’t force it.

The thing is, when it comes to publicity, just like anything else that is good, stable, and successful, I say, do not rush your muse. Cherish your precious creative talents like you would your body and soul. Do not give them up to just anybody.

What you have is a GIFT from God and the Universe. Slow and steady is the key. Overnight success is not a real thing.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261


People Are Still Reading

Published April 21, 2015 by Maryanne

writer's quote

The other day I was having an issue with Word Press. There’s some glitch, that when I link to my business page, it says, “Page Not Found” even though everything is A-OK on the Go Daddy side of it. Though not really a big deal because if people want to find me, they will find me. I don’t need to be on Face Book either. Yeah, I’m THAT good and have the confidence to say so.

And that is what I want to encourage writers about with this post — not to let others belittle you into thinking the past is the past. Because it’s not. If you’re good, people will always be reading what you wrote, even if it’s from several years ago.

So, getting back to Go Daddy. The support guy told me, “Don’t go crazy fixing all the links. People will only go back so far.”

Uh, no they won’t.

They will dig until their hearts content if they find your blog interesting enough. Why do I know this? Duh — the stats! According to my stats, people are reading blogs I wrote very far back. And why wouldn’t they? It’s GOOD stuff! And not all of it is “dated.”

Sometimes I’ll go through my old blogs and delete things that are dated. And once in a blue moon I’ll delete a vent, but most of the time I’ll keep a vent up because that is when I get the biggest compliments — when I vent. If it wasn’t for a vent, I wouldn’t be going to Cleveland this October to speak for NotMom. And I once had an editor that told me my best writing was when I was angry or disappointed.

But back to the old blogs … which brings me to old books.

Yesterday I was speaking to a friend about royalty checks. She said that they will fizzle out as the book gets old. On the contrary, it’s been over a year since my first book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” was published and I’m still selling and having people invite me on their radio shows and to their libraries to promote my book. Yes, even this late in the game. It’s exciting!

My point is … writing is an art that is timeless. It’s like music in a lot of ways. Sure you get that first wave of marketing going after you’re first published, and it seems like the whole world is reading and buying your product … but it’s not over ’til it’s over. And that may be never. Even after you’re long gone. Look at Mark Twain!

One of my former editors said, a few years ago, she was still getting royalty checks for a book she wrote in the 1990s!

A few years ago I found a blog so good, I read the whole four years in one night’s sitting. And not too long ago I found an online diary that was written in the 1970s but published in 2008. That was seven years ago, yet the diary was so fabulous, I immediately contacted the author and set up a lunch date with her! And I can’t wait!

So, keep writing and growing. But don’t ever feel your past is a thing of the past. Savor all you’ve ever written and embrace it. It’s your art, your work, your muse … and there will always be an interest.

Who knows, I just may be reading something you wrote, as you are reading this!

I’ll hit the send button and this post will be brandy new, but if someone finds this post a year, or several years later, give me a shout to let me know, my point is valid! 🙂





Writer + Musician = Love! Love! LOVE!

Published June 13, 2013 by Maryanne

Mayra & Coyote 3

Mayra Dias Gomes (writer) & Coyote Shivers (musician)

Last week I was reading my old diaries and recalled my DJ sets at Pyramid Club. I always began the nights spinning the coolest song ever, “Plus One” by Coyote Shivers. Since I have two of his CDs already, I was searching online for more Coyote Shivers music and came across his Twitter and Instagram social media pages and saw that he married a beautiful girl — a writer named Mayra Dias Gomes.

It’s fantastic to read about love and happy endings especially when I have a little something in common … like Mayra, I’m also a writer who married a musician. And like Coyote and Mayra, my husband and I are very much in love, even after seven years (and hopefully none of you are sick of hearing about it, ha-ha). In fact the loving chemistry expressed between those two on Instagram reminds me a lot of my own happy marriage which is why I enjoy tuning in to their world. Happy people just LOVE to see other other people in love. It’s no wonder that once a couple is happily hooked up, right away we start to think about which one of our single friends can we fix up with another single friend. When it comes to love, we want more, we want more! Love is on the brain 24/7.

Then I got to thinking, what is it about a musician/writer marriage combo that makes the relationship work so gorgeously?

First of all, both careers are very free-spirited and creative, so there is never a dull moment. My husband’s brilliance never ceases to amaze me with the creative ways he surprises me and his out of the box thinking.

Both careers do not have a set pattern, neither are a typical 9 to 5 (although I aim for that so we can have our nights free together, except when he’s in the studio or having a band meeting), so there can be times where a musician/writer couple can be like two ships passing in the night, therefore time is always so very precious. Like the other night when I came home very late and then had to make a deadline. Dennis sat at my side to keep me company as I typed away.

Both careers have you in contact with zillions of different people. So both writers and musicians understand the important of trust in a relationship, which to me is a very important element. Nothing is more rewarding than knowing that your man trusts you with all his heart and soul. The word TRUST sends chills up my spine and puts tears in my eyes. I know I am my husband’s angel and he counts on the fact that I would never, ever hurt him, nor would he hurt me. There is a lifetime comfort in knowing that.

The marriage between a musician and writer can mean great opportunities for collaboration. I have no musical talent, but it was a thrill writing lyrics for a children’s Christmas song. Not only did Dennis put music to my lyrics, we had it recorded on a Christmas CD and then were interviewed on a college radio station that played the song. This was just one example of quite a few cool things we’ve done in the studio together over the years. Just one of many dreams come true since I met Dennis.

Both careers have great perks. Between my husband’s connections and my connections, we’re always going to some event or other —  free! Since we’re not rich and famous, it definitely helps financially that entertainment doesn’t cost us a dime. Our careers definitely fill up our social calendar. And while my hunny adores me even if I’m just sitting home watching TV in pajamas with my hair up in a bun and no make-up, it’s so great to hear him say how pretty I look when I’m dressed for a night on the town and how lucky he says he is. (But, really, I’m the lucky one!)

I also think that a musician who is attracted to a writer (and vice versa) is a person who embraces change, someone who doesn’t stay stagnant in life. There are always new things to learn and it keeps you young and vibrant. And both careers are ones you can grow old with. I can’t imagine a life without writing. If I was to retire, I’d rather be dead. And if there ever was a day my husband wasn’t picking up one of his 20 guitars, I’d know something was seriously wrong with him. I would definitely check his pulse to see if he was still alive. One thing for sure is, we’ll never be the couple that just wants to stay in the house and rot. We’re always up for an adventure, for meeting new people, for a road trip, for growing and growing old together. We will eventually be that old couple walking on the beach still holding hands.

And before I end this post, I want to add a little side note in regard to the music of Coyote Shivers (cool punk with incredibly funny and clever lyrics). One night when Dennis and I first started dating, I threw on the CD “Coyote Shivers Gives It To Ya Twice.” We were in my old apartment, drinking a bottle of unfiltered pearl sake, making out and laughing like hell because Coyote’s lyrics were so hilarious. Coyote’s funny songs were the back drop to us falling in love — because laughter/humor is KEY to a great relationship. Seven years later, we’re still laughing — at anything and everything. (Even the dumbest stuff like me making up silly songs about women with chipped toe nail polish, sung with a hillbilly accent).

I’ve yet to read Mayra’s books/articles, but I saw some of her interviews on You Tube and I favor the interview with Michael Monroe since I’m a big Hanoi Rocks fan. Mayra seems so down to earth, fun and a true music fan. (Plus she’s also a gorgeous print model!)

I tried Googling “writers who married musicians” and “musicians who married writers” and couldn’t come up anything more to add to all this. So, tell me, are there more happily married writers and musicians out there? Or are there other careers that seem to be a perfect match for couples? I know the musician/photographer coupling works beautifully too, as Paul and Linda McCartney were my favorite rock ‘n’ roll couple ever — just like our friends Tommy (musician) & Darlene (photographer) who have been together over 20 years and are absolutely adorable together.

Happy couples, please come forward, and tell what your careers are.

If we get enough people to participate in this research, we can ditch the whole zodiac compatibility thing and start a new trend about perfect career compatibility love matches. Linda Goodman, look out!

Eternal love and happiness!

Maryanne and Dennis by JeffMaryanne (writer) and Dennis (musician) – 2010


A Question for Authors

Published June 12, 2013 by Maryanne


Tell me, is there ever a light at the end of the tunnel?

Perhaps I should have been an author first before becoming a journalist. I am so used to instant satisfaction and the on-going process of writing a book is draining. Now I’m thinking I may even re-write the entire 16 chapters, going in a different direction altogether. Will I ever finish?

Over the Memorial Day holiday I saw a friend who is a musician. She shared with me that she prefers instant satisfaction too, like writing a song as opposed to writing a musical.

If I’m not feeling it, is this my heart telling me to just continue with my “songs” (articles) and ditch the idea of writing a “musical” (book)?

I have some extra time this week to write but instead of going to my book I’m thinking of what to blog about next and pitching ideas for articles to my editors.

What do you think?

The Blogosphere Tit for Tat

Published September 27, 2012 by Maryanne

Years ago I was a huge fan of Live Journal. I met friends there who became friends in real life. It was super. But one thing I noticed, that I didn’t care for was that I only heard from certain people when I commented on their Live Journal pages.

After eight months of blogging on Word Press, I’m noticing a similar trend, and I have to say, I ain’t digging it.

As writers/bloggers, let’s be a little bit more honest with each other. I know we’re all busy, so read what you really enjoy, press “like” if you really liked what I wrote — not because I recently liked something of yours.

Honest, it won’t hurt my feelings.

When I first joined WordPress and started blogging, while I was willing to make friends and be supportive of other bloggers. I also decided that I wanted to keep it real as well. I wasn’t going to eat all my time up reading every single blog I subscribed to — even though I subscribe to a ton of them that I find interesting. And if someone didn’t like my blog, but I liked theirs, who cares … I’d still read theirs if I found it interesting. I have zero ego!

All the blogs I subscribe to come to my email box. I either read or delete according to my amount of free time, or whether the first few sentences are enticing to me — but most of the time I don’t even get that far because I’m so busy and I can always catch up later — or not. The bottom line is, it’s no biggie and shouldn’t be.

Admittedly, I do have a few favorites that I read every single one — but, please, I do not want any of you to feel like you have to read my blog in return.

I’d rather have less “likes” but have them be genuine. And nothing says genuine more than a comment (which is why I absolutely adore the people who read that don’t have blogs themselves and are following via email — now that is truly someone who feels I’m a good read!)

And for those of you I’ve become friends with, I like you no matter what. Maybe something you are writing about doesn’t particularly resonate with me, or I don’t have time to read it, so I may pass over it this time around. But if we’re friends for a long time and you’re creating for a long time, when I do press “like” again — it will be that more meaningful, no?

That said, happy blogging, happy reading, and happy “liking” (if you mean it!)