Thursday, December 20, 2012

Welcome Guest Author CJ Lyons!

NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling Author of Thrillers with Heart
I've been a storyteller all my life. When I was little this meant a lot of time spent in time-outs for not knowing the difference between fiction and non-fiction (or truth and lies according to my parents and teachers, lol!).

But all that time spent day dreaming and listening to the stories in my head meant that I often came up with solutions and possibilities that other kids who played by the rules didn't see.

Once I began putting my stories down on paper, my teachers encouraged me to keep writing. I had my first story published in our school's "literary" magazine when I was twelve and won my first writing contest when I was thirteen.

While I kept writing all my life, it was a long, long, long time before I actually thought about writing books for a living. Writing had always been my way of coping with the "real" world and coming up with ways to achieve my goals and dreams, like my dream of becoming a doctor.

My friends pushed me out of my comfort zone (that's what good friends do--and they're there to catch you if you fall or cheer you on when you win) and I gathered all my courage and tried to sell my books to publishers.

Back then it was hard work finding a publisher but now there are many ways to get your stories into the hands of readers. The most difficult part isn't being published, it's finding the courage to take the risk and let other people read your stories.

You need to be strong. Have faith in yourself. Not everyone will like your stories--just like you don't like every book your English teacher tells you to read. But some people will not only like the imaginary worlds you build, they'll want to return again and again.

If you want to be a writer, your job isn't to make everyone like your stories. Your job is to create a world and people it with characters who will come to life so that the readers who enjoy your writing want to lose themselves in the magic of your words.

That's why I believe the six most important words in the English language are: Let Me Tell You A Story.

Explore the possibilities with every new world you create. And have fun!

Happy writing,

About CJ:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sixteen novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart.

CJ has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday).

Learn more about CJ's Thrillers with Heart at and everything she knows about being a bestseller at

Writing Prompt: A Brand New World
Good writing is all about creating characters who feel so real that the reader feels like they're seeing a whole new world through the character's eyes.

Look around at your ordinary world: your neighborhood or your school or favorite place.

How would this place look/sound/feel different to: an elephant escaped from the circus and on the run? Your great grandparents traveling forward in time from fifty years ago? Your best friend's little sister or brother?

Being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes and view the world through their eyes is one of the most powerful gifts a writer has. Try experimenting with changing point of view next time you're stuck on a problem and need a solution or the next time someone upsets you or makes you angry.

Write down what they feel--use as many senses (smell, sight, touch, etc) as possible. See how your world comes alive, just by shifting your point of view.
You're Never Alone when Lost in a Good Book...
NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling Author of Thrillers with Heart
Want to know everything I know about becoming a bestseller?

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