Saturday, June 6, 2009

Introducing Christine Thackeray

I suppose I've always been an intellectual nomad, fascinated by the smorgasbord of life but never really willing to stay in one facet of it (which isn't that intelligent in the first place.) In college I shifted majors from pre-med to accounting to art to marketing and business. After serving a mission in London I looked at my transcript and realized that I had enough credits to graduate in English. Looking back on it, my love of language has been the one constant in my education.

Since I was little I have loved reading. I'm a voracious reader, usually finishing a book in a single sitting. When my children were young, that was great, but now I'm more careful about starting a book because once it's in my grubby paws, it'll be read in its entirety, usually late into the night at the expense of dishes and laundry.

A few years ago when my youngest son began kindergarten, I was thrilled to think about spending my time doing something meaty. I've always believed you can do it all- just not all at the same time. So when we moved to Portland, I landed a job at the local university that would offer me free tuition for their doctoral program in Psychology. I was thrilled and ready to start the following weekend when I went to the temple and felt black inside. After discussing it with my husband I called the school and turned down my dream job. In the next few weeks I went up to my sister's house in Seattle to lick my wounds. While there she discussed a manuscript she had been working on and asked me to look at it. I took it home and saw some improvements in structure and before long we submitted it, and it was accepted for publication.

Then Cedar Fort asked if I had any other manuscripts, and I sent them "Crayon Messages", a story I wrote based on a very difficult visiting teaching assignment I had. (I'm actually a little embarrassed by my first book. At the time I had no clue about head hopping, a writer's necessary aversion to anything ending in -ly or the bane of favorite non-words that clutter a story with empty drivel, but I promise you I am improving.) Anyway, they published that as well and asked my sister and I to co-author another book on C.S. Lewis. These events have started me on a whole new journey.

For now, I have a gift book coming out next mother's day called "Could You be an Angel?" and am in the third (and I hope last) complete rewrite of my next Visiting Teaching Adventure (it was too long, then too flat- third time's a charm, right?) I have a book being considered by another publisher and have begun research for a six book historical series that I'm thrilled about. I suppose like Anthony Trollope I've tasted "the addictive excitement of novel writing" and it is a great joy in my life.

But I couldn't end without specifying that I'm a mother first. I have seven fabulous living children, one celestial baby and the most patient husband known to man. Three of my boys are Eagle scouts, one is a returned missionary, one is currently on a mission in Albania and another will be leaving at the end of the summer. My four children at home still keep me plenty busy, along with doing cub scouts and being Enrichment Leader. Oh, and we have a puppy that chews on everything in sight including our old one-eared cat.

Lately, I've come to look at my writing as an incredible hobby that fills the quiet part of my days (too often spilling over into every other minute until I squish it back into its proper place.) Still, I like to look at my writing as quilting with words. It's a good thing I know a lot of quilters as obsessed as I am.


Cindy Beck said...

"Quilting with words," is a lovely description. Thanks for an enjoyable introduction to yourself.

Heather Justesen said...

Christine, I've had puppies that chew on everything. Keep your power cords out of reach! Especially for the laptop if you have one. Do you have any idea how PRICEY those babies are? Yikes!

Sound like you have your hands full!

kersten campbell said...

Love your introduction!