Friday, April 2, 2010
Who Are You?
At the writer's conference I recently attended, I sat down to pitch my book idea to an editor, and before I could lace up my tap-dancing shoes she asked me, "who are you?"
Now let me explain that she was not being cheeky, or rude in the least. It was a perfectly legitimate question. In fact, I've been trying to answer that very question for the last 26 years.
Successful writers generally have a tag of some sort. Stephen King is synonomous with Horror, and Danielle Steele with the trashy beach novel (my profound apologies to Steele readers clucking in disapproval, but let's face it--it's not exactly Jane Austen).
So who, then, is this Christeene person? I can't really place her in a neatly packaged, PR-ready, glossy-photo'ed, cataloged section of the bookstore just yet. But what I can say is this: I am a girl who dreams with a book in her hand, and a poem on her lips. I disdain sappiness, but crave romance. I take copious pictures of trees because I can find no other thing in creation (beyond human life itself) that amazes me more, except maybe the ocean. I am someone who loves God, and fails time and again, only to rediscover His unfailing grace.
I am a mother who packs extra socks but forgets the juice. I am someone who cares deeply about young people, especially the "scary ones," with tats and wild hair and adult mistakes; I want to mother them all, I want to shake my tiny little sausage fist in the faces of those who won't. I am someone who loves rainy days, and sad songs in French that I can't really decipher. I am full of dark desires and sanctified by Jesus. I am Christeene Renee Fraser (nee Alcosiba), half Hawaiian and half redneck--a girl who learned to gut fish, drink black coffee, and quote T.S. Eliot.