I was almost an actor and singer. I spent my entire childhood and most of my teen years in voice training and acting lessons (I could never dance). When I was nineteen, my music professors pushed me to audition for the National Theater Conservatory, at the same time my English professors were helping me secure an internship at the Denver Post. I decided writing was a more stable career path (I was right), so I set out to learn to write anything. I’ve been a business and technical writer since then, in any number of different guises.
I am also an award-winning graphic designer. I’ve been using graphic design software since Quark 1.0 (on a teeny-weeny Mac Classic), and Photoshop since before it was owned by Adobe. I started using Microsoft office on Windows 3.1 (after using WordPerfect in DOS for a few years) and am now an expert in Word and the Adobe Creative Suite.
Due to my formative years singing show tunes, I love musicals. I am all but tone deaf now, after all these years, and I have long since forgotten how to read music, but I sing along (badly) at the top of my lungs in my car to any musical I know (and I know a lot of them). I am also a total Gleek (about the TV show, not whatever other nonsense is in Urban Dictionary).
And on the topic of g[l]eekiness, I am a Harry Potter freak, and have a fairly sizable collection of books, movies, and companion volumes. (The Harry in my latest book is not, however, named after Potter. 😉) I can pretty much beat any Potter trivia game, whether about the books or the movies. I have a massive crush on Lucius Malfoy, both the literary and cinematic versions. (I have a thing for villains. What can I say?)
I have both a high school diploma and a GED, after graduating a year early from an alternative high school. I also have a Bachelor’s degree in Writing, summa cum laude and With Distinction, and maintained a 4.0 GPA (during my second attempt at college in my 30s). My minors were in Creative Writing (Creative Non-Fiction) and Sociology (Religion). My Bachelor’s Honors Thesis, on the topic of religious conversion, took two years of primary research to complete, was 92 pages when finished, and satisfied requirements in both the English and Sociology Departments.
I took [the equivalent of] College Algebra eight times in high school and college, and failed eight times. If it had been a requirement for my degree, I would not have applied to go back to school. I cannot be relied on to do any math, ever, at any level, under any circumstances. I’ve taken the same four consecutive French classes at least four times and passed every time, starting in middle school. I still do not know enough French to make my way around Paris.
I can trace my maternal line back past the Battle of Hastings in 1066, to the Norman ancestor who was granted Baynard Castle in London. Another of my ancestors signed Charles I’s death warrant. I am related to the Count of Pappenheim, Germany, a title that dates back to 1628 (1030 as a Lordship) and is still in existence. Another of my ancestors was secretary to the Lords Proprietors, responsible for the initial disposition of land grants in South Carolina in the 1600s, who was granted an island off the coast of Charleston where members of my family lived until 1964.
My great-great uncle, Percival Whaley, the model for the main character in my last historical fiction novel, ran the first business newsletter in the US, which preceded the Kiplinger Letter. Whaley-Eaton Business Service opened in 1918 with the American Letter and Foreign Letter, and published various publications into the 1960s. In addition to adapting Percy Whaley, I’ve fictionalized Whaley-Eaton as Wentworth and Hoyt Business Service in Blind Tribute (including moving the entire enterprise to a different time period). Whaley-Eaton has largely disappeared from the history books, but I’ve just recently connected with the grandson of Henry Eaton, and we are going to try to help place the Whaley-Eaton name in its proper place in the history of American journalism and American business.
I have written about ten books (published six). I’ve published one book of poetry, two novels, two novellas, and a novelette in historical romance, and currently have two more in that genre mid-draft (all Regency-adjacent), and am serializing another historical romance (Victorian) with co-writer Jude Knight. I’ve also just released Blind Tribute, which is mainstream historical (with literary overtones). None of these, however, are my next series, The Lion’s Club, which is mainstream historical fiction, with nine books outlined and roughly drafted, based on my paternal grandmother’s childhood in Brooklyn, New York at the turn of the century.
I share a name with a town, Estancia Mari Christie, in the Boquerón region of Paraguay, at coordinates 21° 22′ 54″ South, and 61° 15′ 26″ West. No one planned this, least of all me.
To find out more about me or my books, you can go check out my brand-new website at http://www.MariAnneChristie.com.