I am a teacher and writer living in Surrey, British Columbia. I host open mic at my local coffee shop and enjoy entering poetry contests. I have worked with a Young Adult population for most of my career and I wanted to help readers find books to enjoy that were both at a level they could manage and that shared interesting and pertinent themes. The Orca Currents and Soundings Series, and the Lorimer Sidestreets are perfect for this YA audience. I feel privileged to now have eight accessible novels published by Orca Books and Formac/Lorimer Publishers. Room 555 and Unlocked are my newest releases!
Cristy Watson is an award-winning author of eight accessible novels for young people, and has three self-published chapbooks of poetry, with poems recently published in The Poetry Marathon Anthology, and CV2. She is passionate about teaching and writing and enjoys when the two passions overlap. Cristy loves hiking in the mountains and enjoying leisurely strolls by the beach. She also hosts a literary Open Mic in her local community, and she volunteers every year with the Surrey International Writer’s Conference, and with the Beach House Theatre in the summer. Over this break for the holidays, she hopes to finish book two of the fantasy trilogy for middle-grade and YA readers that she began writing during NANOWRIMO 2019.
What Cristy Watson does not mention in her bio, and the reason we “know” each other, is that she was one of the contestants in the Coffee Shop Author Contest I ran for a couple of years, and that her entry also placed in the first year. As she has reminded me:
It turned out you actually created the category of Honourable Mention for my poetry – you only had 1-3 places to begin with, so it was a real honour for me to win this!! My original book was called, The Coffee Shop Series but I later changed it to Poetry from the Pelican because the coffee shop I wrote most of the poetry in, is called The Pelican Rouge.
I had three sections in the book with coffee quotations to open them. I focused on the past, present and future. I had so much fun with the contest, and the Open Mic I now host is with the time-keeper and a ‘reminder’ of the event, Jim Williams (James) who also entered the contest with his book, which is now published – The Coventry Ghost.
So cool to have had the opportunity and I wish it could have gone on for several years. It was a great idea!
So, while Cristy Watson and I have never had the chance to meet in person, we’ve kept in contact over the years since that contest ran, and I have watched her publications grow in number. We’ve chatted often on social media about the idea of bringing back this contest in some form or another. And Cristy isn’t the only former contest winner who has gone on to publish, and remained friends with me over the years. I’ll soon be promoting a couple of these authors as part of this series. Oh, and the other connection I have with Cristy is that, long before the contest, I was a sales rep for both publishing companies that are now publishing her books!
When he was fifteen, Kevin took a car for a joyride and got in an accident that seriously injured a pedestrian. Now known as “Strider” in juvie, he has spent more than two years incarcerated, learning the hard way how to survive on the inside. Strider keeps his head down and in exchange for protection from another inmate, Strider provides “loans” of money and helps him cheat on schoolwork. But when his parole officer suggests that he apply for early parole, Strider realizes it would be hard for him to survive on the outside. Is there anything waiting for him back home, or should he stay where he thinks he belongs?
For more information about Cristy Watson, her writing, books, and teaching, please see her website.
Cristy Watson was a guest on my blog Reading Recommendations in Jan. 2014.