Merry Chrissy and the After Christmas Awakenings #RevealWeek: Introducing Ava

After quite a magical adventure in "Merry Christmas and the Naughty or Nice Truth", 9-year old Chrissy Deigh is completely heartbroken that the most magical day of the year will be 1 year away once again. Christmas Day may be over, but Chrissy's story is just getting started.

There are 4 brand new characters in the second installment of the Merry Chrissy series. Today, I will introduce Ava to the world.

 The stoic and silent.

The stoic and silent.

Ava is a new student that suddenly enrolls in Chrissy's elementary school without warning. Initially, Chrissy and Tyler try to figure her out. With a emotionless face, she is somewhat aloof and introverted; Always glued to her tablet. She doesn't even start any conversation or display a single emotion when she's teased at by her classmates. Chrissy tries her hardest to be friendly with her, but she never appears to want to talk...until all of a sudden she starts warming up to Chrissy and Tyler; talking about mundane school things. 

 Not much of a hugger it seems.

Not much of a hugger it seems.

As the story progresses, Ava becomes a bit more suspicious about Chrissy. Why is she so fascinated with Christmas? Why does she need to be away so much on the weekends? A Christmas "conspiracy" website that Ava frequents seems to ask a lot about what's really going on the the North Pole? Could she be on to something?

Author's Notes

 The first ever sketch of Ava

The first ever sketch of Ava

Ava on the outside is just a normal kid, but the inside is another story. She's a lot smarter than most people take for granted. A perfect contrast from Chrissy's silliness and happy-go-luckiness, she is all truth and logic. Once the reader advances chapter by chapter, you'll really begin to find out what Ava truly is all about.

"Merry Chrissy and the After Christmas Awakenings" is a middle grade novel for ages 9 and up. It will be available for purchase December 2016. Go to merrychrissy.com or follow my social media for the latest updates.

Merry Chrissy Character Profiles: Meet Tyler

Making a book is hard. Doing it independently is even harder. These are the stories I want to share behind making "Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth.”

Part 3: Meet Tyler - a friend 'til the end

Tyler Dirkelson is a 9-year-old boy who suddenly starts a friendship with the Christmas-obsessed Chrissy Deigh. While Chrissy is usually assertive and in control, Tyler is more introverted and reserved. Tyler is kind, knowledgeable and tolerant of Chrissy’s sometimes odd behavior. The two meet after Chrissy is forced to get out of the house and play by the demands of her mother on a warm Summer day. From the beginning, he's aware that Chrissy is unusual, but never questions or criticizes it. While Tyler is more interested in playing with model trains, the two kids have one thing in common: both are main targets in bullying by Charlotte and her friends. Together, both Chrissy and Tyler need one another while surviving 4th grade.

Compared to the more agile and nimble Chrissy, Tyler is more weak bodied and this will show when he deals with gym class for example. However, does he still believe in Santa Claus? Chrissy is quite unsure.

Designing Tyler

 An early sketch of Tyler.

An early sketch of Tyler.

Tyler is the average, dorky kid. To be honest, there is really nothing that stands out other than his hair. I sticked to mostly earthly colors that match his down to earth persona. I bit oversized, but not too much. He has thick black glasses that likely have a strong prescription of some sort. You could probably find a kid that looks just like this somewhere in America. On the outside, it may seem he has a flat personality, but it’s not overwhelming. He is quite intelligent and picks up on things that Chrissy overlooks. He is the voice of reason. It’s very important to note he is not a fighter and the idea of arguing with Charlotte or a dodgeball fight sends chills down his spine. Still, Chrissy sees Tyler as important since they start to develop a friendship.

Could Tyler and Chrissy’s friendship mean…much more? You'll have to read to find that out!

Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth is a middle-age grade novel designed for ages 9 and up. It is scheduled to be released on December, 5th 2014. Go to www.merrychrissy.com For the latest updates. You can also follow Merry Chrissy on Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and more.

Merry Chrissy Character Profiles: Meet Charlotte

Making a book is hard. Doing it independently is even harder. These are the stories I want to share behind making "Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth.”

Meet Charlotte - a true rival

Charlotte Marigold is Chrissy’s main antagonist throughout the majority of the book. She is mostly self centered, conceited and always scheming. A classic bully, Charlotte and her 2 other friends Gabriella and Raven talk behind Chrissy’s back, tease and intimidate her. Charlotte is considered the “queen bully” in Chrissy school and many other kids don't like her as well.

 From left to right. Raven, Charlotte and Gabriella. "The trio" of friends that bully Chrissy.

From left to right. Raven, Charlotte and Gabriella. "The trio" of friends that bully Chrissy.

During the process of writing, I knew early on Chrissy would be challenged by another classmate. I originally thought of making just about everyone in class and school hate her, but that was just too much and too cruel. Instead, the teachers, ever so aware of bullying are looking to punish the punished rather than just the punisher. Charlotte early on was developed as I continued writing. She really has no positive qualities whatsoever, but there is a small hint of humanity in her dark heart. Charlotte mainly teases Chrissy for her year-round interests in Christmas and the style of clothing she wears. 

Designing Charlotte

 Charlotte in all of her purple majesty.

Charlotte in all of her purple majesty.

There is a big contrast between the design of the two girls. Chrissy is dressed like she came out of the thrift shop. Charlotte on the other hand, came out of a boutique shop. Charlotte and her parents are much more wealthy than the average kid in her elementary class, so it was important that her wardrobe stood out. Going with a royalty theme, I chose many shades of purples and yellows for her outfit. Coloring her was quite a challenge since she has so many different colors. She also has blush on her face in a certain tone. As a personal touch, it’s kinda fitting that her color scheme just about matches the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, a team I really hate as I’m an Orlando Magic fan (Still bitter about the Finals back in 2009!) In case you don’t follow sportsball, they’re a highly successful basketball team that won 15 championships. The team that I root for, the Magic have zero.

Speaking of sports, the two become fierce rivals. They face off in Dodgeball and a costume contest…and other situations that you'll need to read to find out more!

Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth is a middle-age grade novel designed for ages 9 and up that will be released on December 5th, 2014. Go to www.merrychrissy.com for the latest updates. You can also follow Merry Chrissy on Twitter and Google Plus.