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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Friday, June 27, 2014
For my fellow writers, here is a proven, 16-step, easy process for marketing your book on Jeopardy! Increase invisibility with this simple, straightforward approach to creating buzz for your novel.

Step 1 – Have your wife ask you to go to the store for paper towels and a few other things. In the Walmart parking lot, notice an old, beat-up RV and think, “I wonder who’s in that thing.” Keep thinking about that as you wander inside.

Step 2 – Once you get inside, look at the old guy who is greeting you and smile at him, and then glance to your left and notice the “Missing Children” posters on the wall. Notice one composite photo, massaged to show what she would look like at age ten.

Step 3 – Notice a little boy, alone, wandering around in the store and ask the question, “I wonder where his parents are?”

Step 4 – Get home and put the paper towels away and wander to the bedroom where your wife and daughter are talking, sit on the bed and say, “I think I just came up with a really good story.” Stephen King says not to tell that story to anyone, but go ahead. Tell them, “A little boy is riding around with his dad in an old RV. He wanders into a Walmart one day and looks at the missing children pictures and sees himself.” Have your wife and daughter say, “You should write that.”

Step 5 – Change the little boy to a little girl and pattern the whole story after Les Miserables, where Jean Valjean rescues Cosette from the Thernadiers.

Step 6 – Chew on the story for months. Let it percolate. Figure out what happened early in her life to get her in that RV. Figure out the backstory of her father, the man who drives the beat-up RV.

Step 7 – Name the man John Johnson and think that’s really cool.

Step 8 – Go to a writer’s conference with the goal of getting something really good for your story about this little girl. You need a name for her, a nickname, something that would be key to tie her to the land where she was born. Sit in a lecture given by Dave Lambert where he talks about the importance of place in novels and doodle things from your childhood as he talks. Write down the words June Bug, because you remember tying a string to a junebug and trailing it like a kite. Look at the page again. Stare at it. Then, suddenly, realize you have her name. It’s right there in front of you. And write the story.

Step 9 – Have your kids get progressively sicker and sicker and discover the home of your dreams, the place where you think you will live the rest of your life, is killing you. Vacate the house with only the clothes on your back. Lose just about everything but your cars. And keep writing.

Step 10 – Use the pain of all you’re going through to inform the characters on the page. Have the little girl who lives in an RV go through the same feelings you do as you write and edit the book in a pull-along camper your neighbor lends you.

Step 11 – Write the last word and weep.

Step 12 – Send the book off to the publisher. Go through the editing process. Change some things, massage, tweak, and then let it go.

Step 13 – See the book published to some good reviews. See sales that are okay but not fantastic. Wonder about your little girl.

Step 14 – Five years later open your email and see a friend telling you she just saw your name on Jeopardy!

Step 15 – Wonder how Alex Trebek came across the 5-year-old novel and try not to complain that he mispronounced your name.

Step 16 – Sigh and hope people who haven’t read this joyful creation that came from such pain will find it and enjoy it half as much as you did writing it.


Kim said...

And now we all wait to see if a filmmaker has botched the beauty of June Bug in the movie version!

So glad you pushed through the pain to give us not only June Bug but four other incredible novels after that. Eagerly awaiting Treha's return!

Martie Vacek said...

Now I get the connection to Les Miz. Sorry, I didn't see it before. Funny, as I'm typing this, I am thinking about the deep emotions that Les Miserables stirs up in me from the beginning, and then I realized how hard I cried when the father leaves June Bug. Just thinking about it now is making me weep. It's the last thing I wanted for June Bug, because the last thing I wanted was for my dad to leave me when he died. He had been her everything all her life; how could he abandon her? My dad didn't have a choice, but Johnson did. I guess I felt like leaving her with her grandparents wasn't the best thing for her. I get why he did, for her grandparents. The truly selfless thing would have been to settle down nearby them so June Bug could have a real family.

Please know this isn't criticism. It's more like me personalizing your story. I don't think I did that while I was reading it until he left her. Suddenly it seemed like that one act brought a flood od emotion that still washes over me as I just think about it.

Well, that was way more than I planned to say. It's really cool that you were a Jeopardy! answer!

Marylou said...

Congratulations! I have "June Bug" and enjoyed it!! I didn't realize the timeline in writing it corresponded with losing your house. I should re-read now with that in mind.

Beth Bardolph said...

I love this! I am looking for good in my family's situation and it is nice to see how God used your pain to bring good to all of us.

Virginia said...

Thank you for sharing this; June Bug is one of my favorites. When I suggest your books to folks, I always start with that one. Thank you for persevering.

Elisabeth said...

Loved, it yes!

Freeborng said...

Hey Chris, great to hear about the Jeopardy question. Now, the really important inquiry, what was the Jeopardy category? (Sound the Jeopardy theme music...)

Curtis Newton said...

Too cool that you were on Jeopardy ... Congrats!