Going full circle…or wreath. The completion of the Merry Chrissy novel series

An early sketch of Chrissy I drew on October 7, 2012. More than a year before I started writting the first “Merry Chrissy” book.

On November 1, 2013 in a hotel room in New Hampshire, I began what I considered an unusual journey; Writing a book. The most complex writing I have ever done in my life was the occasional assignment in college. I’ll admit it, I’m not the most avid reader on earth, but as I started with some simple doodles of a silly Christmas-obsessed girl with an ornament dangling on her ponytail, I felt something more was needed. She needed some background, some substance and a story. More than 4 years later, my blue sky ideals have finally become a reality. Over the course of 3 novels, Chrissy Deigh changes from a silly and at times naive, 9-year old Christmas fanatic who is desperately clinging on the belief of Santa being real to an almost 11-year old that is on a mission as the first ever girl and kid Santa. Of course, some things didn’t pan out ideal-wise. Would it be neat to have a pet penguin instead of a magical talking pet mouse or would it be awesome to see Chrissy visit a convention of fake Santa Clauses instead of going through “Santa Boot Camp” training with a mean trainer that makes her go to the limits? I may never know.

As I turned older while writing these books, not only Chrissy changed, but the world has too – sometimes for better and recently for the worst. When I started writing these books, the world, particularly online through social media has become a lot more nastier and meaner. I really didn’t want to make a political statement on this book series, but looking at the past with a clear, critical lens shows its a product of that time. I wouldn’t consider it an “outdated” product, but a product that asks the reader, no matter what the odds or whatever wrenches are thrown at you, good will triumph over evil.

Chrissy Deigh on the surface feels like a simple girl with simple aspirations. She wants to be accepted for who she is and of course meet the real Santa Claus. Her peers in 4th grade certainly won’t treat her with kid gloves and at times grown ups will do the same. Much like real life, people and the world may treat you like an outcast, a loser or even worse. To put it kind of bluntly, if you’re going through some…umm “stuff”, I hope you relate to her struggles. It may not be the same as being accepted for your odd obsession with all things Christmas, but its certainly for those “weirdos” who never seem to fit in right in society.

3 books later, I constantly ask myself, “why did I write these stories”? I write them for the underdogs and so called “losers”. The rejects, misfits, outcasts, childish, nerds, anyone who is NOT considered normal. I like the holiday season for the music, happiness, good food, family and friend gatherings and cookies. It doesn’t feel as materialistic to me as an adult. Chrissy is the personification of the Christmas Spirit. The feeling you get when you trim the tree, unwrap those presents or ride in a one horse open sleigh. Those “feels”!

Merry Chrissy’s story has finally finished production after 4 long years! I hope you enjoy it the heck out of reading it!. The first two “Merry Chrissy” adventures are out right now. The final adventure, “Merry Chrissy and the Triumph of the Spirit” will be released on November 25!

The 3rd and final Merry Chrissy Adventure: Title and book cover unwrapped!

I’ve been on a very, merry long road. I spent nearly two years on Merry Chrissy 3 (and four years total on the trilogy) making this book series a reality. Back in 2013 when I started writing the first book, “Merry Chrissy and the Naughty of Nice Truth”, I didn’t even know I would make it to the 3rd. It was my first novel. I was nervous, doubtful and uncertain about the whole reason for doing this thing. Despite that, my mind said I had to write a story about a Christmas obsessed 9-year old girl and boy I did. More than 200,000 words, 250 illustrations, 112 chapters and 3 covers later, the making of the adventures of Chrissy Deigh and friends are finally coming to an end. All I have to do now is the finishing touches before this book is released later this year. 

Of course, you didn’t come here to see me talk about making a book. You want to see the cover art and title, right? Let’s unveil the title to Chrissy’s 3rd and final adventure.

Merry Chrissy and the Triumph of the Spirit

Right now, I’m going to keep most of the story under wraps. However, there is one thing I certainly can’t keep hidden from you guys. Let’s say that Chrissy has a new job title…SANTA Chrissy. 

“Merry Chrissy and the Triumph of the Spirit” will arrive November 2017! Keep checking this site and my social media for updates.

Introducing Merry Chrissy and the After Christmas Awakenings #RevealWeek! Plus Merry Chrissy 1 book updates

Wow. Been such a long time since I updated the blog. Its for a very good reason. Over the course of nearly two years, I’ve been hard at work on the sequel to “Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth”. Writing a book while working on a full-time job is certainly a tough task. I’m glad I endured the many tireless days and nights, adjustments here and there and the many illustrations that will accompany the story. This story as with all of my stories is a truly 100% individual effort. No publishers, no agents, no promotional budget and certainly no advance. Of course, its now up to the reader to discover the world of Merry Chrissy.

 Updates on the 1st Merry Chrissy book

In an effort to keep the storyline in check with the sequel and forthcoming Merry Chrissy 3, some editing was done to the the first title originally released in 2014. Most changes with the story were cosmetic and minor, nothing too jarring. The bigger changes made were primarily with presentation. Namely with the quality of the illustrations in the digital eBook versions. Illustrations now have descriptions for accessibility. The eBooks were revamped from the ground up. If you have purchased “Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth” online before, the the FREE update will be available to download now. Of course, if you haven’t purchased the first book yet, I HIGHLY recommend doing so. The sequel “Merry Chrissy and the After Christmas Awakenings” starts where the first one ends. Reading the first book is absolutely crucial to fully understand Chrissy’s second adventure.

Merry Chrissy 2 #RevealWeek

I’m introducing 4 new characters that will be featured in the newest Merry Chrissy adventure. Starting on Monday, December 5 and ending on Thursday December 8, a brand new character will be “unwrapped” for the world to see. On Friday December 9, the release or “unwrapping date” for “Merry Chrissy and the After Christmas Awakenings” will FINALLY be revealed. (Hint: It will be released in December, but sooner than you think depending on the type of device you have).

A Delayed Awakening.

In the past few months, I’ve been preparing to get my second novel and 4th overall project, “Merry Chrissy and the After Christmas Awakenings” for release this holiday season. While a lot of the work has been finished, the important parts of the book — namely editing and proofreading will take longer than expected. The edit and prooreading processing costs money and time, both which I don’t have much of (especially when you’re saving it for the future). It is with great sadness that I must delay the release of “Merry Chrissy and the After Christmas Awakenings” to 2016. While this is being delayed, it not only gives me time to focus on those two major steps with tender loving care, it also gives me the opportunity to make adjustments to the first release and start work on the upcoming 3rd installment that will close out the “Merry Chrissy” saga. Who knows, if I play my cards right, I can release BOTH Merry Chrissy 2 AND 3 in the same year!

I can’t give you any promises that will happen, but I’m aiming for it. It’s going to be a lot of writing and drawing between now and the end of next year, but I hope doing so will ensure that the Merry Chrissy saga is given the attention it deserves.

I started with picture books of Maddie Mckenszie back in 2012 and moved on with Merry Chrissy as a simple NaNoWriMo project in 2013. I’m staying in this game and I will never, ever give up on my dreams. If I have to wait a little longer for this project to be perfected, so be it.

What on earth is #projectvirignia?

For months on Twitter, you might have noticed me use the “#projectvirginia” hashtag. I’m like this with all of my projects. #projectsprinkles was the first Maddie Mckenszie Picture Book back in 2012, #projectwafflecone was the 2nd Maddie Picture Book in 2013. “#naughtyornice” eventually became “Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth”. So, for those curious out there, what the heck is #projectvirginia? Is it some major building development in the Cavalier State? A government secret involving the Pentagon? Something involving an 8-year old girl’s faith in believing Santa? (HINT HINT: You’re getting warmer now.)

If you haven’t put two and two together, I’ll tell you exactly what #projectvirginia is really supposed to be. 

#projectvirgina is the sequel to Merry Chrissy!

In other words, the name of this book is entitled…

“Merry Chrissy and the After Christmas Awakenings”

Right now, I’m going to keep a lot of things under “wraps and bows”, but there is one thing I can tell you right now: Christmas may be over, but Chrissy’s story is just beginning.

I released my first novel back in December of 2014. I have alway intended it to be a series, not a standalone product. Since January 2015, I’ve been hard at work, writing (and re-writing), drawing (and re-drawing) day and night before and after work. This time, the approach to work was much easier than last time as I set up realistic expectations before hand and stuck to a very tight schedule. Right now, most of the illustrations in the book are done. The story is still being refined and will eventually go through an editor and proofreading, but expect to read the continuation of Chrissy’s adventures later this year. A release date has yet to be finalized, but expect it to be released possibly by Thanksgiving if everything goes according to plan.

In the upcoming weeks, read more about the book, including new characters I’m introducing to the Merry Chrissy universe in my blog. You can also follow me through social media as well. Thanks for reading and as Chrissy always says, “Have a very merry day!”

A change in plans…

 Ellie's words from Up have never felt more true.
Ellie’s words from Up have never felt more true.

Every single summer, I’m doing the same or similar; Travelling to a convention in Baltimore. I attended every Otakon from 2005-2013 and attended every single BronyCon in existence; from the early days in New York City to it’s arrival in Baltimore in 2013 and 2014. I have so many fond memories meeting fellow friends and like minded individuals and so many spontaneously fun moments. I even wrote a little survival guide that managed to get the attention of the convention staff. I thought long and hard about this decision for days on end, but I felt it was time to have a change of scenery this year. 

For the year of 2015, I decided that I will NOT be attending BronyCon in Baltimore, MD. Instead, I will travel to California. Why California? Well, first, I hear it’s really nice out there, plus I’ve been longing forever to return to Disneyland. It’s their 60th anniversary this year AND D23 Expo is taking place nearby. Plus, I always wanted to go to San Francisco (Yes, I know I should wait until BABSCon) Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge and other attractions are something I wanted to do forever.

So, does this mean I HATE BronyCon?

ABSOLUTELY NOT.

No grudges unlike Otakon. I wish the organizers the best in hosting this year’s event. The Baltimore Convention Center is a good fit for them and they certainly have the room to grow. Plus, Baltimore will bend over backwards to keep them since Otakon is leaving after next year. If you’re on the fence and have NEVER gone, consider going even if its just for one year. I’m sure the con will be fine without me.

My love runs deep for pastel colored horses of the 4th generation, however my love for Disney runs deeper. Disney is my “first fandom”, and it has been that way for nearly 2 decades. As a former Walt Disney World Cast Member, I have an enormous level of respect for the company. I just can’t “Let it Go” (There I go with the “Frozen” puns again.) It’s just a small break from Baltimore. I’ll return in 2016. Save some “Ice Cold Water” for me.

Congratulations to the winners of the “Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth” giveaway!

I had a great turnout with 700 entries made in the 16 days of the contest. Here are your winners of the Goodreads “Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth” giveaway!

Callie D.
Ken G.
Karen L.
Tonya H.
Jennifer P. B.
Love A.
Reena N.
Sabine B.
Exavia B.
Phoenix V.

The books will be shipped to all winners starting next week. I aim to get them out as soon as possible so you can enjoy it for the holidays. After all, it’s a Christmas book. If you didn’t win the contest, don’t worry! You can still purchase the paperback at amazon.com. The eBook is also available for sale at 99c for a limited time.

Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth – OUT NOW! Featuring a very special MERRY message!

Here we go! North Pole we have LIFTOFF! The 3rd Ronald Hennessy Project and my first ever novel, “Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth” is now available for your reading pleasure! I’ve talked a lot about this book in the past few months, so this time, I want to share a “different” voice that is certainly enthusiastic and eager to share her story. Ladies and gentlemen, here is a SPECIAL MESSAGE from Chrissy Deigh!

“OH
My

Gingerbread!”

Hi! My name is Chrissy! I like Christmas A LOT. I like it SOOOOOOOOOO much, I have my own personal Christmas Tree decorated…in my ROOM!  My music player is filled to the brim with holly jolly music, and I may have the worlds largest collection of Christmas specials on video! My Mom thinks I was born with Christmas Magic and calls me “The Christmas Spirit” and she’s totally right! This Fall, I entered the 4th grade!  A lot of kids tease me ENDLESSLY for my merry little spirit. They make fun of my clothes and call me names like “Stupid Christmas Girl,” especially from that rich kid Charlotte! I don’t have many friends except for this quiet boy named Tyler. He’s so awesome and never teases me at all. I do wish he was in the Christmas spirit a little more though.

Not everybody knows about this, but I have a HUGE SECRET that NO ONE knows, not even my best friend, Tyler! I work for the NORTH POLE and I get to check on little kids all over the country to see if they’ve been good or bad for Christmas! I get to use Christmas MAGIC and I can transform into a FAIRY with wings…and I even get my own magic tablet! I need to get used to it though since using too much magic can make the company angry. Not only that, it tends to make me queasy when I transform to normal. Yuck! The only problem is I CAN’T use my magic outside of my job, so that means I can’t turn Charlotte’s face into a green ugly mess! Bummer! Also, pets seem to like me when I’m a fairy…a little too MUCH! I have the dog slobber to prove it!

This Holiday Season read about ME, Chrissy Deigh in my all-new adventure “Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth!” You can follow me on Twitter at @chrissydeigh and follow the writer, a guy named “Ronald Hennessy” at @ronaldhennessy for more updates!

HAVE A VERY, MERRY DAY! : ) 

***Chrissy Deigh***

So there you have it. The Christmas Spirit herself. If you’re Interested in reading more about Chrissy’s adventures, check it out now! Right now, it’s at an introductory price of only 99 cents! You can download a free preview as well. If you like what you read, please leave a review or contact me online to share your thoughts. Constructive feedback is welcome. 

The paperback version will be out shortly.

Enter to win 1 of 10 Free Paperback copies of “Merry Chrissy”!

It’s getting closer to the “Unwrapping Date” (that’s also known as the release date) of my very first novel, “Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth”. While it’s coming out December 5th for eBook formats, I realize some of you aren’t of the Kindle age and may prefer a actual book to read. Don’t worry! I got you covered! The paperback version will be released exclusively on Amazon.com right around the “Unwrapping date”. However, I know some of you want this for free and I’m giving you a chance…but you gotta win it!

I’m giving away 10 free copies of my book, “Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth” It’s a 350-page, 35-“Middle Grade” chapter book with more than 80 illustrations. Thanks to Goodreads, I’m ready to giveaway this awesome story to kids 9-92 in time before the holidays. To enter, you’ll need to sign in with your Goodreads account (or if you have the unfortunate wisdom of using Facebook, you can sign in that way.) The contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada only. (Sorry, other countries, I want to make sure I have enough time to send them out well before Christmas. If you wish to buy the paperback, you still can do that.) When entering the contest, be sure to add this book to your list of what to read. The contest ends on Friday, December 12th, so it’s not a lot of time left to enter. Winners will be announced on the same day. If you’re a lucky winner, be sure to write a review on Amazon.com or any other retailer the book is available from.

Good luck and as Chrissy would say,  “Have a very, Merry Day!”

Merry Chrissy's "Unwrapping Date".

Today is a kinda bittersweet moment for me. This project started more than 1 year ago when it was a NaNoWriMo project that was simply an outline with not much direction. I made up characters on the spot and winged it at times, but I eventually crossed the finish line with diligence. Still, I had a lot of work to do after the first rough draft was finished. I knew it was a mess and I kept making it the best I could. Now 63,000 words, 87 illustrations (took 6 months alone) and 5 revisions later, I’m putting on the finishing touches to my first, real novel. Much like Chrissy’s story, there were many bumps in the road into making this book a reality. Luckily, I pulled through and poured in many days and nights, sometimes missing out on social events to get this project finished on time. After all, it’s a Christmas novel and it needs to be out for the holiday.

So, you might wonder, when can you get your hands on this book?

In honor of Chrissy’s unrelenting Christmas spirit, I’m not calling it a “release date” but an “unwrapping date”. 

“Merry Chrissy and the Naughty or Nice Truth” will be unwrapped on December 5th, 2014.

For the first time ever, I am doing a pre-order. You can pre-order the eBook at Amazon, iBooks, Kobo and Google Play. It will be available on Barnes & Noble Nook around the time of release as will the paperback copy. The cost of the book will start at $2.99 for the eBook, a significantly affordable cost compared to other books released by mainstream, traditional publishers. Giveaways and promos will run shortly after. Keep your eyes on my twitter accounts @ronaldhennessy and @chrissydeigh for future developments. You can also check out merrychrissy.com