Having written eight books (with two more coming soon), Petaluma author Crissi Langwell lives what she labels “a hectic but rewarding life.” The hectic parts come from wearing “many hats.” She’s a wife and mother, has a full-time job in Santa Rosa, takes classes at Santa Rosa Junior College, volunteers for her church, and volunteering at Sonoma County 4-H’s summer camp. The rewards come from fulfilling her dream of becoming an author, the perks of book-signings and meeting her fans, and writing a blog - not to mention being interviewed for the Argus Courier.
These successes are hard-earned.
Crissi’s coffee-maker starts brewing at 5:20 AM, and as soon as the hot caffeine is ready, she starts writing. An hour later, she earns “wife points” by taking her marketing manager husband Shawn a cup of coffee. Since the kids and dog will soon wake up, Crissi dons headphones to keep writing. By 7:30, it’s time to prepare for her job as the online content producer for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. After work, she is either in class or doing homework — squeezing in more writing time when in the middle of a book project.
To cope with being overly busy, Crissi says she “thanks God for the crock pot.” Another trick in her arsenal is a color-coded calendar synched to the family’s iPhones. Even so, there was one year when “there was just too much,” so Crissi had to “drop things,” like some of her volunteer work. She still regrets not being able to spend more time with community groups like “the Fabulous Women of Petaluma, who add so much to our town.”
Always writing, Crissi put her tips for remaining creative while leading a busy life into a guide she calls “Reclaim Your Creative Soul.” Her novels cover a variety of subjects. “Loving the Wind” tells the story of Tiger Lily and Peter Pan, and her “Road to Hope” trilogy focuses on two women’s life-altering friendship.
Writing has a strong presence in the Langwell house. Drawing from his “hippie childhood,” fight with alcoholism, and 30-years of sobriety, Shawn published his memoir, “Beyond Recovery, a Journey of Grace, Love and Forgiveness” in November. Daughter Summer, a freshman studying creative writing at SSU, published her own first novel, “The Horror Stories of Los Posadas,” while a senior in high school.
Crissi already has a game plan for a more secure future, with writing as her career. This includes keeping her strong fan-base by creating sequels for her most popular books. Her present project is expanding her novel “The Road to Hope” into that aforementioned trilogy. In the first book, characters Jill Johnson and Maddie Russo may be from different generations, but they both have a profound sense of grief and loss. Fortunately, happenstance throws them together and they find the strength to change course.
Crissi invites people interested in discovering the secret of Jill and Maddie’s exciting first encounter to join her at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 25th at Copperfield’s Montgomery Village bookstore, where she promises to read aloud the “happenstance incident” from “The Road to Hope.” Find out more about Crissi at her website, crissilangwell.com.
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What surprised you most when you moved to Petaluma?
“How everyone rallies behind families. In Santa Rosa, the Little League parents were much too competitive. Here, everyone supports each other, and parents cheer on other people’s kids.”
Hear Crissi Langwell read from “The Road to Hope” at the Montgomery Village Copperfield’s Books:
When: Tuesday, April 25, 6-7 p.m.
Where: Copperfield’s Books, 775 Village Court, Santa Rosa