Caryn Haller

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December 24, 2012
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Gardnerville author publishes romance novel

After writing her first five-page novel at age 12, Gardnerville resident Christy Olesen put her writing on hold to pursue a career in graphic arts.Almost five decades later, the 61-year-old recently published the 200-page romance novel “Her Scottish CEO.” “They say, ‘Write what you know,’ and I know about painting in Scotland,” Olesen said. “When the scenario of this story idea ran through my head I started writing it, then the characters took over. I enjoyed revisiting Scotland as I did my online research for this book.” “Her Scottish CEO” is about American artist Marcie Winters who puts her hopes on a job that takes her to Scotland. Once there, she meets cocky photographer Greg McInnis who needs a brilliant artist for a project that will prove he can handle a desk job at his family’s publishing business.“I’ve always had scenarios running through my head and several years ago I started writing them down. It’s a creative process that sort of takes on a life of its own,” Olesen said. “This is a romance and romance readers read romance because they know there will be a happy ending. A romance gives the reader hope, respite from the difficulties of life. A reader knows the hero and heroine will get together in the end, what they read it for is to find out how the hero and heroine overcome the obstacles and conflicts that initially keep them apart.” Olesen took creative writing in high school, but in college she concentrated on visual arts, earning a degree in graphic arts.While Olesen has worked as an ad designer for Sierra Nevada Media Group for many years, she has also worked in watercolor for more than 30 years. “At one point I was accepted into a prestigious transparent watercolor exhibition,” she said. “I’ve always considered myself an illustrator as opposed to a gallery artist and I’ve done many freelance illustration jobs.” Olesen used her watercolor illustrations intended for a separate project in her romance novel.“I did the illustrations for another project, which I call, ‘A Watercolor Journey.’ I spent a month in Scotland several years ago painting along the Caledonian Canal from Oban on the West coast to Inverness on the East coast, including Loch Ness,” she said. “I had two editors interested in that project, but neither offer went through. I felt the illustrations would add an extra dimension to this book.”“Her Scottish CEO” took about six weeks to complete the rough draft, however, after putting it on hold to work on other manuscripts the book wasn’t completed for another two years.“It’s a good thing to put it down and step away for awhile, then come back to it with fresh eyes,” she said. “But to give a time line, I started this book in 2008 and sent it out to the first publisher in 2010.” The ebook edition was published in November, and the trade paperback was published Dec. 14, by Indie-Pendent Publishing Co. “I see writing like painting. The first draft is the under painting, then I go in and work on the details,” Olesen said. “With a painting I can see the entire image at once and spot what needs clarifying. It’s more difficult to see the whole manuscript at once. It involves a lot of going back, rereading and reworking.” Olesen said she enjoys writing by the seat of her pants, rather than plotting out the storyline beforehand.“I love getting caught up in writing a story. I’m what’s called a pantster, someone who writes by the seat of their pants as opposed to a plotter, someone who spends a lot of time plotting the story before writing,” she said. “Being a pantster can cause some plotting difficulties, so I do more plotting now than I used to. But writing this way also produces some exciting surprises I wouldn’t have thought of with a strict plot to follow.”“Her Scottish CEO” is available online at, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CreateSpace, or Smashwords.

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The Record Courier Updated Dec 25, 2012 12:39PM Published Dec 24, 2012 04:31PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.