Catching Up With CJ Lyons

CJ Lyons is one very busy thriller-writer chick. Her cross-genre novel (thriller, medical suspense, steamy romance) LIFELINES debuted back in early March, and she’s been in constant motion ever since. Once upon a time she was a pediatric ER doc. Now, she spends her time writing, traveling, teaching other folks how to write and being one of the nicest people on the planet. When I first met her in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt in NYC at Thrillerfest (2007) she was literally dashing through the lobby on the way to her next speaking engagement!

Serendipity, Kismet, and All that Jazz…by CJ Lyons

Thanks, Laura for inviting me to come join the fun here on Handbasket! I just got home after visiting 13 cities in 8 weeks to launch my debut novel, LIFELINES, so if I seem a little random and wandering, it’s not your imagination, lol!

My little tour seemed to have a life and a theme of it’s own: “fortuitous” was the word I found myself using most often.

The fact that I’d been asked to speak at several major meetings this spring and teach workshops at others and that all this paid-for-by-others travel coincided with the release of LIFELINES was the first piece of fortune. (And no, publishers rarely pay for book tours for anyone these days, much less a debut author—it all comes out of our pocket unless you’ve been lucky enough to be an invited speaker)

Then, Berkley moved LIFELINES’ release up a month to March and I was able to launch at Left Coast Crime in Denver with so many of my friends—and how convenient that Left Coast Crime wasn’t on any coast this year, but in the middle of the mountains!

Add to that an unexpected invitation to the VA Festival of the Book (a most totally awesome week-long celebration of books and reading in Charlottesville, VA) and I was starting to get goose-bumps…what would happen next?

Nothing much, except little things like a schedule mix-up leading to my first ever signing being with the wonderful and delightful (I’ll let you decide which is which) Rhys Bowen and Steve Hockensmith; being in the right place at the wrong time and thus giving several TV and other media interviews; helping the marvelous and most generous Heather Graham and her band of Slushpile Players perform for the kids at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, my own alma mater….not to mention the huge coincidence that RT Book Convention was in Pittsburgh this year where LIFELINES is set!!!

The list goes on and on and on….like my aunt needing surgery in Pittsburgh (she’s not from Pittsburgh) the same week as RT, so I could commute from the conference to the ICU at Presby to see her (she’s doing fine, thanks so much to all the kind thoughts everyone at RT sent!); or the fact that while I was rushing from hospital to hotel and back again, every time I needed transportation either a bus or taxi (unheard of in Pittsburgh) would miraculously appear…..

Wait, it gets better! My second book (revisions done while on the road promoting the first, yikes!) is also set in Pittsburgh and had a scene involving the River Rescue guys. So, on the final day of RT, I hop off a bus from the hospital, and am walking back to the hotel when who do I meet but Hank Phillippi Ryan (more on Hank in a sec) and she wants to go for a walk.

We head over the Clemente Bridge to the river walk only to find the River Rescue guys out with their boat—Hank brazenly talks our way on board and voila! These guys spent an hour with us, answering all my questions, taking me on the boat, and just being the nicest, most fun research ever!!!

Then Hank and I meet up again the next week at Malice Domestic. And how is she rewarded for her random act of kindness? She wins a freaking Agatha!!!! How’s that for Karma? Yeah!!

Well, that only scratches the surface of the Wonderful Mystery Tour for LIFELINES, but I think you can see that official book tour or not, there’s just nothing like throwing yourself out into the universe and seeing who or what catches you….trust me, it’s all good!

Thanks for reading!

10 thoughts on “Catching Up With CJ Lyons”

  1. Wow! All that fun and hot River Rescue guys too. I think the universe likes you, Ms. Lyons!

    Just finished Lifelines and loved how you kept increasing the tension. Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse…Eat some O fries for me!

  2. CJ Lyons says:

    Thanks, Becky! It was fun going back to my old stomping grounds!!!

    So happy you enjoyed LIFELINES!

  3. Vivian Zabel says:

    Hi, CJ,

    Meeting you was exciting and comforting because you’re “just people.”

    Oh, and fortuitous describes sitting at a banquet table with a retired courtroom attorney, too, doesn’t it?

    You have a knack of being just where you need to be, but you also have a knack of being so helpful that others want to return your kindness.


  4. CJ Lyons says:

    Vivian, you are too kind! You’re absolutely right, meeting you and Michael was indeed most fortuitous!!

    But I was running out of space and afraid folks wouldn’t believe all the other fun stuff that happened!

    Thanks for dropping by!

  5. CJ, you are the epitome of good karma, and nothing feels better than seeing great things happen to great people (and great writers!) 🙂

    You deserve it all, sweetie! Now, if you can manage to bring some of those River Rescue personnel to the RWA conference … 😉


  6. CJ Lyons says:

    Thanks, Kelli! Hmmm…I’ll bet San Fran has its own hunky rescue crew!

  7. L.J. says:

    What a wonderful year you’ve had. Thanks for sharing. It’s inspirational.

  8. CJ Lyons says:

    Thanks, LJ~ It has been wonderful, and I count my blessings every day!!

  9. Nancy says:

    CJ, hi!

    I loved LIFELINES and look forward to the next book!

    It’s just the most amazing thing when serendipity happens – I love it. As you said, throwing yourself out there in the Universe and see what/ who catches you is a trip! I’m thrilled to hear that your tour was wonderfully charmed!

    Nancy Haddock
    La Vida Vampire

  10. CJ Lyons says:

    Thanks, Nancy! I appreciate the warm thoughts!

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