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Author’s Corner: Southwest Virginia native releases third book

Holly Viers • Nov 13, 2019 at 9:00 PM

Chrissie Anderson Peters has spent most of her adult life surrounded by books. Now, she’s writing some of her own.

A former librarian, Peters released her third book, “Blue Ridge Christmas,” in August. The book is a collection of holiday-themed short stories featuring well-known characters like Duran Duran, Squeaky Fromme, Mary Kay and Dolly Parton.

What’s her background?

Peters is from Tazewell County, Va., and attended Emory & Henry College and the University of Tennessee for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, respectively. She spent more than 20 years working in libraries across the region, including the Bristol Public Library, Sullivan County Public Library and Northeast State Community College.

Today, Peters resides in Bristol, Tenn., where she moved in 2000. She left library work in 2013 to focus more on writing, something she knew she wanted to do since fourth grade.

“(I became) not a full-time writer, but a fuller-time writer,” Peters said. “I found myself going to a lot of concerts and traveling a lot and not doing so much writing, and that’s when I realized that even when you’re not writing, you’re accumulating resources. You’re living life, and you’re still acquiring information and experiences for your writing.”

What’s the story behind the new book?

Peters decided she wanted to write a Christmas collection last year, though she didn’t make significant progress on the project until earlier this year.

“I went to a friend’s writing retreat that he has over in Speedwell. … I had gone there to work on one specific project, and the next thing I knew, I was writing Christmas stories,” Peters said. “So I ended up writing almost the entire book while I was there that week.”

From there, Peters asked a friend to design a unique book cover before it went to print. The book is now available as a paperback on Amazon, along with her other works.

What about her other books?

Aside from “Blue Ridge Christmas,” Peters has published two other books, the first of which was released in 2012. “Dog Days and Dragonflies,” the book includes several childhood stories based in Tazewell County, told through the eyes of an adult.

Her second book, “Running from Crazy,” was released in 2013 and dealt primarily with mental illness. Interestingly enough, Peters said, the Hemingway family tried to sue her over the title, which was the same as their 2013 documentary film produced by the Oprah Winfrey Network. The threat was eventually dropped, though.

“They had basically sent an email saying … that it would behoove me to change the name of my book so that they didn’t have to get their legal team and Oprah’s creative team involved,” Peters said. “I looked at my husband and said, ‘Well, I’ve always wanted to meet Oprah.’ As a librarian, I know that you can’t trademark a title. … They were just trying to bully me into changing the name of my book, and I wasn’t going to do it. That got dropped two or three months later; they just kind of backed off.”

What’s next?

Peters will hold a book signing Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Last Stop Christmas Shop, located at the Holiday Inn off Exit 7 in Bristol. When it comes to future books, Peters already has a few ideas in mind.

“I’m hoping to have another one out next year with the tentative title of ‘Backroads and Butterflies,’ ” Peters said. “In 2013 … I got to spent 28 days in Europe, and there is a book that I have started — it’s just not complete — that will be called ‘Chasing after Rainbows.’ … I feel like it’ll be in progress probably for another year or so.”