Florida non-fiction author, Chris Manion is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native. While there, she learned how to “sled, play tennis, and turn car wheels toward the curb when parking on a hill”—a slice of driver’s ed instruction unnecessary on Florida’s flat terrain. She now lives in the panhandle with her husband on a spring-fed lake that cascades along their property and flows into the Gulf under the state’s tiniest maintained bridge. “God helped us find this new home less than a year ago after enduring a bullying neighbor with Christian love.”
Writing has always been her way of sorting and expressing her feelings. “I grew up the oldest of six, and my next sibling was a brother. I didn’t have someone with whom I could confide identity questions as a teen. My only sister was three years younger. So my five-year diary with a little gold key was my first satisfactory experience of exploring feelings and ideas in writing.”
Chris’s love of books stems from her parents, who read them bedtime stories and saw that as soon as they could print their names, they received library cards. “It was a big deal. In my teen years, I found resonance with poets Rod McKuen, Emily Dickinson and e.e. cummings. In high school, the lyrical spiritualism of Kahlil Gibran and Siddhartha caught my attention, and the classics Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre stand out as my earliest favorites.”
Over a fifteen year period, while in the height of a direct sales career, running a twenty-million dollar sales team, Chris carved out time to write. Her endurance paid off. In 2017, her first book was published by Redemption Press. God’s Patient Pursuit of My Soul is an account of how her realization that Jesus could be her best friend set her on a path of spiritual discovery and changed her life.
Her advice for aspiring writers is to “read writing craft books, go to writers’ conferences, and find your particular tribe of writers in a nearby critique group. You may have to try a few groups until you find one that fits. In my case, a Google search showed me the closest group was six hours away, so in 2015, I started a Destin chapter of Word Weavers. We’re now nineteen members strong and a tight-knit family, which I thank God for. Writing is a lonely and limiting business without the support of other writers.”
Today, this former direct-sales superstar remains a high achiever motivated by big goals. Amidst her hopes to one day write a New York Times bestseller, she’s writing children’s picture books, exploring her first venture into fiction writing, and finishing a Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices, and More course through Lawson Writers Academy.
“Shaping a life, both the living of it and the telling of it, is an elusive creative process, somewhat like a pointillist painting. Up close, nothing seems clear. Only as one steps back enough … does an image appear from the multitude of tiny brush strokes.” —God’s Patient Pursuit of My Soul