CristenHeadshotPNG.png
 
 

My Philosophy

Writing and editing are a way of life, the deliberate refinement of thought and action that results in contributing at our highest level.

 
 

Developmental Editor. Book Doctor and Collaborator. Ghostwriter. Speaker.

Long Term Strategic Partner.

Growing up in a home without a television but with bookcases full of books meant hours of reading a day. I should have known early on that they would lead me to a career because when I was twelve, I started writing my first book. Frustrated and only three chapters in, I realized that it was derivative at best and plagiarized at worst. In that moment, an editor was born. I abandoned that project but continued to voraciously consume words and ideas and share my understanding of them with anyone who would engage.

As the first-born of five children of a fighter pilot and a military wife, I was born and raised to aim high, make do, and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Like most readers, writers, and world travelers, I am insatiably curious and a lifelong learner. Whether by nature or nurture, I am results-oriented and process driven. As a long-term thinker and strategic partner, I specialize in working with ambitious, self-motivated, big-picture thinkers and am dedicated to the business and craft of writing.

My favorite topics include: science, nature, social justice and public policy, health and fitness, and personal and professional development. I specialize in commercially viable transformative nonfiction, memoir, and high-stakes literary and upmarket fiction. I am particularly fond of creative nonfiction.

If I could tell my twelve-year-old self anything, I would say: Cristen, when you grow up, you're going to be what you want to be ... But for now, put down that pencil. Read as much as you can, go to as many places as you can, and meet as many people as you can. Trust me. It'll make you a better writer.


Education, Experience, and Results

  • background in risk management and insurance and investment sales

  • Anthropology degree from Boise State University, graduated magna cum laude

  • Cultural Awareness Training (CAT) certificate holder, Boise State University

  • Keys to Effective Editing certificate holder, Boise State University

  • former President of the St. Alphonsus Toastmasters club and speech contest winner

  • former National Chapter Director for the Nonfiction Authors Association

  • former editor-judge coordinator for the Idaho Author Awards

  • frequent speaker and workshop leader, including co-presenting with medical anthropologist and epidemiologist Dr. Robert Graff (topic: evolutionary medicine and the heterozygous advantage)

  • co-founder and former President of Company V Business and Leadership Group

  • worked on over 40 book projects

  • clients in 5 countries

  • published creative nonfiction essayist and business writer (IDAHOmagazine and Idaho Business Review)

  • clients have received $100,000+ in advances, royalties, and book sales income

  • 14+ national and international book awards and honors

My clients include:

  • a GRAMMY Award (R)-winning musician

  • a debut novelist with a 6-figure, world rights book deal with HarperCollins

  • nationally and internationally recognized social justice advocates

  • endurance athletes, including a former record holder for the youngest person to run a marathon on all 7 continents

  • physicians, attorneys, and other award-winning, make-it-happen writers and professionals

If you're ready to share your knowledge and experience to challenge, inspire, and empower others, contact me.


Publishing Contracts*, Book Awards, Accreditations, and Author Recognition

HarperCollins A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum, acquired in a six-figure, world-rights book deal (coming spring 2019)

She Writes Press The Business of Being: Soul Purpose in and out of the Workplace by Laurie Buchanan, PhD

Tennessee and Idaho Bar Associations Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Accreditation based on Lifestyle Lawyer: A Female Attorney's Guide to Designing a Law Career You Love by Lee Holcomb, JD

BuzzFeed's 5 Books to Feed Your Soul List The Business of Being: Soul Purpose in and out of the Workplace by Laurie Buchanan, PhD (alongside Oprah Winfrey and NYT best-selling authors Brené Brown, Glennon Doyle Melton, and Kate Bowler)

IndieReader Discovery Award Best First Book, Nonfiction Mind To Mouth: A Busy Chick’s Guide to Mindful Mealtime Moments by Heather Sears

Reader’s Favorite Book Awards Finalist, The Business of Being: Soul Purpose in and out of the Workplace by Laurie Buchanan

Readers’ Favorites Bronze Medal Winner, Food Category Mind To Mouth: A Busy Chick’s Guide to Mindful Mealtime Moments by Heather Sears

The Janey Loves 2018 Platinum Awards Highly Recommended She Has Risen: Resurrect Your Divine Feminine Wisdom and Celebrate Your Miraculous Girly Bits by Tanya Sood

Readers' Favorite Book Award Winner, The Crystal Coast Series by Chrissy Lessey

Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) Bronze Medal Mind To Mouth: A Busy Chick’s Guide to Mindful Mealtime Moments by Heather Sears

International Book Awards Finalist The Business of Being: Soul Purpose in and out of the Workplace by Laurie Buchanan, PhD

Top 12 Spirited Woman Book Pick List The Business of Being: Soul Purpose in and out of the Workplace by Laurie Buchanan, PhD

Maxy Awards Best Fiction Winner Women Within by Anne Leigh Parrish

New England Book Festival Winner Mind To Mouth: A Busy Chick’s Guide to Mindful Mealtime Moments by Heather Sears

First Novel Prize Short List (international contest), The Second Son by Susan Hatch

Faulkner-Wisdom Competition Semi-finalist, The Second Son by Susan Hatch

Best Book Awards Finalist Women Within by Anne Leigh Parrish

The Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2017 Finalist, The Crystal Coast Series by Chrissy Lessey

*Big 5 and indie presses (traditional and/or hybrid/partner-publishing models), not a comprehensive list


Select Projects