The Short:
Christine Tyler is an author of the weird, wild, and wonderful. Her stories have (literally) taken her across the Sahara on the back of a camel, sky high on aerial silks, and aboard an 18th century tall ship. She is a graduate of the 2019 Odyssey Writing Workshop and her fiction has been published in Podcastle. She currently resides in Colorado with her dreamboat husband, ebullient children, and a fourteen-foot rubber tree plant named Davy Jones.

The Long:
Hey. I’m Christine. I grew up in Olympia, Washington, at the center of a perfect triangulation between the big city, forest, and seaside. As a child, I once had a dream about a castle on the coast and a rainbow colored city below it. I immediately drew a map and started coming up with characters to occupy the landscape. I’m still working on that story. Let’s call it “The Island Story” from here on out.

The Island Story went through many iterations, even becoming a sci-fi novel when I hit my big Star Wars phase circa 1997. Over the years, The Island Story grew and morphed, accumulated over forty different opening scenes, and was perpetually unfinished and unchronological. But, it provided steady fodder for years of high school and college art.

At the age of nineteen, my family hosted a Japanese foreign exchange student. Afterward, she invited me to come visit her home for a month.  Somewhere betweeen the sophistication of Tokyo and the magical rice paddies of Tochigi, I contracted an incurable case of wanderlust.

I served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from 2007-2009. I proselyted in the Provo, Utah mission and led tours at the St. George Temple Visitor’s Center. Serving with companions from Germany, Australia, Mongolia, Mexico and Tonga, inspired a deep appreciation for the power and influence of national, regional, and familial culture. After my mission, I went to stay with one of my former companions in the Bajío of Mexico. We jumped off waterfalls, explored the mysterious Garden of Edward James, and visited “Abuela.” Abuela was my favorite.

Riding a camel in the mother-effing Sahara

While serving my mission, my sister convinced one of her husband’s friends to start writing me (yes, in the mail, on actual paper.) His name was Nathan Tyler, and we wrote letters to each other for a year and a half before we ever met. I came home from my mission in April, and (after I ran away to Mexico for a bit) we were married by the end of the year.

In 2010, Nathan and I were expecting our first child. I figured if I could make a baby, I could make a book. (It made sense at the time.) This marked the beginning of treating writing as a career instead of a hobby, working daily and alongside other authors. I completed the first draft of The Island Story and began the journey of rewrites and revisions.

Nathan worked for the US Navy, and a few years later, our family was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. We relished three wonderful years there, had another baby, and also traveled throughout East and Southeast Asia. I began making YouTube videos in order to share my experiences with my friends and family back home.

After Japan, Nathan separated from the Navy and we moved to Denver Colorado. It wasn’t long before the wanderlust kicked in again, and Nathan and I found ourselves riding camels in Morocco and raiding gelaterias in Spain.

The Island Book was near to completion in 2017, but there was one major problem. I realized it wasn’t the first book in the series; it was the second. So I started writing the new “first book.” In order to give myself the time I needed to really get this magnum opus right, I decided to put the entire series on the back burner while I forayed into some new projects.

In the reading room at the Odyssey Writing Workshop summer of 2019. Picture by Peter Zuckerman.

In the summer of 2019 I attended the Odyssey Writing Workshop, and it catapulted my writer’s brain into the stratosphere. I’m still sorting through the king’s ransom of writing knowledge Jeanne Cavelos poured out on me and my fellow classmates, every day, for six weeks straight.

That fall, I joined the crew of the Lady Washington and learned the ropes, literally, on a full-size replica of the same-named 18th century tall ship. What Odyssey did for my brain, the Lady Washington did for my soul, and I’m still sorting through that one, too.

Following those adventures, I published my first short fiction piece. You can read The Horrible Deaths of Helga Hrafnsdóttir here. And then one of my poems won third place in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association’s annual contest. You can read The 100-Meter Dash of Florence Vanderschmidt here.

In the meantime, I’m cooking up a standalone novel that I’ve had on the brain for about a year and think I’ve finally got the chops to tackle.

Wish me luck!

contact [at] christinetyler [dot] com