Press Kit


C.J. Anderson – Multi-Passionate Creative Entrepreneur and Award-Winning Author

C.J. Anderson is a dynamic force in the world of creativity, blending her roles as a teacher, truth seeker, and award-winning author. With a “mildly” obsessive personality and a profound curiosity for the strange and unusual, C.J. embarks on journeys much like Alice, discovering that truth is often stranger than fiction.In her inner world, a vivid landscape painted with every shade of emotion unfolds. Here, language and symbols pirouette, partnering with truth to choreograph a complex universe from which spectacular tales emanate.

C.J. has penned four captivating books, with her debut Young Adult novel, “Awakened,” earning the prestigious Best in SciFi Award at the Ozarks Indie Bookfest in 2017. The series continues with “Illuminated” and “Transformed,” while her delightful children’s book, “No More Slime, and I Mean It,” adds a touch of whimsy to her repertoire.

Born in 1978 in southwest Missouri, which is a part of the Ozarks, she grew up amongst the beautiful hills, rivers, lakes, and wooded areas. She graduated with a B.A. in Elementary Education in 2003 from the University of Iowa and holds endorsements in K-8 social studies, K-8 reading, and PreK-12 Gifted and Talented. She currently resides in the heart of the Midwest, C.J. is happily married with two children and three grandchildren.

While C.J. absolutely adored her students, she made the choice in 2022 to step out of the world of public education to pursue being a creative entrepreneur. This includes authoring fictional books and exploring the realms of teaching and life coaching. Currently taking a break from life coaching, she plans to resume it once her Gods & Guardians series is complete. In the future, she intends to create online courses, publish her non-fiction self-improvement books, and provide valuable resources in the area of life coaching.

C.J.’s mission is to inspire others to recognize their inherent creative power – the ability to learn, think critically, and expand awareness. Through her coaching and writing, she guides individuals of all ages to connect with their authentic selves, find their spark, and use it as fuel for creating the life they dream about.

Book Info

Gods & Guardians Series

Step into a universe of possibilities with the Gods & Guardians series. Experience a world where love transcends dimensions, and superpowers unlock hidden truths. Dive into a narrative that sparks questions and unveils mysteries beyond the ordinary. Explore the depths of YA SciFi fantasy romance and journey through galaxies of imagination and intellect. Are you ready to awaken your mind?

Book 1: Awakened (Gods and Guardians Book 1)

An oddly perfect balance of teen romance and action-packed sci-fi adventure.

Synopsis: Alayna, an ordinary girl from Riverside, has her life forever changed when she meets the mysterious new guy in town, Dru. Together, they battle aliens and mythical creatures, uncovering the secrets of Alayna’s past and a mysterious connection between them. Will they save each other and discover the truth about Alayna’s identity?

Published: 2015
Best in SciFi Award at the Ozark Indie Book Fest (2017)

Book 2: Illuminated (Gods and Guardians Book 2)

Synopsis: As Alayna and Dru face new challenges, Alayna discovers a new ability, propelling them into space-time. Back home, they find themselves at the top of the Galaxy’s Most Wanted list. The thrilling sequel is a blend of romance, action, and suspense.

Published: 2020

Book 3: Transformed (Gods and Guardians Book 3)

Synopsis: The third and final book in the trilogy is currently in the editing stages, promising to wrap up the series while leaving room for novellas from other character’s points of view.

Children’s Book: No More Slime and I Mean It

Description: Margot and Mortimer’s love for making messes takes a turn when they create a monster of a mess. This engaging read-aloud, inspired by CJ’s gifted and talented students, offers rhyming, repetition, and clever vocabulary. Published in 2019, the book is accompanied by charming character illustrations by artist Ana Panco.

Q&A with C.J. Anderson

Wise Words from the Author
Read what you like. If you don’t like a book (including mine) then don’t feel compelled to finish it. Give yourself permission to move on to another book. As for the books you like, reach out to other readers and talk about them. It’s a great way to make friends all over the world and you can support your favorite authors by sharing them with your reader friends.

Tell us about your parents, kids, and family.

My parents are still together, and they live in the Ozarks in Missouri and run a Bed & Breakfast there called Ginger Blue Inn.

Casey has been married to her husband for 23 years whom she met online randomly before dating online was a thing. She has one daughter from a previous relationship who is grown and married. She has three kids, so that means I am a grandma! My youngest daughter with my husband is a teenager and starting high school.

What were you like at school? Any childhood memory you would like to share.

I was very quiet and studious. I was always a straight-A student. I liked school for the most part and was one of these geeks who actually enjoyed homework. I rarely got into trouble at school. When I did, it was because I was staring out the window making stories up in my imagination.

What is your biggest achievement till today?

I have raised two daughters who are kind, responsible, hard-working, and independent-minded. Raising kids is no easy task, and my kids are not perfect, but at the end of the day, they are really amazing individuals who contribute positively to the world around them.

Which writers inspire you?

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Madeline L’Engle are the three who inspire me the most. Their writing contains elements of mythology, philosophy, and spirituality. It’s woven together magnificently with layers that call forth a sense of wonder.

Writing is stressful at times. How do you relax your mind?

I like to go on long walks and listen to music or podcasts.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

I collect these like crazy, so this is a hard one. But I think I’ll go with one from Nikola Tesla.

“Though free to think and act, we are held together like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them.”

What advice would you give to your younger self?

What other people think about you or say about you is none of your business.

What books do you like to read personally? What are you reading currently?

I like to read nonfiction books in the categories of science & spirituality as well as other fringe areas. For fiction, I like Science Fiction and Fantasy and all of their sub-genres. My current reads are ‘THE EDEN CONSPIRACY: Ancient Memories of ET Contact and The Bible before God’ by Paul Wallis in the non-fiction genre. And, in fiction, ‘The War for Ascencion’ by Dominician Gennari.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

The Percy Jackson series. I absolutely love how Rick Riordan weaves Greek mythology into highly entertaining tales that are new and modern but still ring true to their origins in some way. I’ve read them multiple times with my former students and can never get tired of them.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing?

When I was working on my gifted and talented endorsement, one of my classes was a creativity class. For our final, we had to submit a creative project. This is going to sound crazy, but around that same time, I kept having dreams about these two teenagers, who would become the characters in Awakened. They even told me their names in the dream and a lot of their story played out like a movie.

So, for my project, I submitted character maps and a story idea. After this, their story kept coming into my mind and it was almost like they were talking to me and begging me to tell their story. Especially Dru. I’m telling you, he would not shut up! I still didn’t write it down though.

But eventually, I found out about NANOWRIMO and decided to participate. During that time my students at the time found out and from that point on, they would not stop encouraging me to finish my story and to publish it as a book. So, finally, in 2015 the very first book, Awakened, was finally published.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

In the past, I would have certain nights I would write. Now, since I am no longer teaching, I have a weekly schedule where I do research, planning, and organizing on Mondays, I write on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for up to 12 hours sometimes and then Thursdays I edit. On Friday, I work on nuts-and-bolts things for running an author business.

What is the reason you write for; is it for the readers or your own self or some other thing?

Until I sat down and wrote a book, I had no idea about this part of myself. Now that I have, I’ve unlocked a part of myself that makes me feel whole. I write because it’s like breathing to me. At the end of the day, I want to write something entertaining and possibly even inspiring to others.

But, I think if money were no object and I could do anything at all, I would still write. Even if it was just for me.

What genre is your book? What draws you to this genre?

Broadly it is speculative fiction and has elements of Science Fiction as well as magical realism. Then, of course, there is the romance aspect of it between my two main characters.

We have been programmed by society to put things in categories and to not question the narrative. My mind doesn’t work that way and never has. For example, people might say they don’t believe in extraterrestrials because they have never seen one.

But I think that’s a shortsighted way to see the world considering we can only see with our eyes a very small portion of the light spectrum. There are things in our universe that we simply are not able to see. The other thing is that people don’t see things because they don’t expect to see them.

I write books that I hope open peoples’ minds to the possibility of all sorts of things in the universe. My hope is that, if nothing else, after reading my books the reader starts asking more questions about their reality.

What was the inspiration behind the characters of Dru & Alayna?

They literally popped into my dreams. I believe they are a major part of my subconscious because Alayna is very much like me. Especially with her being a highly sensitive person. I don’t see emotion as color or anything like that, but I have always been exceptionally sensitive to the emotions of others and the overall temperature of a room.

What makes ‘Awakened’ stand out in this genre?

Awakened can be read at three different levels.

1. Surface level – it can be read as a fun story about a boy and a girl who have superpowers and are connected in a way that is more than being in love and the challenges that come with that.

2. Mind level – The reader will be presented with concepts that are not mainstream but are based on real accounts and/or research. They can then ask questions and do their own research to learn more.

3. Soul level – Each chapter starts with a quote that ties in with the chapter. Some are obvious and others are not. By meditating on the quotes and thinking about how and why they tie in with the story, one can come to a deeper meaning and perhaps even tap into their own subconscious.

What should a reader expect from ‘Awakened’?

It’s a romance with action, suspense, and plot twists that blend elements from science fiction and mythology together. Most readers really enjoy the character development as well. The story brilliantly packs so many things – aliens, romance, family, sci-fi conspiracies, history.

What was the hardest & the easiest thing to write this book?

The easiest thing for me to write is characters. I really enjoy giving them their own quirks and personalities. The hardest thing to do is to weave all the elements together in a way that doesn’t drag the story down with information dumps but remains cohesive enough to make sense to the reader.

Any special experience about ‘Awakened’ that you would like to share?

I am a discovery writer, AKA pantser. That means I do not plot in the traditional sense. The closest I come to plotting is having certain checkpoints that need to happen in the book. I do not know how the characters will react to them or what will happen until I’m actually writing that scene, though.

I suspect that because this book arose out of my dreams that my subconscious does most of the heavy lifting and then when I write it pours out my fingertips.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

July 2022 marked the end of my teaching career after 19 years and I made the transition to a creative entrepreneur. I plan on finishing the Gods & Guardians series then working on novellas that complement it from other character POV.

Being a creative entrepreneur, I have multiple streams of income. One of those is that I am a life coach and as such, plan on creating courses and writing nonfiction self-help books. I actually have a handful of the books outlined and rough drafts written. I will move on to that project once Gods & Guardians is complete.

The other stream of income is drawing on my experience in teaching. I have one children’s book published so far called No More Slime and I Mean It and plan on writing more in the areas of STEM and would love to create resources in the area of STEM, creativity, and thinking skills.

Are you working on your new project? What will be your next book about?

Currently, I’m working on edits for Book 3 of Gods & Guardians, Transformed. It picks up right where Book 2, Illuminated, leaves off. A lot of loose ends get tied up but there are also a lot of surprises.

My favorite surprises are the new side characters who have emerged as well as the expanded world-building.

What does success mean to you as an Author?

I am a reader first and foremost, and I know how it feels to fall in love with other people’s books and characters. I would like to connect with readers who feel that way about Awakened and the Gods & Guardians series in general.

Community is something that is really important to me in life, and I feel that if I can connect with readers in a reading community then I will be successful.

What are your views on self-publishing and traditional publishing?

It’s definitely a personal choice. I can see why people go the traditional route because I understand that people are individuals with unique experiences. What is right for one person may not be right for another.

Personally, I’ve always been a bit of a rebel and independent-minded. So, for me, going the indie route was a no-brainer.

One learning that you’d like to pass on to young debut authors?

Find your own voice and write from a place of authenticity. Don’t try to be someone else. Be yourself. The world needs your voice.

Coming Soon

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