Ask any writer to talk about themselves and I bet you render them speechless, or the equivalent writer-esque version of speechless.  Instant writer’s block.

What’s interesting about me?

I’m in a deeply committed relationship with my partner of 22+ years, Cee Neuner.  We’ve been through it all….  sickness (Cee’s almost died twice and has chronic Lyme disease), health (still working on that one, though), richer (six figure incomes), poorer (when medical bills forced us into foreclosure and bankruptcy).  Through the better and the worst times, we have always been there for each other.  We are opposite in temperament and thinking processes but gel when working as  a team.  We bring out the best in each other.  And that’s the way it should be!

The work that I do that I am most proud of is that of facilitator for peer support groups for kids who are working through the death of a family member.  I’ve been with The Dougy Center in Portland, Oregon for three years now, and am currently working with two groups of kids ages 5 through 12, and a teen group.  The kids are incredible teachers.  They make me a better person.

You’ll be reading a lot about death, loss and grieving in my books, but you’ll read about it in a holistic, natural manner.  Grief is a normal process of life.  You’ll hear it treated with a bit of humor and irreverence from time to time, too, because I’ve learned not to fear it any more.  I think, I hope, that if you are going through any form of loss in your life, you will find a new perspective there.

My sleuth will be a grief counselor, Alice Anne McDonnell, located in Canby, Oregon, the small town where I live.  I’ve renamed it to Pudding River just for the fun of it.  Alice Anne will be created out of the parts of me that I’m the least happy with.  Her angst will serve as the underlying theme of the first book.  We’ll see her work through her baby boomer mid life crisis and come out with a renewed passion for living and loving.

All of the characters and plots will be fictional, though, because I maintain the anonymity of the kids that I work with at The Dougy Center.  So don’t try to recognize anyone or anyone’s story.  It will all be made up out of an amalgam of my experiences over the years.

My Dougy Center job is all volunteer.  When I’m not writing, being with my family or working with grieving kids, I’m at my day job which is in software development.  Yes, I’m a geek, but I have my humorous moments and I promise not to be boring or anal retentive.

If you’ve made it all the way through this rambling, I commend you and reward you.  You can have a sneak peek at the first chapter when it’s ready.  Leave me a reply to claim your reward.


  1. veehcirra says:

    Hi Chris,

    It’s great to meet you, I like that your writings touch on death and that you are a grief counselor, this year started with the loss of two very close relatives,and the one thing that gave me strength and sanity was reading the Tibetan book art of living and dying, I came into contact with that book at the right time, it helped put so many things in perspective for me, will be reading your work to get more insight on this, thanks for the work you do.


  2. Thank you, Veeh. Even though I’m writing fiction, I want to use that as a way to educate people about death and dying.

  3. veehcirra says:

    Death is a topic that most people do not even like talking about, yet it’s so important I like your approach to bringing it out!

  4. Hi Chris, your book sounds like it going to be very interesting and its nice to see someone tackling what is seen as a taboo subject. I really look forward to reading your first chapter and herby stake my claim to a sneak preview 😉

  5. Touch2Touch says:

    One of the most interesting “about” posts I’ve read.
    As you say in another post, the thing that stops most writers quickest in their tracks is being asked, Write something about yourself.

  6. Kate Kresse says:

    Found your blog after you visited mine. Thanks for that—and i am working on writing a big this month too…..will look forward to hearing about your books… I just subscribed to your blog. .http://believeanyway.wordpress.com

  7. veehcirra says:

    Merry Christmas Chris 😉

  8. Patti Kuche says:

    Can’t wait to read more and so many best wishes to you for your project. Death and dying is such a twilight zone in need of so much more understanding. Happy New Year to you and Cee!

  9. Kate Kresse says:

    Dearest Chris: I have been negligent! I have been meaning to give you The Candle Lighter Award for awhile now, and The Versatile Blogger as well. Here are the links for both—http://believeanyway.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/creation-of-new-blog-award-the-candle-lighter-award/ and http://believeanyway.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/post-about-handing-out-versatile-blogger-awards/

    Your blog is so deserving of both awards….your writing leaves me in awe.

  10. Your sleuth sounds fascinating and your theme very interesting.

  11. ntexas99 says:

    I don’t recall how I found your blog, but I look forward to poking around a bit in your archives. I would love to find a sneak peek waiting in my email one day, as the characters and subject matter sound quite interesting.

    I didn’t realize you were a grief counselor when I found my way to your blog, (I was following the bread trail of a writer instead), but it turns out that I’m very likely to benefit from some of your discussions regarding grief counseling. I lost my mom several years ago, and, well, it’s complicated, but let’s just say that I’ve finally realized that I still need to move through the grieving process in order to continue moving forward. Grieving has many layers, and denying or ignoring some of the steps in the process keeps us stagnant and immobile, rather than allowing us to continue to heal. I’m slow in learning this lesson, but always willing to improve. Again, I look forward to reading more, and look forward to receiving that sneak peek.

  12. 3rdCultureChildren says:

    Thank you for coming by my travel & photoblog, checking it out! A great pleasure, and much appreciated!

    Much success and peace for a great year of 2012!

    Greetings from warm Recife, Brazil, from http://3rdculturechildren.com

  13. the777man says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. Your blog looks very interesting, and I am going to have to read through it! I am now following. I did so enjoy your about you section… I especially loved hearing you describe your relationship with your beloved, and all that you two have been through.

    Chris I don’t know if you read about our Murder Mystery Writing Contest we are sponsoring for charity on one of our other websites, but would love to have you check it out! It is at: http://www.the777man.com fits right into your genre of writing!

    Peace and Harmony,

  14. suitablefish says:

    Chris, thank you for visiting my blog, and Storm. I didn’t know until now that you are Cee’s partner. I can relate to the ups and downs and horrific costs to heal from lyme disease. It always seems funny to me that my life can be richer through interactions that become friendships on this box. I look forward to reading some of your mystery work. I’m a writer, too, finding my way back. Blessings to both of you.

  15. Thanks for checking out my blog. I think I’ll find yours very interesting too.

  16. Gemma says:

    Chris, I found you through, Cee’s blog. I found Cee through the Word Press Challenge. I am so glad I started the Challenge for many reasons. Meeting new people and seeing the fabulous talent that’s out there are at the top of that list. I’m happy to have come across both of you. This is sounding sappy. I guess I need another cup of coffee. So, write on! I’ll be back to visit.

  17. Sunshine says:

    Hi again Chris,
    I got you TAGGED! http://wp.me/p1RzUf-Md

    Have a happy day 🙂

  18. judithatwood says:

    Congratulations! I’ve named your blog and you the Versatile Blogger Award. Come to http://diabeticredemption.com/2012/03/15/the-versatile-blog-award/ to see who else got it, and what you’re supposed to do. Of course, if you’ve done this before, or if you don’t feel like meeting all the requirements, please do as you wish, and no worries. Yay, You!

  19. Caddo Veil says:

    Well, I came here by way of Cee’s blog, and I’m way impressed! Have a novel in progress, myself. Wishing you all good things–God bless you Big.

  20. Paula says:

    Good luck with your book!

  21. Ted Pavloff says:

    Thank you for liking my post.

  22. sued51 says:

    Congrats on what you do for a living. Wonderful work.
    I think your book sounds very interesting as well. I will look forward to reading it. I lost my father 1 1/2 years ago and my grieving has been a journey. Have you read Joan Didion’s book, “The Year of Magical Thinking”?

  23. Congratulations. I have awarded you the One Lovely Blog Award. You have a wonderful blog. You can read more about and find the award on my page here: http://workthedream.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/the-illuminating-blogger-award-and-the-one-lovely-blog-award/

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