Scannell, Christy 1967-
Scannell, Christy 1967-
Born February 28, 1967; married February 2, 2002; husband's name Rich. Education: Anderson University, B.A.; San Diego State University, M.A. Hobbies and other interests: Music by Elton John and music from the 1970s, the San Diego Chargers, traveling, golf, all types of food and wine, and teaching writers workshops.
Office—P.O. Box 16196, San Diego, CA 92176.
Freelance editor and writer. Grossmont College, El Cajon, CA, journalism instructor and advisor to the student newspaper, The Summit; Christian Communicator, staff member. Rainbow Publishers/Legacy Press, Ann Arbor, MI, former editorial director for ten years; San Diego Metropolitan (business magazine), San Diego, CA, former associate editor; North Park News (community newspaper), San Diego, former associate editor.
Christian Writers Guild, Society of Professional Journalists.
"SECRETS OF LULU'S CAFE" SERIES; NOVELS; WITH GINGER KOLBABA
Desperate Pastors' Wives, Howard Books (West Monroe, LA), 2007.
A Matter of Wife and Death, Howard Fiction (New York, NY), 2008.
A former editorial director for a publishing house, Christy Scannell worked on Christian books for teachers and children for ten years before moving on to magazines such as the San Diego Metropolitan. She also does freelance work as both a writer and editor and, more recently, teamed up with author Ginger Kolbaba to write novels with Christian themes. Unlike many people who try to break into fiction publishing, Scannell told an interviewer in Novel Journey that for her it was "embarrassingly easy."
Scannell continued to relate in her interview that she and Kolbaba "conceived of the book idea in March 2005 and wrote the proposal, which we presented to a prospective agent in April. He rejected it, but his comments helped us reevaluate our proposal. Then a fiction editor friend offered to take a look at it. She made further suggestions, and also said she heard Howard was looking for a new fiction series. After we redid the proposal, we sent it to Howard. An editor responded within a few weeks. We had a contract for a three-book series before summer ended."
She added, "Now, before you start looking for my Cinderella slippers, let me add some explanation to this story. First of all, Ginger and I both had worked in CBA [Christian Booksellers Association] publishing for around ten years—she as a magazine editor and me as a book editor. With that came frequent travels to writers' conferences where we networked and learned from our colleagues. So that editor at Howard already knew us before she read our work, and we knew how to present it in such a way that it would be attractive to a publisher (the catchy title and marketing potential were paramount)."
Scannell continued her explanation: "Plus, we had both been writing for years. I had written for many magazines and newspapers, and Ginger had published three nonfiction books. Still, this was our first fiction effort, so we were floored when the first publisher we approached not only contracted for one book, but three!"
The "Secrets of Lulu's Cafe" series begins with Desperate Pastors' Wives. The title drew inevitable comparisons to the nighttime television soap opera Desperate Housewives about unfulfilled suburbanite women. Kolbaba and Scannell are not out to titillate so much as to realistically portray what many pastors' wives go through in this country. The four main characters include Mimi, Jennifer, Felicia, and Lisa, who live in a town in Ohio. As the spouses of church leaders, they are all expected to set examples for their congregations as perfect wives who also are active and enthusiastic participants in their respective churches. Each is struggling to put on a happy façade while they battle their personal demons. For Lisa, it is a loveless marriage to a man who does not even kiss her; for Jennifer, the problem is infertility; for Felicia, it is a desire to pursue her own individuality through a career; Mimi simply wants to have a little more peace and quiet in her life and not have the church dominate her so much. The four women find support in each other, and the authors tie their tales together through their regular social meetings.
Critics of Desperate Pastors' Wives found much to praise in what they felt were well-rounded characters revealing a little-discussed aspect of American life. On the Christian Review of Books Web site, Roseanna White declared that the "authors created characters with rich dimensions and complex development that sucked me in and kept the pages turning." Although one Romance Review Web site critic complained that the "writing is passive, and we don't get deep enough in any of the character's thoughts, motives, and actions, to really care about what they are going through," many other critics found the novel delightful. "I positively burned through this book because it was so enjoyable," reported Jamie Driggers on the Armchair Interviews Web site. A Christian Fiction Review Web site writer noted that the authors sometimes spend too long providing character background, but "once the story gets past that, however, things pick up rather quickly." The reviewer concluded that Kolbaba and Scannell "have done a great job of balancing all four women's stories." "The authors are to be applauded for parting the curtains in the homes of these pastors' wives and giving us a peek at their daily balancing acts," asserted Joyce Handzo for In the Library Reviews Web site.
Desperate Pastors' Wives was followed by A Matter of Wife and Death, which continues to follow the lives of Mimi, Jennifer, Felicia, and Lisa.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Marriage Partnership, summer, 2007, Raelynn Eickhoff, review of Desperate Pastors' Wives.
Armchair Interviews,http://reviews.armchairinterviews.com/ (March 20, 2008), Jamie Driggers, review of Desperate Pastors' Wives.
Christian Fiction Review,http://www.christianfictionreview.com/ (March 20, 2008), review of Desperate Pastors' Wives.
Christian Review of Books,http://christianreviewofbooks.com/ (March 20, 2008), Roseanna White, review of Desperate Pastors' Wives.
Christy Scannell Home Page,http://www.christyscannell.com (March 20, 2008).
In the Library Reviews,http://www.inthelibraryreviews.net/ (May 14, 2007), Joyce Handzo, review of Desperate Pastors' Wives.
Novel Journey,http://noveljourney.blogspot.com/ (April 23, 2007), "Author Interview—Christy Scannell.".
Road to Romance,http://www.roadtoromance.ca/ (August 1, 2007), Marie DisBrow, review of Desperate Pastors' Wives.
Romance Review,http://www.aromancereview.com/ (March 1, 2007), review of Desperate Pastors' Wives.
Title Trakk,http://www.titletrakk.com/ (March 20, 2008), Heather Hunt, review of Desperate Pastors' Wives.