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Local author finds inspiration for first novel in familiar faces and places

Campton resident Christine Litton, writing under the name Kris Owen, is shown autographing copies of her first novel, "Telling Sky," during a book signing at the Sunset Grill last month. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
January 09, 2019
CAMPTON – Author Kris Owen, better known locally as Christine Litton, recently held a book signing party at the Sunset Grill in Campton where she introduced her first novel, "Telling Sky," and parts of that story may sound a bit familiar to some residents.

"I have some local characters that I included and I've also included characteristics I saw in people who live here," she said.

Centered in the White Mountains Region of New Hampshire, local towns and landmarks are woven into the story as well.

As a young child, Owen was the storyteller in her family. She grew up with a love for writing, and at one time worked as a reporter for the Plymouth Record Enterprise. Retired now, she said she finally found herself with the time to do what she has always wanted to do- write novels. She asked her sister for advice on what genre she should chose for her books, and in the end decided on adult fiction that is based on some truths.

"Telling Sky" is the story of Anna, a woman whose roots are anchored deep within the Pennacook Indian tribe, which grounds its family members in faith, love and understanding, Owen said. Often, she added, they wonder how tragedy fits into the bigger scheme of their lives and turn to the gods and the wisdom of their ancestors to lead them in the right direction.

In the book, Anna's peaceful life is turned upside down when her husband has a life-threatening accident. Tragic as that is, soon after he lapses into a coma she discovers they are pregnant.

"She's hopeful this beautiful event will return her husband to her, especially as she continues to feel his presence and even hear his voice," said Owen.

Anna soon finds her life will never be the same again. With that realization she struggles to decide whether she should hang on to the hope that perhaps it will, or move on to search for happiness again. Another challenge she must face is who will help ground her young daughter Sky as Anna herself struggles to balance her past with the present she finds herself facing.

Owen said it was interesting at times when she was taking her tale in one direction but her "Muse" would seem to pop in and say, "No, this is what you're going to do."

"Every time I found I would lose some pages I'd written, that was okay. I'd start again and usually liked what I rewrote even better," she said. "I'd work on it for a while then back away for six months. When I went back to read it and it made me cry, I knew I was going in the right direction."

At the book signing, a steady stream of local residents stopped in to buy copies for themselves, their family and friends.

"I can't wait to read it. I'm just so proud of her," said Diane Richards.

Published by Dorrance Publishing Co., the cover was illustrated by Wendy Bouch, and Owen said she couldn't have been happier with Bouch's work.

"Dorrance contacted her to do the cover, and it was amazing. I had this image in my mind of how I wanted it to look and it turned out that that's exactly what she had done," said Owen.

With the success of book number one, Owen is now looking forward to the next of the five novels she has plans to write.

"I was feeling my way with this first one. When I feel I've gotten my 'sea legs' the rest will follow," she said.

"Telling Sky" is now available online through both Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or as an E-book, and can also be found in many local bookstores.

AJ Coleman
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Varney Smith
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