While on vacation in France last month, I finally had a chance to finish up a fun crafty novel, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter by Crafty Chica‘s Kathy Cano-Murillo. This book is the star crafter’s first foray into novel writing and let me tell you, this book is good!Waking Up in the Land of Glitter is about Estrella “Star” Esteban and her family’s restaurant which has a rep for good food and great art. Nestled in La Pachanga, Arizona, the small town brings people together, even when it looks like they couldn’t be further apart. One ill-fated evening, Star jeopardizes her family’s business, her relationship with her boyfriend, and her future career. To redeem herself, she agrees to participate in a national craft competition, teaming up with her best friend, Ofelia (a secretly troubled mother whose love for crafting borders on obsession) and local celebrity Chloe Chavez (a determined television personality with more than one skeleton in her professional closet). The book makes you laugh, especially all the crafty references which I know all of you will surely get.
Bookcovers Craftychica Novels
Book Giveaway Time!
One lucky CRAFT reader will win a signed copy of Waking Up in the Land of Glitter and an advanced reader copy of her second novel, Miss Scarlett’s School of Patternless Sewing. Just tell us why you would like these books in the comments. All comments will be closed by Noon PST on Friday, September 24, 2010. The lucky winner will be chosen randomly and announced later on the site. Good luck!
Read the Q+A with Kathy about Waking Up in the Land of Glitter and her new life as a novelist after the jump!
Congrats to Kelly from Santa Cruz, CA for winning!

Natalie: You call your book “crafty lit,” what does that mean and is it a term you invented?
Kathy: I’m not sure if the term has been coined before, maybe so, but I do know there are many other crafty-themed novels on the market. There are mystery series about knitting, crochet and even scrapbooking and cross stitch! There are many women’s fiction books about knitting groups, like Kate Jacob’s Friday Night Knitting Club, that are about friendship and overcoming the odds, etc. In addition, there are best selling authors like Jennifer Weiner and Terry McMillan that have crafty characters. I’ve always been intrigued by these books and have read them faithfully.
Natalie: How does Waking Up in the Land of Glitter fit into the mix? What kind of crafty characters do you have?
Kathy: It’s a light, fun read. I call it Ugly Betty-meets-Martha-meets-Waiting to Exhale! My book is about three crafty Latinas in Phoenix, AZ. One is a snobby bohemian princess-type who uses her “high standards” as an excuse not to make anything. Her friend is an insecure, raging craftaholic who goes overboard with her hobby, to the point of almost hurting her family. And rounding out their group is a local crafty celebrity who secretly despises anything and everything handmade. They have to come together every week to make 200 glittered centerpieces for the upcoming CraftOlympics, which is like a cross between Maker Faire and the consumer craft convention. Granted, when I wrote the book into 2004, nothing like that existed!
Natalie: After building a career in crafting and even authoring seven craft books, what made you decide to write a novel?
Kathy: I’ve actually been a writer long before I was a crafter. In fourth and fifth grade I used to write short stories and essays about things my family would talk about at the dinner table, I’d embellish them like crazy and read them out loud to my class. I loved Erma Bombeck back then, she had a column in the newspaper that I read every week. I also loved Judy Blume. My dream was to grow up to be a features reporter for The Arizona Republic. When that happened, I loved my job because it fulfilled the “Erma” in me, but knew I wanted to try for a novel to tap into my inner “Judy.” At first I didn’t want my novel to have anything to do with crafting, I wanted my writing to be a separate entity. My original idea was about a chubby reporter that covered the Hollywood scene – and then I read Jennifer Weiner’s Good in Bed, and knew I could not top that! I loved that book. I decided to go with my heart, and theme my book around crafters and the drama, emotion and comedy that goes with all the glue and glitter. They say write what you know, and that worked for me. I wrote the first draft for National Novel Writing Month in 2004. It sold in 2007 to Grand Central Publishing.
Natalie: How does fiction writing compare to crafting and making art?
Kathy: They are a lot alike! When I’m crafting, I have all my supplies sorted out, and writing is the same. The plot is the outline, the characters are the colors, the verbs are the shading and definitions, the metaphors are like the embellishments. The only difference is that I can’t “see” all those supplies like I can when I’m making art. It takes a different section of my brain to pull it together. But the creativity comes from the same place, the yearning to relay a message. To me, crafting and writing both offer the opportunity to inspire, and transport your mind to a new place.
Natalie: Do you think there is a market for crafty lit, if so, what advice do you have for other wannabe novelists?
Kathy: I think there is always a market for good books. If you have a decent story and lovable characters, it will work. Personally, I would love to see the crafty lit market grow. I know many fellow crafters who are capable of writing a juicy page turner! My advice is that you have to love to read books, and love to write. find a block of time each day and make it a ritual. Put together an outline and write. Don’t think about publishers or agents until your have completed your manuscript! It takes a lot of discipline and focus, but it is worth it!
Natalie: You are known very well in crafty circles, how did the book world take to your style and brand?
Kathy: So far, so good! My goal for all of this is to turn crafters into readers, and readers into crafters. I was extremely nervous, worrying if I could fit in and be respected. I worried if the book was too crafty for everyday book lovers. I felt like the new girl at school. But before the book even came out, I began to get emails from non-crafters who read and loved it and told me they were inspired to make something. I still receive a steady stream of emails and photos from book groups from Miami and New York City to San Antonio and Albuquerque who made a craft project during their meeting. I love that!
Natalie: What’s next, any more books?
Kathy: Yes! My next novel is called Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing, it comes out in March. In my first novel, I used glitter as a metaphor for the characters outlooks on life. In this book, the theme is the patterns we are given by our families. It is about a talented clothing designer who has a popular blog, yet her own family refuses to acknowledge her talent or dreams. She doesn’t want to follow the family pattern, she wants to make her own. I’m currently working on my third book which is about the world of cake decorating!
Natalie: What about for your crafting? You aren’t ditching that, are you?!
Kathy: Never! is still going strong! In fact, we are taking reservations for the 5th Annual Crafty Chica Cruise for April 2011! you can visit my site for more info! Eight days in Mexico, crafting our guts out!
Buy a copy of Waking Up in the Land of Glitter or visit Kathy’s site at

110 thoughts on “Book Interview + Giveaway: Waking Up in the Land of Glitter

  1. If I could read and craft simultaneously, I’d be a happy girl! And, I laughed when I saw the title; my friend and I have a running banter about glitter: she loves it, and I am not as fond of it. So, I definitely think I need a copy of the book (and might have to get one for her for Christmas)!

  2. Oooh, awesome! I need some great reading material for a long plane trip to Asia, this sounds perfect!

  3. Please pick me. My bookclub is boring and I need a fun read. Then I can pass it on to the other girls in my group.

  4. Why wouldn’t I want these books? Kathy is the most crafty glitter chica ever. Her writing and her spirit are so inspiring. Can’t wait to get the books.

  5. I have listened to Crafty Chica on podcasts and she’s fun to listen to. I’m guessing her books will be fun, too. If I don’t win, I’m gonna look for these books in the library. :)

  6. I listen to Crafty Chica on podcast! LOVE it:) Just found her–so I didn’t know there were books too! HOW FUN! Thanks for the chance to win:)

  7. is all i can find in my pockets!! pay day isn’t for a few more weeks :( . I would love to win these books because i had no idea the crafty chica wrote a few books…. woohoo!!!!! please dont make me wait until payday… :D thanks peeps at craftzine!!!

  8. glitter! patternless sewing! this sounds so amazing! i can’t imagine the fun that would come out of this.

  9. OMG… Crafty Chica Novels?!?! I’ve got to have them… I don’t know how I missed the first one but knowing that there’s a 2nd on the horizon is tooo wonderful. The only question is, can I wait ’til friday to find out who wins them? Tomorrow *IS* payday…

  10. Do you really need to ask? They’ve got glitter. And funky sewing. And they’re by Kathy. There are no better reasons.

  11. I have a 9 week old baby with reflux who sleeps best being held in an upright position – which means as well as the three hourly feeds, I’m sofa captive a lot of the time whilst she naps! My own crafting projects are therefore on hold, and I need to get my craft kicks vicariously for the time being – and the books would be amazing!

  12. As a mixed-media artist and owner of Crazy Mama’s, I am always tracking other artists’ work to remain inspired and since her first book, you could literally feel her creative energy! Love her!
    Just like Friday Night Knitting Club is for knitters, I would love to be taken to her fictional world and be drawn into a setting that speaks to me and my love of crafts! I have worn out her first Crafty Chica book and would love to sink my creative teeth into her next!
    Thank you for continuing to inspire artists like me!

  13. I grew up in a very creative home. Now I have a toddler I am trying to recreate that in my own home with her by sharing my love of books, painting and of course loads of sewing! These books sound like a perfect fit!

  14. I have a very difficult semester in school and I seriously need some crafty distraction in order to keep my sanity until December. This looks like the perfect anecdote to biochem induced madness!

  15. I would love to win copies of these books! I get tired of characters like myself never being main characters in books.

  16. Kathy is so inspiring – I love her blog and her shining, smiling face! I absolutely love the idea of crafty lit. I love that it’s out there, and I desperately want to read her books – combining two of my greatest joys – crafting and reading!

  17. One of my high school friends worked in a Christmas ornament factory, and she went home every night covered in glitter, that’s what I thought of when I saw the title. I’ve read lots of cooking-related mysteries, but only a few in the “crafty lit” genre so this would help broaden my horizons. :^)

  18. I work as a hall director and I’m always looking for new and unique stories/quotes to use in my staff meetings to prompt discussion. I think that adding content from this book to a craft activity in my staff meeting could offer a fun new way to talk about creativity, initiative, support systems, and owning up to mistakes. Thanks for the opportunity to get this book for free!

  19. I want to win this book for my teen daughter–avid crafter, obsessive reader–who, this morning, quite literally, woke up in a bed of glitter after a late night crafting project went slightly askew.

  20. I would love to get these books because I LOVE to read, and love all things crafty. I am working a job where I do not feel very creative and would love an outlet through stories!

  21. I love all things crafty and LOVE to read. I think this would be great pick me up for the lack of creativity I am feeling from my office job. Thanks for this opportunity! :)

  22. I am for any book that makes me laugh. And if it has crafting in it also what could be better? We don”t laugh enough, I read were we need at least 12 good belly laughs a day!! Hey I got the BELLY! BRING ON THE LAUGHS!

  23. For someone who has “crafted” her entire life and needs to for her own sanity, a book that will make me laugh and is about crafting is just what the doctor ordered. I love “glitter”. Just put it anything and I am sold. And if “Miss Scarlett” can do patternless sewing, well then the world is a better place. My mom was always after me to perfect that talent, believe it or not. I would love those books!

  24. I am so excited about this giveaway, especially patternless sewing! I always have the best intentions of following the pattern, but I start looking at it and my own ideas take over! Would love to have a copy of this one to spur on creative genius!

  25. When I grow up (oh wait, I already am!), I want to be the blonde version of the crafty chica. She is my hero — quirky, creative and a writer! I would love to read her upcoming book, and a signed copy of her novel would be the centerpiece of my craft room!

  26. When I met her several Maker Faires ago I told her she should be writing novels — “Chiquita, this is your librarian speaking. Not everybody can get to Maker Faire. WRITE YOUR STORIES DOWN.” This makes me almost as happy as her enabling me to accept sequins into my life: I always associated them with Nancy Reagan till La Chica showed me the glittery path. Ola!

  27. 1. plastic unicorns
    2. hair clips
    3. macaroni picture
    4. underpants
    5. cell phone case
    6. body
    – everything –
    lookin’ forward to the chica’s suggestions

  28. Okay, so my husband already thinks I am completely obsessed by knitting and yoga, reading novels about them as well as doing them. Why not add to the whole crafty obsession, unless you think it would be bad for the marriage? I’d love to read these when I’m not making something else. Thanks for considering me, and have a great day.

  29. I can’t wait to read “Glitter” I love novels about crafting, whether it’s knitting, scrap booking, quilting, crocheting. They’re so interesting and knowledgeable. Working with my hands is my life and I love to learn new things!

  30. I love the crafty Chica! I have been following her for soo long!!! I would love to get my hands on her books!!!!!

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