Monthly Archives: September 2015



Hello, everyone. My name is Christian McKay Heidicker.


Whew. That’s a mouthful. Let’s try . . .


There. Better.

You may be asking yourself, where’s the cover? I came here to see a cover.

Okay, first, have I told you how nice your hair is looking today?

And second, the cover isn’t here.

CURE’s cover art is a little intense to take in all at once, so for everyone’s safety, I’ve divided it into nine pieces (er, pixels) and spread them across the internet.


To make a scavenger hunt, of course. What’s the use of a book about a kid going to video game rehab if there isn’t some gaming first?!

Also, this will be your chance to take in all of the juicy (potentially scandalous) details of the cover before it’s fully revealed.

The art is reminiscent of books like I Spy or Where’s Waldo, so this scavenger hunt will work just like that . . . except instead of finding a cats eye marble or some seemingly friendless chump in a red and white striped sweater, you’ll receive ACTUAL PRIZES.



Five lucky winners will receive a signed ARC (advanced reading copy) of CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE (cover obscured for obvious reasons) AND an embroidery of one of the phrases from the book, hand stitched by the extremely talented Cotton Floozy.


For every three things you discover hidden in the nine pixels and email to or message to C.M. Heidicker on Facebook, I’ll enter your name again . . . and again . . . and again. (There’s a lotta stuff on that cover.)



Subject: Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt

Dearest Christian,

I found:

  1. A puppy made of garlic cloves
  2. A bottomless bowl of undercooked breadsticks
  3. A Christmas tree wearing lipstick
  4. Amelia Earheart’s monocle
  5. A bottomless bowl of overcooked breadsticks
  6. A Who*

*(Objects not actually on cover, but no less interesting than what’s really on there.)



So, no, the cover is not here. But fear not! Tomorrow, I’ll be posting their whereabouts on this blog and at (You can also follow them with #cureforthecommonuniverse and #manicpixel.)

Tomorrow, the Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt begins!

In the meantime, go check out the book on Goodreads !

Again, the cover is exquisitely complex, and in my personal opinion, AMAZING. It was designed by Greg Stadnyk with art by eboy (that of Miley Cyrus fame).


Prepare to be cured, June 2016.



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Three Things Thursday

In literature, I’ve always been a fan of romances that are more of a “slow burn” than “love at first sight.” Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy rather than Cinderella and Prince Charming, if you will. 

I think part of the reason is that the reason I love books is that they are the only medium in which you can truly understand a character, heart and soul. And because of that, I want to learn to love them as a person, not just as a pretty face. Don’t get me wrong, I love staring at Channing Tatum’s abs as much as the next girl, but it’s just not the same as longing for Mr. Rochester and wishing he’d stop flirting with that stupid Blanche Ingram.
What do you think? Are there brilliant literary romances that work as love at first sight?
UNwrite Your Way To Success ! ! !
Many years ago, as a great fan of Irving Stone (think The Agony and the Ecstasy, Lust for Life, Men to Match My Mountains, etc.) I found out that he, TOO, was an over-writer.  It’s one of my biggest problems.  I know this story is true, because I heard him tell it myself: he had a layover in Salt Lake and came to speak to the League of Utah Writers.  He said he’d offered The Agony . . . to a number of publishers but was always turned down.  Desperate for help, he gave it to a secretary he knew and asked her to take a look at it and tell him what the problem was.  She insisted she knew NOTHING about writing, but he insisted “fresh eyes” might help.
She read the manuscript and told him he’d said everything three times.  She went through it again, trying to see where he’d said it best.  After they UNwrote great segments of it, he sent it out again . . . and it SOLD!  (The sweetest part of his story: he took the advance and used it to marry her — and she edited all his books after that.)  How’s THAT for UNwriting?
So a check-list for me —maybe it will help you to UNwrite too:
CUT as much as possible in 
 1.  Redundancies
 2.  Deliberate repetitions for “special effect” if it’s NOT special
 3.  Over-explanations
 4.  Words/ideas/sections I wrote for the “literary effect”
 5.  Now look at the pacing to be sure it’s clean, crisp, quick
Thank you for coming to my signing last night. It was no where near as terrifying as the last one.
Thank goodness.


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I think it’s valuable for all writers to practice on a sentence level. It’s one thing to be good at plot and character. It’s another thing to write beauty words, beautiful sentences, etc.

My friend Brian has an excellent style website. It’s geared for students in college studying composition but I think it’s fabulous for fiction writers too. Try it and see what you think.

Another thing you can do to help your sentences is to read. And then read some more. And then keep reading. Sometimes you can even find something you love, a book, an author, and then rewrite one of their paragraphs. Maybe even a whole chapter. By doing this, you’ll feel the rhythm of their writing. You’ll start to understand how they construct their phrases, where they put modifiers, why they put modifiers where they put them. You’ll be surprised at what the actual act of rewriting, of copying for the purpose of learning will do for you. Now, beware, I’m not saying you should copy other writers. I’m saying you should STUDY. you should become a student of fiction. You should learn from those you admire, from the masters.

I’ve learned so much from copying down passages from Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway, Sandra Cisneros, Flannery O’ Conner, Cormac McCarthy, and others. So many others.

love and style.

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Three Things Thursday


The last two books I’ve read have both had the same problem…they chopped the climax in half in order to make room for a sequel. 

Every novel should have a main conflict. The climax is the culmination of that conflict in which the problem is resolved. It doesn’t need to be happy, but it needs to be satisfying. But when you take the conflict and try to splinter it into small problems and then only solve half of them, it is not a resolution.
A true sequel occurs when the characters are so well-developed that we want to know what happens next in their lives, even if all of the problems we know about are finished. If you want to have sequels, focus on characters, not on splitting your plot.
What in the arts enriches your life?  Utah is becoming well known for its talents: dancing, for instance.  Many of our young people have been cast members in such shows as Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.  In fact, Nigel Lythgoe, one of the producers/judges in the latter, has been known to say if you need skilled and dedicated dancers, go to Utah.  Groups like the Ririe-Woodbury dance troupe have flourished here since I was in college (and THAT was a good, long time ago!).
David Archuletta did well in the singing department — and even that was years and years after the Osmond clan hit the musical circuit.  America’s Got Talent showed the wonderful talent of Alex Boye. We can hardly ignore the Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony.  Additionally, a number of our municipalities have such musical groups of their own.
Artists from many venues have thrived in Utah: painting, sculpture, music, theatre, writing.  What arts do you depend on for solace?  For inspiration?  For fun?  For entertainment?.
Do your characters also lean on the arts for support?  Which types of art feed their souls?  Where do they turn for comfort, solace, sustenance?
3 Writing Exercises to Get to Know Your Character Better:
1. write her obituary.
2. Write a commercial starring YOUR character.
3. Have your MC love interest write a song about her.

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