I love holiday stories. It’s a wonderful way to get in the mood for whichever season is upon us: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Halloween…I always load up my Kindle with bunches of stories for each holiday and/or season, and then read to my heart’s content. To me it always adds just a little something extra to the season.
Writing holiday stories is quite different. The writing tends to get done outside of the season. A couple of years ago I got it into my head that I wanted to write a story based on Kenny and Dolly’s “A Christmas to Remember”. Every Christmas when we broke out the decs and holiday CDs it was on my mind. But Christmas is a busy time, and I never got around to writing it. Come January one year, I decided I was just going to buckle down and do it, even though it was past the season. I figured if it got accepted, at least I could read my own story the following season. And that’s pretty much how it happened. A Christmas to Remember was published with The Wild Rose Press in November of 2011.
With a Christmas story being released in November, I had to break my personal rule of not thinking about anything Christmas until after Thanksgiving. After all, I had a book to promote. So I decided I would write a Thanksgiving story for the following year, so I could think about the proper holiday at the proper time. I wound up writing that one in January and February and submitting it. This one was a bit of a longer road, going through a series of rewrites before being offered a contract, but ultimately An Unexpected Blessing was released in November of 2012.
So now I had this whole kind of holiday theme going. I figured…why not a Halloween story? I started outlining one in December (I have no idea what made me think of Halloween in the middle of Christmas, but as a writer, you just go with it, right?), but with the busyness of the season, I didn’t get around to doing any writing until well after Christmas. I looked at the deadline at TWRP for Halloween stories: January 28. Whew. That would be quite the feat if I could pull it off. I wasn’t planning a long story…just a short novella about 10,000 words (approximately 50 pages). But still, writing, editing, and submitting in less than a month? On top of any ‘real life’ responsibilities…was I crazy? Probably.
But…I figured I’d go for it. What the heck? If it didn’t get done for this year, I’d have plenty of time to get something in shape for 2014.
Much to my pride and sense of accomplishment, I finished the story and submitted it a week ahead of time. Last Monday afternoon, I sent a query and synopsis to my editor. By the time I got back an hour later from running some errands, she had requested to see the full mss. Thursday I got an e-mail from her saying she loved the story and was putting in a request for a contract with the senior editor! Happy Dancing ensued. And my oh my the wheels turned fast on that one!
So if the senior editor approves the contract and there are no hiccups along the way, come fall, I’ll have added another holiday title to my published works, and the world (I can dream right?) will be reading The Vampire and the Vixen. (A tongue-in-cheek is-he-or-isn’t-he contemporary Halloween romance.)
Then I’ll have to see what holiday to do next…Valentine’s Day?! Fourth of July?! I’m sure something will pop into my head.
Until next time,