It’s funny that I pin my hope for the world on the short season of Christmas, but I do. While I try to always offer a smile to anyone who passes by, at this time of year I make it brighter to the harried store clerk, or frazzled family. And I also fervently send up prayers for peace, for mankind to believe that the goodness in each of us should be shared and that war and hate and discrimination are never solutions. Light and love seems more powerful during this season. Let us each light up the world and become the miracle we so believe in.
It's one of the reasons I wrote a series of novels featuring the holiday season. To give hope to readers and coax a little "magic" into the holiday season.
And then, I thought writing a Christmas novella would be easy. Short and sweet, piece of cake, walk in the park…you get it.
Well, not for me. Dream Of Me This Christmas Eve was turning into a nightmare.
I was sooo keen to start writing Caroline Young’s story because—get this—readers were asking me to write her story. They learned about her in Forever Yours This New Year’s Night, book two of the Star Light ~ Star Bright series, and they wanted more.
Sure, no problem I thought.
Except that I needed to make the conflict in this 24,000+ word story not as deep as I usually did in my 60,000+ word tomes. And I needed to build the romance and develop the character.
Caro was a wild child growing up in Kansas, now she’s an engineer who designs and builds floats, and she lives and has her company in Pasadena. My hero, Maximillian Henderson III, lives in Boulder and is a second-generation lawyer.
Easy conflict right? Who is going to move where?
Well, neither can.
So, as I was pulling out tufts of hair, my buddy Audra came to my rescue. Happily Ever After I asked? How about Happily For Now she responded. And she suggested that I stop making food their crutch and start making them need each other. Not that yummy sushi I had four paragraphs about them eating. (But I love sushi, I whined.) She just gave me that Audra look. Okay one paragraph.
But you know, with the help of some trusted friends who pointed out a few or many issues, I was able to pull it together by make each scene a bit more intense, choosing my words carefully, putting myself in the character and consciously think about what they’d do and want.
Word choice was key, along with reminding myself as I wrote (then edited each scene) that this was a short book that still must deliver an emotional pull of the heart-strings. As well as entice the reader to read the other three books in the series. Each scene had to pack in all the above … in less than half the words.
So, it wasn’t an easy learning curve. And you know, I can’t wait to write another one.
Dream of Me This Christmas Eve is the fourth book in the bestselling Star Light ~ Star Bright series. Book one, Believe In Me This Christmas Night won the prestigious International Digital Award for Contemporary Short. The series has garnered the coveted #1 seller on Amazon, both achievements are dreams come true.
I’ve been asked why the star in the books. We do have a star on Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder and I recalled a story mom told me about it. She was at a party and one of the neighbors was grousing about the star being too Christian. Mom said she completely disagreed. That no matter your faith, the star represented the feeling of hope, the promise of the new day, the talisman of looking forward.
Merry Christmas to you all.
PS. One commenter will receive Dream Of Me This Christmas Eve as an e-book.
I started writing as a child, really. A few things happened on the way to becoming a published author … specifically, a junior high school teacher who told me I couldn’t write because I didn’t want to study … urk … grammar…
That English teacher stopped my writing for years. But the muse couldn’t be denied, and eventually I wrote, a lot, some of it award winning. However, I wasn’t really making a career from any of this.
My husband told me repeatedly that independent publishing was becoming a valid way to publish a novel. I didn’t believe him even after he showed me several Wall Street Journal articles. I thought indie meant vanity press.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I started pursuing this direction seriously, hit the keyboard, learned a litany of new things and published my first novel. My second book became a bestseller, and I’m absolutely on the right course in my life.
Please come visit me at , see my books, find my social media links, and sign up for my mailing list. I have a gift I’ve specifically created for my new email subscribers. And remember, you can email me at Leslie@LeslieSartor.com
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