Hello, dear readers, and welcome!
I have a relatively short post for you today, as I'm about to start my Christmas holiday. That means I won't be posting again until the week of New Year's, when I will have my annual New Year's post (which I am definitely looking forward to). I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
And yes, that is a big part of this post--
I hope that your holiday (whether it's Christmas or not) is wonderful, bright, joyful, and full of happiness. I hope that you are surrounded by goodness and reminded of all of the wonderful things in life. I wish you every happiness.
Christmas is my favorite holiday, not only because it is a fun holiday, but because it reminds us of the best things in life, one of those being: hope.
One of my characters learned this the hard way...
Some years ago, during a Christmas that really didn't feel like Christmas at all, I came up with the idea for the first book in what would become my Christmas series, entitled Clara Claus. I had always wanted to write a story about Christmas, only I wasn't entirely sure what said story should be about -- plenty of Christmas stories have already been told, and I didn't want to take the "normal" route. What I ended up writing was a story about some of my favorite Christmassy characters or things -- the Snow Queen, Jack Frost, the North Wind -- but by the end of book one it had become so much larger than just a simple Christmas story.
By the end of book one I had a dilemma: should I write more or leave it? Part of me wanted to, and part of me loved the story the way that it was. I mentioned my uncertainty in my first author's note (a very good lesson for me in how much you should elaborate), and a reviewer said: "I want the sequel!" When I began to see how much people liked this story, I began to think more about writing, well, more of it, because if both the readers and I wanted to read more, then more should probably be had.
This story, this series, means a lot to me, and I think that these books are wonderful ways to explore Christmas, and the things tied to it, like family and love. I set out to write a Christmas story, but I ended up crafting a fantasy world where multiple sides of Christmas are explored, and it has been plenty of fun. The stories keep coming.
But at one point I thought about quitting -- at least for a while. I believe that was some time earlier this year, in fact, when I mentioned to my readers that I wouldn't be releasing another book for this series until at least next year (note: that ended up being untrue, though not intentionally; see below). I was still in the middle of my writing funk, and though I knew where I wanted to go with the series, it was difficult to think of writing more in that moment.
I am a firm believer that as writers, sometimes all we need is a break, a recharge, a chance to collect our thoughts and our writing souls, and then keep pressing forward. If I've learned anything this year, it's that.
It turns out that really was all I needed: a break.
Nothing in writing this series has been easy. Clara Claus was the first book I ever published, when I still didn't know a lot about self-publishing or how the business worked. It has had multiple revisions, a new cover, and I have given it new life with short stories. In between writing Clara Claus and the sequel, Clara Snow, I took a chance and delved into the "past" of this world to tell readers the story of the Sugar Plum Fairy...and in turn discovered that two more characters existed that I had not known about, one being my series' villain, whom I have grown to love, and who has pushed this series along with his twisted plots.
Readers love to be surprised by plot twists and turns when they are reading -- and I can tell you that writers love to be surprised by their stories just as much; stories have a life of their own, and you never know what they are going to do.
To date, I have release two full-length novels, one novella, and three -- yes, three; one is new! -- short stories in this series, and there is still story to tell. I have picked this series back up, and am working once again on it, and though I can't give anything away, I can say that the discovery of Christmas is still the same: every story has something new to say about the holiday, and something new to say about hope.
I can't wait to see what happens next, and to finally give this series the ending it deserves: one unexpected, thrilling, and full of hope.
~ New Release! ~
Not long ago, I came up with the idea for this new short, The Christmas Angel, which tells the story of how Clara's parents met.
It's a sweet story that allowed me to write about two characters we haven't seen much of (yet), and I really enjoyed writing it, and hope you all will really enjoy reading it while you're awaiting the next story in the series (there's no set date of release yet, but when there is, you will find out here!) The short is currently available on Amazon and Smashwords, and should be available at BN.com and iBooks by the end of the week, if not before.
Right now I'm also having a sale on my Christmas books! All three shorts, including the new one, are on sale for $0.99 (and equivalent), and Clara Claus is currently available FREE. Thank you for your support, and happy reading!
You can find the Snowflake Triplet books at: BN.com, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, with more regions listed on the Snowflake Triplet page.
Again, everyone: MERRY CHRISTMAS!