When I first started on this journey to publication, I hadn’t realized how much work goes on behind the scenes before the finished product hits bookshelves or virtual shelves. So I thought I’d take some time to talk about the process and pull back the curtain on a very long, but rewarding, process.
SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS is due to release on November 20, 2020. The idea for the story started back in mid-2018. I’d just finished writing my first novel and had entered it in several contests and submitted it to various publishers. While I was waiting for responses, this idea about a Christmas story was germinating.
I love Christmas stories and am known to read them in October right up until New Years, so the idea of a new holiday story intrigued me. I also needed something to focus on while I was waiting for responses. The initial idea was triggered by a Facebook post someone had shared about a resort that does Christmas all year round in New England. I followed a rabbit trail and discovered a month-long holiday festival celebrated in Middlebury, Vermont which starts November 30 and continues right through December 31.
What a fun setting and event to work through a story!
I began asking questions. Having been an event planner for much of my career, I wondered how the event planners would handle things going wrong or disappearing all together. It sure would throw a wrench in the plans! In a place that does Christmas better than any other in New England, why would someone want to destroy the festival or at least the appearance of wanting to destroy it? And who would be able to get to the bottom of the mystery?
I probably have answered those questions quite differently than others would have. You’ll just have to read the story when it comes out in November to see how I handled them!
Have an idea? Start asking questions and see where your story takes you.
Next time, we’ll talk about plotting or pantsing or plantsing.
A question I hear often is where do you find inspiration for the stories you write?
My answer is quite simple. It’s in the everyday things. I realize that doesn’t help in understanding the creative process, but let me show you how I was inspired for Snowbound in Winterberry Falls.
It was early December 2018 when I came across an interesting article about a hotel somewhere in New England that was a Christmas getaway all year round. Someone had posted a link on Facebook and of course I followed the trail. The photos were inspiring in and of themselves, but it got the wheels spinning and I started researching things to do in New England over the winter holidays.
Very Merry Middlebury is a month-long celebration of all things Christmas in Middlebury, VT. The website says this about the festival:
Holiday magic comes to Middlebury with a festive and fun-filled month of December, complete with visits from Santa, horse drawn wagon rides, special event shopping nights, a breakfast with holiday characters, an “I Spy” contest with prizes, the Hot Cocoa Hut and free gift wrap for items purchased in Middlebury.
It was after discovering this festival, I found my story. I began asking questions and slowly, the story of Stephanie and Jason’s second chance began to form and the fictional town of Winterberry Falls was born.
You can find creative inspiration anywhere – just let your imagination go free and see where it will take you!