Today, Passionate readers, I’m firing questions at several writers. Each author appears in the newly released anthology SEASON OF SURPRISES. And each one talks about their own experience writing short holiday stories. What’s it take to create? Find out!
By the way, tomorrow I’ll be blogging on BTS e-magazine about my own experience writing. (BTS emag is a great website geared toward book lovers.) Here’s the link, which will be live tomorrow, November 7th, 2015: http://btsemag.com/location-location-location-by-stacy-hoff/
Noelle’s Surprise by Merry Holly (a/k/a Marian Lanouette)
Marian, you write the romance anthology “Season of…” series, as well as mystery and romantic suspense. My question for you is how much do your characters differ between the genres?
Marian: The characters come to me in stories. Each one is an individual and develops as such. The biggest differences are their goals in a story I find. The cop in the mystery is seeking justice for the victim. The hero/heroine in a romance are looking to make that once in a lifetime connection, while dealing with everyday problems and life. Each has a set of values and morals that they can’t betray.
I love creating the villains though, they cross the lines that you and me live by each day.
Enticed by a Laird by Gerri Brousseau
When you wrote “The Yuletide Bride” in SEASON OF MAGIC, did you plan to write a sequel for the “Season of…” series?
Gerri: When I wrote “The Yuletide Bride,” the story of Stuart and Brianna, I had no idea the story of the Nelson family would blossom into a series, but when Marian invited me to be part of Season of Love, I realized I wasn’t finished telling their story. I also wondered if the readers would be interested to find out what became of the other family members. In “Puppy Love,” my contribution to SEASON OF LOVE, features Robert Nelson’s story and “Enticed by a Laird” features Esther and Angus. I have one more story to tell in the series. If you read The Yuletide Bride, you will remember Lady Roxanne. It is her story we have yet to hear.
Holiday Handbag Extravaganza by Vicki Batman
Of all the characters you have written, which one is your favorite?
Vicki: I have written many short stories. I particularly like some of the male heroes, like Officer “Witless” Witlock from Drive my Car, one I sold to the True Magazines in September 2010. He keeps writing tickets and our heroine keeps deliberately getting tickets to gain his attention.
So she is sentenced by her uncle, the judge, to attend driving school–with Officer Witlock. Lots of funny things happen involving combat boots, hot coffee, and a bad-ass wreck.
“Holiday Handbag Extravaganza” – Christmas Countdown is on! Hunk-a-licious customer, Jack Treadaway, pesters boutique owner, Callie Woods, to locate a vintage handbag for his mother. Too bad the wedge between them is his sister, the meanest girl in town.
I wrote this story because of my love for handbags and especially for the Enid Collins brand. Enid Collins bags are stenciled and jeweled and were sold by Neiman Marcus in the 60’s. Some are tote styled and others are wooden box bags. She did branch out into leather. She created a version for Christmas, although I don’t have that one. LOL
I have small feet which equals shoes that are hard to find for me. So I turned to handbags, picking them up for as little as $3.00 at flea markets. I have bought handmade ones at craft fairs and on ETSY. When I began to needlepoint, I bought stitched ones and have even stitched three for me. A friend suggested I blog about handbags and so began Handbag Monday where I feature mine and those of friends. I love it!
Her Frog Prince Holiday by Cara Marsi
Are any of your characters modeled after anyone in your life?
Cara: The main characters weren’t modeled after anyone in my life, although I sure would like to meet Chad. The secondary character of Gwen, the receptionist, is loosely modeled on me and named after one of my critique partners. Last year I had my hair streaked pink for a time, and my hair is short and blonde, all like Gwen. And I devour romance novels like Gwen, and I like to play matchmaker, like her, but I’ve never been successful. I don’t wear the cats-eye-glasses she does.
A Day for Destiny by Jane Gale
Jane, Please tells us a little about your writing process. Where do you write? Do you need quiet? Are you a plotter or panster? What’s your writing go to snack/drink?
Jane: My writing process is quite unorganized to be honest. I write when the mood strikes or when I feel that I haven’t made enough progress in a story as the week progresses. I sit at my computer with a scribble pad on hand and generate ideas, sketch out scenes, and plan the story arc. I typically plot the overall story while sketching out the character details as I go along, plugging in ideas at the spur of the moment while keeping tabs about everyone and every scene so I don’t confuse or give conflicting information. I love tugging at readers’ heartstrings, making them laugh, cry, get mad, and fall in love right along with the characters. As a writer, that’s my job, to immerse the reader. My goal is to have them fall in love with the storyline and want more of it.
Two female puppies are always my trusty companions while I write. The gentle sound of their adorable snoring and quiet barks while they run and frolic in their dreams completes the perfect semi-quiet environment I prefer to write in. To keep me on task, a strong mug of coffee is always nearby.
My latest creation, A Day for Destiny, is a sweet contemporary romance novella. Destiny’s life is turned upside down after receiving a court summons. A sexy and mysterious man arrives in town throwing her mundane life further into a tailspin. Destiny doesn’t know who to trust or if she should take a chance and risk it all.
Providence by Bobbi Lerman
In Season of Surprises you wrote a time travel story, Providence. What inspired you to write this?
Bobbi: I’ve always been fascinated by time travel since I can remember. I’m not sure what inspired this story. I know I wanted to set it on New Year’s Eve. I had my heroine, Amy Beale, who I knew was about to be arrested for art theft. I started playing the “what if” game and before I knew it, my hero Nicholas Harrington was born. The only problem was Nicholas was living 100 years before my heroine. Once I had Amy and Nicholas I just knew their story was one that was meant to traverse time.
Turkish Delight by Madison West
What author has influenced your writing the most and why?
Madison: This is a tough question because it’s the equivalent of ‘What’s your favorite book?’ I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember and I’ve been greatly influenced by W. Somerset Maugham, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Sandor Marai, Anne Tyler and Wally Lamb. These are the authors I always return to when I need some much needed writing inspiration. Each of these authors has their own unique writing style and is proof that there’s no singular way to write a good story.
My book is about a young woman named Amelia, who has had a traumatic past and learns to deal with it when she finds herself in the hauntingly beautiful Istanbul, Turkey. My goal in writing her story was to show readers that you can take a character that is fixed in their ways and unwilling to change, and place them in an environment and have them confront the issues that trouble them the most. I chose Istanbul because it’s a city that resides in two places–Europe and Asia. So in a way, Istanbul is a metaphor for Amelia’s life–she’s in two places when the story takes place: The past and present.
Holiday on the Home Front by Kristin Drew
Your story takes place in WWII. What drew you to that period in time?
Kristin: The 1940’s have always had a special, romantic draw for me. It was truly a time when an entire generation gave as much of themselves for one another as they possibly could, whether serving overseas, or helping the War effort at home. So many couples had to find ways to keep their romance alive with only sporadic letters to support their efforts, which is why letter writing plays such an important role in the romance between Betty and Van. It was a time when people put everything on the line, including their hearts.
AMAZON LINK FOR SEASON OF SURPRISES:
WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR STACY HOFF:
AMAZON LINK FOR SEASON OF LOVE (Box set with Stacy Hoff):
AMAZON LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES by Stacy Hoff:
AMAZON LINK FOR LAWFULLY YOURS by Stacy Hoff:
AMAZON LINK FOR HOT SEDUCTION (box set contributors: Jamie K. Schmidt, Stacy Hoff, Holly Roberts, Theresa Hissong, Susan Griscom & Leia Shaw):