Monday, November 3, 2014

The Gift of Christmas

This year I have three anthologies releasing with my stories all within a couple weeks of each other. I've already talked about Underground and you will see more posts on that over the next few weeks. Today I want to talk about a holiday anthology, The Gift of Christmas, from Windtree Press.  It is a collection of twelve diverse and heartfelt stories exploring the love, messiness and miracles of Christmas.
Authors contribute to holiday anthologies in the beginning of summer in order to give editors , formatters, cover designers a chance to work on it and get it completed by an October or November release date. That is the case with this anthology as well. My story, "The Hogmanay Stranger," actually takes place after Christmas and culminates on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in Scotland. Hogmanay is the Scot's word for the last day of the year and is a big celebration day.

Like the Underground anthology I've been discussing recently, I will be having Windtree Press authors discussing their inspiration for these holiday stories. I don't know about you, but I can read holiday stories year round. I know they are going to be touching and have endings that will make me smile, cry, and generally reinforce the goodness of people. This anthology is no exception.

To kick off the author inspirations for stories, I will share mine for "The Hogmanay Stranger."

When the Windtree Press authors decided to do a Christmas Anthology I definitely wanted to be involved. Unlike anthologies that were single genre (e.g., romance or literary) this one would be cross genre to feature the diversity of talent and stories of Windtree Press authors. There is even a non-fiction essay and a children’s story featuring the favorite characters in the Metro the Little Dog series.  So, I was excited to be part of this group of authors.

As I was in the middle of finishing Sarah’s story, Heart Strings, in the Sweetwater Canyon series and starting the final book, Two Voices, which features both Theresa and Kat, I had these characters already in my head. It seemed like the perfect idea to write a story that would be a bridge between the end of Heart Strings and the beginning of Two Voices.  To make it even better, how could anyone not want to be in Scotland for Hogmanay?

Of course, I can’t write something straight and sweet with no drama, so I introduced an unlikely catalyst as the Hogmanay stranger. This young man, from the wrong side of town, plays a major part in helping everyone to realize what is most important in life – love and family – even when it seems that all is lost.

I hope you enjoy my story and the entire collection of stories. I am proud to be part of this anthology. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for additional insights from other Windtree authors about their stories in this collection.

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