Lee Ann Sontheimer has honored me with stopping by today to share with us a little about her newest release, Sing We Now of Christmas.
When Jessica Martin met Johnny Devereaux that December, holiday magic filled the air but their love was no enchantment….he was, without doubt the love of her life and by summer, they were happy newlyweds with all their life and holidays ahead.
But when he failed to return home from a fishing trip on the Fourth of July, Jessica’s world is rocked to the foundation and when the authorities tell her that her husband is missing, presumed dead, she refuses to believe it.
As the months and seasons pass, no one else holds out hope but Jessica believes. She knows he’ll be home for Christmas no matter what. Her family calls her crazy, Johnny’s family tries to help her find closure but Jessica’s heart refuses to surrender hope.
When Christmas comes, the truth will come out to shock them all.
To Everything There Is A Season – But You Can’t Always Write In It!
Because my writing roots lie in journalism I became spoiled by writing with a just ahead deadline. For years I dished out my various newspaper columns (I’ve had one somewhere for more than twenty years) days before they appeared and so I could wait until December to write about Christmas or New Year’s or the holiday season. When I worked in broadcast radio for the better part of a decade, I loved the immediate appeal. Something happens – you go live with the breaking story. Even in a small town it can be heady to interrupt programming with major news or slide into the chair to do the news live, unedited.
One of the first things learned when I began to transition from writing journalism in either print or broadcast media into freelance writing and then into becoming an author was seasonal deadlines are months in advance. At some of the larger publications, the nationally known magazines, a seasonal deadline is often a year or more ahead. You can’t write an article, no matter how heartwarming and delightful in December, submit and see it in print the same month. Nor can you wait until December to write your holiday themed novel and expect it to appear for readers by some magical process unless you’re married to Santa Claus.
I learned the two ways to write holiday. One is to write it during the season and save it, submitting it when the time is right. The other method doesn’t work for everyone but it’s become mine – write it no matter what the season and get your head thinking Christmas in July or the Fourth of July during a blustery January blizzard. I’ve talked with some folks who just can’t think outside the seasonal box and capture the right feel or mood out of time. I do it so often on occasion I find myself wishing just once I could write about what’s happening now, what everyone’s experiencing whether it’s the glory of autumn or the coldest winter day.
I still do – but only for my column these days because my lead time is usually 2-3 days but in my other writing, especially my fiction, I’ve learned to use memories, imagination, and outside stimulus to get in the mood.
My first Christmas novel release, out this December from Rebel Ink Press, Sing We Now of Christmas chronicles the love story of a couple from their first meeting one December to the next. So a lot of the focus is on the holiday season but we’ve also got the Fourth of July (which happens to be a very pivotal point in the plot), Halloween, and Thanksgiving tossed into the mix.
So I sat down to write Sing We Now of Christmas during the summer of 2011 when record breaking heat waves and droughts made the news every day. Outside my window temperatures soared, our air conditioning quit, the grass turned brown, and dust rose from the bare patches. I pulled on my shorts each day and often in my bare feet, sometimes wearing my Okabashi sandals, I wrote about Christmas. If the heat seemed too intense to think about snow, I looked up my pictures from last year’s huge snowfall to prompt my memory. When I had trouble thinking about Christmas during barbecue grilling season, I listened to my favorite holiday music to create a mood. And it worked.
The easiest parts of the book were the scenes in July because I could drive down to Grand Lake to refresh my memory of the sights, smells, sounds of the lake. Yet those scenes were also the most emotionally difficult to write because I get invested in what my characters feels. I literally have to experience their anguish to write about it and so even though the descriptions came easy, the emotions were difficult.
It’s all in the day, though, for a writer and author. With ten novels out by the end of the year, a handful of novellas, multiple short stories, and over twenty anthology appearances, writing is what I do now on a full-time basis. So I’ve learned to think outside the season and create.
For more about my Christmas release or my previous works visit my blogs:
A Page In The Life http://leeannsontheimermurphywriterauthor.blogspot.com
Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy http://leeannsontheimermurphy.blogspot.com
Or my website: http://leeannwriter.weebly.com
Find me on Facebook – Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Follow me on Twitter - @leeannwriter
Thanks for visiting Lee Ann. I enjoyed your visit and hope everyone else did too. Please leave Lee Ann some love and leave her a comment.