How did you come up with the idea of your Christmas themed book?
I know it sounds cliché, but it started with a dream! Around Christmas time last year, I woke up one morning and although I couldn't describe the details, something I dreamt the night before sparked an idea. I started fleshing out the story and it wasn't long before I had a full-fledge novella written.
Could you give a short synopsis on the story for my readers?
Sarah Laughlin left her big-city life and dead-end relationship behind for a fresh start as a fourth-grade teacher in the small, Wisconsin town of Meadow Creek. It feels like home, despite the persistent troublemaker in her class and the lack of familiar faces. But the holidays are going to be lonely this year. Until she meets firefighter Lincoln Thompson. Suddenly, the hope of spending Christmas with someone she cares about is within reach.
Lincoln loves his home town of Meadow Creek, but ever since his long-time girlfriend left him for a better life in the city, he wonders if he’ll ever find love in this small town where everyone knows everyone. Then he meets Sarah during her class's field trip to his firehouse, and a spark is lit. But when they discover that Sarah's troublemaking student is none other than Lincoln's beloved nephew, their newfound relationship is put to the test.
What made you decide to do a Christmas themed book?
My publisher, Anaiah Press, put a call out for Christmas novellas. I wasn't sure if I was up for the challenge, but after the idea hit me, the words seemed to just flow onto the page, so I decided to submit my story for publication.
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
My kids and I always spend a day at baking cookies with my mom, sister, and nieces. We also typically have chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and read the story of Jesus' birth before opening presents in front of the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.
I just finished edits on an upcoming contemporary Christian romance with Anaiah Press called "A Heart Held Captive." It's due out next spring.
What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned you’d like to share?
There are too many to choose from! I've learned a lot working with two different editors. One seemingly small tip that has really helped improve my writing is to get rid of dialogue tags (he said, she replied) and replace with action beats instead. The action in the same paragraph shows who said the words and gives a better visual for the reader.
So instead of: "It's about time," he said. "I've been waiting for over an hour."
It could be: "It's about time." He rolled his eyes and sighed. "I've been waiting for over an hour."
What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?
I had no idea just how much time and energy was spent on the editing and marketing process. I'm sure the more you write and the more your name is out there, the easier it gets for both. But this novella is only my second published book, so I'm still a bit of a newbie :)
Any last words or tips?
I want to encourage all readers to write reviews on Amazon for the books you read - especially if you liked the book! Authors love the feedback, and it's super helpful for lesser known names/books to have positive reviews.
That’s all for today’s interview. If you’d like to add a little romance to your Christmas reads, here are some links to learn more about Katy’s writing.