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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Let's Talk Christmas Books and Traditions: Author Interview with Kristen McKanagh

How did you come up with the idea for your Christmas book
This one started with my agent. He had learned from my now editor that he was looking for a Christmas story featuring a kitty, then called me to see if I had any ideas that might fit that. I grew up with a precious kitty and Christmas is my very favorite holiday (though I admit it ties with Halloween). So of course I was interested.

I could easily picture a snow white kitten that was all mischief and her voice was so vivid, I knew she had to have a small point of view in each chapter. I also knew I wanted to set several books with her, and so decided the Victorian B&B would be the best way for her to be able to matchmake with several different couples. It all continued from there!

Could you give a short synopsis on the book for my readers?

The Purrfect holiday awaits…Snowball–an aptly named bundle of feline fluff–is thankful to be spending her first Christmas in the comfort of Weber Haus, the Victorian B&B run by Miss Tilly. Emily Diemer, who cooks for the guests, dotes on Snowball, but she’s not thrilled about another new arrival at the B&B: Miss Tilly’s nephew, Lukas. Which is odd, because Snowball’s animal instincts tell her that Lukas and Emily should definitely be friends.

Everything Emily needs is in this quaint community–including, she hopes, the chance to open her own bakery one day. She doesn’t think much of Lukas for leaving his aging aunt to struggle while he jets around the world taking photographs. But now that he’s here, helping to spruce up the property and getting mixed up in Snowball’s antics, she begins to soften a little. Until she learns what he has planned . . .

Lukas is going to sell Weber Haus so that Miss Tilly can retire. But Snowball is certain that this B&B, and these people, are supposed to be her forever home. Somehow she has to get these stubborn humans to see things through the wisdom of a cat’s eye and a kitten’s loyal, loving heart…

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?

I love all the traditions! In my family, My favorites all involve time spent with family. Christmas Eve dinner and church service. Christmas morning—not just the presents, but also the breakfast. Then the rest of the day enjoying each other and a turkey dinner. Plus, of course, all the desserts!

What’s next for you?
The second book, The Twelve Days of Snowball, is already with my editor and due for release fall 2021. I had just as much fun with it as I did the first one! Also from this pen name I have a new Amish romance series. The first book, The Gift of Hope, releases in May.

What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been given you’d like to share?
Don’t wait for praise, but do seek feedback from people you trust and use it. Don’t stop after the first try. Do keep writing, and writing, and writing. Don’t wait for that “perfect” idea before you start. Do take classes and workshops. Don’t assume someone else can tell you how to write – incorporate what works for you. Don’t think there’s only one way to do this. Do research editors/agents you’re querying. Do spend money on a good editor/beta reader. Do help other authors out – this is a great community of supportive folks!

What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?
It’s all a process and takes time. Very few people nail this out of the gate. I wish I had done a creative writing degree to get a jump start on things, but beyond that, everything happened when it was supposed to and how it was supposed to.

Any last words or tips?
Romance is the genre that is all about hope and happily ever afters. It seems to me that we need more of that kind of hope in the world. Snowball’s Christmas is just my small contribution to that kind of world, and I hope you love it!

Are there any other books that you’d like to tell my readers about?
Just those mentioned above. I do also write on the steamier side of romance under the pen name Kadie Scott, and in paranormal romance as Abigail Owen!

If you'd like to learn more about Kristen's books, here are two links for you.

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