How did you come up with the idea for your Christmas book? Could you give a short synopsis on the book for my readers?
When we decided who would write each of the Soul Sister's characters, I immediately chose the bride. Alissa just popped into my mind - a kindergarten teacher who has to work at a bar to make ends meet. Here's a little about the book...
Random circumstances brought them together. Love made them family.
Kind, funny, successful, and adoring, Jed Marsh is the man of Alissa Mann’s dreams. But Jed’s parents don’t think Alissa, who supplements her kindergarten teacher’s salary as a cocktail waitress at a gentlemen's club, is good enough for their son. And his controlling mother will stop at nothing to keep them from getting married.
When Mrs. Marsh threatens to reveal Alissa’s secret side job to the school administration and the meddling moms who run the PTA, Jed and Alissa reluctantly call off their intimate mountain wedding. But even after the nuptials are canceled, Alissa agrees to meet her sisters and mother at the beautiful Cedar Mountain Lodge. And in the loving arms of her own family, Alissa just might figure out how to move forward -- with or without Jed.
Fans of small-town stories, heartwarming holiday tales, sweet second chances, and whimsical winter weddings will fall in love with Alissa and her soul sisters in Christmas Rings, book six of the Soul Sisters at Cedar Mountain Lodge, from USA Today bestselling author Tess Thompson.
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
I love decorating the tree with my girls, driving around to look at holiday lights, fixing holiday dinners and treats, watching Elf and Love Actually, spending the afternoon wrapping gifts and sipping on an adult beverage while Christmas music plays in the background.
Besides Christmas Rings, I have another holiday book, a full-length novel, Come Tomorrow, which releases Dec 1. This is the first of my The Castaway Christmas Series. Come Tomorrow is on preorder now. You can get it on your favorite retailer here: https://books2read.com/links/ubl/m2ZkBk
What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been given you’d like to share?
So many come to mind but I'd say for the aspiring author to give themselves permission to write a bad first draft. The magic is found in rewriting. For more experienced writers, I'd say to think of each scene in terms of the five senses. What does your character see, smell, hear, feel or taste? Get at least two of them in your scenes, if not all five. As your craft develops over time, these things will become second nature but at first you need to consciously choose them in your storytelling.
What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?
Probably to pay more attention to the business side of the work rather than rely on other so-called experts to guide me along the way.
Any last words or tips?
Although the business side is important, as I stated above, the most important aspect of this career is to hone your craft before putting anything out for public consumption. I see so many books independently published before the writer was really ready.
Figure out how to tell a story, work on your craft above all else. Then, when you have a compelling novel, learn the business stuff too. There's so much to learn about marketing etc. but it doesn't matter if you don't have a good product.
Are there any other books that you’d like to tell my readers about?
I have two really popular series that fans of small town sagas/romances might want to check out, both of which have first in series on perma-free. Traded: Brody and Kara is the first in my Cliffside Bay Series. This series follows a group of friends as they fall in love. There are ten in all and best read in order, although they can be read as standalones as well. Get your free ebook copy here: https://books2read.com/TradedBrodyKara
The Blue Mountain Series features the Lanigan family. Each of the four siblings has a story - both a romance and a mystery. Get. your free ebook copy of the first one, Blue Midnight here: https://books2read.com/u/b5Oqel
Want to learn more about Tess's books and buy one or two, here are the links to get you started.