Monday, September 17, 2007

Getting In the Mood

It's that time again. Seasons of change, filled with mass market buying, pumpkins and turkeys, candy and costumes, and...pointsettas? Stores are beginning to nudge in the Christmas/winter holiday direction already. And as authors, if we want to publish a holiday story this winter, we need to be thinking about the holidays as well, if we haven't submitted one already. Holiday themed stories are fun, as much to write as to read. Puts you in the mood of the holiday as much as "in the mood," if you know what I mean.

But as an author, I sometimes find it difficult to push myself in the right frame of mind to write a Halloween or Christmas story in the middle of the summer. Okay, I should qualify that statement. I'm a total Halloween nut, so scary or thriller stories are always easy for me to tune into. I wrote Mirror Mirror in June, already preparing for October 31st. And Loose Id will be releasing it sometime in October, to my delight. But Christmas? Now the time crunch starts to hit for many publishers, if it hasn't already. In order to have those Christmas stories out by the holidays, the publishers need them yesterday. So authors have to jump into the mood early.

I grew up with my father playing Christmas music in August. Need I mention he's as big a nut about Christmas as I am about Halloween? But I can't seem to make myself listen to White Christmas while it's 85 degrees outside in Georgia. And with pumpkins and candy corn greeting me in every Target and Walmart, I'm having a hard time seeing beyond Halloween toward that most festive time of the year.

So how to fix the problem? How to come up with a winter holiday story that's spot on and not forced? The Internet to the rescue! If Christmas or Hannukah isn't floating my boat, I can always learn about Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Yule, Saturnalia and more. There are even spooky events celebrated in December--to my delight. One such Greek tradition holds that during the twelve days of Christmas, the Kallikantzaroi--ugly monsters of chaos which live underground during the rest of the year--are set free. So now my creative juices are flowing again, and I'm back to the drawing board dreaming up a story for a possible December release while still working on Guardian's Redemption, which I can happily say is halfway complete.

Happy Monday!


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