Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Big Apple Christmas

If you're looking for a great stocking stuffer or simply a holiday read to get yourself in the Christmas spirit, check out this new novella collection from Barbour Publishing, A Big Apple Christmas.

I recently interviewed some of the authors from this collection, and here's what they had to say.

LISA: What is the premise of the collection?

CARRIE: A BIG APPLE CHRISTMAS includes four novellas set in New York City during the Christmas season. The sights and traditions of Christmas in The City are the unifying factors that draw the stories together. In my novella, “Moonlight & Mistletoe,” Christmas plans are set askew when professional organizer Sarah Montgomery meets free-spirited poet Justin Latimer. As they work together on a project for her neighbor, romantic sparks fly, but new revelations threaten to douse them.

LISA: What’s it like working with three other authors on one story? Any challenges, rewords?

LYNETTE: The rewards are the best part. It’s fun seeing someone else’s version of your vision. The challenge in collaboration is the give and take. Our biggest discussion was about the weather. Christmas Eve, for example, had to have the same weather in all four stories. 

VASTHI: As the new writer among the bunch I was apprehensive that I’d need too much of their time. But these ladies were fantastic! They were very willing to give me feedback and help me make my story the best it could be. Their honesty was a gift.

LISA: I find in my own writing that I often grow alongside my characters, especially spiritually. Is there a character who you relate to and who made an input on your life?

CARRIE: It’s easy for me to relate to Sarah, the heroine in my novella. She likes to have her home and her life all neat and orderly so that she has a sense of control. I tend to be like that, and I have to guard against valuing neatness over time with family and relaxing and enjoying life with them. Sarah learns some important lessons about trusting God and allowing her faith to permeate her relationships. That’s an area I am working on in my life, too.

VASTHI: My character, Cecilia, is a hard working grad student. The first in her family to go to college, much less get a graduate degree. She feels the burden of her family’s expectations and wants to make them proud. When she sees all of her hard work going down the tubes, she panics. The lesson she learns—that we can’t rely on our own strength and abilities but must trust in God alone—is a lesson I needed to learn.

LISA: What is the number one thing you’ve learned from your writing journey?

LYNETTE: Patience, especially because I don’t have everything figured out.

CARRIE: It is an awesome privilege to touch people’s hearts and lives through my writing. I need to continually seek the Lord and be in touch with Him as I write so that my writing can have the impact He desires it to have.

VASTHI: I’ve learned that as much as I wanted to be published, and this is my first published novella, it is not as much fun as the actual writing.

LISA: Any future plans for your writing you’d like to share? Any specific dreams you’d like to accomplish in the area of writing?

LYNETTE: I’d like to write bigger books. As one who’s always had to add words to what she writes, this novella gave me the happy chore of trimming. I hope that I’m growing as a writer, not just getting wordier. My big dream is to write full-time, but until then I’m doing the best I can working a regular 40-hour work week and fitting writing in on nights and weekends.

CARRIE: I want to continue to grow and improve as a writer, and I know that takes perseverance and commitment on my part. Some day I hope to write a story set in Africa that highlights the beauty of the land, the shining faith of the believers, and also shows the needs. Recently, I’ve been very touched by a ministry called Charity: Water. They raise funds to drill wells all over Africa and provide clean water and hope for communities there. I would love to highlight their work in one of my books and help raise awareness and support.

VASTHI: I’ve written a trilogy based on a modern adaptation of the book of Ruth with Latino characters which I hope will get published.

LISA: Because I know there are many aspiring writers out there, can you share any tidbits of wisdom on getting published?

VASTHI: God opened a door for me in His timing. Wait on Him. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it. 1Thess. 5:24.

LISA: Any advise in working together as a team/preparing a novella proposal?

LYNETTE: Keep an open mind. Don’t rush. Trying to coordinate four writers’ schedules isn’t easy. But hang in there. The project will come together.

LISA: Any writer’s resources you could recommend?

CARRIE: I often consult Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King and Plot and Structure by James Bell, I also like to buy the MP3 from the ACFW Conference and listen to all the classes and workshops.

LISA: Thanks so much for stopping by, ladies! If you'd like to read more about these authors and their books, please check out their websites.

Carrie Turansky
Vasthi Reyes Acosta
Lynette Sowell
Gail Sattler
A Big Apple Christmas Site

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