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03-30 - Diana McCollum, Covering the Cover

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The 42 Days of Christmas (Stories)


The 42 Days of Christmas (Stories)
November 20, 2011
By William Neale

Okay, call me Scrooge, but probably my least favorite Christmas carol is The Twelve Days of Christmas. Yes, I know it dates back to 1780 England and yes, kids love singing it. And I do chuckle at the thought of ten lords a’leaping because to me, it conjures the image of a very gay Halloween costume party. Nevertheless, I must admit that every time I hear its incessantly repetitive chorus, I wish temporary harm on the offending department store’s piped-in music system.

But I do love the Christmas season. Which is why I am excited about what is perhaps an unprecedented project taking place this year. Laura Baumbach, who blogs monthly here, asked me to guest blog this month to tell you about our forty-two days of Christmas.

Beginning today, Laura’s publishing company, MLR Press, will release a different short story or novella every day during the upcoming season. What each has in common is a holiday theme written in the m/m gay romance or mystery genre. But that’s where the similarities end. And, I assure you, there’s nothing incessantly repetitive about the eclectic and original collection of authors and titles MLR has assembled.

Some of the most accomplished and recognized authors in our genre responded to Laura’s call for submissions. Names like Victor Banis, Z.A. Maxfield, Rick R. Reed, Ethan Day, James Buchanan, Neil Plakcy, Lex Valentine, William Maltese, and of course, Laura Baumbach. They’ll be featured along with many other familiar writers, including some promising new authors.

I am honored to kick off the series today with my story titled Christmasing With You. Even if you don’t typically read gay fiction, I humbly suggest this story transcends gender preferences. It’s about a man who loses his long-time partner to a brutal crime and who now faces his first Christmas season without him. After months of reclusive mourning, he reluctantly agrees to take a friend’s advice to “find people who need help and help them” and discovers that Christmas miracles may just be possible.

It’s a shamelessly upbeat, sentimental, and heartwarming story that might require more than a couple of tissues and maybe even a good box of chocolates.

All the participating authors are proud to be a part of this special project and we thank Laura for her inspiration in creating it. Our collective hats are also off for Kris Jacen, MLR’s executive editor, who took on this ambitious endeavor along with deftly handling forty-two author egos.

The stories will also be combined in a two-volume anthology scheduled for release later in the season. We hope you enjoy all and wish you the happiest of seasons.

And, if that little ditty I mentioned at the beginning now has “…and a partridge in a pear tree” playing repeatedly in your head, please accept my apologies.

12 comments:

Victor j. Banis said...

Oh, who wouldn't be excited about this. I'm always thrilled to be included with authors of this caliber in anything - though my little piece is more humorous than romantic. Yours sounds wonderful, Swee'pea, I'll have to check it out.

Thanks for the kick off -

Riley Shane said...

Congrats on the release of Christmasing With You - it sounds wonderful and I can't wait to read it!

I'm thrilled to be among the 42 authors in this collection (huge thanks to Laura and Kris) and I'm so very excited that I'll get to fill up my winter reading list with these stories :)

Karenna Colcroft said...

Congratulations on kicking off the festivities, William. Your story sounds amazing.

I'm another of the 42 authors involved, and I'm very excited to be in such illustrious company. Hats are definitely off to Kris and Laura for the concept and all the hard work on these stories!

Charlie Cochrane said...

Great to have you on the first leg, William. This is going to be a great set of stories.

Charlie

Kimberly Gardner said...

Bill, I will forever think of you when I hear The Twelve Days of Xmas. Gay costume party indeed. Lol!

I am honored to be part of this holiday story-palooza that Laura and Kris put together. My story is a little New Year's Eve treat called Drag And Drop and will wrap up the celebration on December 31.

Enjoy the holidays and all the wonderful stories.

William Neale said...

Thank you, Victor, Riley, Karenna, Charlie and Kimber. I'm just honored to be included among such an all-star cast of authors.

I hope everyone appreciates what an accomplishment this series represents by all involved. Perhaps those who have been around longer might remember such a feat but I could find nothing that matches a daily release for 42 days.
As for me, I'm just a sentimental fool this time of year who intends to read each and every one.

Sarah Raplee said...

William, Christmassing With You sounds like an amazing story! Themes of loss and healing DO transcend genres. You've hooked me in. :)

Z.A. Maxfield said...

Of course, I'm really looking forward to all the stories, and I am also looking forward to buying Kris a drink (Or giving her CPR) when all this is done, because I can't imagine the work that's gone into this!

Much love for the holidays, I can't wait!

Lex Valentine said...

I'm on tenterhooks waiting for these! I'm excited they kick off today and very excited to bring readers my story on Dec. 15.

Kudos to Kris Jacen for pulling this off. I can't imagine how tired she must be. But I do know that it was a labor of love for her as a child born in the Christmas season.

Judith Ashley said...

William,

You've done a great job of introducing the 42 Days anthology. And, I agree that some stories transcend genre. Thank you for guesting with us at Romancing The Genres.

Judith, who even now is humming "and a partridge in a pear tree" - your apology is accepted.

K-lee Klein said...

Already bought it - can't wait to read it. And I'm especially honoured to be part of this on my first time out of the gate. :)

K-lee
(and dude! You got a real cover??)

Diana Castilleja said...

I'm excited about all of these stories Bill! Thank you for the awesome kick-off!