“They” say writers should avoid being clever. At all cost. But in my Merryvale holiday novellas, I didn’t listen.
Cleverness was attempted. Sort of. But…
I restricted my attempts to the chapter subtitles. For each of the three stories, I tried to modify the title of a Christmas song to create a one-line summary of my chapters. Thinking this would be fun for the readers, and definitely fun for me, I also hoped those kind of subtitles would help get the reader into the spirit.
For example, in CHRISTMAS TREE WARS, the first chapter is called O’ Little Town of Bets—a play on Carol of Bets. Obviously, there’s a wager (to goad our heroine into entering the Christmas Tree Contest). Chapter Two of the second book (FULL CONTACT DECORATING) chapter two is subtitled, Deck the Halls…with Shiny Red Balls. It’s not what you think—or maybe it is. :)
What was the reaction? Mixed. One reviewer loved it, another considered it kitschy. Even my own critique partners had opposite opinions; one said I should cut the subtitles, another said the carol-word-play was the best part of the book. Regardless, since I’d kitsch’d my titles in the first two novellas, I felt I had to continue the trend in book three, THE GINGERBREAD SKIRMISH.
My personal favorites include:
· What Childishness Is This
· Chestnuts Roasted
· Do You Hear What I Heard Wrong
· I Saw Mommy Hugging Santa Claus…Cost Him Five Percent
Perhaps it’s just as well that THE GINGERBREAD SKIRMISH is the last story in the series—I’ve run out of Christmas songs. :) I hope readers can at least tolerate the subtitles, because I had soooo much fun with them. At the end of the day, don’t we writers deserve a little fun with words?
Have the best holidays ever!
THE GINGERBREAD SKIRMISH will be available December 16th from Amazon.com and the Wild Rose Press.
A freak snowstorm represents financial ruin for Kaley McIntire. She can’t transport a special order of gingerbread and no delivery means no payment. Thus Kaley can’t make the rent on her in-the-red coffee shop.
Abandoned in the middle of nowhere, the same snowstorm represents frostbite for Tanner Clayton. Instead of showing appreciation when Kaley rescues him during a blizzard, he fixates on getting home to his violets. Not understanding his plants are part of a NASA experiment, Kaley presumes he’s gay and Tanner doesn’t correct her mistake.
Stuck in her cabin for three days, chemistry heats up the mountain home, but can love possibly grow from a friendship built on a lie? A lie that turns to a lump of coal when a visitor arrives, making the couple doubt everything.