5-18 Powell's City of Books, World's Largest Indie Bookstore by Judith Ashley and Sarah Raplee

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Love Under The Mistletoe

'Tis the season to be published,
fa la la la la, la la la la'

My awesome writing group (The Melbourne Romance Writers Guild) is bringing out a sexy Christmas-themed box set, just in time for your holiday reading.

This is my second box set contribution for this year and another fabulous experience. Because I'm such a procrastinator, and easily distracted from a difficult task, having a deadline and accountability to my fellow contributors was exactly what I needed to stick to one story and get it written.

With my story, 'Mistletoe Kiss', I tried something new. I tried 'pantsing'. I knew roughly who my characters were and what the setup was for them to meet, but after that - I left it to my muse and a blind prayer to the Universe that my story would 'happen'.

And it did !   No one was more surprised than me.  If I wrote in 100 word sprints (and rewarded myself by being allowed to get up from the laptop), a story did happen. I'd always believed I needed to plot.  Maybe not in huge detail, but I needed to know key scenes and plot points. That's how I'd worked previously as I was too scared (aka didn't believe in myself) to just write and let  the story come.

When Holly James, restaurant manager and temporary Christmas elf, is stranded with Ryland Maxwell and his young daughter she's confronted with two things she's worked hard to avoid.

A man who arouses her body and her heart - and a family.

Since his wife died, Ry has kept his amorous adventures away from home and his daughter.

Until he kisses their unexpected guest under the mistletoe.

I've always wanted to experience a white Christmas, and this was my chance to do it vicariously through my characters. I've not written a hero who was a parent before and really enjoyed adding this dimension to a character and the new set of issues it brings to a romance when a child is involved. I was so excited when Holly and Ry decided they'd tell me their story instead of me working it out for them in advance. It was like a Christmas gift from my characters to know I don't have to know everything about everything in my stories before I start. 

While they enjoy their snowbound Christmas with a roaring open fire, I'll probably have the air con on and hopefully have a nice cool pool nearby. As long as I get my Mistletoe Kiss, it'll be fabulous and I hope your festive season is exactly the way you want it to be.

'Love Under The Mistletoe' also available here on Amazon.



Judith Ashley said...

Andra, thanks for sharing this great Melbourne Romance Writers anthology with us!

Christmas Card Sayings said...

Thanks for sharing good blog.

Sarah Raplee said...

Congratulations on being included in your second box set, Andra! I love romances where two strangers are forced to spend time alone together and this leads to love. Adding a child to the equation is an interesting twist!

Maggie Lynch said...

I have not yet been part of a box set with other authors. It looks and sounds like fun. It is something on my list in 2019. Just not completely sure what it will be or who with. :) Congrats on this being your second. I hear you on the need for deadlines and how owing others to come in on time helps you to make that deadline.

How interesting that you went from plotter to pantser and found creative freedom. That is a path I rarely hear from other authors. It is often the other direction. People start out as a pantser but after two or three books switch to being a plotter.

I've been a pantser for nearly 30 years, dozens of short stories and 12 novels. But on my most recent novel a switched to plotter at the half-way point because I was chasing too many bright, shiny ideas and couldn't see that I'd ever meet my deadline. On my current novel, I plotted (not everything, but the major things) in advance to see if I could write it faster. Interestingly, I can. But the key for this pantser is to accept and KNOW that I will still be adding scenes and diversions that I didn't consider in the plotting. For example, I had a basic scene and plot point for every chapter. When I started, I ended up adding three new scenes/chapters between Chapter 2 and 3. :)

I think the perfect combination is to be a little of both, pantser and plotter. The difference is where on that continuum one chooses as their best process. It would be great to know where you end up with future stories. Freedom and discipline seem to always be at odds, but I think they are very intertwined.