What goes into a box set with linked stories? Stay with me and I'll explain.
Here we are barely past Halloween, but Christmas books and novellas are popping up right and left. That’s fine with me because I love Christmas time, that is the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. In fact, it’s my favorite time of year. I like decorations strewn all through the house.
Writing stories set during the Christmas season makes me happy. Actually, writing stories set anytime keeps me content. Like other authors, I appreciate readers who buy and read my stories so I can keep writing.
Over the years, I’ve been in numerous box sets/anthologies. Usually, they have a theme such as the Old West, Contemporary West, or Christmas but each author chose what she wanted to contribute. This year, I’m part of a Christmas box set in which each story takes place in 1890 in the town of Mistletoe, Montana and is appropriately titled WILD WESTERN WOMEN – MISTLETOE, MONTANA. You can purchase the book on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M6BD4TB/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1477957862&sr=8-9&keywords=Caroline+Clemmons
Interweaving our stories involved my coordination with Sylvia McDaniel, Kirsten Osbourne, and Merry Farmer. Fortunately, we four work well together and planned our plots to include as little of one another’s characters as possible. That way, there’s no chance of contradiction from one story to the next.
In my story, MISTLETOE MISTAKE, I may have made a grievous error. Since my heroine is the new doctor in town and has not been well-received, I decided to have a measles epidemic. My idea was that her tireless work would endear her to the town (and our hero, the sheriff). Well, that part worked, because I made sure it did. ☺
I love children in a book because it gives readers the chance to see how characters react to a child. What I consider a mistake is that I “have a cast of thousands” as the term goes for too many characters in a story. I do hope readers can keep track of all the children who come down with measles. I had no trouble, but they’re real people in my head. ☺
Measles may seem like a minor illness, but in the 19th century, measles was sometimes fatal, caused deafness, and created other problems such as encephalitis. My great-great grandfather, Robert Gamble, died of measles in 1888 Tennessee, two years before this box set takes place.
Mistletoe, Montana receives several snowstorms and one great blizzard. I admit I got cold writing the snowy parts. This reminded me of the book JAMIE that I wrote some time back in coordination with Sylvia McDaniel (ETHAN), Callie Hutton (CALEB), and Cynthia Woolf (GIDEON). Those four books also involved a blizzard. I promise I almost froze while writing JAMIE. ☺ (Recently, we boxed these four books together at https://www.amazon.com/Surprise-Brides-Jamie-Caleb-Gideon-ebook/dp/B01HOWDC9W/ref=sr_1_39?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1477958167&sr=1-39&keywords=caroline+clemmons.)
You can see that authors immerse themselves in the books they’re writing. I’m now working on another Christmas book and will be keeping the fan in my office on high so I’ll stay cool. Writing two Christmas books and a winter book has me in the mood to dig out the Christmas decorations, but I’ll wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving. This new book is ANGEL FOR CHRISTMAS, a contemporary. I’ll tell you about that one next month. Or, you can sign up for my newsletter here and be the first to receive the news and a Christmas surprise.