Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Christmas from the Heart

by Rain Trueax

After writing about inspiration, this post seemed apropos, although I hadn’t planned it this way.  One of the advantages of being an indie writer, is being able to change directions when the Muse comes up with an idea.

With this being the Christmas season, I began regretting that I had not planned a Christmas novella or short story.  Since I began publishing my books, I’ve written four novellas and two short stories, centered around Christmas.  The short stories were for anthologies, one of which no longer exists.  The novellas have three connected to longer books in the Arizona and Oregon historical series.  They all stand alone, as in can be read just as what they are. 

Although I have put Christmas in a few of my longer books, it is not something I casually do.  Christmas is a huge deal in our culture for many people.  There are a lot of expectations woven into it.  Putting it into a book presents the possibility of it being a disappointment to the reader, for how the characters celebrate it or their attitude toward it.  I only use it in a book if it fits the theme.  Yes, most books have an overall theme.  There is a lesson the characters are going to learn.

My themes for Christmas books tend to be around the expectations embedded in the season.  That means love, giving, disappointment, hope, joy, fun, religion, and mystery.  None are paranormal, as such, but the very idea of the season, about giving without the expectation of receiving, is a mystery itself.  When expectations also involve religion, they can be so high that whatever happens it is a disappointment.

Last week, what I began to think about was that I would like seeing these Christmas books together.  They don’t exactly belong together because two are contemporary and four historic.  The characters range from young to old.  Their common link is Christmas and its many messages. All but one can be purchased separately-- well, the other short story is in an anthology that is still available so far as I know.

This is where being an indie writer comes into play.  I had the option of stopping temporarily on the work in progress and begin what it would take to bring out a Christmas anthology.  The Muse was telling me I should do this.  This is never about how much money something will bring in.  It is about following the creative voice.  I am fortunate on several levels, that I can do this.  One of those levels is having a husband who can do the techie part of the project.

Because one of the short stories, Connie’s Gift, was written some time ago and is no longer available, I put time into editing it for this new project.  I particularly liked having it in the anthology, because it takes three characters into a time between longer books and explains what they were doing.  One of the characters does have a mystical gift.  Connie's story is about her use of that gift and what it means - -not just at Christmas but anytime.

Besides editing that book, I needed to create a cover for it and one of the short stories where I hadn't had one. Then there was the need for a banner. 

I consider this anthology to be potpourri.  If someone is in the mood for Christmas stories, these, while not all connected to each other, offer different aspects of Christmas and what it means to individuals.

Again, as a benefit of being an indie writer, I could set the price for the book at 99¢ and make it only available for the season.  Sometime in January, it will be pulled, maybe to come out again next holiday season, with hopefully a new story.  The creative journey tells me this may or may not happen.  I think to be an indie writer, or an indie artist of any sort, it is important to be able to go with the flow.  That is more fun sometimes than others.  This was one of the fun times.

So if Christmas stories, short ones, interest you, give Christmas from the Heart a try. It will disappear sometime in January to reappear maybe next year if it seems right for the time. If you have read Tucson Moon and Arizona Dawn, this book slides between them. It has a secondary character where his story began in Arizona Sunset and is expanded in Echoes from the Past. That's the other fun part of being an indie writer, discovering all these connections and being able to use them.  

Available through December and maybe some of January at these sites exclusively and for 99¢:



Diane Widler Wenzel said...

Beautiful banner and cover. Wish I wasn't so busy that i could sit and read. I think I missed some of your Christmas ones in the past.

Rain Trueax said...

Well, take it with you and enjoy it as each story is short, which is an advantage. I don't know if you'd have read either of the short stories. They both connect to the historicals either Oregon or Arizona. You more likely did read the novellas.

Tabor said...

Wondering if you have submitted any of your Christmas stories to Hallmark channel. They would be perfect I think.

Rain Trueax said...

I have not, Tabor. Most of my books have too much danger or sizzle. The novellas might and a lot of writers are thinking about submitting to them. It'd be a great opportunity.

Brig said...

What a great idea from Tabor, and I agree that your stories would be great on Hallmark.

Now I'm off to get this Christmas set!

Rain Trueax said...

Thanks, Brig. If you hadn't gotten them, Ranch Boss put the first of the Arizona and Oregon historicals on sale to do a promo because of putting some of my books onto Google Play. Arizona Sunset and Round the Bend are both at $1.99 for the month and maybe a little of January.