Poop. Christmas? Already?
Yes! Before Halloween, even. Dis-gusting, I know. But, it could be worse.
Shortly before Christmas last year, I was contracted by Entangled Press to write a book for them. It wasn’t a book of my own creation, but one they’d outlined. It was up to me to flesh it out.
It was–rather, I should say is–a Christmas-themed book.
When I first started writing Santa Maybe, carols played, lights twinkled, and everyone was merry and bright. But, as usual, the holiday passed. The air grew warm. The Easter Bunny came and left. Flowers bloomed. And I was still writing that &#@!*$ Christmas book.
Baseball season began; my son played first base while I sat in the car with my laptop, melting and cursing Christmas. By this point, I was channeling my hero, Justin. Justin loathes Christmas, mostly because his dad was killed during the holiday. It’s not his happiest time of year. (Understandably.) That little character “thing” made the book that much harder to write. Depressed heroes are not fun–or funny. (Did I mention this was supposed to be a romantic comedy?)
Finally, I finished the first draft and in May I sent the book to my editor. (If I could have flung it at her, I would have. By this point, I did not love this book. I mean, seriously. Santa in the Springtime is just plain wrong.) Worse, she sent the wretched thing back. For revisions. In August! I had to wonder how they can stand Christmas in Australia; it was hard to write (or think) sentimentally about snow, sugar cookies and the scent of balsams when you’re gulping iced tea and slathering on sunscreen. (I considered sticking my head in the freezer a few times to get in the right mood…)
You know, I even had dreams that it was Christmas, and it was muggy and there were leaves on the trees (and shrimp on the barbi? Which was really weird because I live in Rhode Island, USA), and everyone looked at me like I’d gone insane. Because I kept asking, “Where’s Santa?” And–of course–because it was the Fourth of July. Insanity! Holiday chaos!
Finally, after a summer full of Christmas, the book was completed, the final version was approved, and a release date was scheduled: November 13th. Hurray! And you know–I’m kind of looking forward to Christmas this year. At least it won’t be beach weather. 🙂
Here’s a little video that gives you an idea of poor Justin’s story. I can promise you that in the end, he loves Christmas at every time of the year.