Christmas thoughts in unlikely places

 The inspiration for and the invitation to write a Hallmark Christmas in reverse story came to me one spring afternoon while I was seated in a row of black vinyl chairs and half-watching Pimp My Ride. Beyond the huge single-pane window at the end of the row of chairs was a stunning view of the interior of a garage. The whirr of air compressors and hum of car engines rumbled through the glass, punctuated occasionally by a shout. To my left and to my right were others doing exactly what I was doing: scrolling through their phones, half watching the ever-cool guys at West Coast Customs transform what I think was a late 80’s Cadillac Eldorado. 

My scrolling was on Twitter; I was reading the same thread that pops up occasionally, a conversation about the predictability of Hallmark Christmas films. This time the conversation had a twist: what if someone wrote a Hallmark Christmas in reverse. Lori Perkins, the publisher of Riverdale Avenue Books, posted that she’d love to see such a book. I posted that I’d love to write it.

And there it was, the challenge. My curiosity sparked, I started to imagine what elements I’d flip and which ones I’d keep. Obviously, the meet cute and happy ending would stay. The sparkling, festive, snowy backdrop as well as the allover feel good vibe, also were a must. For the flip, I focused on the heroine. I wanted to move her from a rural location to an urban one and take her from a sort-of successful career into a high pressure very successful one. The hero, I also wanted to flip. Why not a man seeking to get out of his high stress job?

I knew I wanted the happy ending for my story to be a small-town girl accepting a high-pressure job and moving to a city to be with a business-suit-wearing urbanite. Inspired by my personal favorite Christmas movies, I selected New York for my city. Inspired by my own experiences with country living, I added in some chickens and small-town drama.

Curious? Grab your newly expanded, paperback edition of Not Home for the Holidays.


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