Carolyn, thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog today!
Christmas is my favorite time of year. Lights sparkle, the scent of cinnamon and cloves fills the house, presents pile up under the tree, and the kids are giddy with anticipation. Since I am currently writing a holiday series about the five sexy sons of Santa Claus, I need to be immersed in the Christmas spirit all year long, 365 days a year, even when it’s a hot and muggy August day in New England. I want my books to embody that wonderful Christmas excitement and joy, including the romance and magic of the North Pole.
How do I accomplish this? Well, my writing environment is over-flowing with holiday decor. It’s a mish mash of ornaments, wreaths, a snowman collection, a miniature evergreen tree, and my most prized holiday decorations….hand-me-downs from my Nana. My favorites include the musical elves and the antique Christmas trees. If only I could get a gingerbread latte from Starbucks in August, then I’d be all set!
I work at a desktop computer every day. Although I attempted to be more flexible by getting a laptop, I discovered that I need complete quiet to work. So dragging the laptop to the park is out of the question. The only time I can really concentrate on my writing is when my kids (Cristian, age 13, and Natalie, age 8) are off at school. Once the clock strikes three, my house is invaded by a gaggle of second grade girls who want to look at puppy photos on the computer, and a posse of middle school boys who consume dozens of pizzas while playing video games. In other words, there isn’t a lot of peace and quiet going on at my house in the afternoon!
My kids and their friends share the office with me, so my computer space is frequently covered with glitter, legos, science homework projects and drawings. It’s a constant battle to keep my work area clutter free and focused on romance writing!
My trusty companion during the day is Lucy, my miniature long-haired dachshund. She’s a real sweet pea and luckily very easy-going.
Since I had a heart attack in August, my daily schedule has changed. I no longer sit in front of the computer for 8-10 hours a day. Now, I walk in the morning, write for a bit, walk again at lunch time, write for a bit, then try to fit in one or two more walks before bedtime. Exercising and eating a heart-healthy diet have become my priorities every day. Walking is the best time for brainstorming story ideas. I see entire scenes in my head, including dialogue. In fact, if I get to a point where I’m struggling with my writing, I head outside to walk and that usually clears up the problem.
I don’t work on my WIP during the month of December. Instead, I am busy promoting my Christmas books, doing blog tours and interviews, etc. I’m also busy baking Christmas cookies with Natalie, trimming the tree, shopping, and mailing out cards. Since I love Christmas so much, I don’t want my “work” to interfere with enjoying the holiday. Once January rolls around, I’m ready to get back to my latest installment of the Klaus Brothers.
My favorite part of writing is hearing from readers who loved my book! Especially when they tell me it was the perfect way to celebrate Christmas. That’s the ultimate compliment for me. My main goal for The Klaus Brothers Series is to create a magical and romantic world where Santa and his sons make Christmas dreams come true. Even though it might look sort of strange to someone visiting my office in the summer-time, my holiday decorations stay up all year long. I need the inspiration!
Thanks for letting me visit! I hope you and all of your readers have a festive holiday season.
All my best,
Sweet Inspiration is available for sale on Amazon Kindle. Sweet Magik will be released next Christmas (2011). Check out the book blurb and an excerpt on my website. A free teaser for Sweet Adventure is also available on my website.