What makes your Christmas novel different than others you’ve seen or read?
One of my primary goals in writing novels, no matter the length, is to dig deep into characterization. By the time a reader finishes the last page, I want her to feel she knows my characters and feels as though they’re personal friends. I try to work in history, details, and quirks that make my hero and heroine unique. In addition to romance and spiritual threads, another crucial element I add into my books is humor. One fun aspect of this particular story, which also makes it different, is a bonus “senior” love story, guaranteed to make you smile!
How did the story come about?
I’d been reading a variety of the Christmas novellas from White Rose and, when I saw the call for story submissions for the Pelican Book Group 2012 Holiday Extravaganza, I decided I’d like to try to pen one. For one thing, it helps me stretch and grow as an author to write more concisely (the novels in my Lewis Legacy Series from Torn Veil Books are all over 100,000 words). Although I love my TeamWork crew in that series, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is a good departure for me in embracing new characters, and it also offers a nice change for my readers.
What time of year did you write it, and how did you motivate yourself to write a Christmas novel at that time of year?
I first submitted my idea and first chapter for my Christmas story in early March this year. During the summer, I continued working on it and we completed edits in August. Working on a story set in snowy Starlight, Iowa, at Christmas was a joy when it was one hundred degrees outside. I adore Christmas stories, and that alone motivated me. These particular characters are special to me, and it was a true labor of love to tell their story.
What’s next for you in writing? (Will you do more Christmas stories?)
Currently, I’m completing edits on my fourth novel, Daydreams, in my Lewis Legacy Series, scheduled to release in December this year. I have a proposal out for a romance anthology and am waiting to hear if my submission was accepted. Other than that, I would love to begin working on another Christmas novella for White Rose. Beyond that, I might release a standalone novel, Chasing Serenity, with Torn Veil and then continue on with my series. It’s my passion, and nothing makes me happier than to bring Christ-honoring fiction to contemporary romance readers.
Pelican Book Group offers what they call a Holiday Extravaganza where all new release Christmas titles e-books sell for $1.00 during December. Here's a link to learn more about all the books releasing as part of the celebration.
I hope you’ll check out all the Pelican Group Holiday Extravaganza offerings!
Thanks for visiting, JoAnn. We wish you the best with your writing!
To learn more about JoAnn, visit her website: www.joanndurgin.com.
Meet Me Under the Mistletoe
Wounded hero and Starlight, Iowa, firefighter, Captain Jake Marston, has a secret: a promise he made to the Lord when he was a teenager. Now, at twenty-eight, he wonders if he’ll ever find a woman to share his life. His ex-girlfriend unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep—wanting him back—the same night he meets Julia Sinclair, the beautiful, witty pediatric nurse from Cedar Rapids, and younger sister of his Sergeant and best buddy, Dylan. She’s a woman of faith and could be the one, but there’s a huge problem: she’s promised to another. Spending time together during the holidays, Jake and Julia develop a deep friendship and mutual attraction. On Christmas night, Julia makes a life-changing confession, and Jake reveals his secret. Soon after, everyone in the tiny town of Starlight, Iowa, suddenly knows about that long-held secret and Jake goes from hero to laughing stock. Can these two find their way under the mistletoe on New Year’s Eve for a forever kiss?