Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Series 2012: A Patchwork Christmas Collection

Stephanie Whitson
Hey, everyone! How is your Christmas season going?  We're back this Monday with another Christmas title feature. This time, Stephanie Whitson is here representing her team from the historical romance compilation, A Patchwork Christmas Collection, which also includes novellas by Judith Miller and Nancy Moser. Read on for some behind-the-scenes nuggets we writers can relate to. And may your season be filled with peace and inspiration. ~ Annette

Welcome, Stephanie! First, tell us what makes your Christmas compilation different than others you’ve seen or read.

A Patchwork Christmas compilation

Using the patchwork theme creates a unique “connecting thread,” since each of the settings required that we learn about a different kind of quilt-making in order to be true to the setting and the time.

How did your story (and/or this compilation) come about?

I’ve been an avid quilt lover for a long time and have been writing a series of full-length novels (the Quilt Chronicles for Barbour) in which quilts play a role. Quilt-making images have many applications to the Christian life. One day, I was thinking about that in the context of Christmas and in my overactive imagination, the phrase “peace on earth” became “piece on earth” (i.e., make quilts) … and it grew from there.

What time of year did you write it and how did you motivate yourself to write a Christmas novel at that time of year?

Once my imagination takes me into a story world, I don’t have any trouble writing about a different season. The idea for my novella set in a snowbound sod house on the prairie is one that’s been lurking in my storyteller’s mind ever since I read the anecdote of a real event that inspired the story. It was a delight to finally be able to bring that idea out and work on it in earnest.

What’s next for you in writing? (Will you do more Christmas stories?)

I am about to submit the manuscript for book 3 in my Quilt Chronicles series for Barbour. The Message on the Quilt releases in the spring of 2013. I hope to continue to write more quilt-inspired fiction, although my next contracted book is set on a Missouri River steamboat. As to the Christmas theme, working on this collection has reminded me to pay more attention to mention of Christmas in the pioneer diaries and reminiscences that often inspire my historical fiction. 

Thanks for visiting today, Stephanie! 

A Patchwork Christmas Collection released September 1st from Barbour Publishing. 

Three quilt stories take readers to the Amana Colonies (a wedding quilt), a snowbound sod house on the prairie (a doll quilt), and Gilded Age New York (a crazy quilt) and share the stories of three women who encounter unexpected love. Jilted by her fiancé, Karla packs away her wedding quilts and her plans for marriage. Nearly destitute, Jane heads west to marry a prosperous man she barely knows in order to give her daughter a better life. In New York, Ada, a wealthy ingenue, inadvertently causes grave injury to a poor man she once considered quite a catch. Each woman must search her heart and change her plans in order to patch together a new life. (This novella collection also includes bonus recipes and craft projects.)

(print version)            (e-book)