Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Series 2013: A Pioneer Christmas Collection

A Pioneer Christmas Collection
Happy December writers! Annette here. Today we have Michelle Ule as our guest. She represents an author who contributed to the compilation, A Pioneer Christmas Collection, released by Barbour, September 1, 2013. 

An Interivew with 
Michelle Ule

How did this project take shape?

Barbour asked for submissions—and received nearly sixty—for a new Christmas collection. Our stories were chosen, though we did not "meet" as a group of authors until this summer when we began working on marketing collaboration efforts.

Share some themes of your compilation. What ties the novellas together?

We were tasked to tell a story set between 1700-1900 that included romance, Christmas, and an unusual setting. The authors certainly found different places to conduct their Christmas romances! Hardship, of course, was a central element to these stories and the weather caused problems as well. The pioneer pluck of the heroines served as a common thread through the stories along with their novel ways of celebrating Christ's birth.

What makes your project stand out from other Christmas titles?

I wrote a personal blog post about how this collection differs from others. You can see it here:

Fully a third of these romance stories began with a married couple—I'd not encountered that before in romance novels and certainly not a third of the stories coming at romance from that angle. The situations were unique and they all had happy endings, but took us to places you don't often encounter in traditional romance stories.

Tell us one interesting fact about your novella.

My novella, The Gold Rush Christmas, features a fantastic and true tale of what happened to the prostitutes of Skagway, Alaska when a young missionary preached a funeral sermon inviting them to change their lives. 80 percent left town the next day thanks to the generosity of a steamship captain and a miner who had already found his gold.

What’s next for you as an author? Or for your team? Will you write together as a team?

I'm working on a World War I novel featuring Oswald Chambers. We do not anticipate writing together again as a team, though we've enjoyed getting to know each other as we've marked our book.

What else would you like to share about this project?

These are good stories, easy to read in an hour, which grapple with some hard truths even as a couple fall in love. Several feature unusual truths and they all end up celebrating Christmas in an unusual fashion--whether in a cave, a tipi, an abandoned Pony Express station or even a Tlingit long house--these stories provide new angle on the reason for love and the season remembering Jesus' birth.

I wrote another blog post about what makes this collection (and the other one: A Log Cabin Christmas Collection) inspirational:

A Pioneer Christmas Collection

Christmas and Romance Follow Pioneers into Untamed Lands: The wild and untamed lands of America called to the brave and determined pioneers who desired a new way of life. Faced with primitive lodgings—a cave, a dugout, a sod house, a barn—settlers encounter their first Christmas in a new land with both trepidation and hope. From the mountains of North Carolina to the woods of Michigan, across the plains of Oklahoma and deserts of Arizona, these settlers soon learned that wherever the heart dwells, Christmas and romance can find a place to call home.

In this exclusive collection of nine Christmas romances, readers will relive a pioneer Christmas with all its challenges and delights as penned by some of Christian fiction's beloved authors, including bestselling authors Margaret Brownley and Lauraine Snelling.