Ever tried to write about Christmas in the summer? In the sweltering summer of the American South? Today our guest is New York Times-bestselling Women’s Fiction author Mary Kay Andrews. Her new book is called CHRISTMAS BLISS, and to get it out to her fans by Christmas meant she was writing this heartwarming tale in Savannah, Georgia, in July. Read on to see how she got into the holiday spirit in the middle of the summer.
Writing another Christmas novella seemed like a good idea . . . at the time. When my editor suggested last year that they’d welcome a Christmas novella, I jumped at the chance. After all, my previous attempt at the form had been a success. BLUE CHRISTMAS, originally published in 2006, and featuring the beloved protagonists of my two earlier Savannah novels, SAVANNAH BLUES and SAVANNAH BREEZE, had sold better than anybody expected, and made the New York Times bestseller list. Hundreds of my readers have told me over the years that re-reading BLUE CHRISTMAS is part of their holiday ritual.
I knew these characters, Weezie Foley and best friend BeBe Loudermilk. I know Savannah, where the book is (mostly) set. I even had the basic idea for the story down—Weezie gets married, BeBe has a baby. And a novella, by definition, is supposed to be short—sometimes as short as 90 pages. Easy, peasy, eggs and cheesy. Right?
Not so much. For one thing, I was five months late handing in my previous book, last summer’s LADIES’ NIGHT. Which gave me a late start on writing CHRISTMAS BLISS. Late, as in, I didn’t really get started on it until last spring—which was when it was due to my long-suffering editor. This meant that I was writing a Christmas book—in the springtime.