As a writer, I’m often living in one season while writing about another. Sort of a Christmas-in-July syndrome, or even the reverse. I can be writing about summer drought while looking out my window at drifts of white. I can be writing about Christmas snow on a day so hot I can hardly stand to wear clothes.
This December, the seasons are coming together for me in a rare moment!
A little background. Earlier this year I wrote a book called Hope in the Land, which will be a new addition to my Amish Turns of Time historicals. A full-length novel, it will release April 1, 2016.
It’s a Depression era story set in Lancaster County. In this story, Gloria and Marlin have been married twenty-five years and have eight children.
When the same publisher (Barbour) asked if I was interested to write a Christmas novella for 2017, I immediately thought it would be fun to go back in time and visit Gloria and Marlin on their first Christmas just a few weeks after their wedding.
And now it’s time to write that story!
I think this may be the first time in my writing career that I am writing about the Christmas season when it is actually the Christmas season! My goal is to finish the novella by the end of December, so all through the month as I prepare for my own family’s Christmas, I will also be thinking about Gloria and Marlin’s first Christmas and learning a lot about Amish Christmas traditions.
This Christmas novella, called Love’s Pure Light, will come out in time for Christmas next year in a collection with other Amish and Plain Christmas stories. By then some of you may have read Hope in the Land and gotten to know Gloria and Marlin. I hope that will make it extra sweet to read their young love story later. I know it’s extra sweet for me to be able to write it—and not have to say goodbye to these characters quite yet!
Merry Christmas, and may love’s pure light shine on you.
Olivia Newport is the author of the Valley of Choice series of Amish stories and the ongoing collection of Amish Turns of Time, which includes Wonderful Lonesome, Meek and Mild, and Brightest and Best. Hope in the Land releases April 2016 and the novella Loves Pure Light in the fall.