I’ve never really been one of those Christmas-year-round kind of people, but these days, I’m starting to become one. Writing the Christmas River series means I’m going to be in Christmas mode for the majority of the year, as I’m planning to write two more books in the series. Mayhem in Christmas River will be out this March, and Madness in Christmas River will be out in the fall sometime.
But so far, I have no complaints. It’s been fun spending time in a world where it’s always Christmas, with Cinnamon, Huckleberry, and the small town folk of Christmas River.
Christmas River isn’t a real place, though I did base it on several real towns. I live in central Oregon’s biggest "city" (which means a population of 80,000 or so.) Out here, we’re all about beer, dogs, and roundabouts. There are several smaller surrounding towns about half an hour from us that inspired Murder in Christmas River. One of them is called Sunriver, and it’s a vacation resort area for people visiting from Portland. The other is called Sisters, and it’s a touristy western town, with cowboy boot stores, Huckleberry candy shops, and cozy coffee places. Both towns are nestled in the beautiful central Oregon Cascades country, with fresh air, pristine waterways, and beautiful views.
The other place that really is responsible for this book is a little ornament store called Christmas Treasures. It’s on the highway to Eugene, out literally in the middle of nowhere, but it’s pure magic. You can stop there anytime of the year and find the most delightful Christmas ornaments. I am not that sentimental of a person (much like Cinnamon in the book), but every time I’ve stopped at that store, I am filled with the spirit of Christmas. It’s just like being transported to the North Pole!
So even though Christmas River isn’t a real place, it, like most fictional places, has real-life inspiration. And believe me, this fictional town is growing. As I’m writing this blog post, I’m currently working on the second installment of the series. There’s more Cinnamon, more pies, more competition, more Daniel and more mayhem to come. The new book is taking place in July, when Christmas River has its big Christmas in July parade. Between a heat wave and crushed velvet costumes, I can promise you that things will get crazy!
Anyway, those are my plans for January and February. Some hard work, but a lot of fun too! J