Thanks to all the bloggers, reviewers, and fans who have worked to make the release of Summer in Snow Valley a success. We truly could not have done it without you.
Have you ever wondered what goes in to making an anthology like this? I thought I’d share a bit of the behind the scenes today.
The Big Idea
Almost a year ago, I went to an Indie Authors’ writing conference. It was the first one of its kind that I’d attended and I learned so much about the world of publication. I hadn’t brought or bought a lunch and had to head off campus to get something to eat during the break. My friend and critique partner, Janet Halling, was in the same boat. We met up in the lobby and there was another friend of mine, Cami Checketts, with Cindy Roland Anderson and Taryn Taylor — whom I had yet to meet. Since we were all hungry, and there was a cute sandwich place nearby, we ended up walking over together and sitting down to eat. We started talking and realized that we all wrote in the same genre. We joked about doing a box set together and then moved on. I remember having a moment, watching the ladies gab over brownie samples, when I thought, “This is something. These women, sitting here, it’s something.” I know, great words for an author — so descriptive, right? 🙂
Well about a week later, I couldn’t get the idea that there was something there. So I emailed Cami, Janet and Taryn and asked if they were really interested in doing a box set. They replied quickly that they were and I asked Cami to contact Cindy and see if she was interested. In the mean time, I had a good friend, Kimberley Little, whom I had met a few years before at another writing conference who kept coming to mind and I knew she needed to be a part of this. Within a week, the group had all committed to writing a new book for Christmas in Snow Valley.
I set up a conference call and we hashed out the basic framework for the town as well as assignments. Taryn was in charge of Snow Valley’s history. She did an excellent job laying the foundation for the place we’ve come to know and love. Cami and Janet were over marketing. I can’t believe their level of research they had to conduct to get Snow Valley off the ground on a budget. Kimberley and I worked on cover design. Kimberley searched through countless photos online to find the one that finally ended up on the cover. I also mapped out the week of Christmas events so all our stories would gel. Cindy was monumental in helping us set the book up with the right keywords, categories, and reading and critiquing stories.
For Summer in Snow Valley, assignments shifted around a little bit. Janet did the events calendar this time which freed me up to do the cover again. We divided up some of the marketing between all of us, though Cami did the lion’s share. Kimberley did the photo selection. She and Janet had to work especially close this time around because their characters interact closely. Writing stories from different perspectives that take place in the same house is a lot of work and they brought it together beautifully. Cindy did more critiquing, researched marketing sites, and has answered many of my questions about the genre, placement, and etc. She’s loaded with poise and purpose and helps keep me grounded. And we all read and critiqued for one another. Each day there is something new that comes up and someone from the groups steps forward with their expertise, teaches the rest of us, and solves the problem.
If you have any questions about writing a box set, feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.