Why do mince pies no longer look like coffins?
How do you navigate yesteryear’s family games without a fire extinguisher?
Why did Father Christmas trade in his wagon for a sleigh when he first came to town?
Why should you complain if you don’t receive at least one gold ball from the Big Man?
And how do the best Christmas songs jingle our bells?
All these questions that I wanted to answer about Christmas, packaged up in a glossy cover for my new book, Making our Christmas Present: A Merry Journey.
The answers and a lot more will be revealed from 4 November 2021.
This will be a FREE download, which I hope you will enjoy, and I would ask you please please please to take a few moments to post a review. It’s the lifeblood of authors like me, and I would appreciate it very much.
But enough of that!
I wanted to give you here a quick insight into my author thought processes around the book.
I wanted a snappy, Christmassy cover with instant appeal. I don’t know whether I managed that but this is how I got to where I am now.
The book looks at centuries of Christmas, and where the traditional bits came from that individually and together serve up most people’s vision of Christmas. It’s not a history epic or a social commentary or a heavyweight study. The heaviest it gets is fretting over Santa’s belt size…
So I needed light.
I started by thinking about Christmas. There is of course more than one major defining point:
But I fastened onto Santa and how he became the figure we know today – instantly recognisable for the cover, at least today’s version.
I thought about him using an evolutionary cover, something like this, with overlapping pictures merged together:
So, Plan B was initiated. A Christmas Kiss – otherwise known as A Christmas Keep It Simple, Stupid
Christmas trees. We all think of brightly-lit and decorated trees at Christmas time…
So why not go for a more sophisticated dark background, and a blurry tree.
Much better. I like this but it’s a bit tooo sophisticated for a book that’s supposed to be merry while Santa is “Checking it Twice”. That had been the original title. This pic was too serious, looking like it was dressed up for cocktails…
Third time lucky, then.
I went for Christmas trees again, but not just any old Christmas trees. Toy ones, with the addition of a Santa hat on one of them.
I think (hope) that hits the more amusing, whimsical vibe that I’m after, which fits in with my writing style.
And here it is, in all its glory with the new title, the one that will be published on 4 November: on Amazon Books:
More playful, less creaking with history, not so blingy…
I hope you’ve found this insight into this part of my creative process interesting
More to come on other stuff soon, and you’ll get it first on my blog…