Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Next Big Thing

One year our family Thanksgiving celebration required us to bring an item representing what we were thankful for. We couldn’t claim God or family—too easy. We had to think outside the box of stuffing.

I brought a pencil. It signified my dream of writing and I praised God for allowing me to pursue that dream in various venues.

Since that day, the Lord has blessed me with columns, nonfiction publications, two fiction sales ... and an agent!

Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency is one of the most encouraging people I’ve had the blessing to work with. Last week she invited me to follow along on her “Blog Hop” and today I’m doing just that by answering questions about my WIP – Work in Progress.

You can read more about Linda and her exciting news at 

My WIP is another Colorado Christmas romance, but this one takes place in Cañon City, Colorado, in 1860 when the population was 720. Six hundred were men. Sounds like the makings of a good story to me.

Title: A Cañon City Christmas

Where did the idea come from? On assignment for the local paper, I discovered the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center. What a gold mine of information! Linda asked her clients if they had a pioneer-type Christmas story and I realized I didn’t have far to go for inspiration.

Genre: Historical romance. (Never thought I’d try this; always believed I was a current events kind of writer.)

What actors would play your characters in a movie version? Nicole Kidman with reddish hair and Jim Caviezel twenty years younger. 

Short Synopsis: Annie Whitaker and her father leave their prosperous mercantile business in Omaha and head west to set up shop in the Rocky Mountain gold country. Cowboy Caleb Hutton rides through Cañon City on his way to the Lazy R cattle ranch, but he’s too late. No work. He heads back to Cañon where he meets the Whitakers and works doubly hard at hiding what he really is.

Agency Representation? Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency.

How long did it take to write that first draft? Don’t know, still at it. But I’m about three quarters of the way.

What other books in this genre compare? Mona Hodgson’s series about the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek, and Lauraine Snelling’s several historical series.

Any others in this genre? This is my first historical, but I’m also in the middle of a modern day Cañon City story. I’m toying with the idea of writing a series set in the Arkansas River Valley and the gateway to the famous Royal Gorge. Maybe a story every thirty years, from 1860 to today.

Who or what inspired the WIP? A few months ago, Linda asked her clients if anyone had a historical romance. Since her first challenge to me to write a Christmas novella resulted in my first fiction sale to White Rose Publishing, I decided to give it a try.

Anything to add? As a journalist, I’ve written a lot about Cañon City’s history, so I almost feel as if I’ve walked those dusty nineteenth-century streets. I love the area—the river, the mountains, the ridiculously blue sky. OakTara recently bought one of my short stories set here in Cañon. Who knows where this WIP will lead?

Interested in other authors’ WIPs? Follow this “Hop” by visiting these blogs (copy and paste in your browser) next Wednesday, Nov. 28th:

Susan F. Craft -
Gail Kittleson –
Linda Maran -

Thanks for reading ~ and have a blessed Thanksgiving.


  1. WOW! Your agent sounds so encouraging :):)
    Seriously, what a great post. I'll bet you'll
    have dozens of readers drooling to read it! Can't wait til you're done.

  2. Thanks, Linda. It's always fun to see what's going behind the scene in a writer's head.