Autumn is here in Yorkshire now, and the leaves are just beginning to turn on the trees. When I go for my walk on the moors with my dog, we can tell that winter is approaching: blackberries and bilberries in abundance for the picking; the bracken turning from deep green to dusty gold; and – my favourite autumn sight – the rowan trees are covered with dark red berries.
There are dozens and dozens of rowan trees in one particular spot where I walk, dotted all over the moors. I love to see the contrast between the red and the green. There are also acorns and hazelnuts, and I see plenty of squirrels, squirrelling away!
I belong to a group of authors called Exquisite Quills, and in readiness for those dark winter evenings we are producing an anthology of heart-warming holiday stories. I’ve already finished my own short story – and I can’t wait to read the stories written by the other authors in my group!
Best of all, the anthology will be free – an early Christmas present :) – and available on Smashwords in November. (I will post a date here when the anthology goes live.)
In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of the wonderful wintry cover, designed by Cover Artist Carey Abbot.
Before we put the anthology together, we had a discussion about what type of story should appear in a winter holiday anthology. We came to a decision that most readers would prefer something heart-warming at this time of the year – something with a happy ending, or at least happy for now, to get us through the dark winter months.
For the Spring Equinox next year we aim to produce an anthology where the stories are a little darker in tone. So I may even have a go at moving away from the HEA and bringing out my dark side! I’m already thinking of some ideas – be afraid! :)
What do you think? Do you agree that most people like an uplifting story around the Christmas period, or do you think there is a place for ‘Winter Chills’? And what do you think of Carey’s wonderful cover? If you have any comments at all, please let me know – I’d love to hear from you!