by Bethany Maines
As the year draws to a close, I find myself doing the usual assessment of what I did this year and what I’ll be doing next year. But this year, I’m trying to concentrate on evaluating more through the lens of not just financial success, but emotional success. What was fun for me? Because if a creative project doesn’t bring me joy, why am I spending valuable emotional time on it?
One of the joyful projects of my year was Blue Christmas. I like romantic adventures that find characters swept up in dangerous events. And I liked turning a Christmas Carol into something that’s not quite so sweet and sugary. I also find myself already pondering what Christmas carol I can do next year. Santa Baby? Sleigh Ride? Mele Kalikimaka? Gabriel’s Message? What message could Gabriel be getting and how could it upend his life? Or what message is he sending? Who is this Gabe guy anyway? A struggling coffee shop owner soured on love by the barista who left him cold? A photographer who just cannot take one more fake happy family photo for the holidays? The possibilities are endless and so are the Christmas Carols.
Another project that made me happy this year was the SharkSantoyo series. This action packed five book series follows the ups and downs of Peregrine Hays and Shark Santoyo as they try to outwit the mob, the FBI and Peri’s private investigator uncle. I loved creating the overarching storyline, the quirky characters, the bad guys with hearts of gold, and the bad guys that were just plain bad. I loved the characters and I’m hoping that people will enjoy the roller-coaster ride along with them. (Book #3 comes out in April 2019!)
2018 was a great year for exploring the characters I love and what I want to write. Next up in my pondering: the best way to pursue what I love in 2019!
PS. Have a suggestion for which Christmas carol I should turn into a story next? Comment below!
Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery Series, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous short stories. When she's not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her fourth degree black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.