Shannon here: Delores Topliff shares her inspiration for her latest Historical Romance, Christmas Tree Wars. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for an e-book copy, U.S. only. Deadline: Oct 2nd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Delores:
Thank you, Shannon, for having me on Inkslinger. It’s a privilege I enjoy and appreciate!
What do you do when inspiration hits?
Chase after it with a smile on your face and net in hand to catch it like someone captures a gorgeous butterfly?
Note the place and return at a more convenient time, hoping it flies by again?
Enjoy it briefly but first pursue your other tasks, letting the inspiration fly past for someone else to capture and enjoy?
Frankly, I’ve done all three, but for Christmas Tree Wars, I know the exact time and place that inspiration hit.
This 1966 Historical was born one Sunday morning as I drove along Minnesota farm roads going to church on a different road than usual and spotted something interesting. A row of tall, uniform evergreen trees lined one side of the road. On the other side, one lone mid-sized evergreen tree stood by its lonesome self bordering a large hayfield.
Instantly the Lord gave me the story idea. The owner of the row of trees was to provide a stately evergreen for an important national event. Instead of sacrificing a tree from his long row, he cut down and the sole tree belonging to his neighbor, kind of like the O.T. prophet Nathan coming to King David talking about the analogy of a wealthy man stealing a poor man’s only beloved ewe sheep.
Of course, details change as writing develops but I’m forever grateful for how this story kernel dropped into my heart on that stretch of road. I wish birthing stories was always that easy. It helps when we welcome inspiration and tune in.
Christmas Tree Wars parallels Romeo and Juliet but between two feuding Wisconsin Christmas tree farmer neighbors in 1966. Stories can have better endings than Shakespeare’s if those involved let the Lord change their hearts to welcome romance and encourage their young people. This happy-ever-after ending helps the families and town, although only one farm can win the contest to supply the White House Christmas Tree Lady Bird Johnson will decorate. This was a fun story to write and I suspect will always remain one of my favorites!
About Delores: Delores Topliff did lots of college teaching, traveling, living, and writing before focusing on writing Christian novels. She continues teaching university online from her snow-bird homes on a farm in central Minnesota and balmier winter temperatures in Northeastern Mississippi where she loves the people and accents. She’s also bragging proud of her two doctor sons and five delightful grandchildren.
Most reviewers awarded her first WWII novel, Books Afloat, five-stars and praised its characters and adventures. She’s writing two more books in that series. Pre-orders are good for Christmas Tree Wars releasing October 5th. Another Historical will release in spring, 2022. Check Delores’s website to view her published children’s books and other writings plus sign up for her blogs every 2nd Tuesday. Learn more & connect:
About the book – Christmas Tree Wars: Kris Lundquist, an ambitious New York City financial planner, comes home to Wisconsin for two weeks to help his Swedish-American Christmas tree grower dad survive a financial crisis. While there, he gets re-acquainted with Marcie Halvorsen, the idealist forestry-major niece of their cranky Norwegian neighbor who is also home to help farm finances.
Both enter contests to provide a national Christmas tree to build up their businesses and sales. Despite their relationship being as star-crossed as Romeo and Juliet’s, they fall in love and help their families and town rediscover the reason for the season.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win?
Preorder your copy now! Releases October 5th
Question for Readers: How do you personally handle inspiration?
Come back Sept 24th for Amanda Cabot!