Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Guest Blogger: Jenna Kernan
I might be the only author in history to begin a Christmas story with the hero shooting the heroine.
Let me explain about that (and possibly apologize). Those of you who have read my stories know I mostly write fast-paced action with details that my editor politely calls ‘gritty’.
When I was asked to join the Christmas anthology A WESTERN WINTER WONDERLAND, I was so thrilled I momentarily forgot that I’ve never tried feel-good, warm and fuzzy, home and hearth story in my life. My characters seem to be pretty much homeless for most of the book as they pursue for whatever (or whomever) it is they are hunting for.
The dust hadn’t settled from my happy dance before I recalled my shortcomings. I admit to being concerned (panic-stricken) about how to create a tender story that glowed with holiday cheer in 120 pages. Thinking of the Gift of the Magi and repeating my yoga chants did not help.
Shooting Abby in chapter one of FALLEN ANGEL might not seem like the logical first step, but it did help in two ways. I got that ‘gritty’ stuff out of my system and created a situation where Abby needed to convalesce. And what better nurse than the bounty hunter that clipped her? Okay, I hear you out there thinking, I can think of about 100 better choices and she can too, but her limited resources restrict her choices to one surly hero. Her injury forces Ford and Abby to spend a lot of quality time together (120 pages to be exact).
In defense of my hero, let me explain the shot was accidentally. She stepped between the shooter and the Ford.
So, instead of Santa with his sack, Ford clomps into town carrying a wounded woman, a crying boy and a dead body tied on his horse.
And you think your holidays are chaotic.
It gets warm and cheerful after that…I promise.
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