Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Kentucky author shares joy of Christmas
in first published Christian romance novella
By Elizabeth Troutman
Kentucky author and blogger Rose McCauley weaves tidbits of her real life, her family and her community into her fictional stories and characters. So when she was contracted last fall to write a story about a Christmas romance, she pulled inspiration from cherished Christmas memories with her family.
In her first published novella included in The Christmas Bells of Georgia, the Cynthiana- based writer channeled her personal sentiments for the Christmas holiday to tell the story of “Carol.” Carol, the main character of McCauley’s 20,000- word novella, adopts a Christmas ritual that McCauley’s family once practiced. She and her love interest in the story, Nick, leave surprise Christmas gifts at a family’s doorstep during the 12 days leading up to Christmas.
The story brought back memories of her family’s early Christmas holidays. McCauley, who grew up in a large family, wanted to portray the joy of giving that defines the season.
“It was a neat way to show because of what Christ did for us, that we should be giving to others the way he was given to us,” McCauley said.
When one of McCauley’s daughters read about the inclusion of the family tradition in the novella, titled “Nick’s Christmas Carol,” she was moved to tears.
The Christmas Belles of Georgia, a Christian novel, released at WalMart and Sam’s Club stores Sept. 1, was collectively written by four authors, each of whom told the story of one of four sisters who were separated at birth. Now adults, the characters of each separate story journey to the antebellum home of their biological parents where they reunite for the first time. Each young woman’s tale captures a different element of the theme of Christmas, and all the women encounter romance along their journeys.
McCauley said Carol grew up as an only child always desiring family. Though her adoptive parents had wealth and provided her with everything she needed, they could not fill her longing for family. McCauley wrote Carol’s story intending to emphasize the significance of family.
“Family is very important to me and to Carol in the book,” McCauley said. “I want people to enjoy their families.”
Although the novella is the first published book for McCauley, she has been writing stories inspired by small towns for 10 years. The retired school teacher was contracted by Barbour, a Christian publishing company, to write Carol’s story. She finds reprieve to write on the farm where she and her husband have lived for more than 38 years.
McCauley received a surprise contract to write her portion of the book while attending the Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference last fall. After a month of researching her setting of Monticello, Ga., a small town in Georgia, writing in the quiet of her home, and receiving editing help from colleagues and friends, McCauley completed the novella last November.
McCauley says she’s always loved the Christmas season. She collects Christmas books and looks forward to watching the joy on the faces of her grandchildren on Christmas morning. She believes it was fitting that her first published book was centered on holiday.
McCauley will travel to Monitcello, Ga., in November for a book signing. She is eager to finally see and experience the setting where Carol’s story takes place. She plans to stay in the bed and breakfast where Carol stayed in the story. She said writing a piece of fiction gives her the rare opportunity to dictate the life of an individual, much like the way God has a plan and purpose for her life. She thanks her family and gives praise to God for the opportunity to publish her first work.
“God brought it all together, it’s almost like he was writing the story,” McCauley said.
Follow Rose McCauley’s blog and find out more about her work at www.rosemccauley.com.