Creating the Story (Mystery of the Cursed Elves)

Readers are often interested in where a story idea comes from. For me, inspiration comes, most often, from normal everyday life. The Mystery of the Curse Elves came from a simple premise.

It all started when out shopping in November (2018). The kids and I came across some red and black elves at our local discount store. I’ve never been huge on the whole moving an elf around in December; however, having a few “naughty/bad” elves piqued my interest.  So, for a season, the black and grey elves tormented our red elves, much to the children’s delight. I didn’t do this everyday because random attacks are much more fun and spontaneous. Here are some fun examples:

 

 

One day while walking to the park, the kids and I started talking about what would happen if the “real” elves went bad and started doing pranks in the North Pole. Those conversations are what led to the spark of an idea.

I have never written a book geared toward children. I’ve always dabbled in the world of adult mystery, suspense, and some romance; never thinking I would write for kids. Now that I have kids, I thought it would be fun to write a few books just for them. In a crazy twist of fate, we were asked to temporarily leave the country while our residence card was sorted out. (You can read all about that here). We packed our bags and traveled to Spain for what we were calling “Winter Exile”. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Spain is warm in the winter so we spent a lot of time outside playing at parks or on the beach. I got this crazy idea that I would write this elf story the kids and I had talked about.

 

(Here is me writing, sort of)

 

Why not? I had lots of time on my hands. I could write a chapter while the kids played and read it to them at night. Everyone wins. At the end of each night, I asked the kids what should happen next and through all the ideas; I ended up with a really long book. (spoiler: I cut out about half the book in the final edit).

Upon our return to Ireland, I spent the next year ignoring that book. In December 2019, we went back to Spain for the holidays and I was inspired to revisit the book. Once back home, I made it my New Year’s resolution to finish this book.  I now had all the kids in school for a couple hours a day. It was time to stop making excuses and start writing. Finally, I finish writing the book.

Then, Corona (COVID-19) came to town, we all got locked down, and I became a schoolteacher. No more free writing days for me. However, about two months into lock-down, when the long hours of pulling one’s hairs out began, my husband decided we were going to publish this book. He gave me the time I needed, taking the kids to the park or on long walks, while I pounded away at the keyboard.

By July, I finally finished the manuscript and send it to my editors. What an accomplishment. I was so high up on my horse; what a great feeling. Of course, then came the prospect of publishing the book, to which we decided to self-publish. I crashed off that horse real fast. Self-publishing is no picnic, in fact, I’m going to do an entire blog series dedicated to self-publishing.

For now, I am proud to say after a few years of working toward this goal I have officially, almost, published a book. It will be released on October 15th and I couldn’t be happier about it. Now, I need to go move some elves around (its never too early).

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