I always love hearing how authors come up with the inspiration for their stories. Sometimes the story behind the story is great, entertaining and so much fun. But sometimes it’s rather boring. Except to me, even that is interesting. To see how someone can come up with an entire story idea from staring at a rock is pretty impressive. 😉
So where did the idea for Solve by Christmas come from? It was one of those that kinda evolved over several weeks. I knew I wanted to write a Christmas story. So I had that much. Then I decided I wanted something with a firm deadline.” If this doesn’t happen by this date, everyone dies” sort of thing. Then “By Christmas” popped into my head and flicked on a light. What if Christmas was the deadline?
I’ve always loved detectives and mystery stories, and they go perfectly with deadlines. So, then I thought, what if a detective must solve the case by Christmas or death wins?
Sometimes, as an author, there are ideas and thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere. Almost like God dropping a card into your mental mailbox. The next point of Solve by Christmas was that way. What if a detective was assigned a case that he had to solve by Christmas, but it wasn’t a real case –at least not the type of case he wanted—but something completely different? From there, the story began to really take shape.
The next phase of my brainstorming took me to the pages of history. I don’t remember why I decided on Denver, but I liked that setting, so I began researching it. I discovered the monstrous blizzard that happened in 1913 and decided it would be perfect to plop my detective down right in the middle of that mess. I also discovered that a group of “militant unionists” were waging free speech fights in Denver that year, which upped the tension even farther for my hero and provided him with an antagonistic force. By then I had a solid story idea and enough inspiration to begin the writing process.
There you have it. The scoop behind Solve by Christmas. I’d love to hear about some real-life deadlines that you’ve had to meet.
Leave me a comment with your real-life deadline for your chance to win an ebook copy of Solve by Christmas!
When sabotage threatens the Rudin Sugar Factory, Detective Jasper Hollock believes this will be his first real case. But dear Mr. Rudin—the only father Jasper has ever known—holds a different assignment for his private investigator.
“I’ve struck a deal with God, Jasper, and you’re my angel.”
Mr. Rudin charges Jasper to build a “case” of reasons for his employer to continue his life. If he fails, Mr. Rudin will end it in suicide on Christmas night.
As the incidents at the factory become life threatening, Jasper’s attempts at dissuading Mr. Rudin prove futile, and Jasper is left staring at the stark reality of his own soul. Time is ticking. Jasper must solve both cases by Christmas before Mr. Rudin, the company, and Jasper’s faith, are dragged to perdition. Will this be the Christmas Jasper truly discovers what makes life worth living?
Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest". A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life. First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft and has been awarded the 2017 CSPA Book of the Year Award in Historical Fiction. Between ministry, family and working in their family-owned businesses, Amber loves to connect with readers and hang out on Goodreads with other bookish peoples. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites. Amber is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
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