Kat and Edward at Christmas

Mallon 2When Silk for the Feed Dog was published in September 2013, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. There was the obvious reason: I was setting it free to be read and hopefully enjoyed––or to be ignored or, God forbid, hated––but at least it was getting an opportunity to go off and make something of itself. The other reason for the relief was that I was free too.

Mercy me, I didn’t have to spend any more time with that Kat and Edward pair!

We’d been living in each other’s pockets for four years. We knew each other’s quirks and foibles, bad habits, and could finish each other’s sentences. We badly needed a break from each other.

Se ya, wouldn’t want to be ya! I didn’t even wave.

I rallied the old brain cells and giddily embarked on a new writing project.

Initially the lightness about me was intoxicating. Everything was new; plot points were being fastened together daily like the Manhattan scaffolding outside my window. It was a heady time, everyone just getting to know each other, one big motley crew of personalities all assembled in my name. Characters were coming to me in droves, introducing themselves and just hanging out, waiting for me to tell them what to do. Can you imagine? I wielded power like a puppeteer. A puppeteer with a hard hat. “You go there, no, I said there.My curiosity was piqued. I asked constant questions: What’s her story? Would she do that? What would he think of that? How would he respond?

When readers eventually added up and reviews were posted, people began to ask if there would be a sequel. “What happens to Kat and Edward? What do they do next?” they asked with a fondness I still didn’t feel but I humored them. Never you mind that pesky pair; I’ve got something else up my sleeve. Wait till you see who I’ll have you meet next.

But novels are not written as fast as one would like. Or at least not as fast this one would like. I’m still sorting out this new lot of characters; they’re unruly, disobedient, unpredictable. You wouldn’t believe what one of them did yesterday in broad daylight…oh, yeah, that’s another story.

A couple of months ago, my agent had an idea for a compilation of short stories from all her authors to celebrate the anniversary of our publisher Betimes Books. The only brief she gave was that the stories should be set at Christmastime. The collection would be called Gifts; Bittersweet Christmas Stories. I had but one idea; no Plan B. Where were Kat and Edward spending Christmas? They would be having fun, wherever they were, making noise, getting noticed…IMG_0876I needed to reconnect with them. It had been too long. Anything could have happened to them while I had been fawning all over my new friends.

I made my rapprochement around Halloween. Trick or treat! They opened the door to me in genius Halloween masks but they were gracious and welcoming. What a hoot we had during those first few paragraphs, getting reacquainted, talking over each other, swapping stories, finishing each other’s sentences. What had I been thinking? I could hang out with these guys forever. You were right, readers.

As we await the homecoming of friends and family for the holidays, catch up with Kat and Edward in my short story, Blue and Unassuming Under a Christmas Star. The spirit of Christmas lives!

Read it in PDF format here or download a free PDF copy of GIFTS here

For a print collector edition, click here or for an e-book edition here

And if you want to extend your time with them, US readers can get my novel Silk for the Feed Dogs here and UK readers can get it here.

18 comments

  1. Thanks for the christmas book. My first pressie.

    • You’re most welcome, Winston! I hope you like it. There are a variety of takes on Christmas in there, something for everyone. We are a diverse bunch (of studs?) in the Betimes stable 🙂

  2. petermcl2013

    Ohh looking forward to reading the next installment!!

  3. What a wonderful idea to reconnect with Kat and Edward over the holidays. Can’t wait to see what the crazy kids are up to 🙂

    • Thanks Francis. For me too it was an enjoyable lead up to Christmas. I must hang out with them again. They are a fun partnership. Hope your relaxing post-writing spell is offering you new inspiration and refilling your ink well. X

  4. It was indeed nice to reconnect with Kat and Edward for us too. You created such a nice friendship.

  5. Reblogged this on Betimes Books and commented:
    Jackie Mallon about her story in our Christmas collection GIFTS

  6. Beautiful- I adore the way you shared your process. I’m always endlessly curious about the writer’s process…

  7. No, novels do not get written as fast as we would like. I know. Can’t wait to read this! 😉

  8. Jackie, I bought an e-version of Gifts this weekend and read your story about Kat and Edward. While I have your novel, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet and so your story was my introduction to the crazy pair. What a delight! What fun, even when things looked so bleak for Kat (really, the YMCA and cockroaches at Christmas time!). Reading your writing was like getting into a chauffeured limo and being driven around NYC in slow motion. I came away feeling like I had been there with Kat and Edward, only better because your way with words is far more expressive and entertaining than my own imagination 🙂

  9. Oh thank you! That’s just lovely.
    I’m so delighted you enjoyed the short story and meeting the pair. I would happily chauffeur you around NYC anytime! You kindness deserves rewarding–although you haven’t seem my driving 🙂

    I hope you are leaning in towards Christmas in a yoga pose as opposed to bracing yourself for it 🙂
    X

  10. Now this is the type of Christmas present I really like! You’ve been busy girl… xxxx

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