Busy as this time of the year is, don't we all want to find a few minutes to just sit and read for a while? And it's even better if we can find something shorter to read since we don't have a lot of time to linger. Today's guest in My Writing Corner, Leslee Breene has an offering that is just the ticket--a collection of short stories.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Probably since elementary school. In the First grade, I wrote a play entitled “The Princess Who Had Fleas” that the class performed with paper mache hand puppets. The title reveals my early imagination. Obviously, the play was not a romance.
How did you get started?
By taking workshops in the craft of short story writing and joining writers’ groups. The National Writers’ Association was where I had my first taste of critique with other fledgling writers in Aurora, CO. It was bittersweet, but when you have that innate passion to express yourself in the written word, a critique group is where you start…even if it can be painful at times.
Where did you get story ideas?
A memorable week-long seminar in Santa Fe, combining short fiction and poetry, comes to mind. It was called Recoursos. In the early 1990’s, this was the ticket to rub elbows with university profs and published literary writers. I learned that the story idea must first originate in the mind, then the heart. Every word counts in short fiction.
What is your writing process. Do you plot carefully or wing it?
Since I’ve been a commercial women’s fiction writer, I’ve learned the value of creating a working synopsis for every book. This is a must! The literary writer has more leeway, but the ending for that genre should make sense. Personally, I prefer a storyline that reaches a satisfying resolution.
What is unique about your current heroines?
The heroines’ ages in Christmas in My Heart range from 11 to 27. Each heroine faces a challenge that will change her life. The settings take place in Minnesota, New Mexico and Colorado.
How about a blurb?
Here’s a sneak peek at the back cover of Christmas in My Heart. The collection also includes a teaser from my last novel, Journey to Sand Castle.
The Caretaker --
In a blustery 1875 winter, a Scandinavian immigrant farm family prepares for the arrival of a baby. When the baby wants to arrive too soon, eleven-year-old Selma must take a challenging journey that transforms her life. ~Women Writing the West LAURA Finalist, 2009
Snow Angels of San Marcial --
Christmas is coming in a small Mexican town and young Angelina wants to give her hard-working widowed mother a special gift. But will her unpredictable brothers cooperate? ~ByLine Magazine Christmas Fiction Contest, First Place, 1998
Lauren, a recent widow, hires a carpenter to make her baby son a crib before Christmas. Turns out, the carpenter is a widowed single dad. It’s too soon for romance yet when a tragedy threatens his small Colorado business their mutual attraction cannot be denied.
The Christmas Gift --
In 1883, Miriam takes the train to Denver to deliver her orphaned baby nephew to her married sister. But the sweetness of his touch upon her cheek makes her heart tighten. When the time comes, how will she ever let him go? ~Amazon Top Ten YA short fiction ebook , 2014
What a wonderful variety of stories! How can readers reach you or find you online?
Four of my published novels are available on Amazon.com. Starlight Rescue and Journey to Sand Castle are also available in Kindle ebook.
Thank you, Leslee for bringing us your collection of short stories, just in time for the holidays. Leslee is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky commenter on today's blog. If you'd like to be in the drawing, please leave a comment or feel free to ask her a question.