You may have heard the title of this new book going around on Facebook and Twitter recently. “Christmas Lites” is a holiday short story compilation whose proceeds are going to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and the book will also be made available for our troops.
The effort started on a GoodReads group called “Creative Reviews.” When I first joined the group, there were less than 150 members. Now, we are approaching 1000. One of the group’s founders is Amy Eye. She is also a driving force behind this book of short stories and she was kind enough to take a detour into SplittersWorld for an interview.
I present to you--Amy Eye:
What exactly is “Christmas Lites?”
Christmas Lites is better than your first kiss, more shocking than getting your tongue stuck to an ice cube, and more fun than a vat of Jell-O. It is a gigantic bunch of awesomeness all crammed into 260 pages! And this tasty treat will be making loads of money (so we hope) for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), and we will also be donating copies of it to the troops overseas through Operation eBook Drop.
How did you come up with this idea?
I think YOU would be much better at answering this question. All I did was make a suggestion about doing something as a big extended family on Creative Reviews. I thought it would be great since so many of us have gone from being acquaintances on a group on GoodReads to real friends that we actually talk to on a daily basis and support as often as we can. BUT THEN!! You came up with the brilliant idea that we should use what we all know and create a book for charity. Between your idea and my impulsiveness…a book had been hatched. Or born. Or maybe just conceived…
(Interviewer’s Note: Did I say that? I honestly do not remember making any such suggestion. Lesson: I should pay more attention to what I say! lol Thanks for the shout out, Amy.)
What has the process been like to get this ready for publication?
The opposite of professional. J Considering we had NO idea what we were doing when we started, however, I am impressed we ended up with a completed book at all, not to mention a completed book that I am EXTREMELY proud of.
What kinds of stories are in “Christmas Lites?”
There are probably very few books out on the market right now with the type of diversity shown in Christmas Lites. Ghosts in Great Britain, run-away gingerbread men in the south, ninja elves in secret locations, and lawyers in big cities, all have their own piece of the pie. We were nice like that. There is a place for each of those types of stories and a myriad more.
I wanted this book to be as diverse as the members of Creative Reviews – we all came together and became friends because of our differences and it is a perfect balance. I think this book reflects the same thing. As different as they all are, as a whole, it couldn’t work out any better. And that is honestly how I feel about all of my friends in CR. (Sorry, I went all sappy on you guys…with the XX chromosomes surging through my body, I think I have the right to do that from time to time!!)
Who are some of your contributors on the artistic, proofing, formatting, and editing fronts?
We had loads of help with this book! I will have to say that I NEVER could have gotten through this without Cambria Hebert and Jenn Pringle. We are the Three Stooges of the literary world, but we loved everything about this trip and we hope that we will be able to do it again soon. But THANK YOU so much to both of you for helping out with everything!!
Vered Eshani (my co-editor)– Thanks for the late night editing help!! You helped me laugh when I wanted to cry some nights.
Cassie McCown, Alan Zendell, and Tricia Kristufek (my proofreaders) – thanks for helping us catch all those pesky errors our tired eyes glazed over.
Dafeena Jameel (the cover artist) – the beautiful cover you created has the perfect balance of what the book is about.
Regina Wamba (interior art) – Thanks for the perfect accents to the interior pages.
I formatted the e-book and the print copy – so I hope it looks as pretty in print form as it did when I finished setting it all up! J Cambria figured out the CreateSpace part of it – I’m learning SmashWords now…pray for me. LOL
(Interviewer’s Note: Amy, meet the Smashwords Meat Grinder. I am sure you two will along just great!)
Who are some of the authors we can expect to see?
There is no way I can just tell you guys about a few…so as a small treat – I will provide the TOC from the book and you can see for yourself how incredible this book really is!!
1. Last Year’s Eggnog – Brett Talley
2. ‘Tis the Holiday Spirit – Ottilie Weber
3. The Perfect Ornament – Cambria Hebert
4. How I Found My Soul Mate – E.C. Stilson
5. Face – Mark Faulkner
6. Christmas Disco – Paige Kellerman
7. Sweet Child – Mark Koning
8. The Hunt – Amy Eye
9. An Amy Harkstone Christmas – Mark Mackey
10. The Gateway Incident – Catherine Forbes and Paul Woods
11. Memories of the Splendid Splinter – Richard Phelan
12. Turkey Avenger – E.C. Stilson
13. Christmas Ghost – Vered Ehsani
14. All I want for Christmas – Angel Armstead
15. Christmas Story – Phil Cantrill
16. Accidentally Gift Wrapped – Tricia Kristufek
17. The Road to Comfort – S. Patrick Pothier
18. Broken Glass – Nicholette Alexander
19. Blank – Cambria Hebert
20. Only That Day Dawns – Angela Yuriko-Smith
21. The Carpenter’s Wife – Misty Baker
22. Higher Ground – Shane Stilson
23. A Sprig of Holly – JA Clement
24. Star of Christmas – L.A. Wright
25. Whimper – C.S. Splitter
26. Mirror – Cassie McCown
27. Santa’s Ninja Elf – Lizzie Ford
What made you pick these particular causes?
NCADV is a wonderful organization who helps people who have dealt with more than I could even imagine. They provide a service to those who need some hope, some comfort, and a place to regain their sanity and to feel safe once again. Men, women, and children can all turn to this organization when things seem to be as dark as they can be, and the NCADV gives them hope. And I think that is what the holiday season is about. Helping people to remember there is hope in the world, hope for good things, and hope for better things in the future. So what better organization to donate our time and effort into than one that models the very holiday we are celebrating?
Operation eBook Drop – it’s just one small way that we can do what we can to show our support to the men and women who risk their lives every day for us. This is just a small drop in the bucket, but with enough drops, the bucket will slowly fill. We hope this inspires others to throw their drops in the same bucket and help make things for our soldiers a little easier and a little brighter. This is just one token to show them how much we appreciate all they do for us.
What has been the largest challenge in getting this book ready for publication?
Making the publication deadline. Like I said, I really never thought anything like this would be happening when I sent out that post about Christmas a couple of months ago. Had I known we would be taking on a project this large – I may have started it just a tad bit earlier…like June…of 2010…HAHAHA!
But I mean it when I say there is NO WAY this book would be out, or even half of what it is now without the help, support, and contributions from all the people listed above.
Who is this Amy Eye woman and where can we find her hanging out on the internet?
OOHH!! OOHH!! I know this one!! *raises hand* (climbs on the desk) Pick me!!
This Amy Eye chick is kind of a strange lady. She loves toe socks, ponchos, Harry Potter, war paint, singing to herself, interviewing authors, and licking windows. You can find her avoiding anything with freaky textures or creatures with more than four legs all over the web. Her favorite hangouts are:
I just realized, I am ONE BUSY LADY!! WHEW!! (crumples off the desk)
(Interviewer’s Note: Toe socks? Seriously?)
Where can we buy the book?
I wish I could say at every bookstore across the country, and to be honest, I CAN say it, but it would not be true. BUT! You will be able to get a print copy of the book at Amazon.com, and the e-book version will be available at Amazon.com, SmashWords.com, Barnesandnobel.com, and loads of other e-bookstores.
A Splitter-sized “Thank You” to Amy and all the people who made this book possible. I know I am truly honored to have my story included and I am hoping, in that very Christmas way, that this book brings some light and hope into the lives of people who need it.