Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Great Christmas Present from my Sister: A Story Idea!

A while back—we don’t need to talk about just how long ago—one of my sisters called me and said, “I’ve got a plot idea for you.”

A lot of authors will be groaning right about now. At one time or other we’ve all been told by some oblivious soul that they had a great idea for a story. They’d share the idea, we’d write the story, and we’d split the profits. Um, right. You will spend the next ten minutes explaining your probably not terribly original idea to me; I’ll spend the next several months writing the book; and we split the profits. Sorry. Not happening, my friend.

But this was my sister, and I knew that what she would tell me would be interesting. It was. Really interesting. In fact, she handed me more than an idea. 

My sister was at the time a department manager at a large department store. As she described something that had happened there, I got excited, realizing that what she was telling me would make a great plot for a story. There was a ready-made, unusual and intriguing mystery, complete with problem, attempts to resolve it, surprise villain, and a satisfying resolution. Along with that she offered some wonderfully amusing, juicy stories.

I just added characters, a romantic subplot, and a fictional setting. To complicate the situation with additional crowds and chaos, I set it at Christmas. Then I ran it by my sister who approved it and sent it to my editor at the time, who loved it and accepted it with almost no edits.

Blue December was first published in hard cover in 1992 by Avalon Books.  Years went by and I got the rights back to my Avalon Books and have been scanning and re-releasing them.  I deliberately waited until close to Christmas to let this one go out again.

And now Barbara’s book is available once again.

And, hey - she never even asked for half the profits!  But she's gotten a free copy of every one of my books ever since.

If you’re looking for a fun Christmas story with mystery and light romance, BLUE DECEMBER should work for you.

Blurb: It’s two weeks before Christmas and Meg Brandt, a department manager at Wambash’s, “the store with the answer to all your family’s needs,” has problems beyond the usual seasonal chaos. Her department is losing cash from the registers. Inventory is leaving the premises unrecorded and unpaid.

Security is focusing on her, since the losses are happening on her watch. Her efforts to track down the source of the disappearances have produced no results, and her career appears to be headed for oblivion. When the store’s new security officer starts showing unusual attention to her, Meg isn’t sure what to think. He’s attractive in any number of ways, but she can’t be sure if his interest is personal or professional.
Buy at Amazon for Kindle:


  1. What fun, Karen, to learn how your sister's idea became a full-fledged novel.Good luck with this latest incarmation.

  2. Ideas are all around us. Fortunately as writers we recognize that. Your sister obviously supports your dreams. Very lucky. Love the cover

  3. How sweet! Congrats to you (and your sister!) on the re-release!

  4. Hi Karen--
    You are the only author I know who had a successful book come from those dreaded words, "I have a book idea for you." Your story sounds intriguing and it's the perfect time to re-release it.