Old Christmas Traditions
I had the delight of catching up with Jan Cline at ACFW recently. Jan contributed a chapter to 21 Days of Christmas: Stories that Celebrate God’s Greatest Gift, the second book in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. Thanks so much for doing this interview for my blog, Jan!
Tell something about yourself as a person and as a writer.
I know it sounds cliché, but I’ve been writing since I was a child. I’m also a singer, and music sort of took priority for most of my adult life. After several years of dabbling at writing devotionals and articles, I caught the fiction bug and have been writing historical fiction ever since. My father loved history and instilled a love for it in me at an early age. I love researching for new stories and often mix it with my love for travel.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
I grew up watching classic movies and have always been enchanted by old Christmas traditions. Wondering about how difficult that time of year must have been for the poor in history, I crafted this story from bits and pieces of stories I read about as a child.
What else do have you written?
I have two self-published nonfiction books and two devotional books published by Barbour. I have many articles and short stories published in anthologies, as well as being a contributing author for Light From the Word, a quarterly devotional publication.
What genre(s) do you like to read?
I like to read contemporary literary fiction and, of course, historical fiction. I also read lots of “how to write” books.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Charles Martin, Brandilyn Collins, James L. Rubart, Liz Curtis Higgs. I love supporting Christian authors. There are some really great ones out there!
What do find most challenging about writing?
Finding the time to set aside from all of life’s interruptions. Sometimes it’s hard to balance time to write with the duties of everyday living.
Share one of your most rewarding moments connected to your writing.
One of my yet-to-be-published manuscripts recently made the finals list in the My Book Therapy Frasier Contest.
What one piece of advice would you share with aspiring writers?
Be willing to learn by being edited! Read “how to write” books and learn from rejection.
What does Christmas mean to you?
Traditions and finding creative ways to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Regardless of family situations, commercial intrusion, or financial status, I always feel that special warmth of the season. It has its own magic.
What is one of your most cherished Christmas memories?
One Christmas, our neighbor dressed up as Santa for a church party. When he arrived home that night, he surprised us by popping through our front door and wishing us Merry Christmas in his loudest Santa voice. Then he disappeared, leaving us all with our mouths open. It wasn’t until years later that I learned who it was.
Thanks again for sharing with me and my followers, Jan!
Jan Cline is the author of two devotional books and currently writes historical fiction. She directed a regional writers’ conference for five years and continues to be involved in promoting authors in her area. Jan loves speaking to women’s groups and writers’ conferences. She enjoys golf, arts & crafts, and her eight grandchildren. Visit her at www.jancline.net.