The Carol of the Rooms Author Q&A

What inspired The Carol of the Rooms?

Heartache and betrayal. I unexpectedly gave my heart to someone. From the onset I ignored the red flags. After having my heart broken, I began to write (that’s how I process my thoughts and feelings). As I began to think through the story I thought about how hard and angry he was. What made him this way? How had he gotten to this point?

Why a spin on A Christmas Carol?

I’ve always loved the classics, particularly “A Christmas Carol.” So, in figuring out Terri’s arch, the format for “A Christmas Carol: seemed a perfect fit.

How did Charles Dickens transform Christmas?

During the Victorian era, Christmas was more of a religious holiday and had not been secularized. It was during this period that the Christmas holiday began to evolve into the season and celebration we know today.

Queen Victoria and her husband, Albert, brought the Christmas tree and Christmas cards to the attention of the public.

Dickens inspired the theory of “peace on earth” and “Goodwill to all men”.

Check out my activities and recipe section further down for traditional ideas.

What is your favorite version of “A Christmas Carol”?

My favorite movie version is the 1984 TV version starring George C. Scott.

Why Speculative Fiction?

I’ve always loved stories that were just a little off beat, such as Quantum Leap, Freaky Friday, the Lake House, and Somewhere in Time.  As I began to write these twists and turns naturally wove themselves into many of my stories.

Yet, I knew that I wanted to keep my story in the everyday world and not set it in another universe or with people from other planets. I love Narnia, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings but that is not my style of writing.

What is your music background?

I began playing the piano at the age of four. By the time I graduated high school, I had a scholarship in music and looked forward to becoming a music therapist. Then I dropped out of college to get married.

After the marriage ended, I returned to college and received my bachelor’s degree in music education. During this time my classes and a back injury transitioned me from pianists to vocalists.

I then served several churches as minister of music and performed in nursing homes. This transitioned to me working as an activity director, where I often incorporated music.

As an activity consultant, I teach other activity professionals how to incorporate music into their programs.

Various life situations have often made it difficult to practice piano, voice, and clarinet the way I’d like. This had led to much grief and sadness as it is a form of self-expression and creativity and I’ve seen many of my skills greatly diminish.

Yet, I’ve transitioned that love into my writing and the creative arts often comes through in my stories.

Why did you choose the soundtrack of one’s life?

I found that music naturally flows into my stories, whether I plan on it or not. Terri’s journey allowed me to work through my own complicated relationship with music. From the highs of performing to the lows of not being able to work on or practice my craft to everything in between.

As I wrote, I realized how much music has made up my life. There are many relationships (both good and bad) where a song, collection of songs, or composer were part of our experience together.

It became obvious that I’m not the only one and sometimes understanding the soundtrack of our lives helps us to better understand who we are, our journey, and various relationships and experiences that have made up our lives.

What are you working on next?

My next novel will be published in Spring 2024. I have many other books in various forms of progress from partially written to going through critiques to needing a good edit. A few books I hope to share within the next few years are additional Christmas stories and another speculative story. I also have several series in the works.