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Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Genesis of a Story - Autumn Masquerade by Gemma Juliana

I intended to share the genesis of my first novella, The Sheikh’s Spy, but reconsidered. Since we are in the glorious season of autumn, I decided to honor this time of year and write the story behind my new novella, Autumn Masquerade.

Many of us are in tune with the changing seasons. Do you get the urge as spring approaches to clear out your closets and garage, and wash your windows? I do.

In the same vein, as the heat of summer fades and darkness falls earlier, I get excited about the approach of my favorite season, autumn.

I had it in mind to write a Halloween novella this year, but when August gave way to September and I started writing, I knew it had to be about more than Halloween. I thought about the blazing glory of earth’s autumn jewels in ruby, carnelian and citrine; about the farmers preparing for their harvest, and about all that we have to be thankful for in a world gone crazy. Autumn is the season of gratitude, of giving back and connecting with the inner self. It’s also about enjoying Mother Earth’s bounty of pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and cranberries. My gratitude is never far from the kitchen, especially the oven.

My new story would be a tribute to the season of autumn, its vibrant colors captured on the cover.

An opulent masquerade ball felt richer than a Halloween party. It needed an elegant setting with fine costumes and a sense of abundance similar to the theme of the harvest and a cornucopia of plenty.

Then there’s the deeper meaning of Halloween and Samhain. The ancients knew the night between October 31 and November 1 was when the veil between the worlds was at its thinnest. Communication between living and dead is easiest when the veil is thin. Seers and psychics ferried messages of comfort and strength back and forth. It was also the end of their year, and beginning of the new one.

The most important seasonal element is gratitude. There are many ways to demonstrate gratitude. We are thankful when someone holds a door open for us, or gives us a birthday gift. In Autumn Masquerade, the gratitude is about acceptance, help with deeply rooted problems like guilt, and burdens carried for a lifetime.

Anna Spencer has a successful corporate career. She also has a secret – she’s a gifted psychic who has visions and speaks with our dearly departed. As a child, her mother instilled in her the need to hide her gifts. Anna came to associate them with rejection and loss of love. Now she’s all grown up. When she’s called upon to be a psychic for a night at an important associate’s masquerade ball, terror grips her. She’s been falling in love with her boss, handsome widower Richard Bentley. His deceased wife sees Anna as the perfect opportunity to get a message to her husband. If he discovers Anna’s secret, will he reject her? There’s only one hope for anonymity – Anna must pull off the ultimate disguise, including color contact lenses and a contrived accent. Enter Belle Helene… what can possibly go wrong?

My greatest gratitude is for family and friends who accept me for who I truly am, and for groups like Exquisite Quills, where I’ve met wonderful new friends who share my passion for writing and a genuine desire to help one another get ahead.

What’s your greatest gratitude?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Enjoy the bounty of the season!

GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in north Texas with her handsome hero, teen son and a comical dog. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity.

Buy Gemma’s books on Amazon. When not writing, Gemma loves making jewelry, collecting earth gems and traveling.    

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Rosemary Gemmell said...

Love the cover and the blurb for this, Gemma - autumn and winter are my favourite seasons! I'm grateful for everything in my life.

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

What a beautiful story premise and an outstanding cover, Gemma. Thanks for sharing your story here at EQ.

Ashantay said...

When I remember to express gratitude every day, my life works so much better. But then, I forget and need a kick in the butt to get back into harness. Thank you for the reminder that gratitude, or its lack, fuels the things that come into my life. And yes, autumn rocks! Color therapy at its best.

Gemma Juliana said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rosemary and Jane. I'm passing all cover compliments along to my son... he's working a very demanding job now and has no time to make covers, I'm sorry to say.

Gemma Juliana said...

Hi Ashantay, thanks for visiting. You are so right about the color therapy. That's a big favorite of mine, and I find the autumn colors very healing.

Rose Anderson said...

Enjoyed hearing about your story's spark, Gemma.

[I thought about the blazing glory of earth’s autumn jewels in ruby, carnelian and citrine]

I see every color in those words! :)

Gemma Juliana said...

Hi Rose! Yes, I love jewels, gems and colors. They make me feel very creative! Thanks for stopping by today.

Sandy said...

Fall is my favorite season, and I love your cover. Masquerade's are so much fun, and your story sounds wonderful.

Kaye Spencer said...

Gemma, Autumn and winter are my favorite times of year, also. I am more in tune with the new year celebrations of the 'old ones' at Samhain than I am with the Dec 31/Jan 1 traditions. I am grateful for absolutely everything in my life, and now that I'm retired from education, I am even more thankful for the time I have to devote to writing now, and becoming a member of the EQ group has breathed new enthusiasm into my writing. Your cover is gorgeous and the story intrigues me. (You mentioned you live in north Texas, well, I live in southeastern Colorado. We're practically neighbors.) ;-)

Gemma Juliana said...

Thanks, Sandy. Have you ever been to a masquerade ball?

Gemma Juliana said...

Hi Kaye, How lovely to *meet* you, neighbor! I agree - the EQ group makes writing so much more fun and rewarding. I too am in tune with the 'old ones'... thanks so much for stopping by. Lovely to connect with you!

Marianne Stephens said...

Autumn is a wonderful time, full of vibrant colors and crisp air. Holidays are approaching, and I love this time.
I'm grateful for the seasons and all the changes they bring...and the joy/love people find in remembering what to be thankful for.

Anonymous said...

What an intriguing blurb, Gemma! I loved your idea for this story. And the cover is fabulous. I too love autumn. Lovely to hear how your story began.

Kathy Wheeler said...

Excellent post, Gemma.

Cindy Sample said...

Gemma, your cover is fantastic!!! And I love the premise of the story. I can't wait to read it. I'm grateful for my two wonderful adult children who continue to amaze me with their knowledge, wit, and kindness. And I wouldn't be selling books without the amazing community of writers and friends who continue to support a new author's efforts. People just like you! Thanks for the great post.