Today, fellow JMS author A. J. Morrow is on a visit, and I have to say, I love the cover of her upcoming story, The Truth Of Sweet Things (that you can pre-order over at JMS Books and get a 20% discount) Welcome A. J.
I’m A. J. Morrow, author of The Christmas Arrangement, The Truth Of Sweet Things, and A Christmas Exchange (as well as several other projects in the works). When writing, I try to focus on a little bit of escapism–short, fluffy novellas, the type that make you feel warm inside. I especially love holiday stories, and those set in autumn. You can’t beat the atmosphere in the colder months!
My upcoming work, The Truth Of Sweet Things, is a short story I wrote after a long weekend back in my hometown, which reminded me of all the happy memories I have of the fall. It inspired me to write about the season–even if the focus is on a character who hates it. Of course, the main character, Becca, soon learns to get over this when she reunites with her teenage crush, Amy–an avid lover of the season, and a newly out lesbian.
One of my favourite parts of the writing process is getting to know your characters and settings. I try to keep certain things (like town names/places) vague so that the reader can imagine the places they’re familiar with, but I do still aim to get a good sense of the environment and people within the story. Hopefully, the atmosphere of fall–the browning leaves, the slight chill in the air, the pumpkins and novelty coffee and the long walks with people you love–will be one of the main take-aways from this story.
This story has taught me a lot about the art of short stories–usually, my shortest works are about twenty thousand words long, so this was very new to me! I really enjoyed writing this piece–shorter fiction is very different in structure and style to longer works, so it was a fun experience, and hopefully I’ll be able to take what I learnt into future stories.
More than anything, I’m just excited to get this story out there, and to see people’s responses to it.
The Truth Of Sweet Things comes out on the 6th of October.
Becca hates Fall and everything that comes with it; her best friend, however, disagrees
and decides to set her up with her sister, Amy, who she’s sure will change Becca’s
mind. Amy is charismatic and smart–and the woman Becca has been in love with since
high school. When Amy texts her out of the blue, will Becca come out of her shell
enough to pursue this relationship?
‘Becca glanced at her watch. She was early, but the cold was bitter that day so she decided to head inside already.
The coffee shop was small and quiet–homey, even–with wooden tables and low hanging lights. Paper Halloween decorations were hung over the windows and across the counter, the orange of them matching the orange leaves visible outside. Becca slid into a chair on the far side of the room and took the menu from in front of her.
She stared out the window, letting her mind wander. As her eyes traced over a cluster of leaves dancing in the wind, she felt her anxiety melt back into the chair. It was warm inside the shop, warm and heady, and Becca was already tired from a day at work. When the waitress came over to get her order she stuttered an answer, somehow surprised that she had been noticed.
The drinks arrived quietly in front of her, the waitress smiling at Becca, who must have been quite visibly nervous. Becca took a sip of her hot chocolate and then turned back to the window, watching to see if Amy would actually turn up.
For all her intense watching, she didn’t actually notice when Amy did arrive. She was exactly on time–which fit her character, Amy was known to be punctual–and when she slid into the seat opposite her, Becca jumped.
In the time she’d been waiting, the sun had slipped out of the sky, taking most of the sunlight with it, but when she turned to look at Amy, Becca realised that she didn’t need it. Even in the dim, newly October light, Amy was magnificent.’