Sunday, December 18, 2016

Guest Author Diane Burton Talks Holidays in Stories

Posted by: Veronica Scott

Thanks for having me back on this lovely blog.

Many writers pen novels celebrating a holiday. Valentine’s Day is perfect for romance writers, Halloween for those who write paranormal. Readers especially enjoy Christmas or holiday stories. I live in western Michigan, along the lake of the same name. We get LOTS of snow. Three years ago, over 159 inches of the white stuff fell in our area. It would have covered our mailbox if Hubs hadn’t kept it clear. Since we’re both retired, we don’t need to leave the house for anything urgent—like a job. Perfect time to curl up with a feel-good story.

I have yet to write a Christmas novel. On The Roses of Prose blog, each year the contributors write holiday short stories serialized throughout December (this year mine will appear from the 26th to the 28th). Until three years ago, I hadn’t written a short story since high school. My novels tend to run from 80-100 thousand words. I fretted about how to pare down a story to 3,000 words. Finally, I followed Nike’s advice and just did it. The result was “Christmas in Space” about astronauts who arrived on an unexplored planet on December 25th. That story stayed with me so much that I expanded it into a novella, published this year.

In Mission to New Earth, which starts in 2172, three teams of astronauts represent three regions of Earth: the United Americas, Euro-Africa, and Asia. Each team will explore a different planet. The team in my story represent the United Americas. Even that far into the future, the people of Earth may have united all the space agencies, but they haven’t united all the religions. While I’m Christian, not everyone is now or in the future, so I felt it was important to include references to many end-of-the-year celebrations—Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Mawlid an-Nabī, Dhanu Sankranti, Bodhi Day, and Omisoka. And even a nod to those who don’t follow any religion. In my efforts to be inclusive, I’m sure I’ve left out other religious observances, for which I apologize to those practitioners.

While we prepare to celebrate during this month, we don’t just sing about “good will to all” we show it by our actions . . . and in our stories.

However you celebrate, I wish the happiest of holidays to you and your families.

Mission to New Earth blurb:

Would you go on a one-way trip to explore a new planet? Would you do it to save humankind?

In 2172, Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of nuclear winter—the timeline changes. Eight years of training crammed into four.

Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch, but are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.

About the Author:

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website:

Goodreads: Diane Burton Author
Amazon author page:

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  1. Thank you for inviting me back. I hope all readers enjoy the holidays.

    1. We always love having you as our guest! Happy Holidays!

  2. wow...sounds like a really cool story, Diane!
    Good luck and God's blessings

  3. Loved the story, Diane! Thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays!

  4. Interesting story. Thanks for sharing ! Merry Christmas!

  5. Holiday-themed stories are such fun to write and read! Good luck and happy holidays.

    1. Thanks, Susan. I'm finding that out as I write Christmas short stories.


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