It’s Wednesday, November 9 and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. With Christmas only a few weeks away, it’s a great time to pick up a Christmas-themed book to read.
Today I’m interviewing author Laura Thomas about her newly released novella, The Christmas Cabin.
Laura, thank you for joining me today. Let’s start with you telling us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a published Christian author, and I write heartwarming encouragement for your soul—especially in my romantic suspense, teen fiction, marriage, and children’s books. I’m a certified hope*writers writing coach, and a chocoholic mom and lala, married to my high school sweetheart. Originally from the UK, we live in Kelowna, British Columbia, as audacious empty-nesters.
What is your book about?
The Christmas Cabin is a Christmas novella. It’s a stand-alone spin-off from my Christian romantic suspense “Flight to Freedom” series, published by Anaiah Press.
“When Carla James flies home for the holidays at her family’s cozy Canadian cabin, she has no idea what—or who—awaits. But after five years serving at her beloved Mexican orphanage, it’s time to work through forgiveness, face her fears, and reclaim Christmas. Up-and-coming chef, Rhys Templeton, still regrets leaving a heartbroken Carla in the past and is desperate to confess his truth and make amends. But her own shocking revelation has the potential to either send him spiraling back to his destructive lifestyle or into Carla’s arms.
However, someone else is privy to Carla’s chilling secret and they’re out there watching. Waiting. Wanting. Time is running out like melting snowflakes. And now, if Carla ever wants to see another Christmas, she needs all the grace and grit she can muster to trust the one who deserted her and the One who promised never to leave.”
What was the inspiration behind The Christmas Cabin?
When I wrote The Orphan Beach, the last book in the Flight to Freedom series, I knew there were opportunities for the story to continue—and quite honestly, I missed spending time with the characters! I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas novella, especially one set in my home province of British Columbia—after all, there is nothing quite like a Canadian white Christmas. In the last book, we briefly met Carla James as she worked at the Mexican orphanage. It just so happened that she was Canadian, and the perfect character to grow into a protagonist for The Christmas Cabin, so I flew her home for the holidays. Snow shoeing is one of my favorite winter activities, and my imagination often runs wild with suspenseful possibilities when my husband and I are out on the secluded mountain trails. Maybe not so much fun for him, but fantastic fodder for my storylines!
Were there any surprises that came up as you wrote your story?
Yes. Without giving anything away, I was surprised by something Rhys told Carla. Didn’t see that coming! Yet it added a whole other layer to the complexity of his situation and works wonderfully well. I also had no idea the solution to a specific problem would involve certain characters form a previous book. This is a stand-alone novella, but I think readers of my Flight to Freedom series will especially enjoy the ending!
The next question is one I always like to know the answers to. How did you come up with the names of your hero and/or heroine?
Carla was a secondary character in the previous book, and I chose to add the surname “James” after one of my sons. And then Rhys is named after one of my Welsh nephews—he absolutely loves Christmas and I decided it would be perfect to use his name for this book!
Let’s talk about your writing process.
Are you a night owl or morning person?
How I wish I were one or the other… but I am neither! I’ve never been able to burn the midnight oil as I enjoy my sleep too much, and I really do try to be a morning person, as much as I loathe the alarm. Weekdays, it wakes me at 6:30AM, which feels late when my “morning lark” husband has already been up all cheery and full of life for an hour, at least! Resuscitation by way of a cappuccino, time reading, and a shower help me on my way—although my best creative writing happens in the afternoon. We all have our quirks, right?
Are you a plotter or a panster?
I’m a plotter—but I always leave plenty of wriggle room. So, before I begin writing my manuscript, I like to have a question or theme in mind, and a decent plotline with broad strokes on where I see each chapter heading. I need the ending to be secured and I like to do a pretty deep dive with my main characters. However, I am always open to hearing from my characters as we go, and the storyline will definitely take some unexpected twists and turns… that’s when writing is so much fun!
If you didn’t write books, what would you do for a living?
This is such a good question—I have been stewing over it for a couple of days. I cannot imagine not writing. I started later in life and it’s become such a vital part of who I am. I’ve always adored books and I love story. Perhaps in another life, I would have gone the dancing or acting route to tell stories in other forms… but I am truly grateful to be doing what I was made to do: writing, coaching other writers, and reading a plethora of books!
Your novella, The Christmas Cabin, sounds like a wonderful read! Romance, suspense and Christmas, a great combination.
What’s next for you as an author?
Other than several on-going writing projects, I currently have my literary agent working to place my latest Christian romantic suspense novel, Captured in Frame. It’s a brand-new series set in the English countryside, so I’m going back to my roots!
Where can readers find you online?
My books, blog, writing coaching, monthly newsletter, and all my social media links can be found on my website: