Welcome back the third installment of “Christmas in July.”
Today I’m going to be talking with Holly Cohen about her Christmas Adventures novel, The Christmas Angel in Apt. 3C. Thanks for joining in the celebration Holly, and I must say you have the perfect name for a Christmas Novel.
Thank you, Penelope! I’m so happy to be celebrating Christmas in July with you and your readers.
Awesome, let's get started. I understand this is a Middle Grade novel, what parameters must you follow to write for that particular audience?
The target readers of Middle Grade novels are 8-12 year-olds. Middle Grade novels, therefore, generally have a smaller word count than YA or adult novels do, coming in at around 20,000-55,000 words. Additionally, transitions (i.e., scene breaks) within chapters are kept to a minimum. The age of the protagonist in a Middle Grade novel is typically at the upper end of the readership age because kids tend to like to read about kids who are older than they are. Storylines typically center on friendships, family relationships, and the protagonist’s place in the world.
I totally get that younger kids would be drawn to reading about kids older than themselves. I understand you’ve had other works appear in Magazines. Do you have other writing goals or do you plan to stick to this genre? And this age group?
I really enjoy writing for this age group that is on the cusp of so many things in their young lives, but I also enjoy writing for younger kids too, and I adore picture books. In general, I try to keep an open mind to where inspiration may lead me, and more importantly, where God would direct me to use my writing.
You make a good point about it being such an important time with this age group. It's great there are inspirational writers such as yourself to be able to speak into their lives. Now, let’s discuss The Christmas Angel in Apt. 3C. Tell us about the Angel. Who is she?
Angel is a determined 11-year old girl who longs to bring the joy of Christmas to apartment 3C, where she lives with Papa and a pesky cat named Mr. Mustachio. Papa has been shut down for as long as Angel can remember. It's not like she's asking for that much – just a little Christmas joy and a smile once in a while. Angel feels like she's jousting at windmills, though, until an ethereal voice singing words of comfort drifts through her window one night starting her on a journey of sorrow, friendship, faith, hope, and love.
Fierce and fearless, Angel hatches a plan with the nativity at its core. Meanwhile, her arch nemesis, Brian, is tormenting her, and calamities are springing up like weeds. Angel is no quitter, though, and new friendships and deepening faith spur her on in the face of mounting uncertainties.
Thanks for giving us a peek at Angel. Take a few minutes and share the underlying theme you want your readers to get out of this book.
The theme of my novel is best described using the words of Jesus as stated in Matthew 19:26 (KJV):
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
Great verse. Thanks for celebrating Christmas in July with me, Holly, and best of wishes with the release of The Christmas Angel in Apt. 3C. You can expect Holly's book this 2018 holiday season. And remember, it would make a great gift for your middle grade readers!
Here’s Holly’s Social Media Link
Holly Cohen lives in Southern California with her beloved husband who makes her laugh like no one else can. They are blessed with two wonderful sons. Technical writing is Holly’s day job, but writing for children is her passion. She is a grateful follower of Jesus who loves spending time with her family, hanging out with friends, riding waves, hiking, writing, reading, and creating. She plays the ukulele, and her secret talent is extracting stuffed animals from claw machines!