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Christmas Collective – The Mistletoe Mixtape, In The Aokiteam, “The Best Entertainment Celebrity Magazine in the UK”, members of the Christmas Collective talk about writing The Mistletoe Mixtape Anthology book as part of their writing community.
Written by JJ Burns
I interviewed some of the writers of the Mistletoe mixtape from the Christmas collective, about what it’s like to work together, and the creative process that goes into their work.
What has it been like to establish/organize a group self-publishing project?
Sarah Shard, 2022 PM, author of ‘Stay Another Day’
Terrible! Blá did an amazing job in the first project, but we all saw how big a role it was. However, I managed projects at my day job, so logically, I felt the best way to accept it was Christmas Collective.
I started by asking everyone to think about three key things: what worked well in 2021, what we want to do better in 2022, and what their personal goals were for the project.
The first half of the year involved finding three new writers, agreeing on themes and titles, and writing our stories. The second half focuses on how to achieve our definition of success.
We have diverse teams across marketing, project management, PR, blog tour coordination and sales. We’ll only know how well our strategy worked in the months after publication but fingers crossed, everyone loves the stories as much as we do Christmas Collective!
Bláithin O’Reilly Murphy, 2021 PM, author of ‘Sage Roles for Everyone:
Last year was fun, challenging and a steep learning curve for all! What made the process easy was not only the great team of talented writers, but each member of the group had many useful skills, abilities and hobbies.
We have an editor of Christmas Collective, a typesetter, someone with legal knowledge, a graphic designer and some traditional/indie publishing experience which has greatly benefited us and made my role much easier.
Although this helped tremendously, none of us had any real idea how to become more than mistletoe. Clear communication, regular communication and scheduling keeps us all in check. Staying motivated can be challenging when you’re not sure what the outcome will be. While some might think it would be crazy to write a book with eleven strangers, having so many to share the workload certainly keeps us all going.
How did your experience change between More Than Mistletoe and The Mistletoe Mixtape?
Joe Burkett author of (Wrapped in Red)
Between the two projects, my confidence as a writer definitely grew, allowing me to develop my writer’s voice.
During the first project I was moving counties and planning my wedding. I was juggling a lot of plates but I loved writing ‘August in December’, even though it was a very emotional story, because the theme was grief and overcoming loss.
This year, I struggled to get my story to land for a long time! ‘Wrapped in Red’ went through many incarnations before it finally hit me with the central question I wanted to explore: What if you could find yourself again after hiding?
I write LQBT+ stories and I love creating stories for the queer community. I think the gay community still needs a lot more representation in the media, but I’m happy to be a very small part of that representation.
Amy Gaffney (pen name: Siki Maxwell) author of Twelve Days of Christmas:
Like Joey, I gained confidence as a writer, which I attribute to the group’s support and encouragement. Although we haven’t all met offline, we think of each other’s struggles as writers and friends. This year’s prompt was super exciting.
Write a story based on your favorite Christmas song? Oops! – I have many choices to choose from. I decided to press shuffle on my year-round Christmas playlist, and picked the first one that played … “The Twelve Days of Christmas”!
When Gemma came to me, she was absolutely perfect. I also knew who would be the love of his life, and that he dreamed of writing. It was different from last year, it was a contained short story of Christmas Collective. This was a challenge as I tended to overwrite – the final version was reduced by hmmm, I’d say three thousand words! But I loved and learned so much by cutting out these words! Read More about Christmas Collective
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