Another of the author contributors to Coming Home: a Tiny House Collection joins me here at 777 Peppermint Place. Chandra Lynn Smith can now declare herself to be a published author! We’re tickled to have her in the collection. She has a great voice and a wonderful story. (PS: the giveaway ends soon—have you entered yet? Be sure to check it out on my website, Linda W. Yezak!)
Now, here’s Chandra:
This past weekend our entire family went to San Francisco to celebrate Don and my first granddaughter’s first birthday. We had a wonderful weekend in an incredible city. But, I have to tell you, those hills are crazy. Who would have thought it made sense to build a city on a steep hillside? I truly cannot imagine how they got supplies up those hills using horses and wagons.
Sitting here in south central Pennsylvania on a hot summer day, I think the current theme of my life could be ‘Who Would Have Thought?’ A year ago, I was an unpublished author. Then I was asked if I wanted to join a group of authors in a collection of novellas. I immediately agreed, figuring I could work one of my already completed novels into a novella.
A few weeks into a weird sort of tweaking process I realized the novel did not want to be a novella. I almost decided to drop out of the collection. Then, late one night, I watched a portion at the end of the movie ‘Hook” when the character found a bag of marbles and was so happy he hadn’t lost his marbles after all. I got this image of a yellow marble under the steps of a tiny house built in the trees. Who would have thought something as silly as that could inspire a romantic suspense novella?
Yet, last weekend as we drove down Lombard Street, the Crookedest Street in the World, in between my squeals and laughter I realized writing this novella was like the streets of San Francisco. November first of last year I began climbing the steepest hill of my life. I had never written anything on a deadline, much less something not even plotted before I began the climb. I had only written settings in the summer, because, well, I love summer. But this one needed a blizzard. I needed a bad guy, but my characters also needed emotional challenges worse than any physical threat. Every part of writing this novella was a steep climb. And, the day I turned the manuscript I had a sense of accomplishment and completion.
The thing is, like we discovered last weekend, making it to the top of the hill is not the end of it. As our car reached the peak we could see nothing but sky. The hood of the car jutted over a road so steep below us we could not see it.
In retrospect, when our book, Coming Home: a Tiny House Collection, went live it was like sitting atop Lombard Street and having no idea where it was going, but knowing it was a ride worth taking over and over.
Who would have thought a movie character who “lost his marbles” would be the inspiration for a novella set in a tiny house built in trees in the mountains of West Virginia? And who would have thought a trip to San Francisco was the perfect visual for this writer’s journey? There is only One Who would have thought of this…the One Who stepped into my story and gave me His stories to tell.
About the Author
“The Light Holding Her” in Coming Home: a Tiny House Collection is Chandra Lynn Smith’s debut novel. Chandra, a 2015 Genesis winner, writes contemporary fiction filled with inspiration, intrigue, romance, and dogs. Her career as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer provides her with a variety of canine characters and challenging situations. She and her husband are the proud parents of four sons and joyous grandparents to the most beautiful granddaughter in the world. They live on a small farm in South Central Pennsylvania with their youngest son and two dogs. Their house is often filled with all four sons, wives, fiancés, friends, and anywhere from four to eight “grand dogs.”