Mary Connealy and I have a Christmas eBook releasing (just 99 cents, Kindle and Nook now, iBook and Kobo coming soon), so I thought it would be fun to have Mary answer some questions for Write Thinking readers. If you aren’t ready to start thinking “Christmas” yet, you will be when you get to her favorite recipe! So here goes:
What is your favorite family Christmas tradition?
We have a gathering of just my children (all four adults now) on Christmas Eve that is particularly precious. My husband and I have huge families. Seriously MASSIVE families so it’s hard to just get my girls together without the 100 + cousins, and I love seeing them too, don’t get me wrong.
I’ve abandoned the chili/oyster soup supper we had for years. Now my girls bring the appetizer that appeals to them and I make a bunch of yummy things like stuffed mushrooms and my own version of rumaki, great cheese and unusual crackers, crab artichoke dip and cheese balls. Whatever sounds great. Then we sit at the kitchen table and just eat and talk and laugh all evening. Then the girls (I have four daughters, two married, two grandchildren) open their gifts to each other. W save the gifts from Dad and Mom for Christmas morning. I am never happier than when my children are all together.
What is your favorite Christmas carol?
I was the writer and director of our church’s Sunday School Christmas Program for years. Getting a play published was my first success with writing. I ended up with five of them in print.
I always loved starting off the program with Oh Come All Ye Faithful. It is such a wonderful call to worship and a call to faith, too.
Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie or goodie recipe you could share with us?
I have the fastest, yummiest Christmas candy recipe on the planet. I call it Connealy Crunch. And no, you don’t have permission to change the name to Hatcher Crunch. Don’t even think about it.
2 pound package white Almond Bark (melted)
Melt in microwave 1 ½ minutes. Stir. Melt 1 ½ minutes. That should be enough. You might need slightly longer. Almond bark doesn’t lose its shape when it melts so you have to stir it to see if it’s enough. Add:
3 C. Captain Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal
3 C. miniature marshmallows
3 C. Rice Krispies
3 C. mixed nuts
Spread out on waxed paper. Let cool. Break into bite sized pieces.
This makes a huge batch of candy and it takes about ten minutes from start to finish.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I love everything about writing. I love when I’m creating something brand new. I love revising. I love daydreaming about the story, tossing ideas around. Right now I’m working my way through editorial revisions and I love it. But as soon as I’m done I’m ready to dive into something new.
Is that an answer?
What is your least favorite part of the writing process?
There isn’t much I hate more than standing up in front of a crowd giving a speech. That’s an unexpected part of writing. I’ve gained a comfort level with it but I can’t stop fretting before or after and thinking, “WHY! WHY! WHY! Why did I say that?” For six months.
Tell us something about your novella.
A Home for Christmas: The Sweetest Gift
A cowboy retelling of The Gift of the Magi
A spinster with a master’s degree who is a world traveler, librarian by day and concert pianist by night, marries a Nebraska rancher with an eighth grade education. Their worlds are so far apart that each is afraid to admit their marriage of convenience is turning into a love match.
When Christmas draws near Adelaide must decide if she can give up her hopes of owning a beautiful piano so her husband can have the stallion he needs for his ranch. And Graham may need to sell his perfect brood mare, the ideal mate to his stallion, to fully express his love for his wife by buying her the Christmas gift of her dreams.
Where can readers find you on the Internet?