I think the best book ideas come from a real life experiences, and some of the most irritating experiences can provide the best material. If I hadn’t been irritated with my husband, I never would have come up with the idea for my new book “On Strike for Christmas” about a group of friends who go on strike for more appreciation over the holidays with near disastrous results.

My husband was grumbling about having to spend yet another holiday with my big, loud, fabulous family and I had just had it.
What was his problem, anyway? He’d been doing this for years? Now that I think about it, maybe that was his problem. The poor man spends more time with his in-laws than his own family. But when I made my threat I wasn’t thinking so rationally. “I’m going to put you in a book,” I threatened.
He just laughed.
Until I actually did it. And once I got rolling I’d give him regular reports. “Your nickname is now Bob Humbug.”
“Ha! I like it.”
He wasn’t that wild about being the prototype for a naughty husband once he had a chance to actually read the book. We got an advanced reader copy and he started hauling it back and forth from work, and one day he came home looking like the personification of Elvis’s “Blue Christmas”. “Am I really that bad?” he asked.
Part of me wanted to say, “Yes! That’s why you’re in a book.” But he had obviously learned his lesson, so I assured him that fiction often requires some over the top writing. (And there is
plenty of that in this story.)
Still, he took the underlying message to heart, and now, like Scrooge, he’s a changed man. And he’s given the story an enthusiastic thumbs up. So there’ll be no Christmas strike at our house this year.
Just a lot of fun as we celebrate both the holidays (with my family, of course!) and the release of my first novel with St. Martin’s Press.
Sheila Roberts is the author of ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS (St. Martin’s Press, Nov. ’07). You can visit her website at http://www.sheilasplace.com/.

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