Confession: I have a tendency to get a little down in the doldrums around Christmas.
It's an illogical reaction to be honest. I love spending time around my family, I like giving things, I like maudlin messages from faraway friends. Christmas should be, as Emily might say, my jam.
But Christmas falls at the end of the year, when I get a little introspective (okay, a lot introspective) and start thinking about all the things I didn't do, all the projects I didn't complete, all the people I didn't see, all the stuff I didn't accomplish. The end of the year is when I start channeling Kate. ("I am better than this.")
So I fall somewhere in the middle, trying my best to chug alongside more festive people to be supportive while trying to make my Grinch-iness more comedic than depressing. (Not unlike how Billy deals with Emily's enthusiasm.)
Long before I wrote the Indestructibles, I wrote adult contemporary short stories, and every December I'd write a little Christmas story, usually about lost love or being far from home. It was my own little tradition to mark the passing of another year. I haven't done it in a while. Been too busy. Been too distracted.
I'd made an off-hand comment back before Thanksgiving that I might try to do a set of short holiday stories based on the Indestructibles. Maybe a Christmas Carol type story--the Ghost of Emily Past, or something like that. But then Book 2 came out and the tail end of convention season arrived and I just couldn't get my act together.
Then on Friday the 12th--right before the twelve days of Christmas, of course--I had a little glimmer of an idea. About our grumpiest Indestructible and how she might react when someone interrupted her holiday blues with an unexpected gift. I should note that the gift Kate receives from Titus, the incredible Dancers Among Us by photographer Jordan Matter, was a Christmas gift I received last winter myself (I highly recommend those interested in photography, dance, or just simply beautiful artwork go out and find a copy immediately).
Add in a Harry Potter joke I couldn't wait for Emily to make and by Saturday morning I had a more than 3,000 word short story written. It had the Tower turned into a giant ornament, unexpected bonding between teammates frequently at odds, and plenty of Nutcracker references. A few quick emails with my publisher, PFP Publishing, and cover artist Sterling Arts, and less than a day later we had what we used to call one-shots in the comic book world.
I hope to make this an annual tradition--I'd love to write a Christmas special every year about these characters as they grow and change. And if I don't some day write a scene between Emily and Santa Claus I will consider my life incomplete.
Some technical stuff:
The short story is listed for $.99 on Amazon, the lowest they'll let us go. I wanted the story to be a gift to the fans, but since the Kindle version requires a price, I'm going to make a donation on behalf of the readers to a charity in a few weeks based on the number of copies we sell. I have one in mind, but I don't want to say anything official until I've worked out the details. I'll make an announcement here and on social media when I have that all figured out.
Additionally, I have had a few people already ask if it'll be available in other formats. The Amazon/Kindle version came up first because Amazon makes it really straightforward to get something like this online, but we're discussing our options for another format, which I'll also announce as soon as I have more information.
I'm constantly updating on Facebook (both the Indestructibles official page and my own Author Page) and I've become a Twitter addict (follow me @mattphillion there). Come find me for the latest news!
Happy holidays, everyone, from me and the entire Indestructibles gang. Hope you enjoy the new story.