Let’s Talk with Lois Winston

Happy Birthday, America!
By Lois Winston

This time of year many of you are probably vacationing at a lake, in the mountains, or down the shore (I’m from New Jersey; we go “down the shore” rather than “to the beach”). Hopefully, you’re enjoying warm weather and sunshine and if you’re lucky, not too much humidity. You’ll spend today with family and friends at picnics or barbecues, watching fireworks displays later tonight.

I’m guessing the last thing on your mind is Christmas, right?

As I mentioned in my debut post here at Booklover’s Bench, my background is as a designer in the consumer crafts industry. For decades I created craft and needlework projects for craft books, magazines, and kits. Although nowadays I spend most of my time writing, I still continue to do a bit of freelance designing. Right now I’m working on several projects for a Christmas 2020 book and companion calendar. Yes, you read that right—2020. We work a year and a half in advance.

At the same time, I’m finishing up my latest Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery. Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide will be the eighth book in the series, and as the title implies, the story takes place during Christmas. So it’s Christmas 24/7 in my life right now. Instead of red, white, and blue; sparklers and bottle rockets; and parades down Main Street, I’m deep into red and green, snowflakes, and Santa Claus.

You probably think I live in an upside-down world, but since I’ve spent most of my adult life designing Christmas in July, for me this is the norm. For that reason, writing a Christmas mystery this time of year didn’t seem odd to me. Besides, there’s a certain psychological advantage to immersing your mind in thoughts of snow when the thermometer is hovering near three digits—especially if you stay in your air-conditioned house!

And I do stay indoors as much as possible in the summer. I really don’t care for heat and humidity. For me, the ideal outdoor temperature is 68-72 degrees with low humidity. Rather than frying on a beach, I much prefer winter vacations, when I can escape the cold. You see, I really only like snow when I create it in one of my books or designs.

How about you? Are you a winter vacation person, a summer vacation person, or an anytime vacation person? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment here for a chance to win a copy of the cross stitch book featuring the designs in the photo. (If you’re not a cross stitcher, you probably know someone who is, and if you ask really nicely, maybe she’ll stitch these up for your Christmas tree.)

P.S. Don’t forget to enter this month’s Booklover’s Bench giveaway. An e-copy of Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series, is one of the books available in our July Book Vault. To enter the July 1-18, 2019, Booklover’s Bench contest, click here.