It’s Christmas… five months after the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted, blacked out the sun and covered most of the western US in ash.
Thirteen-year-old Natalie, her younger brother Liam, baby Olivia and family dog Bud are among the few still holding out in the evacuation zone.
Day to day survival is hard enough, but Natalie is determined to give Liam and Olivia an unforgettable Christmas… after the end of the world.
And who knows, maybe they’ll even get a true Christmas miracle…
This is a post-apocalyptic holiday novelette of 10000 words or approx. 35 print pages.
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- Christmas after the End of the World is a novelette of 10000 words or approx. 36 print pages. This story is a digital premiere and has never been published previously.
- I try to write a holiday story every year. However, this year I was racking my head trying to come up with an idea for a holiday story. Then I chanced to listen to this recording of the post-apocalyptic fiction panel at the 20Booksto50K Vegas writers conference. The panellists – all male, by the way – declared that post-apocalyptic fiction should have male protagonists, preferably ex-military, and lots of action to appeal to the prepper crowd. Now as anybody who has read After the End or The Hybrids knows, I don’t write that sort of post-apocalyptic fiction at all. Mine is more quiet and cozy and people actually help each other rather than shooting at each other. My protagonists are all civilians, often female, often young, sometimes children and teenagers. And then I thought, “Why don’t I write a post-apocalyptic holiday story? About a family trying to celebrate Christmas after the apocalypse.” And so Christmas after the End of the World was born.
- The next question was how to end the world this time around. Now I have used pretty much every apocalyptic scenario there is in After the End: Stories of Life After the Apocalypse and my other post-apocalyptic works (and there will be even more apocalyptic scenarios, once I get around to publishing After the End 2: More Stories of Life After the Apocalypse). In the end, I decided on a supervolcano eruption, because it gave me the deserted town I needed and provided some suitably wintery weather courtesy of a volcanic winter, but it was something that three kids and a dog could survive for a couple of months, unlike a killer virus, a nuclear war or the zombie apocalypse.
- I called my POV character Natalie, because the name is a reference to the nativity. Meanwhile, Nick and Rupert, the two geologists with the helicopter, were named for St. Nicholas and Knecht Ruprecht, his helper figure in German folklore, respectively.
- The cover is stock art by the talented Thai artist Tithi Luadthong whose work also graces the covers of the In Love and War space opera romance series.