A Bit of Its Back-Story
By Jeff Salter
As I was responding to several questions posed by the TouchPoint Press publicity department recently, I had occasion to reflect on the origins of my new Christmas novel, “The Yuletide Caper.”
Why I wanted to write this story
I was actually in the middle of drafting an entirely different Christmas novel when the concept hit me for this one — on a typical visit to my mom. I think what struck me was the idea of a story in which two individuals were not trying to ESCAPE an “oppressive” nursing home… but trying to get INTO a “welcoming” one — because of their lack of shelter, food, and resources. Who better to attempt such a caper, but an old WW2 veteran (about 80… since the story is set in 1994) and a 30-year-old guy passing through town who’d just had his truck stolen.
What this story means to me
In getting to know many of the nursing home employees (at a variety of positions), I was truly impressed with how much these people seem to CARE. I mean, sure… it’s a job they’re paid to do and they have all manner of federal and state requirements about procedures and protocol. But above all that bureaucracy and the often hectic pace of a typical floor or ward, I perceived a sweet, helpful spirit in many.
And as I got to know several of the other residents, I realized that several still had a significant degree of individuality. True, many were pretty much “out of it” – due to age or infirmity – but some were alert and active… and a few displayed wonderfully positive outlooks. That touched me. And some of those individuals inspired a few of my composite characters.
What kind of message I wanted this story to tell
Certainly there are nursing home horror stories here and there, but the facility where my mother now resides is a dramatic exception to such negative news. What I hope I’ve been able to capture in this novel is the sweet spirit of several patients, the genuine concern of administration and management, and the caring attention of most nurses, aides, housekeepers… plus others in support functions.
“The Yultide Caper” by J.L. Salter is available now!
Two formats: E-book and paperback!
How can a down-on-his-luck 30-year-old possibly assist this old WW2 combat veteran who briefly needs shelter and food? On this cold Christmas weekend, Matt Clarke has his own worries—he’s a stranger passing through this small Tennessee town when his truck is stolen. There has to be an empty bed in this four-story nursing home because grizzled John Lester just saw the funeral home staff drive away with a body. If they do manage to get inside, perhaps they can fool the skeptical, lovely, young nurse, Lucia Alvarez. But what about the brusque aide who’s a stickler for rules and challenges the absence of a doctor’s referral and other vital paperwork? Is there any possibility of a future… for Matt and Lucia? Where’s a Christmas Miracle when you need one? Or two?
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[JLS # 516]