Sunday, January 10, 2016

Author Notes on “Happy Anniversary”

“Happy Anniversary”, my family favorite romance short story, has been around a good while, and has recently been released on and Here’s the inside scoop on how this short story first got started. Back in the last century (1994!), a print publisher in New Jersey put out a call for romance short stories. *Extremely* short stories, around 1,000 words.

I then wrote “Happy Anniversary” using for a location a New Jersey restaurant that I’d recently dined at (more on this real life tidbit below). The publisher snapped up this little jewel, and immediately requested more short stories. I complied by writing another tale, also happily accepted. “Friday Night”--not yet available on be featured in a future Author Notes blog.

Back to “Happy Anniversary”: This story is definitely a feel-good romance, accomplishing all the goals of a happily-ever-after scenario. And the word count? About 1,300. All that emotion jammed into a tiny package! As one of my publishers complimented me: Extremely well done and unusual for a short story, because it's hard to build that kind of emotion in short stuff. You do it well.

The story sells for $0.99. As with all of my *very* short stories, I’d like to reduce the amount, however 99 cents is the lowest I’m allowed to go on Amazon and Smashwords. Again, periodically Smashwords holds a sale, and I can set the price to free at that time, so do check on the link every now and then.

Ten years ago, Claire Newberry made a terrible mistake. When she returns to the restaurant where she foolishly had broken up with her boyfriend, will she get a second chance at love?

Artist’s rendering of a possible cover

Then in this century, “Happy Anniversary” appeared electronically on RomanceEverAfter’s website. After a time I included it in my anthology LUCKY 13, now no longer available electronically, but still available in print from my website.

Thirteen delightful stories for your reading pleasure by Susanne Marie Knight

Now I’ve released it on and

Will Claire get a second chance at love?

This book is part of the Romantic Contemporaries line.

Here’s a lovely reader comment: Your story was a very pleasant read. I cared about the characters and was glad that Claire was blessed with a second chance at love.”

Also, in my updated non-fiction, THE CREATIVE WRITING WORKBOOK, “Happy Anniversary” is included free as a writing example for some of the exercises. Re-release of this resource will be in 2016.

Real life tidbit: Since the publisher mentioned above was based in New Jersey, I wanted to write a story that had a local feel. My sister lived in that state, and on one of my visits, we dined at a restaurant in Somerville, off of busy Route 206, just as Claire Newberry does. To be authentic, I had Claire eat what I’d had: fresh fruit appetizer topped with lemon sorbet, white Chablis, and veal parmesan. Delicious!

In the paragraph below, we find Claire in a contemplative mood at the restaurant.
Nibbling on the fresh fruit appetizer, Claire watched the New Jersey sky slowly darken. She shouldn’t have come; she lived miles from Somerville, and she hated driving at night. But she’d made the reservation weeks ago; she’d even arranged to have a sitter for the kids. Tonight was special, something of an anniversary for her. Ten years ago tonight had been the last time she’d basked in the glow of Tom’s unforgettable love

I hope you enjoy Claire and Tom’s love story.

Happy reading,

Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!