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The Birth of the Christmas Card

December 3, 2022 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , , , ,

The First Christmas Card

John Callcott Horsley designed the world’s first commercially produced Christmas card for Sir Henry Cole in 1843.

Cole was part of the elite social circle in Victorian England. During the holiday season of 1843, having too many friends caused Cole much anxiety.

The old custom in England of sending Christmas and New Year’s letters boomed with the British postal system introducing the “Penny Post.”  A letter or card could then be sent anywhere in the country for the cost of a penny stamp.

Now, everybody was sending letters, but Sir Henry Cole was a busy man. He watched the stacks of unanswered correspondence and fretted over what to do. In Victorian England, it was considered impolite not to answer mail, and being the 1840s equivalent of an A-Lister, Cole had to figure out a way to respond to all of these people.

Cole asked his artist friend, John Callcott. Horsley, to design an idea he had sketched out. Cole had a thousand copies on stiff cardboard made by a London printer. On each postcard he had printed “TO:_____” so he could “personalize” the generic greeting “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to You.”

Thus was born the first Christmas card.

1843 The First Christmas Card

The Modern Christmas Card

In the early 1900s, a man named Joyce Hall started a revolution that resulted in creating the modern-day Christmas card.

In 1905, he and his brothers spent $540 to buy picture postcards to sell to store owners and retailers in Norfolk, Nebraska. A few years later, they opened their own little store in Kansas City, Missouri, selling the postcards and other greeting cards, but the store sadly burned down just a little while later. After that, The Hall Brothers bought an engraving business and printed their own cards.

Their customers wanted to write more than what would fit on a postcard. This resulted in a card that was 4 x 6 inches folded once, and inserted into an envelope. By 1928, the cards were being produced under the brand we all know today as Hallmark.

Christmas cards in the twentieth century reflected the times and artistic styles of each decade. 

With the advent of computers and digital photography, families could now shoot, design, and print their own customized cards right at home.

1920s

The Most Popular Christmas Card of All Time

Debuting in 1977, one particular greeting card quickly took hold as the bestselling Christmas card design of all time. 

Hallmark artist Ruth Morehead designed the angelic Three Little Angels artwork that depicts a trio of adorable cherubs. Unlike seasonal cards that come and go with each passing year, ‘Three Little Angels’ was so popular that it was sent over 36 million times in its first two decades of production. According to Hallmark’s director of creative writing, Kristin Riott, “Cuteness and God together are unbeatable.”

Christmas Cards Today

Technology advancements in recent decades are making Christmas cards a little less popular. Social media platforms make it easier to stay connected with friends and family all over the world, and face-to-face video conferencing helps form meaningful connections, especially around the holidays.

Along with Mother’s Day, Christmas cards are still the most popular season for card-buying, card making, & sending, with over 1.5 billion individual & boxed cards purchased every year.

Janet and Will’s Skylar Drake Mystery Series

DESERT ICE

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DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

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SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

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STRANGE MARKINGS
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Micromanaging your Manuscript During Editing #5

October 3, 2022 by in category Editing Your Novel Together by E. J. Williams, Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , , , ,

Editing Your Novel Together

Micromanaging your Manuscript During Editing #5

By E.J. Williams

(Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger)

Writing together as E. J. Williams, husband and wife, Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn author the INTER-NATIONAL CRIME FILES, a hardboiled/thriller detective series that takes the reader to 1960s southern California, then on to international locales.

          Even after you’ve written the best book in the world, the pesky task of editing rears its ugly head! To those of you who love editing…our hats are off to you. We have come up with several suggestions that may help ease the editing process, whether you are editing your book for your editor, publisher, agent, or yourself.

          Micromanage each chapter when you edit. Start big, the chapters, then move to scenes and last sentences. Once you get to the sentence stage, fix every tiny problem or error you find. We know, when you are done, you can probably recite your manuscript by heart, but this is necessary.

          Though this mind-numbing task is necessary, it can bring about a great deal of pride when the process is complete. As a couple who write together, we have found these tips work well whether you are working alone or with someone.

And yes…we are still married!

Website: Janet Elizabeth Lynn

Website: Will Zeilinger                 

Some of Janet’s and Will’s Books

DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS
0 0 Read more

Editing Your Novel Together: Dig Deep into the Chapter #4

July 3, 2022 by in category Editing Your Novel Together by E. J. Williams, Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , , , ,

Editing Your Novel Together

Dig Deep into the Chapters #4

by E.J. Williams
(Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger)

Writing together as E. J. Williams, husband and wife, Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn author the INTER-NATIONAL CRIME FILES, a hardboiled/thriller detective series that takes the reader to 1960s southern California, then on to international locales.

Even after you’ve written the best book in the world, the pesky task of editing rears its ugly head! To those of you who love editing . . . our hats are off to you. We have come up with several suggestions that may help ease the editing process, whether you are editing your book for your editor, publisher, agent, or yourself.

While you are editing, look at the arc of each chapter. Does it engage the reader? Does it make the reader want to read more? Does the reader like the good guy and hate the bad guy? Seriously focus on the way the chapter the beginning, the middle, and the end of each chapter.

Though this mind-numbing task is necessary, it can bring about a great deal of pride when the process is complete. As a couple who write together, we have found these tips work well whether you are working alone or with someone.

And yes . . . we are still married!

Website: Janet Elizabeth Lynn  

Website: Will Zeilinger 

Some Books by Janet and Will

DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS

0 0 Read more

1960s Music: Johnny Angel

June 3, 2022 by in category 1960s Music, Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , , ,

Johnny Angel was a song written and composed by Lyn Duddy Pockriss. The song was originally recorded by both Laurie Loman and Georgia Lee. It became a popular hit single when it was recorded by Shelley Fabares in the fall of 1961.

It made No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart when the song was released in 1962. The American pop music duo The Carpenters recorded “Johnny Angel” in 1973 as part of a medley of oldies on side two of their album Now & Then.

 The song premiered on an episode of the, The Donna Reed Show. It also has a sequel song entitled Johnny Loves Me.

 Johnny Angel hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 7, 1962, during a 15-week run on the chart. It charted at number one in both Canada and in New Zealand. It sold over one-million copies and was awarded a Gold Disc. 

Here is a waltz down memory lane. Enjoy!

Books by Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger

DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS
0 1 Read more

Starting a Novel Series with a Partner: The Planning by E. J. Williams

October 3, 2021 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger, Starting a Novel Series with a Partner by E. J. Williams tagged as , , ,

My husband, Will Zeilinger, and I co-write the thrillers of INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY SERIES, as E. J. Williams. Our tales transport the reader from 1962 Southern California to various international locales. In the first new book of the series, STONE PUB, we find ourselves in County Cork, Ireland.

Planning the series, then planning the individual novel in the series takes a great deal of time. It is so easy to get stuck on one idea and not move ahead. The two of us had MANY ideas we threw around.

So, we implemented deadlines—not just for writing (which needs to happen) but at the planning stage … making decisions.

For example, “By the next meeting follow, we will decide on:” 

1) Romantic scene, when, where, and with who.

2) Car chase: where will it take place and who is chasing whom, etc. Once we agree on these details, one of us writes the scene, and the other adds to it.

Beware of analysis/paralysis. We knew of a co-writing team who couldn’t agree on the names of the characters, not just one but all. Their writing ground to a halt for months!

Remember that your mutual goal is to write a good story.

The takeaway: When writing together, plan your approach.

Remember… the crucial thing is to write a good story. So, stay tuned … there is more to come.

STONE PUB is the first in the series, and yes … we are still married!

Websites:

Janet  Elizabeth Lynn

Will Zeilinger


Some of Janet’s and Will’s Novels

DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS

0 0 Read more
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