The air is crisp and there is a hint of frost on the wind. A few flakes drift through the air; the soft white iciness hits the windowpane and melts. It’s that time of the year again—time for the holiday novel.
What is it about holiday novels that we love? And you can’t deny that we do. If you read romance, at one point or another, you’ve curled up in your favorite reading spot with a Christmas book in your hands. I know that some bookstore patrons moan when they see the plethora of holiday reading hitting the shelves in mid to late October, but I’m not one of them.
As readers, what is it about these books that we love? For some it is the comfort, the familiarity of slipping away into a happily-ever-after fantasy in the midst of the mall madness. It is an escape from the holiday frenzy. And there are holiday stories to suit all tastes. You can laugh, you can cry, or you can sigh. Want something a bit different? Celebrate the Christmas season with vampires or werewolves. Slip into an erotic fantasy or sample some magic. It’s all available.
As well, it’s a way for us to get our fix from some of our favorite writers while we wait for their next book. It’s also a wonderful means of sampling new authors we might not yet have tried. There is nothing like the thrill of discovering a fabulous new author for the rabid romance reader. I should know, being a rabid reader myself!
As writers, why do we love to write these books? For one, we know that readers like them. But it is much more than that. Holidays are rife with emotion, with magic, with possibilities. How can we resist?
Take Valentine’s Day. Is there any other such emotionally charged day in the calendar year? I think not. For right or wrong, this day has become synonymous with love. For many single and divorced women, it is an ordeal to be gotten through. Even for those who have boyfriends or husbands, it is fraught with emotion. Will he remember? Will he forget?
Let’s not forget Halloween. This is the time of year when we indulge in the dark side of human nature. Masks, vampires, werewolves, and things that go bump in the night all lend themselves to fantastical and erotic adventures. Who we are behind the mask may be more of who we really are in the light of day, but we feel more freedom to show it behind the guise of a masquerade.
That brings us back to Christmas. No matter what your belief system, you have to admit that this is a magical time of year when anything is possible and miracles do happen. Is there any way a writer could resist the temptation to write about this holiday? I think not. With the fire crackling in the fireplace, candles lit, the scent of pine and popcorn wafting through the air, it is a scene just begging for a story of unrequited love or perhaps love found between strangers. Secrets abound and the possibilities are endless.
Plus, holiday stories are usually shorter than full-sized books, allowing the author to indulge in a quicker project in between novels. It’s fun and it’s very satisfying. I’ve written a Valentine, Halloween, and a Christmas story and I’ve enjoyed every second of creating each one.
But I’m also a reader, so I’ll be checking out all the new holiday books this season and picking up one or two of them to get me through the holiday mayhem and put me in the Christmas spirit.
Happy Holidays to one and all!