Hi everyone! I’m so glad to be among my readers at RJ
again. You always have interesting comments and questions for
me. Some of them I even pass on to my editor! Like which of my
covers are your favorite, etc.
Today I thought I’d start off with talking about my favorite
holiday of the year–Valentine’s Day. (Christmas is a close
second.) My husband and I have a couple of traditions. After my son
was born many many moons ago, I went through the baby blues. So that
February, my hubby left me a note or a small gift every day the week
before Valentine’s Day. It’s developed into a tradition and we still
do that for each other. But Valentine’s Day means more than romance
to me. It’s also a time to tell friends and relatives how much I
appreciate them. I’d like to hear about your Valentine’s traditions.
This year around Valentine’s Day, besides spending some
special time with my husband, I’ll be spending some time with
friends. We get together with some of my high school classmates once
a month. Next week, we’ll be going to one of their houses and making
an Italian tradition–sausage bread. We’ll all have a hand in
it–literally. And we’ll be talking and sharing while the loaves are
baking. I can’t wait.
Because holidays mean a lot to me, I incorporate them into
many of my romances. There are several reasons why I set my books
during holiday festivities.
When I’m plotting a book, I fill in emotional conflict
points first. But then I look to other events that can impact
conflict and propel the storyline forward. Using holidays gives such
a selection of scenes to choose from–from cooking the turkey, to
trimming the tress, from gratitude for blessings to resolutions and
celebrations for the new year. Everything about a Valentine’s Day
date shouts romance and can complicate or consummate a relationship.
Any holiday elicits descriptions of decorations, scenery,
ethnic traditions and scents of the season. Warmth is automatically
established with a wreath on the door and cinnamon scent emanating
from the kitchen. A cornucopia on the dining room table to red foil
hearts dangling in a ball room give the reader an immediate sense of
time and recognition of the calendar date. For me, descriptions just
seem to write themselves because I have a history of holidays from
which to draw colors and icons and fanciful imaginings.
I think our hearts are attached to holidays. The memories
of both happy and sad ones tug at us year after year and seem to grow
larger rather than diminish. For that reason, my characters share my
emotions and heartfelt sentiments and that can’t help but imbue my
writing. Love for significant others and family seems huger, wider
and more encompassing around holidays. Emotions run high and
conflict as well as connection lurk around every corner, propelling
the plot and urging personal growth.
Children appear in many of my romances. They are so much
fun to write about during holidays–their wide-eyed wonder, their
questions about holidays past, their yearning for closeness with the
people who matter most to them. When I write about them I travel
back into my childhood–putting out cookies and waiting for Santa,
welcoming cousins to celebrate with me, reading the Christmas story,
receiving valentines from friends and in later years from that special someone.
Most of all I write about holidays because readers identify
Each year, I hope for the perfect holiday. I believe
readers do, too. In a romance I can give that to them. THE DADDY
DILEMMA is a really good example. It covers from Thanksgiving
through New Year’s Day. If you enjoy holidays, a man and woman
falling in love and a child fueling their caring for each other, I
think you’ll enjoy THE DADDY DILEMMA which was released last week by
Silhouette Special Edition.
Holidays can provide an extra spark to a story. That’s why
I use them often.
I look forward to reading your comments and questions. Have
a great day.
Karen Rose Smith