Holidays are for Love! by Rebekah Ganiere
The Holiday Season is upon us! It feels like from the moment we hit October 1st it is all about the holidays. Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years. Not a moment of our lives goes by that we aren’t hearing about Starbuck’s Red Cups, or Black Friday sales early. It’s crazy! But amazing and heartwarming and fun at the same time. And one of the biggest things I see are, Holiday books. Romances revolving around this special time of year.
Did you know Holiday Romances are some of the best selling books out there? People love to read about this special time of year and relive it in books, movies and anything else they can, all year long. Why? Well, I think it’s because this is the time of year that we see a more generous spirit and out pouring of love and affection. It’s a time for reflection for home and for family. For being together and looking forward to the future of what’s to come. Who doesn’t want to relive that?
So, when it comes to writing, what is a holiday story and where do you start if you want to write one?
The biggest thing to think about when writing a Holiday Romance is setting. Setting is key. I say this as someone who grew up in Idaho where it was always snowy and cold for Christmas, but in college I lived in Hawaii for a year and let me tell you, it isn’t the same. Christmas lights on palm trees isn’t festive. Sorry Hawaii. I love you, but you aren’t for Christmas. Unless I’m vacationing in Maui for New Years!
So when you think about setting what do you think about? Seeing? Hearing? Smelling? Tasting? Feeling? These are the first things you need to concentrate on when you are creating a Holiday Romance. The holidays are about all five senses and you need to utilize them all to create a believable holiday experience.
What kinds of things do you see at holiday time? Red, Green, Blue and Silver? Stockings and trees and presents? Symbols of the season with candles and candy canes, dreidels and gelt. Those things need to be worked into a holiday romance. Big puffy white clouds of snow piled high. Children having snowball fights. Horse drawn sleighs. Santa at the mall. Seeing is the main way people take in information so it’s a great place to start your setting and descriptions.
But, what do you hear and feel at holiday time? Music? Bells? Church choirs and classical music? Do you feel the warmth of kindness in the air or the heat from a fireplace? Maybe you feel the chill of the cold white snow falling like tiny angels and blanketing the ground. Maybe you feel your old wool scarf that great aunt Edna knitted for you. Or maybe you hear your drunken uncle Joe talking about his new Christmas sweater for the millionth time.
What do you taste and smell? Hot cocoa? Eggnog and pumpkin pie. Okay seriously, pumpkin everything in the world, let’s be honest! Turkey and gingerbread. Smell is the biggest memory trigger out there, but yet we overlook it a lot of times in our writing. Pine trees and garland smell like the Holidays. Peppermint cookies, and candy. Cinnamon coffee and tea. And everything you taste, you smell first.
You can have a holiday story packed full of angst or murder or cop shoot outs, and as long as you nail your setting, it’s still a Holiday Romance. When you nail the setting and descriptions with familiar items people can relate to you will draw them in and have them remembering the items from their own pasts. You’ll suck them into your world and make it feel real. And that’s what people want. They want to relive the holiday season all year round. So nailing your setting and descriptions are the best way to do that.
Think of Die Hard, or Jingle all the Way, or Home Alone. All action type movies. All around Christmas. So you see them as Holiday Movies.
Holiday Romance’s can be about any holiday from summer vacation to Valentine’s Day to Samhain. It’s the setting that will ground people and have them hooked from the start. Make a list of the things you remember growing up from your holidays. Take notes when watching holiday movies or when you’re experiencing the holidays this season. Jot them down to use later on. Setting is something I find I write more effectively when I take notes as I’m experiencing it. You might be surprised at some of the things you write down.
Rebekah is an Award Winning Bestselling Author. Her debut novel Dead Awakenings, hit the bestseller list the first day, in January 2014. Her Fairelle Series, released in May 2014 and has won several awards including the Golden Palm and a finalist for Rone Award. Her trilogy The Society was released by Kensington in 2014 and her new series Shifter Rising is releasing in 2016 from Samhain Press.
Rebekah is currently working on six series in the Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Sci-fi genres. She has three more books slated to release this year and another five for next year.
Rebekah is the VP of Communications of the Romance Writers of America Los Angeles Chapter as well as the Newsletter Editor of the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal Chapter. In her spare time when she isn’t writing you can find her moderating and teaching on SavvyAuthors.com or at RWA. Rebekah also cosplays with her kids and is a guest speaker and panelist at San Diego Comic Con and Salt Lake Comic Con and several other Comic Cons on the west coast as well as LTUE, Romantic Times Convention, and Authors After Dark.