T'is the season to binge watch Christmas movies and indulge in lots of winter romance reading! Carolyn Hector explains why writing these stories is one of her favorite things to do.
Four out of the ten books I have written with Harlequin are Christmas stories. Five of my current WIP are Christmas themed. A friend once asked if I had a Santa-Fetish. Who knows. Maybe.
I mean, I did recently see this pic of a sexy slimmed-down buff Santa in a red blazer with a plaid sweater vest and I volunteered as tribute to sit in his lap.
So what’s the deal with them? The holiday romances. I’m trying to think of my first draw to the two. Was it Rudolph and Clarice in Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer? While one of the morals of the stories was about triumph of bullying, I saw more of a Romeo and Juliet trope.
Maybe my first Christmas romance book stretches all the way to nineteen seventy-something when I read O. Henry and the Gift of the Magi. Your Christmas hero doesn’t have to be a billionaire, he just has to have a thoughtful heart.
A holiday romance combines a few things, a guaranteed HEA, a timeline (Eight days of Hanukkah) and a deadline (Christmas day for example). After that, in my experience, a Christmas romance seems to write itself.
Depending on when you start celebrating Christmas (for me it is 11:59 pm on October 31st), that gives a writer practically two months to meet, fall in love, get a black moment within the twelve days of Christmas and have your happy ending on Christmas day with a ring in a box, a childhood dream gets restored or whatever trope floats your merry boat.
For my books that have been on deadlines, I usually start writing in the summertime. And yes, it is hard to think of chilly noses brushing against another when the temperature is spiking into triple digits. When the AC is working in my office, I’ll put on my headphones and pipe in the Christmas music. Michael Bublé Christmas is my favorite Christmas station on Pandora. There is a mix of R&B, pop, country, and then some. I’m also the type of person who can have the TV on in the background and still be productive. With all the Christmas movies I plan on watching over the holidays, I often tend to let them sit in the DVR until I need some inspiration in the warmer months.
Not everyone is a cheery when it comes to writing Christmas romances. Think about singing artists. They sign a contract to produce five albums (wait, am I dating myself?). They belt out their favorite Christmas songs, maybe write a few of their own (everyone’s striving for that All I Want For Christmas hit). If it’s in you, try it. Plus, once a year you can always promote your book… twice if you celebrate Half-mas.
If you’re thinking about writing a Christmas or holiday romance, go for it! Write what you like. Should there be some Christmas elements? Of course. In Her Mistletoe Bachelor, there wasn’t snow but it did get cold. Also, the story didn’t focus solely on the twenty-fifth of December but the lead up to it, including Black Friday shirts.
Writing Christmas romances gives a plethora of opportunities to put two people together all in the name of holiday tradition. Forced workspace proximity is a good one. In The Magic of Mistletoe, Duke had to hire Macy to help him get out of Christmas trouble by decorating his place.
T'is the season for romance. Seriously, you have a Christmas tree decorating, Christmas dinner, shopping, even a Christmas competition (cupcake baking, cookie decorating, cider making). All of these are prime couple-times. And let’s not forget the mistletoe! That branch of little matchmakers are perfect places for meet-cutes, sparking enemies into lovers, and has been known to revive second chance romances.
I recently saw an article from Screen Rant about the best and worst tropes for the Hallmark movies. I think I’m one of those in the “worst” list and then there’s the weirdest “Meet Cutes” articles. I'll let you make up your own mind there!
I hope after reading this you’ll be in the mood to get started on that holiday romance, and which ever holiday you participate in this year. Ho ho ho!
Are you a big fan of Christmas romances? Do you binge watch Hallmark and Netflix Christmas movies over the holiday period? What are some of your favorites? Share them with us in the comments here or on Social Media using #Wonderland