This week I’m excited to welcome back author Valerie Comer as she shares insight into The Christmas Story experience. Read all the way to the end. She’s giving away a free book to one lucky winner who leaves a comment.
Have you ever seen so many Christmas novels and novellas in your life? Wow, I can’t even count the number I’ve seen… and purchased… and read. Yes, I’m as much a sucker for a good Christmas romance as many other readers are.
Why are Christmas stories, especially romances, so popular? What are readers looking for when they curl up beside the fireplace — kitten curled up on the quilt covering their lap, hot tea at hand — to read a Christmas novel?
Many readers, even those who live in more temperate climates, expect to find an idyllic winter setting. As a Canadian author, I know all about winter! I love the season, and it is my joy to imbue my Christmas stories with as much of that wintry flavor as I can.
Here’s my list of things to keep in mind while writing a Christmas story:
- The story of Jesus’ birth
- Snow, including winter driving, snowball fights, snow angels, snowmen, and tobogganing parties
- Hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies
- Baking and decorating Christmas cookies
- Acquiring and decorating a live pine or fir tree
- Pine boughs, wreaths, and garlands
- Red bows and twinkling lights
- Door-to-door caroling parties
- Sleigh rides
- Sunday school Christmas concerts
- Drives to see the best-decorated neighborhoods
- The wonder as seen through the eyes of children
- Families, friends, and traditions
- Candlelight and fireplaces
- Aromas of cinnamon, ginger, and peppermint
- Nativity sets
- Christmas craft fairs and markets
Of course, a Christmas novel is much, much more than a list of ingredients. Just as in any recipe, not all ingredients go well together, as delicious as they might be in another setting, so I’ll never try to wedge all the above into one story. Any of those items can be used as either a light seasoning or the main flavor.
The best holiday tales include a heartwarming story, characters the reader considers friends, and a feel-good nostalgic experience. There are as many ways to create that experience as there are characters with stories to share in their own unique settings. I haven’t worked my way through all of those yet in my Christmas in Montana Romance series, so I’ve got more Christmas stories left to tell!
What are some of your favorite ingredients in a Christmas novel?
Valerie Comer is a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner who writes where food meets faith and fiction. Her life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for her stories of contemporary Christian romance. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily-ever-afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.
To learn more about Other Than a Halo, read the complete first chapter, or find purchase links to Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and iBooks, click here: http://valeriecomer.com/halo
I’m happy to give away an e-book copy of either of my Christmas in Montana Romances (More Than a Tiara or Other Than a Halo), anywhere in the world.
What do you look for in a Christmas novel?