Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Holiday Touch - Dara Girard

My current work in progress (presently titled MOONLIGHT MASQUERADE, which could change) is scheduled for release this time next year (November 2010). When I was offered this time slot my editor told me that the marketing department likes to put a holiday theme on the book covers for these releases during this period. I was then asked if I could put a holiday scene somewhere in my manuscript.

Wanting to be the good little writer I said, “Sure! No problem.”

Expect there was a problem. I’d already started writing the book and it was set on a Caribbean cruise in the month of July.

Now being I’m a writer, a very creative person (or so I’m told), I was determined to make this work. No problem.

I started the story again and decided that instead of a two week timeline I’d extend it into the holidays. Perfect, right? Um…no.

As the story came alive, my heroine adamantly let me know that she doesn’t celebrate holidays, especially after experiencing a bitter divorce. Okay strike one. But maybe the hero…

He shook his head and said, “Don’t look at me” and although I know his reasons (which I can’t share with you at this point) that didn’t make my job any easier. Strike two.

Fortunately, the heroine’s sister jumped into the picture and said, “I think I can help.”

And she did. Thank goodness. So I’m currently putting in some delightful holiday touches into the story—a menorah gleams in a shop window, miniature lights circle trees, a kwanza sign hangs from a pole and of course there’s snow…

I’m having lots of fun putting these details in. I find myself remembering the smells and sights of the holidays that meant the most to me growing up. During Thanksgiving it was always my duty to decide which table setting we would use (we had three main formal sets) and the corresponding table cloth and napkins. At Christmas my mom and I make gingerbread men and women and we select a new recipe to check out—sometimes our experiments work and sometimes they don’t but they’re always fun...

What holiday details do you like to read in a book? Can you remember a holiday scene from a favorite book? What made it so special?

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Linda Henderson said...

Debbie Macomber always has some great holiday books. I also enjoy the Holiday With A Vampire books from the Nocturne line. I have to admit I'm a sucker for the h/h getting together at the holidays. And if there are babies involved, just that much better. Babies for the holidays are great.

dara0123 said...

Great comment Linda! Yes, I enjoy Debbie Macomber too. I just finished "Christmas Letters" and there were some funny and touching scenes. I also liked the first scene in "Little Women" where Jo complains about no presents for Christmas.


Mary said...

I have a book called The Humbug Man by Diana Palmer. It's a lil book, not very long but I loved it. The Hero starts out so alone and gruff and ends up getting to be so nice and not as gruff as we think. It's such a touching lil story. The holiday themes always leave me smiling.

suehussein said...

I LUV Christmas books!! Every year I buy several books to read in November and December. I'm not really sure that there is any one thing that makes me like them so much. I will read them from any rom genre. I do like an angel in a story and I like when someone comes home for Christmas. Good luck on your holiday book!!! Thanks, Sue