I’m a planner. No, I’m a super planner. I love planning things almost as much as I love doing the actual things. I can spend a year planning a family vacation.
Imagine how unprepared I was for the curveballs of this year. I had big plans in my personal life and for my books. I plan my writing schedule about a year in advance. I write one book at a time, but I think and build those upcoming stories for months before I sit down to write the first word.
I had to learn to adapt and fast! Thankfully, I settled into the new normal without many hiccups, and it put me ahead in my writing schedule.
That’s how I ended up writing a Christmas romance in the sweltering Alabama summer. It was ridiculous and fun. My first Christmas romance, Rescued by the Hero, released in early October, but I wrote it in the wrong season.
I had to do a major mindset shift. The view outside my office window was green grass and blue skies, but I was writing about the snowy Rocky Mountains in December.
To fool my writing mind into thinking I knew what it felt like to step outside the mountain lodge into the frigid snow, I focused on my favorite time of the year—Christmas.
I didn’t go as far as to put out the holiday decorations, but I thought about all the wonderful things I love about the Christmas season. Gingerbread houses, trimming the tree, wrapping gifts, and singing carols. I can’t say I was excited about all things white and fluffy. I’m not a fan of snow, and thankfully, Christmas in my part of the world is rarely snowy.
I thought about our Christmas traditions. My husband always reads the story of Christ’s birth to our family on Christmas Eve. My daughter and I decorate gingerbread houses all throughout the month of December. We attend a candlelight service at church. We play a loose (yet competitive) game of dirty Santa with my husband’s family. There are so many things I love about the celebration of Christ and Christmas.
So, when I wrote Rescued by the Hero while watching my daughter run through the sprinklers in the front yard, I gave the main character, Aiden, a special family tradition. Aiden’s parents used to dance to Christmas carols while decorating for the holiday and opening presents on Christmas morning. When his dad died, Aiden danced with his mother at Christmas.
Don’t we all grow a little closer to each other and draw nearer to Christ in the season when we celebrate Him? I think dancing is a perfect illustration of the season where our hearts are focused on Him and the wonderful gift He gave us.
I believe the popularity of Christmas novels and movies is due to the hope and promise found in the celebration of Christ. Who wouldn’t want to shout about the gift He gave us every day of the year?
If you’re still looking for a Christmas story to warm your heart this year, you can check out the Heroes of Freedom Ridge series. It’s six Christian romances set in the fictional town of Freedom, Colorado.
I’ll be giving away an ebook copy of the first book in the Heroes of Freedom Ridge series, Rescued by the Hero. To enter, I would love it if you would share your favorite Christmas novel in the comments. A winner will be chosen on Monday, December 21, 2020.