Friday, December 18, 2015

The Christmas Crunch

It’s that time of year. Holiday lights are hanging, Christmas trees are being decorated, and in the bustle of the season all I want is to sit down and read a good book. Something to give me the warm, fuzzy feelings of Christmas.

When I was growing up, my mother would give me a book for Christmas every year. And once we had finished opening our presents on Christmas morning, I would curl up in the corner with my new book. Sometimes I would finish it that day. Sometimes it would take me until New Year’s, but it was one of my favorite parts of Christmas break: sitting down for hours and reading a story that I wanted to read.

I didn’t realize until much later that once I hit about fifteen the books my mother was giving me were actually sweet adult romances. Nothing naughty in them, of course, but the characters were adults. This month my very first Christmas story was published, and it is a sweet adult romance, built to give all the warm fuzzy Christmas feeling with a little bit of daring humor thrown in. With ballet and taxidermy how can you go wrong?

I’m usually a YA author, but for Christmas I was automatically attracted to writing about adult characters. So I started doing a little research, and there are, in fact, a good group of YA Christmas stories available. And not even like Harry Potter I-mention-Christmas-for-a-few-chapters. These are real Christmas stories.

But I’d never heard of any of them.

I suppose that’s one of the problems with writing for a specific season. Your window of opportunity to publicize and sell your book is remarkably short, so finding traction to create a huge reader base would require a miracle of Lifetime Original Movie proportions. Especially in YA where being new and hot feels even more important than in adult romance.

I know by now you’re probably thinking that my point is clearly that anyone who writes a Christmas story is insane and should never be published. But it’s not. Expectations need to be tempered, and promotions need to be done with even more intensity than a normal project. But I think it’s worth it. To be the author that put someone in the holiday mood, who gave a reader that warm and cozy feeling while they curled up with your characters, is worth the stress of releasing during the holiday season.

And who knows? You might just become a Christmas tradition.

So tell me, what’s your favorite Christmas story?

1 comment:

  1. Though its MG, not YA, my family discovered the lovely Christmas mystery, "Greenglass House" by Kate Milford last year. I read aloud a chapter (or 2-3) every night as we snuggled around the lit Christmas tree with cocoa. Everyone from my Husband and 16yo son down to my 7yo loved the story. It had something for everyone. It was like an Agatha Christie for MG but with some RPG fun, and a bit of a ghost story too. So good!