5-18 Powell's City of Books, World's Largest Indie Bookstore by Judith Ashley and Sarah Raplee

Friday, November 24, 2017

Novels & Holidays-What’s A Good Blend?

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Recently, I participated in one of the interesting Roundtables sponsored by International Thriller Writers organization. The question up for discussion asked if holidays offer good backgrounds for thriller novels. My answer was “yes,” and I’ll give the same answer for romance novels.

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Holidays provide excellent backdrops for novels, because most of us associate important holidays as well as the time frames that surround them with certain moods. So if readers associate the Christmas season ideal with good cheer and family togetherness, authors can use this pre-set expectation as shorthand in creating the setting for the story. That allows the author to either defy expectations or play off them for humor. 

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An example of defying expectations would be having the main characters and/or the plot be very dark. In the thriller movie genre, Die Hard, uses a Christmas party setting for terror and violence. The Holiday movie offers an example of a romantic comedy that features two very depressed heroines who exchange houses for their holiday vacations to escape the people who are making them sad.

Of course, holiday-themed novels and movies (of any genre) work best if they avoid clichés and offer surprising twists.

One of the masters at delivering holiday surprises—and combining romance with humor—is one of our fellow Romancing the Genres bloggers, Robin Weaver.  I highly recommend her holiday novellas to boost your spirits after a tough day shopping or standing over the stove. 

This post is very short, because I have guests and I haven’t begun my cooking for Thanksgiving. (I’m writing this the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.) I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Judith Ashley said...

Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving, Linda! And I totally agree that Robin Weaver is a master (or maybe mistress) at delivering delightful holiday novellas that blend romance and humor!!!

Linda Lovely said...

Thanksgiving was great. The leftovers are even better--no cooking. Hope everyone takes a break from their shopping to give Robin's holiday novellas a try.

Sarah Raplee said...

Thanks for the recommendations,Linda! I love Robin's sense of humor, so I'll be adding these to my TBR list!

M Connel said...

Enjoyed the read! Big fan of Robin as well. :) Happy Holidays!

Maggie Lynch said...

I agree that any setting can be tied into the holidays. Thanks for sharing Robin's novella. I had no idea she wrote any Christmas stories at all. How about you, Linda? Do you have any Christmas stories (short or long) in your secret vault?