Baby, it’s HOT outside. The sun is shining and the beach is beckoning. But inside my writing den, it’s cinnamon spiced and Christmas scented with jolly Christmas music jingling and the click-clacking of keyboards popping. July and August are Christmas time for me and my Author’s Billboard buddies–busy little bees tapping out Christmas all summer long.
Christmas hits our house early in the year. Shortly after the New Year, while the confetti’s sprinkled on the floor and the empty champagne bottles hit the recycling bin, Christmas is already a sparkle in my eye. Our Author’s Billboard team starts thinking about our Christmas boxed sets. We brainstorm themes and concepts and comb through our series looking for characters needing a merry, ho, ho, ho, and love under the Christmas tree.
Tentative titles are jotted down, covers made, and the ideas go into hibernation until June, July, or August. Then it’s crank up the Christmas playlists, browse for Christmas photos, stream Christmas movies to get into the mood, and sample Christmas recipes and research Christmas traditions and decorations. While the weather is hot outside, snow and evergreen trees swirl in my mind. My son comes downstairs and ask, “What’s with the Christmas songs? What’s going on?” My husband wonders why Christmas paraphrenalia are showing up at the door: a snowglobe here and an ornament there. It’s all part of living with Christmas all summer long.
This year, I’m writing three Christmas romances. Two of them are with my editor and the third one is just getting started. You’d think I’d be sick of Christmas by now, but I love it. It’s a season of joy and cheer, of family and friends, of giving and forgiving, and of love and re-loving. It’s the magic of a child’s wishes, a grandmother’s care, a friend’s suggestion, and a stranger’s yearning–a season for belonging and a reason for welcoming. Some common themes are: coming home, finding a friend, going from Grinch to elf, turning charitable, warming up the grieving, and blessing the poor in spirit. An outsider is brought into the fold. An estranged relationship is restored. Or an unexpected distraction turns into attraction. These are some of the fun Christmas romance themes to write about–all year round.
[Sweet] Dashing Through Christmas, Misty Jolly and Dash Weston play guessing games while rushing through a Christmas project with no help from Westie, a “talking” dog.
[Sweet] Dottie’s Christmas Wish, All Merry Jolly wants is to make Dr. Colton Dale smile. All his daughter, Dottie, wants is a dog. Will Christmas wishes come true for three lonely hearts?
[Sassy] Santa on Strike, Bette’s bar is on the ropes when her biggest attraction, the barroom Santa, goes on strike a few days before Christmas.
Be sure to sign up for the Author’s Billboard Newsletter to be notified of our upcoming Christmas boxed sets for a fun festivities and romance in the air.
Rachelle Ayala is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book.
Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, Christmas Stray received a 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, and Playing for the Save got the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in Realistic Fiction.
She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.