Do you read holiday romances? I do. I read them, and re-read them when the season comes around, and keep adding them to my collection. Addicted much? I admit it. But I have questions for you.
1) Since these stories often center around Christmas activities, do you read them even if you are not of the Christian faith?
2) Does the historical context of the period make the “religious” parts of these stories, if there is some, acceptable if you don’t like “inspirational” romances?
3) Do you read them at any other time of year??
You may wonder why I am asking all these questions! I have been working on my first “holiday romance” –a Regency set in the countryside over the 12 days of Christmastide, starting on Christmas Eve day and ending on Twelfth Night. But my major medical issues and those of my husband are interfering with my ability to get it done when I had hoped, and I am considering releasing it AFTER Christmas. So here’s my biggest question:
–would you buy a holiday romance after the holidays?
Book sales usually decline during December, when folks are too busy, and they tend to pick up afterwards –I guess people have time to read again once they get through the press of getting ready and celebrating!! But I would love to know if you think it would be lame to release a holiday story after Christmas, say for Twelfth Night (January 6) instead?
LOL, that’s if I can even make that deadline. But I’m considering it. My poor characters really want their story to get out there, and not have to wait until next year!! I would love to know what you think.
THE LORD OF MISRULE: On a snowy Christmas Eve day, a vicar’s daughter runs into the Devil himself, or is he just the Lord of Misrule? In a season of miracles and magic, can love bind two unlikely hearts in the days leading to Twelfth Night?
I read Christmas Regencies and am a Christian but I can’t stand most of the, admittedly limited “Inspirational” genre (I belong to a minority sect and we don’t use terms that I see in lots of inspirational lit which tends to bump me out of my train of thought. Also, it can be a bit heavy-handed.) My sexy-times tolerance is fairly low.
So, to answer your questions, I don’t need Christmas Regencies to be centered on the religious aspects of the holiday but I think it’s weird to white-wash religion out of the times. (I mean, Jane Austen wrote formal prayers out, most people attended church on a regular basis.) But I can see why talking even about those things might impinge on the imaginary world you’re creating in a book, especially if the sexy-times are dialed up. (I write in this genre, in small part, so I can avoid modern sexual mores. Who am I to judge if a writer isn’t so keen to wade into religious practices and wants to avoid that part of things?) Shorter: I’m fairly uptight but have swallowed a lot weird set-ups in Christmas Regencies which tend to be slightly bananas on that scale. I wouldn’t worry about the tack you choose to take as long as it’s well-written.
I am unlikely to buy a Christmas book out of the season unless it’s part of a series that I am bingeing. Good luck with your book!
I would read it. And buy it. I still have paper back regency christmas anthologies and dig them out at all times of the year. Especially when I need my faith in human kind restored. So write on and keep the faith.
I have an entire box of the old Signet Regency Christmas compilations and every year or so, I pull them out and reread them. I do tend to save Christmas books until the holidays, even though I might buy it several months beforehand.
Regarding the “religious” question, I take into account the time period in which the story is set. Religion was a part of people’s lives at that time.
I’m pretty much the oddball Regency fan who doesn’t have a special fondness for Christmas romances. I think this is very personal. For me, Christmas became a time when my family of origin pretended to be warm and loving, even though we were disconnected and unsupportive the rest of the year. So I have a certain cynicism about whether the season itself can help bring about love and healing. That having been said, there are things I do enjoy about the season (and enjoy more now that I don’t celebrate with family of origin). I can enjoy a Christmas Regency that is well-written, as I’m sure yours will be, as long the characters do the work of becoming right for each other and Christmas isn’t a gimmick.
I was raised Christian and still value Jesus’s teachings although I now draw on a lot of traditions for inspiration and spiritual practice. I think that writing about some of the religious observances in Regency England helps to keep the historical feeling. At the same time, the emphasis can and probably should be less on specific dogma and more on the universal qualities the season represents–like love, hope, giving. People of any valid religious tradition (or none at all) can relate to those. Again, I expect that is more the way you are likely to go with this.
Oh, and as far as when to release, I don’t see anything wrong in releasing after Christmas. Maybe do that and then re-promote, perhaps with sale, next fall?
I read some of my Christmas stories this past summer when I decided that “Christmas in June/July” would perk up my poor moods. I buy them throughout the year, although I usually save them for autumn.
Do what you must to take care of hubby, then put the book out. Nobody will fault your priorities.
Ladies, thank you so much for your comments! I appreciate the input and also the support. Things are a bit tough on the home front right now, but you’ve made me feel better about the wip –and that makes me feel better mentally!!