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Friday, December 31, 2010

Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Frances Pauli

Click here and tell us what Frances developed for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

A Holly Jolly Story

I had no intention of ever writing a holiday story. I mean, I had nothing against them. I just hadn’t really considered doing it. Somewhere along the way, I relegated them to the category labeled, “interesting but not on my agenda.” Oh, how wrong I was. 

Last year I sold my first books, and I was dead in the middle of the waiting for the next step—any next step—to happen when the holiday season hit. I watched new releases intently, scrutinizing the author’s strategy, the cover art, titles, excerpts etc in hopes of learning something I could use when my turn rolled around. Surprisingly, something about those holiday stories struck an unexpected chord. I wanted one. I developed a bad case of holiday story envy. 

Maybe the season just lends itself to romance. The chemistry is already flowing, a romantic mood is upon the entire nation—sighing, happy, glassy-eyed anticipation is in abundance, after all. At the very least, those holly-enshrouded covers looked enticing. They looked fun! I wanted to play too, and I vowed that the next season, I’d have a holiday release among the crowd. 

Well, by George, I did it. Let me tell you, it was even more fun than I suspected, and I haven’t even hit release day yet. I learned a few things along the way too. Primarily, it’s not quite so easy to feel holly jolly when you’re writing in March. Who knew? Even so, I think a holiday romance is the perfect mating of warm-fuzzy things. So I thought I’d share the reasons I believe romance and the season of cheer are a perfect match.

#1 The excitement. I mentioned this, that breathless anticipation is contagious, and a core thing in common between romance and our favorite time of year. 

#2 The clothing. Fancy dress parties--velvet, fur trim… how much more romance-y can you get?

#3 The food. Sweets for the sweet. The pervasive smell of comfort foods baking, sigh. 

#4 The weather. Cold equals bundling and, more importantly, snuggling. 

#5 The presents. What is better than a romantic gift? (Especially one handed over on bended knee)

#6 The magic. The most important element, I suspect, is that holiday magic. You know what I mean, the feeling that anything can happen. The holiday season screams miracles. It’s a time full of surprises and magic and very happy endings.

What more could we want in our romance? Well, maybe there are a few things. Still, for this author capturing the romance of the holiday on the page illustrated just how much they belonged together. I hope everyone reads a holiday romance this season, and has a fantastic celebration of their own. 

Thanks for having me.
Frances Pauli

Despite a tragic predilection to paint, Frances finally discovered her calling as a writer sometime in her mid thirties. As a lifetime reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy, the stories that clammer for her attention inevitably fall into the Speculative Fiction category.

She currently resides in Washington State with her husband, two small children, and a host of unusual and exotic pets.

Frances eats far too much chocolate, drinks far too little wine and does her best to get the stories out and on paper before they drive her completely insane.

More about her work and links to her stories can be found at: 


marybelle said...

I actively seek out holiday romances, so well done.

Linda Swift said...

I agree with every reason you gave for holiday books. They are fun to write.
Good luck with all your books.
Yesterday's guest, Linda Swift

Frances Pauli said...

I'm really enjoying reading them as well. I should have started years ago! :-)
Do you guys have any great favorites? Must reads?

Linda Swift said...

Sure. I'd like to suggest Let Nothing You Dismay by Linda Swift. (Commercial here) It's only $2.10 on sale at The Wild Rose Press. It got all five star reviews including LASR and I have a video of it on YouTube. And it's set in a real live KY Welcome Center in my home town. Seriously, I think you'd like it, Frances. But before the season ends as I find Christmas stories sort of stale afterwards, don't you?

Sherry Gloag said...

I've just finished my first Valentine's story which comes out on Feb 2nd and had great fun writing it,now I'm considering trying my hand at a Christmas one. Reading your post has given me that last little push to get my butt on the chair and my fingers onto the keyboard :-)
Hope 2011 is kind to you and yours.

Frances Pauli said...

Linda, I will go and have a look! As for the timing, I suspect it would depend on the holiday story... and the romance involved.
:-) I can watch White Christmas year round, but rudolph would be pushing it! LOL
I've even been known to enjoy Elf when it was nowhere near December, but then, that one's good for a laugh anytime.

Sherry, I hadn't even thought of Valentine's Day! Very cool. I do have a halloween short in the works for next year...and of course, another Christmas one.

Linda Swift said...

You're right, Frances. Both my Christmas books do have a lot more going on than a visit from Santa. And my ed. at TWRP said this one, Let Nothing You Dismay, should be advertised as "If you want to keep the spirit of Christmas all year, you need to read this book. I see that we are both writing for Awe-Struck. That's the pub who has my other Chrismtas book. And this year I had a Christmas short story released by Willow Moon Publishing. Will your Chrismtas story be released this year? After Christmas or is it out now? Well, it's going on 2011 so again, Happy New Year. Linda

Frances Pauli said...

I just released my first novel through Awe-struck! You have a Christmas story there, now I'm off to look again. lol You're keeping me hopping.
My holiday story, Lords of Oak and Holly, came out on Dec. 15 and it's avail. through Devine Destinies.
The Awe-struck book is a humorous SFR about a maid in a hotel for inter-dimensional travelers.
I'm on the west coast so still creeping up on 2011, but Happy New Year to everyone just the same! Felicitations.