hosted by Beth
It is my pleasure to welcome author Holly Jacobs to the lair today! Holly's latest book for Harlequin Superromance, HOMECOMING DAY, is out now. Here's Holly...
by Holly Jacobs
I love Christmas. And no, it has nothing to do with my name, or a possible holiday birthday. I was actually born in August and Mom named me Holly because she didn’t want me to have a nickname, which would explain why I’ve spent most of my life known as “Hall.” LOL But I digress. I love Christmas because it’s a holiday that’s all about family. As my four children have aged, they’ve started talking about Christmases past with a hint of nostalgia. “Mom, remember when we were little and you made us sit at the top of the stairs while you turned on the tree and lights on Christmas morning?” “Mom, remember that Christmas you let us have Christmas cookies for breakfast?” “Mom...” You get the point. They have great memories of the holiday. So do I.
Maybe that’s why I so enjoy writing holiday stories. For me, the holidays mean family, and it doesn’t matter if I’m writing straight up comedy, or my more dramatic, emotional romances, my books all tend to have family and community at their heart.
This month’s SuperRomance, Homecoming Day, certainly does. I introduced the Keller family, who live in Whedon, PA, in last winters, Unexpected Gifts. They had a cameo in February’s A One-of-a-Kind Family. I had so many wonderful letters from readers, and many people asked for Seth (the quiet, alienated Keller brother) and Tucker (the heroine of Unexpected Gift’s best friend) stories.
Homecoming Day is Seth’s (Tucker’s story will be out in Sept. of ‘11). In it, I explain why he’s estranged from his parents. Now, I’ll confess, I don’t always agree with my character’s actions or reactions. I understand why Seth is alienated, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how I’d react. That’s the gift writers receive...the gift of seeing the world through another set of eyes. Seth’s story broke my heart more than a little as I wrote the book. And the heroine of the story, Laura, broke it the rest of the way. Helping them heal...well, that was my joy as a writer. I have mottos or high concepts for most of my books. Their story centered around the idea that “Life gives second chances...sometimes so does love.” As a writer, I loved helping Seth and Laura find their second chances!
I guess that’s another reason I love this time of year. It’s not only that it’s about family, it’s the idea that the new year is just around the corner and that’s a time of new beginnings and second chances. That’s why we make New Year’s resolutions...we’re hoping to change something about ourselves or our life–to allow ourselves to start over. A few years ago, I started giving myself a word of the year, rather than a resolution. Something to reflect on as the year plays out. I don’t like the winning/losing aspects of resolutions. If you don’t accomplish it, you lose. With a word of the year, occasionally thinking about it and try to incorporate it into your life...well, you’ve won! And if you pick the right word, it can certainly make a positive change in your life.
I’ve used the word AWARENESS and OPTIMISM in past years. I write the year’s word on a neon Post-It and stick on my desk, where I’ll see it regularly. I haven’t settled on a word for this year. I’m thinking of Glee...a word I tend to use a lot in my day-to-day life. But I’m not sure. Has anyone else ever had a word/motto of the year?? If not, and you had to pick one for next year, what would it be?
PS. As part of the blog's 12 Days of Christmas, I'm going to pick a random name from those who respond and send them a copy of the first Whedon book, Unexpected Gifts!
It's FINALLY here! The Romance Bandits 12 Days of Christmas Booty. Every day between now and Christmas, one lucky commenter per day will win a daily prize and on some days, additional goodies from that day's blogging Bandita or guest. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we'll give away more booty including autographed books, GR mugs and much more! Come join us! Tell your friends! Let's make the Season BRIGHT!