Recently, I released my latest novel, Christmas at Maplemont Manor, and it’s been terrific fun to read the reviews as readers start to discover it. The best part is seeing how readers enjoyed the novel and were able to escape into the cozy Christmas season in Maplemont.
Writers all know the challenge of creating a world and hoping that readers will pick up the vibe that has been typed out for them. For this novel, my goal was to create the coziest and dreamiest Christmas season and town for readers.
Early on in the planning of the the book, I made the decision to ‘go big or go home’ with Christmas, essentially turning the holiday itself almost into an essential character because it is so ingrained throughout the entire book. Readers know all too well that there are romance novels that take place during a holiday season and then there are holiday romance novels.
With the former, the holiday provides a sense of time and a little context or structure, but one could easily image the same novel at any time of year, substituting another holiday or season. Holidays and seasons are best described in the smaller details, from pumpkin spice to gingerbread, details are very important to build that seasonal world escape.
With Christmas at Maplemont Manor, readers will discover a very cozy and heartwarming holiday romance novel that could only happen at Christmas. If ‘Christmas romance’ was a genre, then this novel would sit quite comfortably in that space.
From the protagonists’ frost impressions to the elfterward, Christmas is so interwoven into the novel that the holiday can’t possibly be removed. The risk, of course, is that readers might only want to read the novel during a very specific time period of the month around Christmas. I decided to be OK with that in order to build the snow globe world of Maplemont.
So far from the reviews, I’m delighted to see that readers are picking up that cozy vibe and enjoying Christmas in July, August, or September. It’s so rewarding to have ‘gone big’ with embracing a holiday romance novel and finding that readers are enjoying that escapism and a little Christmas magic. Pull out that ‘ugly sweater’ and stir the cocoa – the residents of Maplemont is just waiting for you to visit them over the holidays (where you’ll find Christmas magic all throughout the year)!