The Christmas season is over, but for authors who write Holiday Romances, the season carries on as long as our muses demand! Always a fan of Christmas (much like Hobby Lobby, I have the Christmas carols blaring by September!), I read plenty of Holiday Romances (and watch plenty of Hallmark movies, too!). I am playing with the idea of writing my own next year, and I wanted to get the skinny on how it's done from someone who really knows, so I reached out to the amazing romance author, Nicole Dykes, for info!
Nicole is a favorite author of mine, writing books that have a fantastic balance of heart and
heat (as her tagline proclaims!), and she's written several Holiday Romances including two Christmas books and a summertime Holiday Romance (I love me a summer getaway). Definitely check out An Inked Christmas (Adamson Family Series), A Monroe Christmas (Monroe Family Series), and An Unmissable Vacation (Monroe/Adamson Family)!
I'll also be adding her upcoming work, Vengeful Bastard, to my TBRs on Goodread because, damn that COVER!!!
Now let's see what tips Nicole has for us wanna-be Holiday Romance writers!
Skylar: I know you’ve written “holiday romances” in the form of both Christmas holiday books and a summer getaway book. I would assume that the Christmas books, at least, are most popular near the holiday time itself. Do you have a certain time of the year that you start writing holiday books so that they will be published and available by the holiday?
Nicole: I'm kind of a nut. I write fairly fast so I usually write it in November or October for Christmas and maybe May for summer. But I really only write them if they fit in with what I just released. My recent holiday one, An Inked Christmas, the timing was just perfect. I had finished the last of the Adamsons and needed a book to bridge them to my next adventures. It worked out!
Skylar: I loooove your Monroe and Adamson Family series, and it’s so great to spend some more time with beloved characters during the holidays. Do you write holiday books with characters that your readers already have some relationship to for a reason, or would you also consider writing a holiday standalone if the muse hit?
Nicole: First of all, thank you! Usually I use it as a way to catch up with past characters. I don't offer a ton of info after a couple gets it together in my books. I always plan to catch up with them later so I love to use the holiday books to do that. I would consider doing a holiday standalone in the future. I very rarely say never!
Skylar: Are your holiday books generally shorter than your regular books or do you go with the same length? When they’re shorter, is that something you were aiming for or did it just happen when planning out the holiday-storyline plot?
Nicole: Yes, I always do novellas. They are usually set in a weekend or just a few days and I use them as a quick check in. Honestly they are usually written in a time crunch also so there's that.
Skylar: Do you try and write a Christmas book every year for marketing reasons, or do you just wait until the muse hits?
Nicole: I only do it if the timing fits into the stories. And usually as kind of a "gift" to my readers. Some people feel a deep connection to the Monroes and Adamsons. I'm unbelievably honored by that and feel like it's my duty to bring the characters back.
Skylar: What time of year do you start marketing holiday books? For example, would you start promoting a Christmas book in early November, at Thanksgiving, at the start of December, etc?
Nicole: For the Christmas ones, we usually start promo right around Thanksgiving. The only summer one I had was a surprise release so no promo at all. Haha.
Skylar: Do you have any particular struggles when writing holiday books? How is it different for you than writing your regular novels?
Nicole: Sometimes it's hard to get into the holiday spirit early. So we actually decorate our house as soon as I start writing it. This year it was about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. My girls don't mind at all!
Skylar: What is your favorite (and least favorite!) part of writing holiday romances?
Nicole: My favorite part is definitely revisiting the characters I miss so much and there's something magic about Christmas and to me about the 4th of July which I used in my summer novella.
Thanks SO much, Nicole, for your info and your fabulous books! Make sure you guys check out her many awesome series and give her a Like on Facebook! Also stop by her BookBub and Goodreads pages to show her some love!