The Pink Heart Society are delighted to welcome Janice Maynard today, as she talks about how family impacts both her Christmases and her writing...
Ah, December… you roll around every year, faster and faster, it seems! I love all the bells and whistles (or garlands and lights), but no matter how hard I try, I never can get the “jumpstart” I’m hoping for. So I ride the wave of holiday merriment and hope I don’t drown.
I love the holidays. I’m fascinated by the way that people seem both nicer—and possibly grumpier—depending upon the circumstance. Do you remember the “scary” old neighbor in Home Alone? I always get teary-eyed at the end when you see him reconciling with his family.
Lucky for me, I have a great family. We experience our moments, of course. But over all, we get along just fine. I lost my dad when I was in college, so we’ve always had an empty spot there. I think of him at Christmas, especially, and know that he would have loved to see my daughters grow up.
It took me awhile to understand that my writing had a theme. It seems that I love creating stories about families. The Men of Wolff Mountain was my first family saga. Throughout those seven books, I explored the idea that a childhood trauma can have lasting consequences…but also that strong characters learn to move on with life even in the midst of tragedy.
Now I am working on a new “family” series, The Kavanaghs of Silver Glen. Seven brothers, seven personalities, seven ways to fall in love. It’s a genuine pleasure to create heroines who are perfect matches for my heroes. Not that anyone recognizes the rightness in the beginning. Few couples fall in love without a bit of fireworks along the way. And not always the good kind. :)
I married my high school sweetheart. We grew up together. We’ve had good times and bad, but each year grows sweeter. In the midst of my happy nest, I am well aware that this time of year is very tough for some people. If you’ve lost a loved one recently…if you’ve suffered through a broken relationship…if you’ve struggled with money woes or other issues, it’s hard to be jolly.
I firmly believe that books, particularly fiction, and especially romance, offer a blessed escape from reality at the times in our lives when we need a place to hide out. As a kid, I read anything and everything. I enjoyed Mutiny on the Bounty, and of course, Gone With the Wind. I’ve loved writing and books for as far back as I can remember. Even now, I savor the smell of libraries and bookstores.
For me, there is a special bond between reader and writer. Sometimes I find myself on one side of that equation, and sometimes the other. Nothing gives me more enjoyment than to lose myself in the latest J.D. Robb tale or the newest Mary Balogh historical. I write because there are always stories in my head. I read because nothing else can replace the rush of excitement I experience while gobbling up a really fabulous book.
It is fitting that in the darkest season of the year when the days are short and the nights grow cold, my Christmas tree lights up the room. Some ornaments are older than I am, perhaps. Some I bought last week. The tree is a symbol of hope…hope for a world that seems impossibly broken at times. But I believe that light always conquers the dark.
Many thanks to the Pink Heart Society for inviting me here today to share my meanderings! I wish for each of them and for all of you a happy, safe, and blessed December and a healthy and peaceful 2015.
Janice Maynard's latest book, Christmas in the Billionaire's Bed, is part of her Kavanaghs of Silver Glen series:
Secrets have never appealed to Liam Kavanagh. Not since his father disappeared, leaving Liam responsible for the Kavanagh family and their empire with little room for anything else.
But when the mysterious Zoe Chamberlain breezes into his life, stirring up all kinds of pent-up frustrations, Liam knows there's more to her vagabond lifestyle than she's letting on. He can see the secrets in her eyes—and he wants her anyway.
Will she be more than his orderly life can handle? Or will Liam's strong embrace finally allow this free spirit to put down roots and love again?