With the holidays approaching, we’re steeped in the Christmas spirit–the smell of pine trees wafting through the chill air, people buzzing about, doing last-minute holiday shopping, and gorgeous holiday displays and decorations.
How do you convey the wonder of the holiday through fiction? We invited author Elisabeth Fairchild to talk to us about writing in the Christmas spirit and her regency novel by the same name.
How do you define the Christmas spirit?
For me, the heart and soul of Christmas is in humanity’s finest expression of light, warmth and joyful giving in the heart of a dark, cold, season of endings. The Christmas spirit warms even the loneliest of souls given we open our hearts to a sense of wonder and celebration, choosing to interact positively with the world around us.
I usually set out to have a memorable Christmas. Often, the best of plans go awry. Writing any book is, for me, a search for heroic and historical truths. In THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT, I focused on the Yuletide season’s potential for hope, magical moments and joy in a reality I think we can all relate to–where the best of plans for “the best Christmas ever” are turned upside down.
This is a guest post by urban fantasy author and Book Country member Jamie Wyman (@BeeGirlBlue).
You can’t have a conversation about humor in fiction without bringing up Christopher Moore. With more than a dozen books to his credit, he’s had decades to perfect the craft of writing with deep stories with charming levity.
My first experience with Moore’s work was a few years back when someone handed me LAMB. It was advertised as the “Gospel according to Biff, Christ’s childhood pal”. Based on that alone, I was willing to give it a shot. Within the first chapter I’d laughed out loud at least five times. And it just got funnier. You might wonder how someone can take something like the New Testament and make it funny, but Moore pulled it off superbly.
After that, I dove into the man’s catalog like a kid in a ball pit. The San Francisco Vampire Books (BLOODSUCKING FIENDS, YOU SUCK and BITE ME) had elements of romance with the humor. FLUKE touched the mysteries of whale song, a subject near and dear to my heart. And COYOTE BLUE set my mind to reeling about gods and tricksters. As I read his earliest works (PRACTICAL DEMONKEEPING, THE LUST LIZARD OF MELANCHOLY COVE and ISLAND OF THE SEQUINED LOVE NUN), though, I could see decent stories that lacked the depth of LAMB. Sure, they were hilarious romps through the trials of his characters, but they just didn’t have the prismatic quality to the writing.