Wow! An author-centric post! Grad school in a foreign country (even though it's London, I'm definitely a foreigner who's confused by the metric system, the use of Celsius and 24-hr time, and slang, to name a few things) has been pretty demanding of my time, but it's the tail end of reading week right now and I have time for a Round Robin, a blog post where authors (some from my publisher, some not) all answer the same question.
What stories have you written or read where a holiday takes place. To what purpose was the inclusion of the holiday?
Very, very strangely, the first works I've had published are all holiday-centric. I've written about art forgers in Geneva, and the niece of Medusa running around with a winged boy across Italy, but those are still queued for publishing.
My two novellas published both center around Christmas because, frankly, I wrote them for my mom's Christmas gift. It sort of made sense at the time. In the first, The Christmas Lights, a nearly-blind jeweler's apprentice has nine months to come up with a suitable amount of wealth or his engagement to the girl he loves is kaput. The nine months happens to fall on Christmas Day. However, his fiancee Emmeline doesn't just chill waiting for him to come back, and schemes up a way to make sure he makes it back in time. Hence the title.
In my second novella, published this last February (and so this'll be the first Christmas it's available!), Nicholas is a young man who's basically royalty of the underground society of London around the eighteenth century. However, he climbs to the roof of Westminster Palace every night not to steal valuables, but the stories that the Crown Princess tells aloud in a tower room. One night he overhears something he shouldn't and finds himself trapped in the palace until the coronation is over. Since the coronation is of a woman, and this is hundreds of years ago, it's unclear whether the princess will even live to see her throne.
This story originally started out with explaining why Saint Nicholas wears red and climbs down the chimney, and while it still has those elements (or plays with them, at least), it mostly focuses on intrigue and sneaking around hidden passageways in a murderous game of hide-and-seek. Drina (the princess, full name Alexandrina) holds her coronation on the 25th of December, so she and Nicholas simply need to survive until that time and she can be crowned.
I'm very big into Christmas, and that's why these were fairly easy to write. However, I've also written short stories as Christmas presents that were about some of my favorite side characters discovering a secret hidey hole of Hephaestus's on Mount Olympus and then accidentally awakening the Minotaur, or the same novel cast attending Carnivale in Venice, but as the first book of the trilogy hasn't been published yet, I haven't shared these with the public. :)
Wonder about other authors and their holiday writings?
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Dr. Bob Rich https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/2017/11/18/holidays
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Anne de Gruchy https://annedegruchy.co.uk/category/blog/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com