- If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Something Christmasy like cinnamon, or gingerbread. Or maybe even fresh pine, like a Christmas tree. I think candles are great to put in drawers also. You open a drawer and that wonderful smell is released into the room. The right smell transports you straight into a memory. To this day, the scent of an oven warming up reminds me of my mother baking. Even non-Christmas things can do that. Whenever I got a new book as a kid, I'd always smell it. There's something about that smell that soothes and comforts. Today's books are printed in a different way and don't have the same smell. Have you noticed?
- What inspired you to write this book?
I had a tradition for many years of writing a short story as a gift for friends at Christmas. One year, I wrote A Romance for Christmas for my critique group. They loved it and told me I should publish it. I put it aside for many years, but finally decided I'd give it a shot. I was shocked to see it hit the charts on Amazon, and stayed in the top 100 in its category for almost 3 months. When you create something out of love, I think it has a much stronger impact.
- Where did you come up with the names in the story?
The names of the characters are almost all famous writers. When you read the book, I bet you recognize them. The exception is the parents. I named them after my own, and I dedicated the book to one of my sisters and her late husband. Their love match was sweet to watch. When he passed away, I wanted a way to honor that memory.
- What is your favorite part of this book and why?
The hero comes into the kitchen at his parents' house and finds his folks doing their usual thing. She's cooking and he's reading a magazine, keeping her company. The parents banter back and forth, teasing each other in sweet ways. The hero loves seeing their steadfast relationship. He'd always hoped to have the same thing with his wife. When she passed away a year ago, leaving him with a four-year-old daughter to raise alone. His folks help as much as they can, but he misses having that other person to love. The widowed mother of his daughter's friend is going through the same thing, and he's invited her to come for Christmas dinner, which is one reason he's in the kitchen that night. He didn't need permission to invite her -- his friends have always been welcome in his parents' home. It's also a tradition for everyone to help make dinner, so when he shows up, his mother puts him right to work. This family, despite its tragedies, is moving forward the best way they know how, by loving one another and showing compassion to others. That's what the Christmas spirit is all about.