On a recent visit to my local bookstore, I wandered through the mystery section to see what was new (and did they have copies of my book(s) and those of my friends). On all the cap ends were holiday mysteries. Lots of them. Whoa!
A quick look at the copyright dates proved that these were NOT new books getting preferential treatment, but that the bookstore was trotting out seasonal backlists to satisfy its readers' desire to get in the holiday spirit with a little touch of murder.
I told an author friend of mine that we needed to write holiday books that we could trot out every year. Unfortunately, it's usually the publisher--not the author--who decides these things.
Still, I do have a holiday story I can trot out every year. Okay, it's available year-round on Amazon Shorts, and I rarely trot. Add to that, the title gives no clue that the story is set during the holiday season. It's called "We're So Sorry, Uncle Albert," and it's so forlorn (i.e. lack of sales) it isn't even ranked any more. I wanted to explore the relationship between the have and have-nots within a family unit. What would it take to goad family members to even consider bumping off a “loved one?” And what are the possibilities of getting away with such a crime? And why not set it during the holiday season?
Will I ever write a novel set at Christmas? Well . . . maybe. I do have one in the closet that takes place around Thanksgiving -- and the epilogue takes place on Christmas Eve. And my first Victoria Square Mystery takes place Halloween week and ends--you got it--at Christmastime!
(But one never knows.)
What's your favorite holiday book/story?