Stories in Season

xmas stocking filler christmas sexy

antoholgy, story, snow, eroticaNearly every novel or short story published makes some acknowledgement of the calendar in its setting. Sometimes the author plans to use an element of the season as a plot point, even if it’s going to be something as freakish as snow in July (in a European setting, anyway). Sometimes you just set your story around the time of year when you started writing it, because it’s easier just to dump in the weather, sunrise, sunset and all that of the season which is actually happening all around you. But then sometimes (particularly if you’re me) you get going on a plot and suddenly realise that, according to your story’s timeline, you’re going to have to address it being Christmas, or the summer holidays, or even just a bank holiday, and that you might need to alter a key element of a chapter – or simply shunt the whole story a few weeks backwards or forwards in time.

sexy beach hot summer read erotic romanceOf course, there’s also a trend, particularly among publishers of romance, erotic romance or ‘women’s commercial fiction’ to make a big deal of the seasons. Big Summer Reads have been a concept for years; generation-spanning glamorous sagas of the type that used to be known as ‘shopping-and-fucking’ books, along with stuff that makes a feature of expensive, exotic holiday destinations. I had a story included in a summer-seaside-themed anthology a couple of years ago, and part of the reason I wrote it was down to being supposed to be writing a winter-set novella at the time and being unable to get into the mindset as I was having a lovely sunshiny beach holiday of my own.

xmas stocking filler christmas sexyIn more recent years, there have been a lot of Christmas-themed romances, to the point where feelgood Christmas stories are almost a genre all of their own. These can be huge fun to read, though the quality is as variable as in any other category of fiction, but I do find myself feeling the odd pang of sympathy for their authors as, to hit your sales slot (even if you self-publish) you have to get getting to grips with snow and stuffing and mistletoe kisses and the difficulty of getting your characters undressed from layers and layers of clothing when the weather outside your window is balmy summertime. Don’t let anyone say we authors don’t suffer a little for our art now and again…

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