One of the things that writers do when they’re creating characters is play a lot of interview games. Some writers actually simulate a situation where they are asking their characters to tell them things about themselves…but I’m not that weird. (Joking! Writers who do this aren’t any weirder than writers who don’t…we’re all weird. It’s part of the job.)
The reason this has never worked for me is because my characters are perfectly capable of lying, even to me. (See? Weird.) So instead, I opt to get into their heads and ask ME what they would do in certain situations or what they have done in the past. Sometimes, I know the answers…a lot of times, I don’t. Sometimes, the questions just aren’t relevant to the story…I mean, unless my hero is a metrosexual, do I really need to know his favorite color?
And what about holidays? If I don’t write a book set during said holidays, do I really need to know how a character feels about them? It’s an interesting question, because how you feel about a holiday says something about who you are—I’m not psychiatrist, so I’m not exactly sure WHAT it says, but it’s definitely “telling.”
Here’s a run down on my holiday preferences:
New Year’s: Eve, I can do without. Day, I love, for very personal reasons and dread because it includes fireworks. So it’s kind of split.
Valentine’s Day: Could take it or leave it…not a big fan, though if someone gives me See’s Chocolates, I am apt to change my mind.
St. Patrick’s Day: I’m not Irish. I’m not a huge fan of most beers. However, I do like corned beef & cabbage and Guinness Stew, so if I can stay home and away from the stupid drunks, I’m okay with it.
April Fool’s Day: Hate it vehemently.
Cinco de Mayo: I’m not Mexican, either, but as this holiday is an excuse to buy a new bottle of Patron Silver, I’m all for it. Special mention.
Mother’s Day: I love it if I’m not stressed out about where I need to be when…with great planning, it can be spectacular. And I love my mom, so that’s an added bonus.
Father’s Day: Harder work on Father’s Day because my brothers are all fathers, so it means I’m doing a lot of the heavy lifting, but as my father is amazing, I don’t mind.
My Birthday: Awesome. I don’t care about age. I just want presents. No seriously, I just want pie. (Yes, I like pie better than cake…unless it’s my chocolate cake, which is fabulous, but I don’t want to cook on my birthday.)
Independence Day: Love it, though I hate fireworks (see New Year’s.) But the day itself: patriotism and pool parties. I’m in.
Halloween: My favorite holiday. Candy + costumes = perfect holiday. You don’t have to buy presents for anyone and no one expects you to come over to their house, but if you do, people are so happy, they give you chocolate. Yeah, my kind of day.
Thanksgiving: Fabulous. My cousin does all the cooking and she’s an amazing cook and hostess.
Christmas: Well…I’m split on Christmas. I love the holiday ITSELF. But I HATE shopping. I hate it more than I hate April Fool’s Day, and trust me when I tell you—that’s saying something. I hate having to remember to turn on and off my lights. I hate having to make room for a Christmas tree and decorating it and remembering to water it and…well, you get the idea. I imagine that most children and men love the holiday, but women secretly dread it…though few will admit it. What I LOVE about Christmas is the chance to spend so much time with my family and friends. Once it’s all said and done, it’s great…but man, is it ever hard work.
All in all, I think what this says about me is that I like holidays that are fun and responsibility light…especially the ones that don’t include fireworks or giving people free reign to be stupid liars and tricksters all day. And if a holiday somehow involves chocolate or booze, then all the better.
So what about you? What’s your favorite holiday of the year…and why?
Tell me about your favorite holiday for a chance to win a $10 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble!
Julie Leto is the New York Times bestselling author of over 40 novels for publishers including Pocket, NAL, Harlequin and HCI True Vows. She’s currently re-releasing her single title backlist projects independently…so if you like sexy action-adventures or sexy paranormals, check out her titles at http://www.julieleto.com/bookshelf.