Christmas novellas are everywhere, and have I got a great one to share with you this week!! Royally Yours is such a wonderful collection of stories, and I just happen to have each author on the blog this week talking about their story in the collection. Squeee!!! Fangirling over here 🙂 Today I have Liz Johnson – who is amazing by the way. Her story in the collection is titled A Royal Wonderland, and a Wonderland it is!!
Tinsel, Vermont is known for its no-paparazzi policy and Christmas decorations that are fit for a queen. This holiday season, join four royals on a stroll through town square as they each find their Christmas wishes for a happily-ever-after…tiaras optional.
A Royal Wonderland by Liz Johnson
With his public break up still making tabloid headlines,Prince Andrew Tennesley hopes a few weeks in Tinsel will help the gossips move on and give him a chance to propose a program the people of his country need. When Andrew is left to decorate a home for Tinsel’s Christmas lights contest, he has to rely on pretty hardware store owner Charlotte Hudson for help. Charlie doesn’t mind hanging twinkle lights with him. She just isn’t interested in the spotlight. But as they set out to create a winter wonderland, Andrew has her wondering if she’s been hiding out in Tinsel too and missing out on the best gift of the season–love.
By Liz Johnson
I never thought I had much in common with the royals. I was raised in the Arizona desert (and before that, my family lived in Iowa). Not that these aren’t great places, but I never associate them with thrones and crowns and all the glitz and glamour of royalty. My family is pretty average. (Okay, they’re really fantastic, but more in a regular way than a donning-a-tiara kind of way.)
As a little girl, I poured over a book of pictures from Princess Diana’s wedding. I was enamored with her beauty and poise . . . and most of all the train on her dress. I could only dream of wearing such a gorgeous gown someday. And I told myself I would.
Despite my mother’s best attempts, ‘80s fashion conspired against me. I ended up in more floral dresses with puffy sleeves (not at all like Diana’s) than I could count. About the time I turned ten I realized I might not ever get to wear Diana’s dress.
Flash forward twenty-some-odd years. My sweet friends Ashley, Betsy, and Melissa invited me to join them in a their Royally Yours collection of Christmas novellas. I was delighted. I’d never quite forgotten my fascination with royals—although I’d grown a little more pragmatic about the likelihood of ever becoming a princess. Still, I eagerly signed up to write A Royal Wonderland, a story about a prince and a hardware store owner.
My characters usually have a little bit of me in them, and I expected to see reflections of myself in Charlie, who inherited Tinsel’s hardware store from her father.
But strangely, I kept seeing myself in Prince Andrew of Marvonia. I caught a glimpse of my own sometimes awkwardness in the way he holds back from shaking hands when he meets someone. I spotted more than a hint of me in the way he decorates a home for the holidays—pretty terribly. And I knew we were basically kindred spirits when he tries to make coffee and ends up with a sludgy, bitter disaster. I’ve never been a coffee drinker, and I don’t own a coffeemaker. I doubt I could produce a decent cup of coffee if someone asked. But I do know how to buy something at the local coffee shop.
Which is exactly what Andrew ends up doing too.
I never expected to see my own characteristics in a prince, but now it has me wondering. Maybe I’m closer to royalty than I ever imagined.
By day Liz Johnson works in marketing. She finds time to write late at night and is a Christy Award finalist and a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. Liz makes her home in Phoenix, Arizona where she enjoys theater, exploring local history, and doting on her nieces and nephews. She loves stories of true love with happy endings. Find out more about Liz at www.LizJohnsonBooks.com.
If you were to write a Christmas story, what types of your own characteristics would you give your characters?