cj Sez: First a best seller and then a Hallmark Channel TV movie:
Authors are often asked where they get their ideas for the stories they write. Today’s guest, author Barbara Hinske, tells us how THE CHRISTMAS CLUB came to be. Take it away, Barbara!
"THE CHRISTMAS CLUB—my Christmas novella—is one of the Hallmark Channel’s 2019 Christmas movies! If that sounds like an author’s dream come true, it is!
I’m a women’s fiction author who also writes mystery/ thriller/ suspense novels—all of them with a touch of romance. I planned to publish an anthology of Christmas novellas with a group of other similar authors. It seemed like a smart marketing opportunity and I set to work. What would I write about?
A homily from a sermon I’d heard thirty years earlier had made a big impression on me at the time and had stuck with me all these years later.
The point of the pastor’s story was to do kind things in nice ways. We all like to be recognized when we do something kind for someone else. I certainly like a pat on the back! But sometimes the recipient of our generosity feels demeaned—or is made to feel “less than”—by acknowledging our gift. The pastor told the story of a woman whose money blows out of her hands. A young man races off to chase after it, returning to her with the money. She gratefully acknowledges his efforts at finding it. What he doesn’t tell her is that the money was long gone; he’d restored it to her from his own wallet. She isn’t made to feel like a charity case.
I expanded on this idea by placing characters at Christmas (in 1952) and having the lost money be Christmas Club savings. If anyone has saved all year long in a Christmas Club account at the bank, they know how precious that money is and how devastating it would be to lose it. In my story, however, that lost money carries blessings with it all around.
As it turned out, I was the only author who actually wrote their novella. I published it as a stand-alone work in October of 2016 and the rest, as they say, is history. THE CHRISTMAS CLUB was greeted with enthusiastic reviews—many of them opining that it would make a great Hallmark movie and that they would re-read the story every Christmas.
Crown Media purchased the screen rights and Julie Sherman Wolfe made a lovely screenplay out of it. She changed the setting from 1952 to current day and added a twist that I wished I’d thought of. In my humble opinion, I think both the book and the movie are holiday classics and should be on everyone’s “to do” list for the holiday – now and in the years to come.
My goal in writing THE CHRISTMAS CLUB was to uplift, encourage, and entertain. I’m more than pleased with the pleasure and happiness it’s bringing into the world."
Also The Christmas Club
Read more about Barbara on her website: www.barbarahinske.com and on Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube - twitter @BarbaraHinske - BookBub Bestseller
The Hallmark movie premiers Wednesday, November 27, at 8 p.m. / 7 central.
Check your local listings for the channel. https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/the-christmas-club
cj Sez: There’s a wondrous epilogue to the Hallmark movie . . . The story line inspired star Cameron Mathison to get a life-saving medical procedure. Read about his journey here:
Authors, if you want to try your hand at writing for Hallmark, here’s the link to their website and the kind of stories they’re looking for:
For tips on how to write for Hallmark, watch their movies. It’ll give you a sense of what Hallmark consumers expect: fun, positive, lighthearted, and uplifting stories with the prerequisite happy ending.
I pray God’s blessings on you and yours this Thanksgiving.
That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. See you next week.
Read five stories (including my own "Hobbes House Noel") in HOMETOWN HEROES on sale now.
The Christmas anthology FINALLY HOME is coming soon! Be sure to watch for the "Finally Home Facebook Hop" that begins Dec. 1 and runs through launch day, Dec. 10 ... PRIZES galore await. (P.S. A new and beautiful cover will be introduced.)
Autographed print copies of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, HOMETOWN, HEROES, and THE POSSE are still available at the Haunted Bookshop. TO ORDER contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the books of your choice. (Be sure to look for her recently released, "SOME LIKE IT PLAID.") If you’re local—in the Mobile area—do stop in at the book store. They make a point to shelve the books of local authors (FINALLY HOME will be available there soon), and it’s a neat place to browse.
Visit me on Facebook at: cjpetterson/author/facebook