Guest Post by Barbara Hinske
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.
Barbara Hinske is an attorney who recently left the practice of law to pursue her career as a full-time novelist. She inherited the fiction gene from her father who wrote mysteries when he retired and told her a story every night of her childhood. Barbara is the bestselling author of the beloved ‘Rosemont’ series. She and her husband share their own Rosemont with two adorable and spoiled dogs. She is besotted with decorating, entertaining, cooking and gardening. Now that her novel The Christmas Club has been made into a Hallmark Channel movie, she is completely star-struck and thrilled to have her work on the screen.
For more information about Barbara, please visit her website.
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