When I first outlined the Holiday Series, I came up with character names and their general backstory of friendship. I knew they’d all meet their future loves at or around a holiday, and that all books would take place in one year. That was it.
Then, I got to work outlining each book individually with a paragraph. As I came up with the stories, I knew I wanted Weston to be up first. She’s the calm, somewhat serious one in the group, who is generally level-headed, and I thought having her fall for a woman who she shouldn’t fall for would be a fun way of making her stress out a little bit. She was also the best one to introduce the rest of the group through. Talon is a little… well, Talon. Aria needed to be a bit of a mystery, and Ellie was going to fall for someone that she met through Aria, so her book needed to be after Aria’s. Paisley was gone most of the time, so her book didn’t fit for a series starter. Then, there was Scarlet, who had a secret and was the shyest of the bunch, so Weston was just right.
Then, Talon was up. She’s Weston’s best friend in the group, and they used to date, so it was a good segue to go from Weston and then on to Aria later. Talon hadn’t ever had both chemistry and compatibility, so I wanted to show her what that would be like and scare the crap out of her with it, honestly. Finding out that the woman she’s insanely attracted to is also her new boss (technically, her boss’s boss) and then learning that she also really liked Emerson as a person, put Talon through it a little bit and also gave us another way to “meet” all the friends through the advice they gave her about it.
Aria was the one I wanted people to know very little about or to think they know all about her. I had this idea about her falling in love when she was young and losing that, so she sort of just went through the motions in her life, feeling lonely and telling no one. I knew I wanted them to reconnect at the 4th of July fireworks show because I thought that would be what it would feel like for her to see the love of her life again - fireworks.
Ellie was up next, and I wanted to tell a little bit of a secret crush story with this one, so I had her fall for Carmen, who we meet through London. We learn here that Ellie is really an amalgam of all of her friends and that she’s usually the glue holding them together, which I really loved. And I also liked the idea of Halloween being Carmen’s birthday and having fun with that.
With Paisley, we knew very little about her, which is what I wanted. I also wanted her holiday to be Thanksgiving because I thought it would be hilarious to have this woman she’s dating attending this important family event when Paisley’s still dealing with falling in love with Trinity, to begin with. They were sex-first-relationship-later, and seeing Trinity be nice to Paisley’s grandpa when no one else really paid attention to him, is - in my mind, at least - when Paisley knows it’s going to be Trinity for her, even if that scares her.
Lastly, there was sweet Scarlet; the shy friend who can’t talk to women. I wanted her story to be around Christmas because it felt romantic to me for her and Dakota to have their first time in a romantic cabin with a fireplace and snow outside. Where Ellie is the glue, Scarlet is the one who notices everything. She’s watched her friends fall in love for a year and knows that they’ve all finally met their people. So, when Dakota appears, and they fall in love, I knew I wanted Scarlet to be the one watching all her friends on New Year’s Eve, realizing that she was right there with them, finding the loves of their lives.
IN OTHER NEWS:
I had the privilege of joining The Sapphic Book Review podcast this week, where I talk a little about FUTURE WIFE, which series I'd like to be a character in, and more!