Today, I’m interviewed at the Romantic Reads website. Check it out! Don’t miss the ebook giveaway:
If you haven’t read Wish You Joy, you can borrow it for no additional cost via Kindle Unlimited on Amazon:
Question: “Wish You Joy” is a unique and sweet, holiday-spirit giving title for a story! What was your inspiration behind this title creation? Explain the significance in relation to the story.
Jan: Thank you. The title centers on the word “joy” which is one of the undercurrent themes of this Christmas book. In Nehemiah 8:10, we read that “the joy of the Lord” is our strength. At Christmastime, I feel that we are constantly reminded about having peace, love, and joy. Thus, my book title could have been Wish You Peace and Wish You Love as much as it is Wish You Joy. Without giving away too much of the story, let me just say that one of the main characters in my book needs to experience the joy of the Lord, so it is befitting that the title points to that.
Additionally, Wish You Joy is book 9 in my Savannah Sweethearts series of contemporary Christian romance set in the coastial city of Savannah, Georgia, and across the bridge in the beach town of Tybee Island. This entire series has books with similar titles:
- Prequel: Ask You Later
- Book 1: Know You More
- Book 2: Tell You Soon
- Book 3: Draw You Near
- Book 4: Cherish You So
- Book 5: Walk You There
- Book 6: Love You Always
- Book 7: Kiss You Now
- Book 8: Find You Again
- Book 9: Wish You Joy
- Book 10: Call You Home
Question: Tell me about “Christmastown USA.” What is it about? Why do they have a new CEO?
Jan: A Christmas decorating business based in Savannah, Georgia, Christmastown USA has been in the Untermeyer family for years. Having undergone some health issues, Mrs. Untermeyer is no longer able to run the business on her own, especially with no help from her grown children, some of home haven’t been home in a while. As a result, she decides to sell her majority share of the company to the businessman nephew of a family friend.
Question: Who is Cyrus and what role does he play in this story?
Jan: The new CEO of Christmastown USA, Cyrus Theroux easily takes over the reign of the business, becoming the caring and present son that Mrs. Untermeyer hasn’t had in a long time. Cyrus continues the legacy of the family business while also keeping an eye on his elderly aunt and uncle living in Savannah. When Mrs. Untermeyer’s daughter comes to town to see what has happened to Christmastown USA, he feels that he has to convince her of his good intentions.
Question: Who is Amy and role does she play in this story?
Jan: Amy Untermeyer is the only daughter of Mrs. Untermeyer. A destination wedding photographer, she travels the world and rarely goes home to Savannah. When she finds out that her mother has sold over half the company to whom Amy considers a stranger, she hightails home to see if her mother has been swindled. She is skeptical about Cyrus and his intrusion into her family.
Question: Has Christmastown USA always been a family-owned organization? Why was it started?
Jan: Amy’s grandfather started Christmastown USA a long time ago. As long as Amy has been alive, she has remembered visiting the warehouse where they store all the artificial trees, wreathes, decorations, and everything Christmas. When Amy’s grandfather passed away, it was up to Amy’s parents to keep the family business going. However, after Amy’s dad passed away, Mrs. Untermeyer ran the company while her three children went to school and then left town for college and career.
Question: How does your real-life faith in God play into your fiction storytelling?
Jan: My Christian faith informs every aspect of my fiction books such that I let my characters behave within the scope of what it means to be a Christian. My characters have issues, as Christians also do in real life. My characters feel the pains of life and seek the healing of God. My characters learn and grow in their life, just as a real Christian would in this world.
Question: Do you listen to a favorite Christmas song while writing this holiday story? If yes, which one?
Jan: I tend to write in complete silence, although from time to time I do listen to music as I write. Mostly instrumental. In planning, plotting, and penning Wish You Joy, I drew upon my favorite Christmas carols, such as “O Holy Night.” That hymn speaks volume about Christ as our Savior and Lord.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
Question: What do you want readers to remember most about Wish You Joy and its characters?
Jan: This is my only Christmas book so far, and I hope that my readers will affirm the joy of the Lord in their own hearts by the time the reach the end of the book, after seeing the journey of life that Amy and Cyrus go through. At the end of the day, God is still God. I usually include some Bible verses that play significant roles in the book. In Wish You Joy, one of the Bible verse is this:
“Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Question: Thanks for the interview, Jan! Would you like to share closing thoughts?
Jan: Thank you very much for inviting me over to Romantic Reads for the third time this year. I am happy that we have reached the end of the year as we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas. I wish you joy in the Lord!
For readers who missed my other two interviews, here are the links:
Interview about Smile for Me (Vacation Sweethearts Book 1):
Interview with Know You More (Savannah Sweethearts Book 1):