Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past, and ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. Her latest releases, YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL, is a book for girls ages 10-100, written with her teenaged daughter, Hannah, and A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER is a boxed set featuring Julie and some of the authors from the Inspy Romance blog. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, as well as monthly with Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
As a writer, like many of us, Julie Arduni has a different way of watching the world around her, and interacting with it. Here’s what she has to say
My husband once joked that I never see a parking lot. Always in observation mode, that normal parking lot to most people is a possible crime scene to me. Perhaps it’s a makeshift landing strip. As a romance author, that lot might be a first meet between hero and heroine. It also might be the scene for a goodbye. The bottom line is I don’t see anything “as is.” I’m always thinking about the possibilities.
A recent example was when I took a tour of Castle Noel, a Christmas-themed tourist attraction in northeast Ohio. During the guided tour we saw exhibit after exhibit of movie props from Cindy Lou Who’s bedroom in Ron Howard’s The Grinch, to Cousin Eddie’s RV from Christmas Vacation. Guests even have the opportunity to slide down the exact slide Ralphie clung to when he found the nerve to tell Santa he wanted a Red Ryder BB gun in A Christmas Story.
I tried, I really tried to focus on the Christmas magic and the movie trivia as we traveled from room to room. The battle was in my mind where ideas were forming. As several traveled through my active imagination, one question stood out that didn’t let go, even after the tour was over. What if you worked at a Christmas-themed place and hated Christmas?
The blessing is I was able to answer that question quickly as Kimberly Rose Johnson invited Inspy Romance authors that were able to participate in a Christmas boxed set. This was a dream of mine, so I jumped at the chance and started creating.
My writer’s mind was able to take that question and create twists, turns, and conflicts to place the reader on a journey. The result was Restoring Christmas, and it is included in the boxed set, A Christmas to Remember. Instead of Ohio, I used Upstate NY as a setting, basing Geneseo Valley off the real Geneseo, where I graduated from college. The Christmas Mansion is a staple in the community, but Holly Christmas left the area as soon as she could. She resented the time her parents spent at the mansion, and after her mother passed away, her father worked even harder at the mansion. When Holly has to return, a child discerns the truth about Ms. Christmas. She hates the holiday.
All that came from a simple visit to a Christmas attraction.
With a parking lot!
I have a feeling the next time I go into a parking lot, I’m going to keep my eyes open for anyone watching me, and I’m going to be wondering what they’re thinking. And for sure, I don’t hate Christmas.
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