I’ve written historical and contemporary Christmas romance in settings ranging from Vermont to Florida, Rhode Island to Wyoming. I’ve written light-hearted romps and stories inspired by the biblical narrative. But none of them took me in quite the same direction as this year’s story, Christmas Child.
When my editor announced this year’s Christmas theme, masquerade, my thoughts flew to a costume party based on the first Christmas. It’s the best known, best-loved, of all Christmas stories.
In my earlier books, Mary and Joseph’s romance provided the inspiration for Face of Mary and First Christmas. The three wise men turned into three wise women in Christmas Visitors. I didn’t want to repeat any of those characters for the masquerade.
I kept circling back to two characters: a servant girl in Herod’s palace; and one of Herod’s soldiers. Neither occupation is specifically mentioned in the bible, but people in those roles must have aware of the visit of the Magi and of Herod’s order to kill Bethlehem’s baby boys.
Dark stuff for a Christmas narrative. But this is fiction, after all, so I asked an important “what if” question: What if the soldiers had refused to obey Herod’s order and instead tried to save the babies?
Now, there’s the stuff heroes are made of. In my story, a baby is threatened with separation from his mother, not death, and the hero is conflicted about what is the right thing to do. That’s conflict, designed to drive a story forward and keep readers interested.
The darkness of Jesus’s birth brought light to every corner of the earth. Amen!
Darlene Franklin has been preparing to write devotionals all her life. She enjoyed verse-by-verse teaching of the Bible three times a week in addition to her own private study all the way through school. At Northeastern Bible College, she majored in Bible and theology, and then attended Southwestern Baptist Seminary, where she graduated with a Master of Arts in Religious Education. When she began writing after her divorce, she started with a devotional project focused in about the lessons God had taught her, and her first ever published piece was a devotional in The Secret Place. Since then, Darlene has published over 300 devotionals in various publications as well as three stand-alone titles with Winged Publications.
Find her online here: Website and blog