I’m sure that publishers do look for stories that have holiday themes to release during this time of the year. I’m also sure that there are authors who want to write such a story for those exact purposes.
Marketing Scheme? Yes.
Plot Device? Yes.
But I say it’s all good. But then, I based the entire timeline on holidays.
My books are chronologically tight, starting in October. And where one book ends, the next one begins right there. In VICIOUS CIRCLE we’re deep into fall and winter is coming. It’s a time of change. It's a time of harvest. It's a time of things that have grown to fruition dying off. It’s a time of preparation before the bitter cold. But the holidays --Hallowe’en, Thanksgiving, and Yule in particular-- bring light and joy into these darkening days.
There are some lesser known holidays featured in the manuscripts, too, like the Night of Hecate. Each has a particular purpose for the main character as a witch, for instance, Hallowe’en is a time of honoring the dead who have passed. That plays into the plot. We all know how we celebrate the holidays with our loved ones. I think it is very revealing to show what the characters do, what the holidays mean to them.
Also, since witchcraft is still very misunderstood and/or considered evil by people, I really enjoy showing the "what and how" as Seph participates in the holidays of her Pagan religion, as well as what the non-religious ones like Thanksgiving mean to her.
I have kept a calendar for their world, so that my use of days/ holidays are right, and I even have verified the correct moon phases for that calendar year, AND the time of sunrise and sunset, so that as I work on each portion of the series, I am kept honest about the time frame.
WEDNESDAY WORD-WHORE TIP:
Keep a calendar to maintain an honest time frame.
If you are working on a series or on a book that
covers a lot of time, this is particularly helpful.
Check the moon phases and sunrise/set times and
notate this on the calendar.
Most moon phase sites make you
choose an area or city so you can pick
wherever your characters are located.
This way the information and clocks are
accurate—and you will be too.
On a side note, SHATTERED CIRCLE, will be released on January 29, 2013. It takes us through that aforementioned Thanksgiving in Seph’s world. :)