Former Orillian pours ardour for festive films into newest book

Rachel McMillan publishes A Very Merry Holiday Movie Guide; “These films counteract the stress of the world,” says the author

A prolific writer who grew up in Orillia has published her latest book, and it’s quite a change from most of her previous ones.

Rachel McMillan’s third book of 2020 is a product of her passion for Christmas movies for television. It’s called A Very Merry Holiday Movie Guide.

“I wrote it last year when I saw there weren’t any books about TV Christmas movies,” said McMillan. “These films run from October to January and are seen by everyone.”

The book, which includes illustrations, custom display lists, activities, recipes, and more, is up to date for several reasons.

The popularity of TV Christmas “really increased after the 2016 US election,” she said.

“It’s not just a typical population of women of a certain age group. It’s all, “she said.

The films are also becoming more diverse, McMillan said, noting that they are increasingly incorporating racially diverse actors and same-sex couples as characters.

“They realized they needed to be more inclusive,” she said.

The COVID-19 pandemic is also making the book and films on time.

“The world is so damn stressful and unsafe. These films counteract the stress of the world, ”she said. “You know you will get a sense of nostalgia. You know you will see it happy until the end. “

McMillan is drawn to television movies for a reason that others watching them might relate to.

“You know they’re cheesy, but you can’t look away. You are so dedicated, ”she said. “You’re also doing great things for the Canadian film and television industry because about 98 percent of them are shot here.”

A Very Merry Holiday Movie Guide is McMillan’s 16th book. Most of them are fiction, including their previous publication, The London Restoration. She wrote the film guide at the same time she was going through the stressful editing process for The London Restoration, which is historical fiction and requires a lot of research.

“That was a wonderful mental break for me. It was the happiest thing I wrote, ”she said. “Sometimes I would sit and think, ‘I can’t believe I’m getting paid to write this book.'”

A Very Merry Holiday Movie Guide can be ordered online and through Manticore Books in downtown Orillia. McMillan, an independent bookstore supporter and former Manticore employee, urges people to get it at the local store.

She recommends the book as a secret Christmas present or as a present.

Those who want a signed bookplate from McMillan can request it by contacting them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

She also encourages people to check out Laura Bean’s website. Bean illustrated A Very Merry Holiday Movie Guide and also provided illustrations for McMillan’s Dream, Plan, and Go: A Guide To Inspire Your Independent Adventure.

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