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A South Suburban Hallmark Story

Three questions for Rikk Dunlap, novelist and maintenance worker

Rikk Dunlap
Photo: Courtesy of Rikk Dunlap

It could be a movie plot itself: In his spare time, Homewood-Flossmoor High School maintenance worker Rikk Dunlap wrote a novel that was made into a Hallmark Channel film. Here, he talks about Christmas Under the Stars, the feel-good movie that premiered last month.

How did you come to write the book?

I worked downtown for 37 years in a stockroom. I took the Metra to work, and during the holiday season, I’d see this enchanting Christmas tree lot in Richton Park, with people picking out their trees. I always thought, I want to write about this.

Have you seen the movie yet?

No, and to be honest, I’m not exactly sure what Hallmark did with it. I think they focused on the romance. Nothing wrong with a little romance around the holidays, right?

Are you a fan of Hallmark movies?

Of course. They make people feel good. Nothing’s blowing up, nothing’s coming from outer space. Just to know something I created is touching people — that’s bigger than any check anybody can write.

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