I’m delighted to welcome back Trisha who brings us tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of writing novels inspired by Christmas. See footer for a chance to win one of Trisha’s paperbacks.
I’d like to start by saying that a Trisha Ashley novel isn’t just for Christmas – I have written many novels not entirely obsessed with the subject, though it is obviously very close to my heart!
In fact my next novel, Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues (out early next May) is definitely a spring book. Recently I have been spending my summers inside my own personal little snowglobe writing about winter, but this year I was writing about the season I was actually in for most of the time, so that was quite a refreshing change!
But Christmas is a magical time – for giving, for sharing, for being together with loved ones…and also for eating. I think it is pretty clear in my books that I love to bake and since readers kept asking me for recipes of the cakes and other goodies that I mentioned in my books, I started to include one or two at the ends of the novels.
The Magic of Christmas starts earlier in the year, when Lizzie’s friends in the Christmas Pudding Circle first meet to swap ideas and order ingredients – and their friendship will prove a huge support to her as her marriage finally hits the rocks. She is about to finally leave her awful husband, when events take a dark and unexpected turn…Wound through Lizzie’s story are several mysteries, not least the annual Boxing Day Mystery Play itself, performed by the villagers. Then there are the vanishing squirrels, Lizzie’s frequent bake-offs with local cookery writer Nick Pharamond and the arrival in the village of the dangerously alluring soap actor Ritch Rainford…
I gave all these ingredients a jolly good stirring – and I’ll soon be doing much the same to my Christmas cakes – I’ve had the dried fruit soaking in dark rum for days. So, think of me over the weekend, wearing my black Day of the Dead pinafore (which is covered with very jolly skeletons attired in brightly-coloured fiesta clothes), mixing my cakes while the house starts to take on that mystical, magical spicy smell of Christmas!
I love that image, thank you again, Trisha!
Trisha Ashley has written twelve romantic comedies with her latest, The Magic of Christmas (a major reworking of a much earlier novel, Sweet Nothings), published by Avon HarperCollins, going straight into the Sunday Times bestseller list top ten. Her last novel, Twelve Days of Christmas, was also a Sunday Times bestseller and she has twice been shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan award for romantic comedy with A Winter’s Tale and Wedding Tiers. Every Woman for Herself was last year voted one of the top three romantic novels of the last fifty years, a huge honour!
Trisha lives in beautiful North Wales, together with her Muse (you can learn all about him in her newsletters!) and the neurotic Border collie dog recently foisted onto her by her student son. She has a website at www.trishaashley.com where you can email her, join her ‘Skint Old Northern Woman’ newsletter group or leave a message in her guestbook. She is also on Youtube talking about her writing, has a Facebook fan page and is on Twitter. Our interview came out on 4th December and you can read that here.
Trisha’s publisher Harper Collins have generously offered two of Trisha’s books for readers of this blog post and Trisha’s interview posted on Sunday 4th December (one of each title on each post). So, for a chance to win a copy of ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ or ‘The Magic of Christmas’ just leave a comment at the end of this posting and your details will be put in a draw.
If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please” (while quietly bouncing up and down in my seat with joy!).
The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with crime writer Kathy Bennett – the two hundred and twenty sixth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, directors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.