30 December 2014

Festive Q&A Post 22: Michele Gorman

Today I am thrilled to welcome the fab Michele Gorman to my blog for her turn at my Festive Q&A! Michele's latest festive offering is The Reluctant Elf, a lovely short story about hosting the perfect Christmas at a little hotel, and was a very enjoyable read! Thank you to Michele for taking the time to answer my questions.

You can buy The Reluctant Elf as an eBook now.

Q1. Please tell me about your new festive book!

Thanks so much for having me on the blog today, Chloe! The Reluctant Elf about an extremely undomestic goddess called Lottie, and her 7-year-old daughter, who find themselves in rural North Wales over Christmas trying to run their Aunt Kate’s B&B. Unfortunately they are Britain’s worst innkeepers. Here’s the book trailer: http://youtu.be/IjOS5PQQLa4

I had so much fun with this book, and was in Northern Wales when I wrote it, tucked away in a cabin in the woods with my husband for a writing week. It wasn’t Christmastime though, so I had to imagine roaring fires, snow and hot chocolate in May!

Q2. What do you think it is about festive books that readers love so much year after year?

I think they’re like comfort food – soothing and nostalgic – and they give readers a sense of anticipation about the upcoming season. It’s funny, because they include the same topics that we write about during the rest of the year, but somehow setting them at Christmas makes them more special.

Q3. What prompted you to write a Christmas book?

My friend, Talli Roland, began writing them several years ago and said it was fun, so, two years ago, I thought I’d try it. I’d written the sequel to my debut, Single in the City, and hadn’t planned to write a sequel to the sequel :- ) but kept getting emails and messages asking what happened next. I didn’t have time in my writing schedule for an extra novel, so I wondered if I could fulfil two objectives with a Christmas novella instead.

As it turns out, I absolutely Love writing novellas, and now write one every year! The length is really challenging and fun because it requires full character development but doesn’t allow for any extraneous, loose/baggy writing. Plus, it’s not long enough to get to that crisis of confidence point (which most of us get around 30,000 words, where we think the book is terrible and boring). So it’s fun to write the whole way through!

Q4. Quick fire questions! What's your favourite thing about Christmas? 
Doing absolutely nothing. I’m so busy the rest of the year that it’s great to put the laptop away for the week and let the days unfold in such a relaxed way.

Q5. Favourite Christmas film? 
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original, narrated by Burl Ives). It’s not a film but a Christmas TV programme from my childhood in the US.

Q6. Favourite Christmas song? 
The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York

Q7. Favourite Christmas tradition? 
Baking about a million cookies (all family recipes) for everyone I know!

Q8. What are you hoping to find under the christmas tree this year?! 
Actually, I’m hoping to find a new flat around my Christmas tree this year! We’re in the middle of renovations and I’m pulling my hair out – I’m hitting the eggnog early these days :- )

Q9. What's the best Christmas present you've ever been given and why? 
One year my little sister, who was around eighteen at the time, gave me a Madame Alexander doll for the top of my Christmas tree. Our Aunt Lena had given me these dolls when I was very small, and I treasured them. Mom told me after I opened the present that my sister had found it nearly a year before and put it on “layaway” because she couldn’t afford it. She paid a tiny amount each week so that she could give it to me. It’s one of my most treasured possessions and I burst into tears every year when I put it on top of my tree… oops, sniffling now!

Q10. What is up next for you?
Well, back in March I signed a contract with Avon in the UK so they’ll be publishing my next two novels. The first is coming up quickly (January 15th)! It’s The Curvy Girls Club, a funny, heart-warming story about learning to love yourself. Here’s a happy little video that goes with the book :- ) http://youtu.be/qsNP-ganYno
I’m also writing my next book. The working title is Boyfriends Recycled, about four friends who upcycle their exes through their local boyfriend recycling website (RecycLove), but haven’t bargained on the consequences of the exchanges they make. It’s scheduled to publish in January 2016.
Thanks again, Chloe, for having me on the blog today, and I hope everyone has a fabulously fun and relaxing Christmas full of love and cake, lots of both!

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