#blogtour – A Christmas Wish by Erin Green @ErinGreenAuthor @BrookCottageBks #QandA #giveaway
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for a Christmas Wish by Erin Green. Thank you to Brook Cottage Books for asking me to take part. I have a Q&A with Erin today and I’m sharing details of a giveaway but first, what’s A Christmas Wish about?
Genre: Romance Contemporary
Release Date: 1st August 2017
Publisher: Aria Fiction/Head of Zeus
Flora Phillips has an excuse for every disaster in her life; she was abandoned as a new-born on a doorstep one cold autumn night, wrapped in nothing but a towel. Her philosophy is simple: if your mother doesn’t want you – who will?
Now a thirty-year-old, without a boyfriend, a career or home she figures she might as well tackle the biggest question of them all – who is she? So, whilst everyone else enjoys their Christmas Eve traditions, Flora escapes the masses and drives to the village of Pooley to seek a specific doorstep. Her doorstep.
But in Pooley she finds more than her life story. She finds friends, laughter, and perhaps even a love to last a lifetime. Because once you know where you come from, it’s so much easier to know where you’re going.
A story of redemption and love, romance and Christmas dreams-come-true, the perfect novel to snuggle up with this festive season.
And here are all the links you need if you like the sound of the book.
1. Can you tell me about your book, A Christmas Wish, and where the idea came from for the story?
‘A Christmas Wish’ is my debut novel published through Aria (an imprint of Head of Zeus). Flora Philips was abandoned on a doorstep when she was hours old. Flora feels that everything that goes wrong in her life is linked to her unfortunate beginning. Flora wants to know the truth, why was she abandoned? Who is her biological mother? And why that doorstep?
The inspiration came from my admiration for individual who don’t know their birth families or roots. I have watched many programmes and read numerous books following an individual’s search – which sometimes led to their happy-ever-afters and sometimes, with heartfelt disappointment.
2. I’m interested in the fact that you are a NaNoWriMo addict and indeed A Christmas Wish came out of such a project. What is it about NaNoWriMo that works so well for you as a writer?
I am a true NaNoWriMo addict – I’ve just completed my 7th year! I love the idea that across the world writers are united in one task to write 1667 words a day for one month. The momentum and the camaraderie that develops throughout the month is the thing that keep your going. The first week is a breeze, the project is new and fresh by week three things begin to wane and that’s when the support helps. I attempted NaNoWriMo alone back in 2009 and failed within ten days. In 2012, my writing buddy Helen Phifer said she’d help to support me – boy, was the task easier knowing someone else was by your side writing their own project. I’m also slightly nerdy regards the little graphs that show your progress and colourful widgets that appear on my website.
3. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I tend to complete research in two stages. After the initial idea, I tend to indulge in as much research as I can from library books, internet or actual visits to gain experience. I take reams of detailed note prior to plotting and writing – there isn’t an exact duration, I seem to know when I have enough to begin. My process usually requires a second bout of research once I’ve written draft one as I could never predict for the unexpected questions that I have. This second bout of research is more refined and specific a day or so at the most.
4. And related to that, do you plot your book meticulously before you start or wing it and see how it comes together?
I am a plotter. I have numerous project boxes which each has the potential to be a novel. When an unexpected idea, character or plot points comes to mind I scribble it on a post-it note and keep it safe. I find my ideas need time to germinate before the pieces fall into place so some project boxes are quite full. Once selected, I sift through the project ideas and focus on ordering the events, on yet more post-it notes. I probably plot 80% of my novel before starting. I always know the beginning, middle and ending prior to starting – though they may change in draft 2. I leave about 20% unplanned so unexpected ideas can be included – these can sometimes be the little gems of your writing.
5. If you weren’t a writer what do you think you would be doing now?
I have had numerous jobs from waitressing, banking, retail and now, education. If I wasn’t to be employed by a previous career I would chose a creative but practical job. I love painting. I’m so happy opening tins of paint and covering plain walls with a fresh colour. So, I might choose a painter or decorator. Or product tester at Lego. I love Lego more than painting, this really should have been my first answer!
6. Tell me about your writing day. Where do you write and do you have a daily routine?
Writing is now a daily habit. It never used to be because I used to allow other things to get in the way and claim my time. In those days, I could go days without writing which felt awful but I would allow it to happen. Over the years, I’ve become protective about my writing time and now, I write every day. I still have a full-time job as a teacher so my current routine begins at 5am to write for one hour before getting ready for the day-job. I tend to integrate a second writing session in later on the evening once I’m settle back at home each night. Weekend writing can vary in type and amount but I like to get one full day each weekend.
7. Do you have time to read yourself and if so what kind of books do you enjoy?
I am an avid reader. I read every day during my lunch break at work and before retiring for the night. Reading was a habit I developed as a child when my parents took me on weekly outings to our local library. It would feel unnatural not to have a book on the go. I tend to switch genre after each book so I have a varied taste from classics, crime, chick-lit, romcoms and non-fiction. I have an annoying habit of having several books on the go at once but I can’t help myself when it comes to starting a new book. It’s my reading journey so I feel I can do as I please, as long as I’m enjoying it.
8. Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
I am tea monster so often have a double cup of tea at my elbow as I write. I also write in different coloured fonts as a way of organising plot events or characters – a page of rainbow paragraphs is less daunting than deathly black. I spend a long time choosing characters’ names, it has to feel right and have the right meaning otherwise it is ditched. For instance, Flora was named after my paternal great grandmother, and in book 2, The Single Girl’s Calendar, Esme is named after my maternal great grandmother. I have a list of potential names that I wish to use in future books.
9. What are you planning to write next
I am currently writing draft 1 of another Christmas book for 2018. I have about three weeks more writing to complete the story, then the draft 2 takes over. I have just proofread book 2 ‘The Single Girl’s Calendar’ which is published 1st February 2018 so exciting times are ahead.
Thank you, Erin. Exciting times indeed!
Erin was born and raised in Warwickshire, where she resides with her husband. An avid reader since childhood, her imagination was instinctively drawn to creative writing as she grew older. Erin has two Hons degrees: BA English literature and another BSc Psychology – her previous careers have ranged from part-time waitress, the retail industry, fitness industry and education. She has an obsession about time, owns several tortoises and an infectious laugh!
Erin’s writes contemporary novels focusing on love, life and laughter. Erin is an active member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and was delighted to be awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017. An ideal day for Erin involves writing, people watching and drinking copious amounts of tea.