today we have the pleasure to welcome lovely Emma Davies to our blog. Today’s a very special day for Emma and all of us Christmassy books lovers, as her latest ‘Merry Mistletoe’ has just been released today! Massive congrats to Emma on her publication day, we’re looking forward to reading it. Sounds like a great Christmas read, warm and magical. If you’re in the UK, you can grab the kindle for just 99p. As always, links to be found at the end of the post. Thank you, Emma for visiting us on this special day.
Of course this year will be The Best Christmas Ever! because if it’s not I will be letting Good Housekeeping, Country Living, and Homes and Gardens down, not to mention my family and indeed the nation. So no pressure then…
With this in mind I have booked the most gorgeous log cabin in remote Scotland. It’s decorated with red and gold folk art decorations, the floors are covered with thick fur rugs and there’s an open fire you could stand up in. There’ll be an eight foot tree hung with beautiful glass icicles and I’ve ordered a mountain of gourmet food. There’s pretty much guaranteed snow I’m told so we’ll go tobogganing on Christmas Eve….
Erm, hang on, hang on, who am I kidding? This is not the backdrop for a Christmas novel, this is real life, so actually what we’ll be doing is staying at home, just me, my husband, our three children, my mum, and Mum in law, and I absolutely LOVE IT!Its familiar, it’s comfortable, and I really wouldn’t want it any other way.
So we always watch Miracle on 34th Street (we believe!) and Love Actually, I always make my cheese sables (posh cheese biscuits that are to die for), and brandy butter (although no one ever eats it) and we all agree the run up to Christmas is by far the best bit. I love buying presents for people, plotting and planning, and hopefully scoring a few surprises, decorating the tree with the kids, shrieking with laughter over Pictionary, and teasing my mum over how many times she can ask me if I’ve bought the turkey yet!
BUT, and it’s a very big but, I am a total sucker for a Christmas story, and if it includes all the elements of the second paragraph then so much the better. So whilst I enjoy my own Christmas just as it is, when I choose my perfect Christmas read it has to come with bells on. There’s just something very special about Christmas books and although I’ve never written one before I knew that this year would be different, and it didn’t take long before inspiration struck …
As is often the case, inspiration for a story can come quite unexpectedly and from an unusual source, although my inspiration for one of the main characters in Merry Mistletoe has to be one of the strangest. This came to me well over a year ago while I was out driving somewhere, doing the food shopping probably. I pulled up behind a motorbike at a set of traffic lights and the bike had a personalised number plate which read AM05 FRY, or Amos Fry. I thought it was such a wonderful name that immediately in my head I began to picture this dark curly haired man who wore bright red shoes and who was a little mysterious. By the time the lights had turned to green I already had a very firm idea of this character in my head, and indeed where he might appear. Shortly afterward I started to plan the novel that would feature Amos Fry as its main character, but more about that later.
So when I came to think about my Christmas novella I knew that I needed to get the setting just right. My books have a very strong sense of place and it’s an important part of my planning process. The perfect solution came to me suddenly one morning as I was brushing my teeth! Just a few miles from where I live is a small market town, which is quite unremarkable except that at Christmas it hosts an annual mistletoe sale to which people come from all over the country to sell their holly and mistletoe. I knew straight away that this would make a perfect setting for the start of my story and so I began to research the sale and its history, but also the mistletoe plant itself.
I hadn’t realised that mistletoe is surrounded by a series of myths and legends and has long been considered to be a very special plant, even one with miraculous healing properties. According to a pagan calendar it also has its own day; that of the 23rd December, and so the more I learnt, the more the story began to take shape. To make the book really Christmassy though I knew I needed to work in a little seasonal magic and straight away I thought of Amos’ character; he was perfect and when you read Merry Mistletoe I hope you’ll see why.
Amos still has his own story to tell though and I hope to give him his very own book next year, something which I’m very excited about, so watch this space!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After a varied career Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: ‘I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.’ Well the job in the design studio didn’t work out but she’s now a forty something mother of three, and is working on the rest.
Today she’s a finance manager and looks at numbers a lot of the time, so at night she likes to throw them away and play with words, practicing putting them together into sentences. Pop over to her website www.emmadaviesauthor.com where, amongst other things, you can read about her passion for Pringles and singing loudly in the car.