12 Days of Single by Christmas Blog Tour
17th October – 28th October 2016
Hey friends and fellow bookworms! Today the Page Maiden and I have the pleasure of being a part of Rosa Temple’s blog tour (our first blog tour!) for her latest release, Single by Christmas!
Single by Christmas
By Rosa Temple
You’ve heard the saying, ‘opposites attract’ haven’t you? Well meet 27 year old Alex Marshall, a party girl with a penchant for free flowing Prosecco, and her devilishly handsome scientist boyfriend, Charlie, who loves jazz and dinner for two.
Alex and Charlie are together for 11 blissful months until Alex goes out of town and does something she will later regret. Was she drunk? You bet. Does she want Charlie to know? Well what do you think?
With the couple about to spend their first Christmas together will Charlie be the forgiving kind or will Alex be Single by Christmas?
This is a feel good, Christmas novel with very few mince pies, not much snow and absolutely no mistletoe – just a couple of best friends, a sociopathic nemesis and a lot of drinking.
For The Book Wench Blog tour stop, I got to do a great Q&A about Single by Christmas and Rosa herself. My review is coming soon!
Before I get to the Q&A, I have some fun news! Rosa, I’m excited to say, is hosting a giveaway for five lucky winners; go ahead and enter to win now as it closes on November 1st!
And now, the interview!
What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?
That had to be after self publishing Natalie’s Getting Married. I had previously published a novella but with Natalie I noticed that I got many more sales and reviews and the reviews themselves were much more positive. The message I was getting was that there were people out there who not only got me as a writer, they really liked my writing and compared it to some of the bigger names in the genre. The positivity gave me confidence and inspired me to keep going.
Is there anything about the writing life that you think is misunderstood by the public?
I think a lot of people imagine that writers make a lot more money than they actually do! (We’re not all JK Rowling). I also believe that some people forget that writers have feelings and they pour their hearts into their writing, so constructive criticism is what we need rather than being unnecessarily destructive when leaving reviews.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
If you’re still loving it, don’t stop! With every piece you write you’ll discover that you become a better writer, you’ll develop a better style and it can take a long time before people start noticing that you and your work exists. Very few writers have overnight success.
What does a typical writing day look like for you? Do you have any particular rituals or processes?
The nice thing abut my day is that no two days are the same. I’m one of those people who finds it hard to sleep so I might get up at three in the morning and begin to write. Mostly I take care of emails and paid jobs before I get into my own writing but other days I might turn that around. I really just follow my feelings and write what I’m inspired to write on that day.
Occasionally I give myself deadlines like a certain number of words a day but that can be a bit stressful and I can’t do my best writing if I’m stressed.
What do you do in your free time when you aren’t writing?
I do yoga, I jump on my spin cycle or I go for jog or brisk walk. I try to exercise for a minimum of twenty minutes a day at least 5-6 times a week. I know, right? I sound like a fitness freak, don’t I? But yet I still have cellulite!
Ha! I know exactly how you feel on that!
In Single By Christmas, the main character, Alex, is a hard-working, free-spirited, and well-meaning character who happens to have some fine-tuned but realistic character flaws. As a writer, why do you feel it is important to make such distinctions in a genre that is often regarded as full of “Mary Sues”?
Hopefully I think I know what you mean by a ‘Mary Sue’ – it’s not a term us Londoners use. But I’m definitely one for flipping genres on their heads. I can’t do glossy if it means that my characters don’t come across as real people to me.
I knew from the start that Single by Christmas wasn’t going to be about mince pies and falling in love in a snow swept town in the holidays. It’s not my style and because I like to write with a comic edge, there’s not much mileage in a Mary Sue for me. Not that I’m knocking that model – it’s just not my style. I love a flawed character.
While the novel ended with loose-ends tied and everything pretty much rounded up, do you expect we’ll be seeing more of these characters in the future or is their story finished?
It wasn’t until I got to the final edit that I noticed there might be more of this story to explore. For example; what happens to Shalina after her Christmas break up and what if Stevo’s sociopathic tendencies go into overdrive? What effect would that have on Alex and Charlie?
What served as your inspiration for Single By Christmas?
To be honest, the story just came spilling out from somewhere in my head and all I did was go with the flow. The characters took over and wrote themselves, I just sat at my laptop enjoying all the plots I could weave for them. I wrote the book very quickly and I wish all my writing came that easily. I seriously loved writing this one.
On your blog, you have several posts chronicling the process of working on a Christmas novel. How different would you say writing a Christmas novel is from writing a non-Christmas novel in the genre? Is it easier or harder?
I think the thing that always niggled was the fact that I was writing about Christmas completely out of context. I wrote it over spring and summer and that was weird for me. Also because a lot of people have certain expectations about a Christmas novel I was was always worried that what I was doing with mine was going against type and that people might not like it for that reason. But like a non-Christmas novel, you have to stay true to yourself.
Have you, in Single by Christmas or in one of your other writings, ever had a character based closely on someone you know?
I try so hard to avoid doing that just in case I upset anyone. What I do is borrow physical attributes from people I know but I change them up so they won’t recognize themselves.
Unfortunately, the chick lit/contemporary romance/romantic comedy genre is often looked upon as “not serious” writing. What would you, as a writer of romantic comedy and chick lit, say to those critics or to readers who are unsure of the merits of the genre?
Well when people say that it’s because they’re making assumptions and not reading enough of the genre. If people took a closer look they will see that there are a lot of very talented writers of chick lit/contemporary romance/romantic comedy who tackle some very real and sometimes serious issues to do with relationships, friendships, family, work, love, children. These books can relate to real life in so many ways that fans can’t wait to get their next chick lit fix.
What was it like being a ghostwriter?
Firstly it’s so much quicker to complete a book. You don’t stress and fret about something that won’t have your name to it. You can allow yourself to say things you wouldn’t want to be attached to so it gives you a lot of freedom and scope. I ghost write in the romance genre but they are the type of books that have men with bare torsos and women with long legs and that’s so different from what I write that it doesn’t interfere with the style of books I love to bring out in my own name.
Who was your favorite character to write in Single By Christmas?
To be honest I loved them all. Stevo was a lot of fun and of course I loved watching Alex digging herself a big hole. And I sort of had a love affair with Charlie so I enjoyed all the scenes with him in.
What was your favorite part about writing Single By Christmas?
I enjoy writing dialogue and I always try to make it sound realistic. I really got into the heads of the characters during the scenes containing dialogue so I guess that was the best part.
What do you hope readers come away with after reading Single By Christmas?
I hope that they can find a few moments in the book when they can laugh. I also want them to feel a certain way about Alex and decide whether they like her or not. I want them to get the relationship between Alex and Charlie and really get to know them as people. Mostly I hope that people will remember certain highlights from the story and would perhaps want to read it again one Christmas.
On your blog, you mention working on a three-book series called The Magenta Bright Book Series. What can you tell us about the books?
I’d like to answer that by giving you the blurb of book 1 which is called, Magenta Bright: A Year In The Life.
Twenty-eight year old Magenta Bright is used to the finer things in life. And though she wines and dines out, knows all the best parties and rubs shoulders with celebrities – Magenta is unemployed and flat broke.
Unexpectedly, she is left £250,000 in her grandmother’s will and Magenta thinks it’s party time again. But there’s a catch; she must work for a full year before getting her hands on the money. Not having worked for more than two months at any one time, panic sets in until Magenta finds a job working as PA to shy, arty type, Anthony Shearman.
The most fraught and madcap year of her life has begun.
With the support of supermodel best friend, Anya, Magenta tries to get her hands on the inheritance and nothing and nobody will stand in her way … not even her flake of a boss who might not last a year himself, or a co-worker determined to have Magenta’s job or the return of the gorgeous Hugo whose alternate lifestyle might just tempt her away from the toughest year of her life.
Needles to say there will be more ups and downs as Magenta begins her own business in book two and finds herself torn between Anthony and Hugo. With one of them being married there’ll be lots of room for conflict and plot twists and there’s going to be quite a colorful supporting cast!
That sounds awesome! Rosa, thank you so much for allowing The Book Wench blog to be a part of your 12 Days of Single by Christmas Blog Tour!
Single by Christmas was released on October 18th. To purchase your copy (but don’t forget to enter the giveaway) visit Amazon:
The Book Wench review of Single by Christmas will be up soon!