Writing Wednesdays: 8 things you may not know about my new Christmas book

December 04, 2019

To celebrate the festive season and the release of my first Christmas book, I share a few things you might not know about the book in this post!

In case you missed it: I had a brand-new book out recently! It Won’t Be Christmas Without You was released at the end of August as an ebook and at the end of October in paperback. You can find out more about it and where to buy it here.

In this post, I’m going to share a few things you may not know about the book…

1. While it’s not my first time sharing a Christmas story, it is my first published adult book!

I adore Christmas, and have shared several short festive stories onWattpad over the years, in my Holly Jolly Anthology (all of which you can read for free right here!) – but this was my first Christmas book that was, well, a book, and not just a few thousand words of a short story.

And, it’s my debut adult book! The main characters are twenty-somethings, which makes this my first official branch out of Young Adult fiction… A thought that is equal parts terrifying and exciting!

2. It’s written from dual perspectives

The main characters of the book are twins Cara and Eloise, and as soon as I had the idea for the book, I knew the book would need to be written from both of their perspectives. I’ll confess – this wasn’t the first time I’d tried that. Half of my Game of Thrones fanfiction is written from split perspectives, swapping between different characters for different chapters. But this was definitely the first time I’d done it for some non-fanfic writing, and it wasn’t half so weird as I thought it would be.

Honestly, I just hope it reads well!

3. I wrote it in a month (exactly!)

I started writing this book in December 2017, and very quickly became determined to write the whole story within a month, before the festive season ended. I was travelling quite a bit at the time, spending lots of time on trains or in airports, or being snowed in at my flat in Durham, which made it very easy to spend time writing – and I got so into the story that I didn’t want to put it down.

4. I had to edit it during heatwaves

The first lot of edits were done in summer 2018, when it was blazing hot. The second round was done over Easter this year when it was… also blazing hot. I don’t really like hot weather unless I can lounge next to a pool, so that was definitely not my favourite time of year… Sat with the curtains shut to block the sunshine out and watching Love Actually while the fan blasted on me while I was craving ice cream and an ice-cold cider made for some weird weekends.

5. I kind of never expected it to be published

So I’m under the impression that lots of the time, authors won’t write a book until they’re contracted for it. My agents and I hadn’t really talked about me writing a Christmas book, or an adult book, but this was a book I wanted to write, and when it was done, I basically just emailed it to my agents and said, ‘I wrote a thing??? If you want it??????’

I was hopeful, of course, or else I never would’ve sent it to them – but I half-expected polite replies that said, ‘Beth, I don’t think this is what we’re looking to publish from you right now,’ or rejections from publishers, for a myriad of reasons. After all – this was the first ‘new’ thing I’d written in four or five years. (‘New’ meaning, not related to the TKB series!)

But, of course, it turned out they did want it, and so did my lovely editor Charlotte at Harper Collins. YAY!

6. It’s being published in other countries!

I am absolutely OVER THE MOON that not only did my superstar agents, Clare and Lydia, get this book published at all, but the other superstars at my agency have managed to sell translation rights in: Brazil, Spain, Germany and Italy at the time of me posting this. These versions should be published in time for Christmas 2020. I can’t wait to see them on my bookshelves!

7. Am I more of a Cara or an Eloise?

I never base characters on myself (or my friends and family for that matter) but I do have a lot in common with both the main characters of this book. Eloise is obsessed with Christmas and I have been wearing my Christmas charm bracelet since October, and love everything about the festive season. Cara is a driven workaholic who can get a bit lost in her own world - which is also absolutely something I'm guilty of. I was actually pretty flattered when my family who read the book told me they could see lots of me in both characters!

8. The Great Turkeypocalypse

There’s a reference in the book to what Cara and Eloise call ‘The Great Turkeypocalypse’, a disaster of a Christmas dinner from many years ago. There’s actually a little truth behind this one…

To set the scene: it’s 2011. My parents take my sister on holiday over Easter. I stay home with my auntie and uncle to study for my GCSEs. My auntie has bought an absolute monster of a turkey to make Sunday roasts with. She makes maybe seven roast dinners from it. The dog gets some turkey. I steal some turkey to snack on while she was carving it. There are turkey sandwiches. There are heaped plates of turkey curry. The dog gets more turkey. The food comas are endless. My uncle and I are passed out on the sofas with the meat sweats, and my auntie is asking us about dessert. I have never looked at a turkey the same way since.

I couldn’t resist a little nod to our Great Turkeypocalypse in this book!

So, there you have it! A few fun facts about my latest book, It Won’t Be Christmas Without You, that you may not already have known!

If there’s something else you want to ask me about the book, or want to know about it, let me know in the comments or over on Twitter, where you can find me @Reekles.

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