Today I am pleased to welcome Kellie Hailes on to the blog with a fantastic gust post about Christmas!
Needs More Christmas
Three little words in a sea of words that was the revision letter from my editor for my latest book, Christmas at the Second Chance Chocolate Shop.
Three little words that amongst the recommendation about strengthening characters, reducing the page time of other characters, and details that would enhance the story I’d written that sent me into a cold sweat.
For me one of the most challenging parts of writing a Christmas story set in a fictional Devonshire village was setting the Christmas scene because I live on the other side of the world and have never experienced a wintry Christmas. While parts of the Northern Hemisphere are rugging up in cosy clothing and warming their hands on mugs of hot chocolate, Down Under we’re swanning about in t-shirts and short and jandals (aka thongs/flip-flops). We’re sipping chilled rosé and chugging back icy water in an effort to stay cool.
Our festive season being in summer doesn’t mean we don’t go all out celebrating, but it’s just done… differently. Sure, we have streets that are festooned with fairy lights and glittering decorations, but you have to stay up past your bedtime to truly appreciate them as the sun dips below the horizon after 9pm.
Christmas lunch or dinner may still be of the traditional variety, but for many it’s a barbeque, with meats slowly turning on the rotisserie, or even a freshly caught fish being grilled on the barbie. Salads are a must, because it can get stinking hot. And desserts can take the form of a crunchy on the outside, fluffy in the middle pav, or a no-cook cheesecake piled high with glistening berries.
Needs more Christmas! What was a girl to do? Well, as luck would have it that week I had an appointment with my osteotherapist, and it dawned on me as I lay on the table having my neck wrenched to one side that she was English.
‘You’re English! You know about Christmas! Tell me everything!’ And bless her cotton socks, she did. Bread sauce. Turkey. Trifle. More turkey. The feel and look of the sky before the snow sets in. Turkey for the rest of ever until it’s all used up. She talked me through the extent of decorations – further confirmed by a good old google search of streets delightfully decked out in fairy lights and tasteful, classic Christmassy decorations.
A traditional English Christmas looks magical and beautiful, and sounds delicious! The book may have needed more Christmas (and, boy, did it get it), but I discovered one thing – I need an English Christmas! (Guess what I’ll be asking Santa for next year!?)
About the Book
’Tis the season for second chances…
Serena Hunter loves her new life in the sleepy Devonshire countryside! It’s a world away from her crazy past as the wife of American bad boy rock star, Ritchie Dangerfield.
Now she spends her days making delicious chocolate using milk from the local dairy and she finally feels that everything is back on track. That is, until her handsome ex-husband arrives in the village to win her back…
Away from the limelight, Serena gets to know Ritchie all over again and realises that maybe a second chance at love is the Christmas miracle she’d been dreaming of all along?
About the Author
At the age of five Kellie Hailes declared she was going to write books when she grew up. It took a while for her to get there, with a career as a radio copywriter, freelance copywriter and web writer filling the dream-hole, until now. Kellie lives on an island-that’s-not-really-an-island in New Zealand with her patient husband, funny little human and neurotic cat. When the characters in her head aren’t dictating their story to her, she can be found taking short walks, eating good cheese and jonesing for her next coffee fix.