Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Alison May about the inspiration for Christmas Kisses

Talking about the inspiration for Christmas Kisses is tricky because it’s actually three
stories in one so there are three different inspirations. Holly’s Christmas Kiss started off with the simple question of what would happen if you put a woman who hates Christmas and a man who absolutely loves it together, against both of their wills, at Christmas time.
Originally I wrote Holly’s Christmas Kiss as a single standalone story, but I was writing it I started to wonder about some of the other characters. Cora Strachan is the hero’s ex-wife in Holly’s Chrstimas Kiss. Now I’ve long thought that ex-wives tend to get a bit of a raw deal in romantic fiction. We only ever hear about them from the point of view of their ex-husband or their ex-husband’s new girlfriend, and that seems a bit unfair to me, so I thought it might be fun to tell Cora’s own story from her point of view. And so, Cora’s Christmas Kiss was born – the story of a young woman who feels like everyone around her (including her ex-husband) is moving on while her own life is falling apart..
Jessica, the star of Jessica’s Christmas Kiss, is another character who first appears in Holly’s Christmas Kiss. In that first story Jessica is a newlywed, all loved up and full of Christmas cheer and romance. By the time we meet her again her real-life isn’t quite matching up to that romantic dream. I quite often wonder what happens after the ‘happy ever after’ moment in romance stories, and that’s really what Jessica’s story is about. Can you sustain a perfect romance? And if not, what do you do next?
All three stories then started with a character, and that’s how most of my books start. Even with a really strong backdrop to write about – like Christmas itself – the characters remain the most important part of any story. For me the characters are the thing that makes the story happen. If I know who my main character is then I can begin to work out who the other people around them need to be, and what challenges I need to throw into their path.
If I’m really honest, and like a lot of writers I suspect, I don’t really believe in inspiration. It’s too ethereal and too unreliable. What I do believe in is starting with the vaguest hint of an idea and then working at it – writing notes, writing chapters, writing scenes (just writing really!) You can spend a lot of time as a new writer waiting for inspiration, when actually you have to create inspiration by dragging ideas out of the back of your head and prodding and moulding them into shape. Inspiration comes in little bubbles while you’re writing – like the moment where Cora runs into a mysterious man and, as I was writing the scene, I realised exactly who he was. You see, he’s… well you’ll have to read the stories and find out.

About Alison May

Alison is a novelist, short story writer, blogger and creative writing tutor who grew up in North Yorkshire, and now lives in Worcester. She worked as a waitress, a shop assistant, a learning adviser, an advice centre manager, a freelance trainer, and now a maker-upper of stories.
She won the RNA’s Elizabeth Goudge trophy in 2012, and her short stories have been published by Harlequin, Choc Lit and Black Pear Press. Her romantic comedies, Sweet Nothing, Midsummer Dreams, and the Christmas Kisses series are published by Choc Lit. Alison has been shortlisted in the Love Stories and RoNA Awards.
You can find out more about Alison at www.alison-may.co.uk, on facebook at www.facebook.com/AlisonMayAuthor, or by following her on Twitter @MsAlisonMay

About Christmas Kisses - http://bookgoodies.com/a/1781893233

Three girls, three kisses, three gorgeous Christmas stories.
Holly hates Christmas with a passion and can't wait to escape it - but then the flight to her once-in-a-lifetime holiday destination is cancelled.
Cora has had the year from hell, and faces a bleak Christmas working in Golding's department store - in the most unflattering reindeer costume imaginable.
Jessica is in denial after her husband's betrayal, and can't help but think back to when her life still seemed so full of hope and promise ...Three years from hell, three sets of broken dreams, three girls in desperate need of Christmas spirit.
Is the perfect Christmas kiss all it takes?
Includes Holly's Christmas Kiss, Cora's Christmas Kiss and Jessica's Christmas Kiss 

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