Last week I spotlighted Kathryn Freeman’s 2017 Christmas novel and in celebration of her first Christmas novel (which is available to purchase in paperback) Kathryn is sharing with us today how she wrote that first Christmas story.
Do you believe in Father Christmas?
For Melissa, Christmas has always been overrated. From her cold, distant parents to her manipulative ex-husband, Lawrence, she’s never experienced the warmth and contentment of the festive season with a big, happy family sitting around the table.
And Melissa has learned to live with it, but it breaks her heart that her seven-year-old son, William, has had to live with it too. Whilst most little boys wait with excitement for the big day, William finds it difficult to believe that Father Christmas even exists.
But then Daniel McCormick comes into their lives. And with his help, Melissa and William might just be able to find their festive spirit, and finally have a Christmas where all of their wishes come true …
A Second Christmas Wish is now available to purchase in both paperback and eBook format from all good book retailers and platforms. Click HERE for buying options.
Thank you so much for inviting me to write a guest post for Jera’s Jamboree. I hope your followers will be interested in how my new paperback, A Second Christmas Wish, was born.
Writing my first Christmas book
I vividly remember when my publisher (Choc Lit) first mentioned the idea of me writing a Christmas book. It was at Easter, when the remains of the kids’ chocolate eggs were still lurking in our bread/naughty treats drawer (yes I wanted to eat them, no I didn’t because my sons knew exactly how much they had left). I immediately said yes. Combing two of my favourite things, writing and Christmas? An absolute no brainer.
I can easily do this.
Plus, I had ages, didn’t I.
By the time I’d worked out how long it would take to write the book, and then to rewrite major chunks (which I always end up doing) and then to edit it, I realised I had about two days to come up with an idea.
Still, I love Christmas, so coming up with a story set during such a special season wasn’t going to be a problem.
I flapped around like a captive bird for hours and hours, struggling with what to write. I knew what I wanted to include in it of course; Father Christmas, presents, decorations, trees, snow, but had no idea of the substance of the book. The plot. What would happen around Christmas that would make my story.
It was on day three of sitting in my study staring into the eyes of Jenson Button (a cardboard cutout version who sits by my desk) that I realised I was going about this the wrong way. You see the way I write a book is nearly always by thinking of my hero first (Jenson is a great inspiration…). Once I’ve got his character in my head, the rest comes easily, including the plot. So I abandoned thoughts of Christmas for a moment and conjured up the man I’d like to feature in the book. Daniel McCormick; athletic, confident. Kind. A sportsman (umm, that might have been Jenson again).
Now I was on a roll. One of the lovely things about Christmas is seeing it through a child’s eye, so I wanted to include a child in my story; my heroine’s child. What if they’d had some terrible Christmases up till now? What if Daniel could help introduce them both to the magic of Christmas?
A Second Christmas Wish was born.
To many it might seem odd that my first Christmas book features an ex-tennis professional (now tennis coach) as its hero, but to me it made perfect sense; an ideal way for Daniel to meet little William.
Now I had my story, all I had to do next was write it. Is it hard to write about Christmas during the spring and early summer? No harder than it is for me to write about the beauty of a sun-kissed beach when I freezing my butt off in my study. I do have a little prop that helps me on my way though.
This little fella has seen me through two Christmas books now, bless his green fury antlers. And because his cheery face helped me when the words flowed like cold porridge, I gave him a mention in my second book (A Little Christmas Faith, published as an eBook).
As we come up to Christmas once again, my mind is already turning to next Christmas. Maybe I won’t put the reindeer back in the loft when the season is over. He and I have more work to do 🙂
Kathryn Freeman was born in Wallingford but has spent most of her life living in a village outside Windsor. A former pharmacist, she’s now a medical writer who also loves to write romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…
She has two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in her life is all in my head. Then again, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.
Connect with Kathryn Freeman