I’m delighted to be taking part in a blog tour today organised by Rachel’s Random Resources. I know you’ll join me in welcoming Maxine Morrey to my hot seat. You’ll find out what inspired Maxine to write, her favourite activity for inspiration and more. There’s also a fab UK tourwide giveaway so don’t forget to enter!
Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten. Coming in first, she won a handful of book tokens – perfect for a bookworm!
As years went by, she continued to write, but ‘normal’ work often got in the way. She has written articles on a variety of subjects, as well as a book on Brighton for a Local History publisher. However, novels are what she loves writing the most. After self publishing her first novel when a contract fell through, thanks to the recession, she continued to look for opportunities.
In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK’s ‘Write Christmas’ competition with her romantic comedy, ‘Winter’s Fairytale’.
Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words loves to read sew and listen to podcasts. As she also likes cake she can also be found either walking or doing something vaguely physical at the gym.
Connect with Maxine Morrey
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree!
Thanks so much for having me on the blog today, Shaz!
What inspired you to write?
My love of writing developed directly from my love of reading. I learned to read very young and from that day forward just ploughed through books – I know my parents (and I!) were exceptionally glad of the local library as there would have been no way to keep me in books without that. I just loved escaping into all these stories and I’ve always been a bit of a daydreamer, so I think it was just a natural step for me to start creating my own.
Do you have a most creative time of day Maxine?
I tend to start in the morning but I don’t find it any more or less ‘creative’ than any other time – it just works better for me usually because otherwise the day can easily get away from you. I’m sure most writers will tell you that when they’re on a deadline, they develop the ability to make any time of day creative out of sheer necessity! 😉
Do you have a favourite place you go to for inspiration or a favourite activity?
I find travelling anywhere is inspirational – I think just a change of scene, a fresh canvas for the eyes can do wonders! I do have a soft spot for Christchurch in Dorset and would love to write something inspired by the area at some point. (Almost on my doorstep and one of our favourite places!).
How do your characters come into existence Maxine? Do they have a bio?
Quite often they kind of just wander in to my head and introduce themselves! They tend to get a very rough bio so that I know what makes them tick and then we go from there, learning more about each other as we go along.
Panster or a plotter?
I’m kind of in the middle. I used to be a complete pantser but a book can easily get away from you – at least it can with me – and then you find you’ve written yourself into a corner, or churned out thousands of words that really, don’t have that much to do with the story. When you’re writing on a deadline, that can certainly throw your schedule off so having a basic plan at least helps you know roughly where you’re going. I don’t plan every chapter or anything – it’s basically just a long synopsis which is still subject to changes, but it gives me something to refer to.
Do you have a favourite book? What is it that makes it your favourite?
That would have to be Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’. I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen anyway but I think ‘Persuasion’ often gets overlooked in favour of the slightly showier ‘Pride and Prejudice’. But I love this one precisely because it’s not showy – like the heroine, Anne, it’s reserved but deep. I love that we have an older heroine in comparison to some of her other books, so she has lived – and learned – a little more. And then, of course, there is Captain Wentworth who is one of the most romantic heroes in English literature thanks to his enduring love and hope, even when all hope was lost.
What are your thoughts on movie adaptations – do you think they do books justice?
I think it varies vastly – some I’ve enjoyed, such as John Grisham’s ‘A Time To Kill’ and some have been a little less to my taste. Like many readers, I found it hard to reconcile Tom Cruise to the character of Jack Reacher who’s height and solidity is integral in the books. It’s like another character almost. When he enters the room on a page, he’s imposing without doing anything purely because of his size so the casting of Tom Cruise in that role…kind of a no-no for me.
But movie adaptations do have the ability to introduce an author to a wider audience. As soon as anything is adapted for tv or the big screen, you soon see the original books climbing the charts so even if we don’t like the adaptation, we should still be appreciative of their encouraging readers perhaps?
Finally Maxine, do you have a theme for your book covers? Who designs them?
My last four books have all been written for HQ Digital and the covers have all been produced by their incredibly talented Design Department. I thoroughly adore the two for this year, and love that they put the Taj Mahal on the The Christmas Holiday and the little plane. When I saw the cover The Best Little Christmas Shop and the bear tucked under the boy’s arm, I was absolutely thrilled! The teddy has a significance in the story so I was so happy that was honoured and HQ had taken that into account and really made both the covers relate to the stories within them.
Thank you for being my guest Maxine.
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 815.0 KB
Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: HQ Digital (3 Nov. 2017)
Icing gingerbread men, arranging handmade toys and making up countless Christmas wreaths in her family’s cosy little Christmas shop isn’t usually globe-trotter Lexi’s idea of fun. But it’s all that’s keeping her mind off romance. And, with a broken engagement under her belt, she’s planning to stay well clear of that for the foreseeable future…until gorgeous single dad Cal Martin walks through the door!
Christmas takes on a whole new meaning as Lexi begins to see it through Cal’s adorable five-year-old son’s eyes. But, finding herself getting dangerously close to the mistletoe with Cal, Lexi knows she needs to back off. She’s sworn off love, and little George needs a stability she can’t provide. One day she’ll decide whether to settle down again – just not yet.
But the best little Christmas shop in this sleepy, snow-covered village has another surprise in store…
Up for grabs in this UK tourwide giveaway:
Signed copy of The Christmas Project
The Best Little Christmas Shop notebook
Box of mini gingerbread men
A chocolate teddy bear
Entry via the Rafflecopter below.
Please note Jera’s Jamboree is not responsible for this giveaway. Please read the terms and conditions.
Don’t forget to check out the other hosts on tour.