A very warm welcome to the blog today to Suzie Tullet. Suzie, we are delighted that you could join us to talk about your new release. Could you tell us a little more about it?
I’m particularly excited about my latest release, Holly’s Christmas Countdown, as it’s my first ever Yuletide novel. A romcom, it tells the story of Holly Noelle who has spent months looking forward to a different kind of celebration – ten whole days in the Caribbean, away from her Christmas mad family. But a cancelled holiday of a lifetime and an unexpected houseguest change Holly’s best laid plans and she is forced to come up with a plan B.
What was the inspiration behind your book? What prompted you to tell this story?
Oh, the number of times drunken me has agreed to do something sober me would never contemplate. Not that I’ve ever agreed to do anything illegal or harmful, but what seems like a great idea after a couple of glasses of wine inevitably turns out to be just plain daft the next morning. In Holly’s Christmas Countdown not only did I take such experiences as inspiration and put Holly in a similar situation, I made sure she was stuck with her agreement, leaving the poor woman no choice but to see it through.
How did you decide on the names for your characters and the setting for your book?
I had a lot of fun coming up with names for this novel, although I’d known from the start that my main character would be called Holly Noelle. Of course, as her parents are Christmas mad, it felt only natural to then link every family member to the festivities. However, I do play with these a little, so their Christmassy names aren’t immediately obvious. As for the book’s setting, I wanted it to have a strong sense of wintry beauty and the rugged rural landscape of the Yorkshire Dales, especially when covered in snow, isn’t just stunning, it’s atmospheric. Plus, living there myself, I was able to draw on yet more experience when it came to conveying Dales village life. Everyone really does know everyone!
How long did the book take to write?
Thanks to Covid-19 and lockdown this book was a great escape, but it seemed to take forever to write. However, it’s just like me to make matters even more complicated for myself by moving to a new country at the start of a pandemic. Yes, I could have waited, but having accepted an offer on my then home back in November 2019, come March of this year the last thing I wanted was to lose the sale altogether. So, packing up regardless and determined to hold on to all the confidence I could muster under the circumstances, I boarded a ferry and set off on my new adventure. Even with a book deadline to meet!
Finding myself in a foreign land, homeless, and living in a campervan was certainly an experience, although the locals couldn’t have been more welcoming, and I met some wonderful people throughout. Were it not for the lovely man who offered to keep re-charging the van battery and the chap in the garage who happily kept charging my laptop for me, this book might not have been written at all.
What was your journey to publication?
I began my writing career when I obtained a Masters Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting and was chosen by the BBC for their new writers’ scheme. This gave me the opportunity to write for their long running drama series DOCTORS, but I’d always loved writing prose, not least because there’s a freedom to it that you don’t always have as a scriptwriter. For example, an author can develop a story and run with it no matter where it goes. There are no third parties, like directors and actors, to consider. As a novelist, if I choose to include three helicopter crashes in a single book I can because there are no budget constraints. Not that I’ve ever incorporated a helicopter crash into my work, but it’s nice to know I could if I wanted to.
Who were your favourite childhood authors?
As a child, I didn’t have a favourite author. I would read anything and everything no matter who wrote it. Particular favourites though were Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree series, which I’ve since read to my grandchildren, and Roald Dahl’s Charlie and Chocolate Factory, and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. I adored E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web and I recall reading lots of books set in girls’ boarding schools. When it comes to the latter, such schoolgirl adventures might have faded from memory, but my love of storage trunks and tuck shops has remained.
Can you tell us what you are working on now?
I’m working on my Summer 2021 novel, another romcom that my publisher, Bloodhound Books, is hoping to release in July.
About the Author:
Suzie Tullett is an author of contemporary humourous fiction and romantic comedy. She has a Masters Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting and worked as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist. Suzie likes nothing more than a ‘happy ever after’ and when she’s not busy creating her own literary masterpieces, she usually has her head in someone else’s.
Suzie lives between the Yorkshire Dales and a tiny cottage on the Irish coast, along with her husband and two Greek rescue dogs.
Where to purchase the book:
Purchase link: mybook.to/hollyschristmascoun
Where to find Suzie:
Twitter: Suzie Tullett Author (@SuzieTullett) / Twitter
Facebook: Suzie Tullett (Author) | Facebook
Instagram: Suzie Tullett (@suzie_tullett) • Instagram photos and videos
Suzie was talking to Ruby Moone
Ruby Moone lives in the wilds of Lancashire with her husband and writes historical and contemporary romance. At school, her teachers said that she lived with her head in the clouds and if she didn’t stop daydreaming she would never get anywhere. She never did stop daydreaming, and after years of happily living in the clouds, decided to write the stories down.