Stoking up for Christmas.
Christmas at Hembry Castle (Hembry Castle Chronicles II) by Meredith Allard released last year in the Historical Fiction/Victorian/Holiday genre.
You are cordially invited to Christmas at Hembry Castle.
An unlikely earl struggles with his new place. A young couple’s love is tested. What is a meddling ghost to do?
In the tradition of A Christmas Carol, travel back to Victorian England and enjoy a lighthearted, festive holiday celebration.
Meredith Allard’s Website: https://meredithallard.com/her-dear-loving-husband/hembry-castle-chronicles/christmas-at-hembry-castle/
Meredith Allard is the author of the bestselling paranormal historical Loving Husband Trilogy. Her sweet Victorian romance, When It Rained at Hembry Castle, was named a best historical novel by IndieReader. Her latest book, Painting the Past: A Guide for Writing Historical Fiction, was named a #1 new release in Authorship and Creativity Self-Help on Amazon. When she isn’t writing she’s teaching writing, and she has taught writing to students ages five to 75. She loves books, cats, and coffee, though not always in that order. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit Meredith online at www.meredithallard.com.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Christmas at Hembry Castle was written as an homage to A Christmas Carol. It takes place in England in 1871. It was inspired by my love for both Charles Dickens and the TV series Downton Abbey. It has upstairs/downstairs storylines, and there is even a meddling ghost for good measure. It’s a lighthearted, festive celebration of a Victorian Christmas.
What sort of research did you do to write this book?
This was one historical novel that I didn’t have to do a ton of research for because I already had a lot of knowledge about the Victorian period from reading Dickens and other books about the era. I did double check everything I wrote, but since I knew where to look for the information that made it a shorter process than usual for me. I was able to travel to London twice as part of my research, and I absolutely loved that. London is a great city. In fact, I’ve walked many of Edward’s walks through the city. I think being able to visit and see the places for myself make the story much more realistic. I had to do a bit of research on Victorian Christmas traditions, but I had quite a lot of fun doing that.
If your story had a soundtrack, which song would it be?
The beloved Christmas carols that we all still love today like “Silent Night” and “God Bless Ye Merry Gentlemen” would definitely play a prime role on the soundtrack.
What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?
Christmas at Hembry Castle is meant to be a fun, lighthearted, festive book for the holiday season. I wrote it in 2020 when we were all in need to cheering up. I think we need it this year as well.
A fun fact about writing your book.
I wrote it in six weeks. For me, that’s crazy fast. I think I was able to finish it so quickly because it’s set in a world I already knew and loved—the world of Hembry Castle.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the fifth book in my Loving Husband series, which is a very different world than the Hembry Castle world. The new book is set on the Oregon Trail in 1850, so I still have a lot to learn about that era.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I’m a teacher, a job I have loved for 25 years; however, this is my final year as a typical classroom teacher so I’m getting used to the idea of being a full-time writer and editor. As of now, after school I work on my own writing. I’m also the executive editor of The Copperfield Review, a journal for readers and writers of historical fiction. At night I love to read, and I’ll read whatever I can get my hands on.
How do you keep from resenting your duties when you have to stop writing to take care of them?
For me, I’m thankful that I have other things to do during the day. I need time away from the computer and as much as I love writing it can be difficult at times.
The biggest surprise you had after becoming a writer
How truly lovely readers can be. I’ve had some of the most wonderful notes and emails from readers from all over the world who have loved my story. I’m thankful for every single one of them.
Do you outline books ahead of time or are you more of a by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer?
I used to be very persnickety about outlining everything ahead of time. But for my last two books, including Christmas at Hembry Castle, I find that I’ve become more of a panster. I write the scenes I feel like writing, or the scene I can see most clearly in my head at the moment, and then I figure out afterwards how the pieces fit together. I’m not sure why this change in my process has happened, to be honest, but I think I like being a panster better because I feel like the story grows organically.
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Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B000APN2C8