Erin Green talks about A Christmas Wish, in which her character tries to find her ancestral roots.
1. Can you tell us more about your novel, A Christmas Wish?
Sometimes in life you have to face your fears and discover the truth in order to move forward and find happiness. Flora was abandoned as a newborn on a doorstep, she believes her beginnings have tainted the first three decades of her life. A Christmas Wish follows Flora’s journey as she tries to discover the truth about her biological mother in order to create a future for herself. During her quest, Flora meets numerous characters who offer help and guidance, some more than others.
2. How did you come up with the idea for this novel?
I know my family history and ancestral roots so, have often wondered how other people cope when you don’t have the facts or truly understand their beginnings. I’ve watched many TV programmes about fostering, adoption and foundlings who have openly shared their stories and feelings. I am always amazed by their courage to face adversity and enjoy the life they have, whilst seeking the truth. I’m not sure I would have coped with such looming questions surrounding my beginnings.
3. Where did you get the inspiration for the character of Flora?
We all know how it feels to feel different and awkward amongst a crowd, be it friends, family or loved ones. I think it’s human nature to want to fit in with our chosen crowd – have the same qualities or traits as our friends. Likewise, I think it’s an innate response that we wish to protect, support and assist those that we see having a rough time in life. Flora and her best friends Lisa and Steph have such a bond which has withstood the test of time. Flora wishes to be free of her niggling insecurities to secure a happy future. The past six months have been tough and she’s certain all the bad luck stems from her beginnings. My great-grandmother was called Flora, which I felt was the perfect name for an individual with a delicate situation who needs to grow and potentially blossom.
4. Do you have a favourite part or scene from A Christmas Wish? Could you tell us why you love it?
I have numerous favourite scenes, I hope I don’t ruin the surprises for my readers. It goes without saying that I love the scenes that contain romance – a little flirtation does us good.
I love fairy-tale settings where an author can create a perfect evening of magic and romance so the winter picnic is a special setting. Flora’s arrival at The Peacock pub is a particular example because I love the warm atmosphere that welcomes her. I adore people like Annie, the landlady. Annie-types are warm, loving and are not afraid to show they care. They don’t stand on ceremony, have no airs and graces yet focus on the priorities of life – taking others under their wing. They’ll give you their last penny and yet, are nobody’s fool. Flora needs a secure home during her stay, like a freshly feathered nest and she finds it at The Peacock pub. Another favourite scene is quite an emotional one so, even though it makes me cry, I’m glad I included it as it honours people who have left my life.
5. What does your average writing day look like?
My average writing day is a little strange. Recently, I’ve started to write very early in the morning arriving at my desk at 5am on weekdays. I tend to work for an hour, then hastily switch from my imagination to greet reality and the day-job. At lunchtime, I can sometimes squeeze in a little research or a quick writing session otherwise I have to wait until evening for a second writing session. Weekends are different, I tend to secure one day as a writing day, the other is downtime spent with my husband. The dream would be to be a full-time author and simply write.
6. Who are some of your favourite authors at the moment?
I have an eclectic mix of current authors – I tend to switch genres depending on my current writing project. I tend to move away from commercial romances whilst creating my first draft and then drift back once I reach the editing stage. There’s quite a few, for years I love anything by Jill Mansell, Marian Keyes, Jo Thomas and Katie Fforde. In recent years, I have also read Bella Osborne, Helen Phifer, Cally L Taylor, Miranda Dickinson, Rowan Coleman and Julie Cohen. I take delight in Ian Rankin, Stephen King and Bill Bryson when I’m looking for a change. My guilty pleasure that takes me back to my teenage years is Agatha Christie – oh, to be that age again and read all day!
7. What message do you want readers to take away from your novel?
Simply that despite your past, everyone can have a fresh start and enjoy a new beginning.
8. Has any other writer in particular influenced the way you write?
I remember reading Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes and loving the honesty with which the story is told. I felt the same with Jemima J by Jane Green. As a reader, both books introduced me to an individual I could relate too. I think it’s the honesty and depth of emotion regards their situations that lifts from the page.
9. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Work towards your dream. Dreams are like house plants you need to constantly feed, nurture and water the roots then one day quite unexpectedly it blossoms – thanks to your dedicated care and attention
10. Can you tell us a bit about your plans for the future?
I am currently editing book two – the underlying theme is beauty and the beast. In life, I’ve met many people who society deem as talented, inspirational and polished beauties but sadly, sometimes their actions, behaviour and hearts can be pretty beastly. Whereas other people can be shunned by society or overlooked for how they appear, act or live and yet have beautiful souls. Book two is a romance entwining elements of each helping to redefine how the protagonist, Esme Peel, the only girl in a house-share with all males, views other people. Esme receives ‘lessons in life’ from the unlikeliest candidate and re-evaluates her own beliefs and values regards those she once loved and loathed.
Flora Phillips has an excuse for every disaster in her life; she was abandoned as a newborn on a doorstep one cold autumn night, wrapped in nothing but a towel. Her philosophy is simple: if your mother doesn’t want you – who will?
Now a thirty-year-old, without a boyfriend, a career or home she figures she might as well tackle the biggest question of them all – who is she? So, whilst everyone else enjoys their Christmas Eve traditions, Flora escapes the masses and drives to the village of Pooley to seek a specific doorstep. Her doorstep.
But in Pooley she finds more than her life story. She finds friends, laughter, and perhaps even a love to last a lifetime. Because once you know where you come from, it’s so much easier to know where you’re going.
A story of redemption and love, romance and Christmas dreams-come-true, the perfect novel to snuggle up with this festive season.
Erin Green was born and raised in Warwickshire, where she resides with her husband. She writes contemporary novels focusing on love, life and laughter. An ideal day for Erin involves writing, people watching and copious amounts of tea. Erin was delighted to be awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017 and previously, Love Stories ‘New Talent Award’ in 2015.