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11 November 2018

Dreaming of Christmas by T.A. Williams

Today I get to welcome TA Williams, talking about their latest Christmas-y read Dreaming of Christmas.

Writing those magical words, The End, at the bottom of the final page of a book is a cathartic moment. It represents the culmination of weeks, months, even years of effort and it is, without doubt right up there alongside births and marriages as a perfect excuse to crack a bottle (or two) of something sparkling.

The bad news, however, is that in many ways The End is just the beginning. Take Dreaming of Christmas for example. I had a meeting with my editor at publishers Canelo back in January this year. We talked about the idea of a “Christmas” book and discussed possible settings, ranging from the Highlands of Scotland, via deepest Cornwall, to the eventual choice; the Austrian Alps. I returned to my writing cave (well, really just a room in my house that I call my study) and sat down to write the book. By the end of March, I had completed the first draft and did, indeed, open a bottle of Tesco’s Finest Prosecco to celebrate.

What happened next?

First the biggest test of all. I gave it to my wife to read. She is my greatest critic (and hopefully fan) and I really value her ideas and input. She returned it to me with three or four pages of comments and I spent the best part of a week going through the manuscript, changing, adding and subtracting accordingly. I then put it to one side and did my best to forget about it for a couple of weeks, finally picking it up again in the middle of April. After re-reading it and making more changes, I sent it off to my editor and awaited his verdict anxiously (it doesn’t matter how many books you write, it’s always nerve-racking waiting to hear from your publisher).

At the end of April he replied very positively, with a number of suggestions – nothing too major I’m glad to say, but definitely changes that improved the book. I spent a week making the changes and returned the manuscript to him in May. He replied shortly after to say he was happy with what I had done and informing me he was sending it out to a copy editor. It is the copy editor’s job to check the nuts and bolts of the book from spelling and punctuation to whether the party took place on the day before or after the sledge ride and so on. This was returned to me with “Track Changes” turned on (that means you see red or blue comments in the right hand margin) so I could see every change proposed by the copy editor. I then plugged through it, accepting or rejecting changes until it was all done. I then returned it to my editor and heaved a huge sigh of relief.

By this time, Dreaming of St-Tropez had come out and I had made a start on Dreaming of Tuscany (the next book to come out after Dreaming of Christmas). I’m sure other authors must have the same problem, ducking in and out of different stories, often confusing characters, places and timelines. You become quite schizophrenic after a while. So you can imagine how pleased I was to be finally shot of the Christmas book.

But of course I wasn’t. The book came out on 27th August and I found myself taking to social media to promote it. And then, of course, there were preparations to be made for this blog tour and I found myself writing blog posts about Dreaming of Christmas just after finishing Dreaming of Tuscany while beginning to think about Dreaming of Rome. The moving finger writes and, having writ, moves on. It certainly does for me.

So if anybody thinks it’s just a matter of writing it and then seeing it published, think again. Like I say, The End really isn’t the end.

It’s the dream Christmas: snow, mountains… and, er, an ex-boyfriend. But can Zoe still find love in the Alps?

Dumped on Christmas Eve by her long-term boyfriend, it's been a rough year for Zoe Lumsley. But then she gets an invitation she can’t refuse: an all expenses paid skiing holiday with old university friends.

The bad news: her ex, Grant, will be there with his new girlfriend. But so will her former flatmate Billy, the organiser, and in the meantime he’s done rather well for himself. As Christmas in the Alps approaches, it'll be great to see the old gang. Some more than others...

Perfect for readers of Tilly Tenant, Holly Martin and Philippa Ashley, this is the perfect magical Christmas getaway from the bestselling T.A. Williams.

1 comment:

  1. I love T.A. Williams books. This was a lovely guest post.


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