Thursday, 16 November 2017

Girl at Christmas by Rhoda Baxter

Series: Smart Girls #4
Release Date: 30th October 2017
Genres: Romantic Comedy

I'm so absolutely thrilled to have the very lovely Rhoda Baxter visiting the blog today with a wonderful author interview. Thank you Rhoda for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions. Firstly though, lets find out about the new Christmas book!

Book Blurb

Tammy is normally at her happiest at Christmas when she has the flat to decorate and those perfect days between Christmas and New Year to relax. But when her long term partner dumps her, with no real explanation, her Christmas starts to look very bleak.

Lawrence usually spends Christmas watching DVDs and catching up on his paperwork. At thirty one, he’s already stuck in a rut.

When Lawrence has a sudden heart attack, it is Tammy who comes to his rescue. It turns out a happy Christmas can be made from the most unexpected ingredients.

Girl At Christmas is a novella in the award nominated Smart Girls series. If you like authors like Sophie Kinsella, Tilly Tennant or Milly Johnson, it's perfect for you.  Grab a copy and get into the Christmas spirit today.

Author Interview 

Do you write under your real name or is this a pen name you use? 

This is a pen name (I named myself after the bacteria that I used to work on Rhodabacter sphaeroides).

Where are you from? 

That’s a difficult question to answer. I was born in England (in Hertfordshire), but Dad was an engineer and built roads and dams and runways all over the world, so by the time I returned to England at sixteen I’d lived in four countries and been to school in three of them. I guess my formative years were in Sri Lanka, where we lived for a long while, but I have fond memories of living in Micronesia too.

List 3 interesting facts about yourself. 

I met my husband in a convent (we were both living there at the time).
I am bilingual - I speak English and Singhalese.
I’ve never seen the movie ‘Elf’... this is not so much an interesting fact, as a situation I need to remedy ...

What was the first thing you ever had published? 

When I was a child, I wrote little articles for the Observer Children’s Corner in Sri Lanka. They had a weekly competition. I won a few times, that was cool. Years later I had a column in the same newspaper. I loved that. 

Do you have a writing routine?

Ha! I wish I was that organised! I have two young (ish) kids so I have to leave everything until they’re in bed. I tend to get ready for bed by 9pm and write until 10pm each night. Although, sometimes I get distracted doing other stuff, like checking Facebook.

Do you have any writing rituals? 

Not really. I can’t listen to music while I’m writing. In general, I prefer to write in silence. One day, when I’m rich, I shall invest in noise cancelling headphones. For now, I’ll have to make do with shouting ‘be quiet and get to sleep’ when sleepy voices call out ‘muuuuum’.

Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?

The hero of Girl At Christmas was a secondary character in my previous book, Girl In Trouble. He’s not your typical hero - socially awkward and slightly overweight- but he had such a big heart that I just had to find out what happened to him. I knew he’d been in love with someone he couldn’t have - this was Tammy, who had a boyfriend for years. But when Tammy’s boyfriend dumps her, Lawrence suddenly has a chance … if he only has the confidence to take it.

Who was the first person you shared your book with? 

I always share my first drafts with Jen, my writing buddy. She and I have been reading and critiquing each other’s work for just over a decade now. I trust her to give me honest (sometimes scathing) feedback. I almost always take her advice and the books are always better for it. I do the same for her books.

Do you have a current work in progress?

I do! I always have a work in progress. This one doesn’t have a title yet - it’s called the island book. It’s about a group of people who go on a tropical island holiday in a fancy resort and end up stranded on the wrong island. So, instead of spending a week sipping cocktails by the infinity pool, they suddenly have to fend for themselves and dig their own toilet. Needless to say, this puts a strain on the relationships and friendships.
The line ‘they had to learn to survive, and all they had was beachwear and a box of red cocktail umbrellas’ popped into my head and it all grew out of that.

Do you have any advice for budding authors?

Keep writing. Even when it seems like no one wants to read your books, keep writing anyway. That way, when you finally get your break (it will happen), you’ll have a ‘backlist’ that you can spruce up and sell.

About the Author

Rhoda writes contemporary romances about smart women and the men who love them - no alpha males here, thanks. She especially likes it when they make her laugh. She is fond of cake, British comedy and Lego Stormtroopers.

Rhoda is a member of the UK Romantic Novelists' Association and the Society of Authors. Her books have been shortlisted for award like the RoNA awards, the Love Stories awards and the Joan Hessayon award.

You can find her chatting about writing, science and cake on her website, or on Twitter @rhodabaxter 

One Response so far.

  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog and for the interesting questions!

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