How did you come up with the idea of your Christmas themed book?
Every year I help a friend decorate her office building for Christmas. There are three trees, and even though that doesn’t sound like many, this takes all day. My friend is, needless to say, a perfectionist when it comes to tree decorating, and you’re not leaving until you get it just right. So as I was standing on a ladder hanging ornaments one year, and listening to my friend explain for the tenth time how she wanted the lights strung to some other poor sap (I’ve been well-trained and hardly ever get critiques anymore), the idea for THE CHRISTMAS TREE was born.
Could you give me a short synopsis of the story for my readers?
THE CHRISTMAS TREE follows the story of Sadie and Colt. Both of them have been sentenced to forty hours of community service decorating the town of Pineville’s Christmas tree. Sadie is a bit of a perfectionist. Colt just wants to get the thing done. Add in the fact that Sadie accidentally destroyed Colt’s truck, one he inherited from his brother, and let’s just say that these two do not get along. At first. This is a romance, after all, so the heat from their tempers ends up turning into another kind of heat.
What made you decide to do a Christmas themed book?
I love Christmas. I love the traditions, the food, the cheesy made-for-tv movies... And once I got the idea for Sadie and Colt clashing, and falling in love, under a town Christmas tree, I couldn’t get them out of my head.
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
Every year my family makes fondue to eat as we decorate the tree and listen to carols. That’s always a good night. And I love our Christmas morning brunch of mimosas, coffee cake, bacon, and eggs. It’s simple and doesn’t require a lot of clean up. And we’re all usually too full to have to worry about dinner.
What’s next? (future books, novellas, special appearances you want to mention)
After THE CHRISTMAS TREE, the next book in my Pineville series, WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE YOU?, will be coming out in May 2017.
And I’ll be at a book signing with several other romance authors at Barnes and Noble in San Jose, CA (the one on Stevens Creek Blvd.) on December 10th. If anyone is in the area, I’d love to see you. You can check my website for more details:www.allysoncharles.com
What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been give that you’d like to share?
It’s obvious and trite, but still something I have to remind myself of every week – it’s the ABCs of writing – Apply Butt to Chair. Even if you’re not in the mood, even if every word you’re typing is crap, keep writing. Fixing bad writing is what the editing process is for.
What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?I’m still learning, every day. But I guess I would say, know your goals before you act. For example, if you want to get a movie deal from one of your books, make sure to hire an agent who does that kind of work. If you write fast and want to publish four or five times a year, then the slower pace of traditional publishing probably isn’t for you.
Any last words or tips?
Be patient. I know so many great authors who have published a couple of books but only have small sales to show for it. I don’t know what the magical number of books is, but I have faith that if you keep plugging away, eventually the readers will find you.
That's it for this holiday interview. Make sure you check back for more Christmas reads. If you'd like to learn more about Allyson's books, here's the way to do that.