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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Let's Talk Christmas Books and Traditions: Author Interview with Sheila Roberts

How did you come up with the idea for your Christmas book? Could you give a short synopsis on the book for my readers?

This book was inspired by something I did. My husband and I lived in Germany when we were first married and I had a wistful yearning to be able to visit those amazing Christmas markets like the one I shopped in for our very first Christmas ornaments. We decided to take a river cruise that would take us to some of our favorite German cities and towns. Let me tell you, it was magical! Worth every penny. In fact, we had such a fabulous time, we went again, two years ago with my brother and sister-in-law. After this second cruise, I thought, I've got to put this in a book. So I did. 

One Charmed Christmas, which is a Target Recommends selection, follows a group of people who meet on a Christmas river cruise. They start out as strangers and become friends, which is exactly what can happen on one of these cruises. Of course, each character has lessons to learn along the way and, of course, we must have a shipboard romance. In addition to that, though, I tried to paint a visual picture of some of the wonderful stops we made and what life was like on the boat. Right now none of us can travel abroad, but I'm hoping this book will take you on a memorable trip right from your own chair by the fire.

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?

Baking with my daughter. We always get together to do something. It started out as candy making when she was in school and has since turned into cookies - Andes Mint Cookies - yum! The other important tradition is gathering with my huge extended family - fun and games, good food, singing Christmas carols, and, of course, the oldest member of the family always reads the Christmas story from the Bible. The Christmas Eve gathering has been part of my life since I was a little girl. This year, COVID-19 is putting a different spin on things, but we're talking about checking in via zoom.

What’s next?

There is always a next - I'm getting ready for a fun spring release of another novel in my Moonlight Harbor series (Sunset on Moonlight Harbor) and busy writing next year's Christmas tale (A Little Holiday Spirit). In between writing projects I've been enjoying chatting with book clubs and libraries via Zoom and doing some events with other writers such as RaeAnne Thayne, Nancy Naigle, Melinda Curtis and Brenda Novak. I'm also excited to be part of Brenda and Debbie Macomber's fun holiday celebration on Facebook. For my appearance schedule, please check out my schedule on my Sheila's Place website (

What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been given you’d like to share?

For all budding writers - study, study, study your craft. I still do. Even if I'm reading for pleasure I'm analyzing how that author uses language, moves a plot, and develops character. Libraries carry all kinds of fabulous books on writing. Exhaust their supply!

What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?

That it's not a race. Don't compare where you are with other writers (unless it's to inspire yourself) and don't worry about falling behind. Just keep writing. We all have our own unique course to run.

Any last words or tips?

This is a long distance race, not a spring. Don't give up!

Are there any other books that you’d like to tell my readers about?

I hope readers will check out the mass market version of my novel, Christmas from the Heart and the two-fer that will be out soon, Two Kisses for Christmas, which features two classic Sheila books, The Nine Lives of Christmas and The Snow Globe.

If you'd like to learn more about Sheila's books, here's how to get started. 

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