New Book Release - The Christmas Spirit by Susan Buchanan

THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT  BY SUSAN BUCHANAN Christmas is coming, but not everyone is looking forward to it.  Rebecca has just been dumped and th...


THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT 
BY SUSAN BUCHANAN

Christmas is coming, but not everyone is looking forward to it. 
Rebecca has just been dumped and the prospect of spending the holiday period with her parents is less than appealing.
Eighty- two year old Stanley lost his beloved wife, Edie, to cancer. How will he cope with his 
first Christmas without her? 
Jacob’s university degree hasn’t helped him get a job, and it looks like he’ll still be signing on come New Year.
Workaholic Meredith would rather spend December 25th at home alone with a ready meal and a DVD box set. Can anything make her embrace the spirit of the season?
The enigmatic Natalie Hope takes over the reins at the Sugar and Spice bakery and cafe in an attempt to spread  some festive cheer and restore Christmas spirit, but will she succeed?



What does Author Susan Buchanan want us to know about her?
The rules are simple. There are 20 questions but you only have to answer 10-15:

As a writer, what drives you?
I want to write books, pure and simple. If  I can make a living out of it, even better, as then I don’t need a supplementary day job and I can write more! I am naturally a very driven person. I used to work in International Sales, so I needed to be. I am a determined, tenacious wee blighter! But, it has to be said, seeing the end result, hearing the excitement mount from readers hotly anticipating my next release, that drives me. So much so, it convinced to me to write a continuation to my first book which will hopefully be out by the end of 2014.

Can you tell us about The Christmas Spirit?
The Christmas Spirit is the story of four people who have had a pretty lousy year and have absolutely no reason to be looking forward to Christmas. They then meet Natalie Hope who tries to turn their luck around.

Happy Ever After or Happy For Now? Why?  
Well, it depends if you mean in my own life or in my books! I’m a little bit cynical, or maybe just realistic, in that I don’t believe there is necessarily only one person for each of us. Otherwise why would people get divorced and re-marry? (not that I’m saying they need to!) I like my novels normally to have more realistic storylines, not necessarily the heroine rides off with a knight on his white horse! So Happy For Now would do for me in my books, as you can’t foretell the future. In my own life, well, my OH is pretty handy in the kitchen, so I’ll hold on to him!

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in your books? 
Subconsciously I daresay a lot. I don’t create any characters based on me, or on people I know, but our family does have a penchant for bacon rolls on Christmas morning... A close friend said she saw a lot of Gill from The Dating Game in me - must have been the workaholic part! And my auntie said she saw parts of me in Sign of the Times, so I guess there really is no getting away from it, unless I decide to suddenly start writing about flesh-eating zombies. Then it might be more difficult to draw a parallel or at least I hope it would!

Describe yourself in five words…
determined, loyal, friendly, enthusiastic, talkative

Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?  
I do write chapter and character plans, as in my first book I went off the Richter scale on word count initially. I try now to keep the chapters, most of them, around the same length, and I divide the word count up once I know how many chapters I am going to have. That way I don’t have thirty chapters of 5K words instead of 2K! 
I am, however, open to ideas filtering through to me even as I write, and I’m quite willing to change the plot, if I come up with a better idea for certain scenes. I like the flexibility of this and it keeps it interesting, I hope for the readers, as much as for me. 

If you were a character in your book you would be…
I’d probably be Rebecca, although I know nothing about Art. Or maybe Meredith’s sister, Amelia, just without the squillions!

Time for favourite: song, color, book, TV series, movie, food, drink…
Favourite song - it’s really a piece of music, not a song - Shostakovich’s Romance.
Colour - blue probably, then red.
Book - ugh, just one? Probably The Neverending Story by Michael Ende then!
TV series - I generally only watch quiz shows, but I am very anxious for Silk, the legal drama, to return to our screens as I love Rupert Penry-Jones and it’s actually very good (I’d watch it even if RPJ wasn’t in it, but if any producers are reading this, please don’t axe him!)
Movie - Dirty Dancing - Nobody puts Baby in a corner!
Food - pasta - especially lobster ravioli- yum!
Drink - no secret, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc - in fact, I may have a glass later!

How (or when) do you decide that you are finished writing a story?  
When it reaches its natural conclusion. Sometimes I leave it relatively open, but I do tie up all the loose ends. So, basically, when I think the characters’ stories have been told. 

What are you working on right now?
Well, I am busy preparing for The Christmas Spirit launch, which goes live the same day as this interview. Two weeks after that, I will be continuing with my fourth novel, What If. I am about 30% done with the first draft. It’s a little different for me, as the protagonist is male; a gorgeous forty-something who suddenly realises there has to be more to Life than getting laid. He has an epiphany and decides to take a trip down memory lane, in the hope that it will take him where he needs to go.

The good guy, the bad boy and the right guy…could they be one and the same? 
I’m sure we could make him so, but I like to keep them separate. I think two of the three is more probable.

The old adage “Write about what you know” 
Well, I do write about what I know, but The Christmas Spirit centres around a bakery, and I know hee haw about baking. I’ve made a rhubarb crumble and some failed scones in my life and that’s the sum total of my baking talents. So, I had to seek some help on this one. The only thing I know about cakes is how to eat them! 
But generally speaking my books are about what I know: people, relationships, travel, Scotland. So, yes, I am a great believer in writing what you know. It’s more authentic. So you won’t find me writing about flesh-eating zombies just yet!



Twitter - susan_buchanan

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  1. thanks for hosting me Danielle-Claude. Pleasure to be here.

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