It is getting toward that time of year, so as the wintery weather starts to set in it’s the perfect time to cosy up with a good festive book. Just to get you in the mood to read his new book Dreaming of Christmas I’ve got a guest post from author T.A Williams about being a man who writes romance.
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.
I’ve been writing for years. I’ve written all sorts, from historical novels to thrillers and, more recently, romantic comedies. Romcoms aka Women’s Fiction aka Chicklit are titles aimed principally at women. But I’m a man. Should I be doing this? The way I look at it, we writers have to draw upon our imagination as far as plot and characters are concerned, so why not use this same imagination to think ourselves into the heads of our readers?
I was once asked why I write romance and I replied that it was for the same reason I almost always have pie and chips if we go out to a pub for a meal. Why? Because I don’t get a lot of that at home. Now before you go rushing off to call my wife and tell her I don’t love her, I must explain. We have been married for 43 years. We’ve been through good times and tough times together. However, my wife forgot my birthday this April and we both forgot our wedding anniversary in August until halfway through the day. We just aren’t very “romantic” people. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love my wife (be fair – 43 years!) or vice versa, it’s just that we don’t express it in the same ways as some people.
So why write romance if I’m not a romantic person? Well, the same argument could be applied to my latest book, Dreaming of Christmas. As far as Christmas goes, I must hold up my hand and say that I’m a bah-humbug sort of person when it comes to Christmas. I’m not religious, I hate the way Christmas has become so commercialised, and I never know what to buy as presents. But I wrote Dreaming of Christmas and so far it’s been getting really good reviews. How come? Imagination of course. I may not be a Christmas aficionado, but that doesn’t stop me researching what it means to others and putting myself into their shoes. I reckon research to a writer is every bit as important as imagination.
The other reason I enjoy writing romance is for escapism. And I hope that this same sense of escapism communicates itself to the reader. Just look around you. The world is in an awful mess. We have dangerous morons in positions of power all over the globe, we are trashing the globe itself and filling the air and the oceans with pollution. We humans are an objectionable, often cruel bunch whose inhumanity to man is only matched by our inhumanity to animals. There really isn’t a lot to smile about in the world today, so I enjoy losing myself in tales of love and happiness – all right, with a bit of heartache from time to time – in idyllic, magical locations. I can promise you that for me to be writing about a couple falling in love on a sunny day in Tuscany while sitting in my study on a grey, cold, wet January day is therapeutic. And I hope the reader feels the same way.
There’s a lot of romance in Dreaming of Christmas, but not a lot of bunches of flowers, boxes of chocolates or aircraft flying overhead pulling banners marked “Zoë, I love you”. The romance is less ostentatious than that, but it’s no less sincere. I take the expression “happy ever after” very seriously. I truly believe that the characters who fall in love in my books will spend at least the next 43 years together.
And if that isn’t romance, I don’t know what is.
It is the last day of the tour but there are still all these stops to look at to find out even more about the book.
T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.