Of all of the Christmas novels I’m looking forward to devouring this year, My Big Fat Christmas Wedding by Samantha Tonge has to be one of my favourites. I adore Sam’s writing so I am naturally very excited about delving into her latest novel with Carina (which you can get hold of here). Samantha shares her love of the festive season, why she enjoys writing romance, and reveals which fellow Carina author’s novels she has been loving lately…
Thanks so much for having me, Holly, excited to be here! Well, I live in north England and have been writing for about ten years. I have sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines and my debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction’s best Ebook awards 2014. Ooh, yes, and I love cake, cats and Tyrion out of Game of Thrones 🙂
Can you tell us a bit about your new novel, My Big Fat Christmas Wedding (released 15th October 2015 with Carina)?
It is set on the gorgeous island of Kos and follows the journey of Pippa, a scone-making executive who gives up the glitzy London life to live in a Greek village with her fisherman fiancé. That is the plan anyway – she finds settling there harder than she imagined and a trip to snowy England helps her decide if those are wedding or warning bells in her head.
My Big Fat Christmas Wedding is the sequel to the fantastic Game of Scones – would you say you can read your new novel as a standalone as well as a follow on or would you advise reading Game of Scones first?Thanks, Holly! Oh yes, it can definitely be read as a standalone. I try to make all my books readable on their own as I always find it a little frustrating if I really want to read a book but then find out that I need to purchase a different one first! Of course, if anyone would like to immerse themselves in sunny, romantic Game of Scones, I’m not going to argue with that!
I am SO excited about reading My Big Fat Christmas Wedding, it sounds utterly brilliant! What inspired you to come up with the storyline?
How lovely of you to say! Well, I didn’t feel Pippa’s story had yet concluded. It’s all very well falling in love (exotic Niko is gorgeous, if I do say so myself) and announcing you are going to leave the rat-race behind forever, but when winter arrives and the initial romantic excitement subsides a little… well, is the fantasy just that? In the Christmas book Pippa goes on a journey of self-discovery to find out what she really wants from life.
No, I wrote it during the summer. I don’t find it difficult to write about Christmas as it is my favourite time of year and I can easily re-live all the sensations at any point. Michael Bublé playing in the background doesn’t harm though, nor a yummy turkey dinner. This year we had a full Christmas dinner with crackers, all the works, in February as well, when relatives visited. I might do that again!
What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?
I have always LOVED watching the children open their presents. It has given me immense pleasure, in the months running up to Christmas, to buy exactly what I think they’ll like. But they are older now so… well, it has to be the food, doesn’t it? Food often inspires my work and I really enjoyed researching Greek wedding and Christmas food for my new book. Ginger baklava – yum!
…And what’s your favourite thing about writing romance?
I really enjoy the sensation of falling in love with my hero and then trying to convey what I find attractive about him to readers. I adore Henrik in my Christmas book although I think I got things a little out of balance, and my editor kept telling me to sex him down!
What advice would you give to any aspiring authors out there?
Don’t give up. In my opinion perseverance is equally as important as talent. It took me eight years to get my novel deal. Yes there were tears along the way, but those years gave me a greater understanding of the craft and also allowed me to network within the industry, whilst I had more time to do so.
What has been your favourite read of 2015 so far?
I think Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm by fellow Carina author Rebbeca Raisin. There is a really hot hero in it called Clay and the setting is so cosy and friendly. Plus I love maple syrup!
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re up to at the moment?
I am working on a spring project for Carina. It stars a gorgeous man who is every girl’s best friend and he tries to help mend the heroine’s broken heart!
A huge thank you to Samantha for taking the time to participate in this interview. ♥
Things don’t always run smoothly in the game of love…
As her Christmas wedding approaches, a trip back to snowy England for her ex’s engagement party makes her wonder if those are wedding bells she’s hearing in her mind, or warning bells. She longs for the excitement of her old London life – the glamour, the regular pedicures. Can she really give that all up to be…a fishwife? There’s nothing for it but to throw herself into bringing a little Christmas magic to the struggling village in the form of a Christmas fair. Somewhere in amidst the sparkly bauble cakes and stollen scones, she’s sure she’ll come to the right decision about where she belongs…hopefully in time for the wedding…
Perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk and Debbie Johnson. Don’t miss the Christmas Wedding of the year!
Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it’s a dog. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Her summer 2015 novel Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart.