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Welcome to my December guest author: Elizabeth Holland

I've followed Elizabeth on twitter for a while, and admire how she grows her community through kindness and being supportive. She is very open about her mental health and was one of the first authors to offer me a spot on her blog (coming soon!).

1. What do you enjoy most about writing?

I love being able to put the stories that are in my head onto paper. There are so many different ideas buzzing around my head that it feels so good to get to explore them so that others can enjoy them too.

2. You have a new novel ‘Christmas at the Vintage Bookshop of Memories’. Tell us about it.

Christmas romances are my favourite guilty pleasure. Therefore, I’ve always known that one day I would write my own and Christmas at the Vintage Bookshop of Memories is just that. It’s full of Christmas indulgence, smiles, romance and a few too many gins. It’s everything about Christmas that I love combined with my favourite cheesy Christmas story-lines - all wrapped up in the beautiful village of Ivy Hatch.

The book is designed to be read as either a standalone or a sequel to The Vintage Bookshop of Memories.

3. Where does your inspiration come from? Ivy Hatch is an imaginary village in Somerset, is it based on a real place?

My inspiration comes from the places around me. Ivy Hatch is based on a real village, but not in Somerset. The scenery is heavily based on my home county, Kent.

Ivy Hatch is every thing I love rolled into one. I love the countryside and the little villages nestled amongst it and so I just knew this story had to be told with the village as its backdrop.

4. Who is your favourite fictional character and why?

I cannot possibly choose one! I read a lot and I tend to enjoy everything I read. There’s nothing better than escaping into someone else’s world for a little while. I appreciate all stories and characters because they’re individual and I recognise the work that the author has put into them. Because of this, every time I pick up a new book the fictional character becomes my favourite. I’m a bit of a fickle reader!

5. This year has been so strange, with two lockdowns so far in the UK. How has this affected your creativity?

It’s really helped my creativity! I’ve been able to dedicate more time to writing, and it was the push I needed to self-publish my first novella (The Balance Between Life and Death). Without lockdown, I’m not sure when I would have taken that leap.

I’ve also had the time to read! I’ve always loved reading, but lockdown has only added to this. To be able to escape into a plethora of varied worlds is amazing. The ability to escape is something that fuels my creativity and pushes me to keep writing so that others can enjoy my stories.

6. What can we look forward to from you in the future?

I’m currently editing an untitled romantic suspense that I’m hoping to pitch at December’s PitMad. It’s very different from my other stories, and I’m excited to show readers another side to my writing. I’ll pop a teaser below…

The wind howled in the distance and Laura Harper pulled her sleeping bag tighter around herself to ward off the icy gale. Only that morning the newspaper heading had warned that London was forecast a storm. The wind was bitter, and the cold stung her face as she tried to pull her woollen hat down to shield herself. Huddled in the doorway, Laura looked across the street to the flats above some shops. The warm glow of lights spilled out onto the dark street. Inside, Laura could see a living room. Perhaps there was a couple inside, huddled up on the sofa drinking hot chocolate and arguing about what series to watch next. Tears formed in Laura’s eyes as she thought about how that should be her on this cold November night. It should have been her curled up on the sofa with Sean’s arms wrapped around her. Instead, here she was lying on a cardboard box in a doorway. She was wrapped in a second hand sleeping bag, desperately tying to keep the cold at bay and Sean… Sean was dead.

If you’re reading this on or before 3rd December then I would appreciate your support on Thursday 3rd December’s PitMad. Please retweet my pitches but do not like them!

Merry Christmas!

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