Writing Christmas Reunion in Paris was a curious mixture of fun and anxiety. Maybe it’s always like that. There are always tough moments when you can’t see an ending, when you sit and stare at the screen and the words won’t come. But, mostly, like childbirth, you forget the agonies when all is delivered safely.
It all started when my editor asked if I’d like to write the first book in a three book mini-series – Christmas at the Harrington Park Hotel. My fellow authors, Kandy Shepherd (in Australia) and Susan Meier (in the US) were old friends. I was delighted to team up with them to work on the books that were about three siblings, each with their own painful past.
Emails flew back and forth as we worked on settings. The boarding school that James (my character) and his twin Sally had attended. The Harrington Park Hotel. The backstory of their parents, a stepfather, the moments that fractured a once happy family.
That was the fun part!
Paris…we’ve done that…
My story takes place in Paris, in the run up to the holiday, so I grabbed the chance to go and do a little research which I wrote about a few months ago.
It couldn’t last…
The time had come to stop waffling about and enjoying myself and to start to get the words down. Fifteen hundred a day would do it in plenty of time.
I wrote two entirely different openings. This isn’t unusual. I changed my mind three times about which one to use. Both were great but one created problems for the plot and so, after too much time, I made my decision.
Yes, that one.
Christmas reunion but not in Paris
Then, as it will, Christmas arrived.
I gave up pretending to work, went to stay with the family and promised myself that I’d get back to the book straight after the holiday. And just one more mince pie.
Straight after the holidays…
I went down with something horrible. A cough that wouldn’t quit – it finally gave up at the beginning of September. A headache that nothing would touch. Exhaustion – ditto.
No one else in the family had it, thank goodness – self isolation came naturally! – but I now suspect that it might have been one of the early cases of Covid. That cough…
If I had been writing an individual book, I might have stayed on the sofa for another two weeks.
But when you’re writing the first book in a trilogy – a Christmas trilogy – there is very little wiggle room.
I was running out of time for my Christmas reunion …
The book was scheduled for an October publication date, which is in actual fact September. Two other authors were relying on me to deliver, so I dragged myself back to my desk and the book was delivered only a couple of weeks late.
Whew. (It’s my 70th for Mills and Boon, btw.)
That’s when the anxiety sets in
My editor accepted the book, but she does not gush with praise. She figures that if she’s accepted it, that says it all.
Which it does.
But authors are needy creatures. They need reassurance, especially when a book has been a struggle. There’s a long wait between March and September for the reaction of readers and the doubts inevitably creep in. Will they like it?
Then this appears on Amazon
“ I can’t remember the last time I sat and read a pure Mills & Boon book, but this one caught my eye and for good reason.
“It was superb, there is chemistry, but also a really engaging storyline that had me not being completely sure if Chloe and James would ever sort things out.”
You cannot imagine what joy a comment like that brings to a writer’s heart.
If you want to find if Chloe and James “sort things out”, you can download it now, or hopefully find the paperback wherever great romance is sold. Or just buy it direct from Mills & Boon or Amazon.
And although the stories all stand alone, you might want to read Sally and Hugo’s stories, too.
Christmas Reunion in Paris by Liz Fielding
Their Royal Baby Gift by Kandy Shepherd
Stolen Kiss with her Billionaire Boss by Susan Meier
Christmas Reunion in Paris is published in the UK, US and Australia in paperback and digital download. Here are the links:
Mills and Boon UK
Mills and Boon Australia
Barnes and Noble
I feel your frustration, Liz. Last year was somewhat similar for me. Physical stuff, unexpected family stuff, and the rest. Getting a book finished and then getting the next one started, oh boy! Yet we always get there in the end. Kudos to you for making it.
Thanks, Elizabeth. And well done to you, too. I need to download your latest Lady Fan.
Oh, how I sympathise, Liz – as you know! (70! Makes my lot look puny…)
You started later and you have a seriously big Libby backlist I have Murder on the Edge on the Kindle!
Huge congrats on 70 books, Liz. That’s phenomenal. And I do so sympathise re getting the words down. Doing the research is fun. Doing the 1500 words a day? Not so much. But you’re a pro and you got there in spite of the pesky virus. You deserve a real pat on the back for that.
Thanks so much, Joanna. I agree, the research is much the best part!
Oh, how i loved this book. There was real pain in it and, like Twelfth Night, their story could so easily have ended badly. I read on telling myself, this is Mills & Boon, they WILL get their HEA. But I was still on the edge of my seat. And, of course, the ending made up for everything. Had me in tears. Thank you so much, Liz.
Bless you, Sophie. When the book is tough to write, you’re never sure what the reaction is going to be, but tears are good!
Liz, many congratulations on your 70th book publication with Mills and Boon. I remember the 50th one! Where do the years go? You had an assault course to overcome before you got there but lots of happy memories of La Belle Paris with your daughter xx
Thanks so much, Sandra. I have such lovely memories of Paris with Amy and, happily, the pain of bookbirth has receded!