Friday, 16 October 2015

Guest Post - Carmel Harrington's Inspiration for Every Time A Bell Rings

I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas novel. It’s my favourite time of the year and I love walking into bookshops and looking at the lovely sparkly, Christmassy covers that are on the bookshelves. To think that this year, I’ll have one, side by side with some of my favourite authors, is quite overwhelming. And a whole lot exciting.

It was actually my editor, Charlotte Ledger, in Harper Collins who suggested that I write a Christmas novel, inspired by the beloved Frank Capra movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. What she didn’t realise, when she suggested this, was this - it’s my favourite Christmas movie of all time! I watch it every year on Christmas Eve. For decades now, one of my traditions is to watch Its A Wonderful Life at least once. Normally on Christmas Eve, once the children are in bed and last minute preparations have been completed. Then my husband and I will open up a bottle of prosecco, take out the mince pies and watch Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed do their magic.

So, following on from Charlottes suggestion, you can imagine my excitement. My head started to explode with ideas about Christmas in Dublin, the beautiful lights of Grafton Street, the dazzling window displays. Snow falling, Christmas carols and romance. I couldn’t wait to get started.

But this excitement was quickly replaced by panic! You see, I then began to worry about doing the movie, I love so much, justice. I felt the weight of that responsibility, especially knowing that I am not alone in my love of this movie. It’s beloved by generations of people from all over the world.

I can’t remember the exact year I came across the movie, but I do remember how it made me feel when I watched it. I cheered for George Bailey when he managed to get one over on evil Mr Potter, felt my heart swell when George and Mary fell in love and laughed at Clarences gentle wit.

But the final scenes when George realises that his life is the most wonderful of all, surrounded by his family by the Christmas tree, I cried happy, satisfied, tears, of a story well told. I think the message of the movie, that every life matters, that every person counts, that every single one of us made a difference in this world is one we all should remember. 

And that’s kind of what I hope for everyone who reads Every Time A Bell Rings. There is no doubt that there are scenes in my story that are deeply emotional and I have a feeling that there will be tears. I certainly cried writing some. But I hope by the time you reach The End, you cry happy, satisfied tears of a story well told too. And you realise, that life is quite wonderful and YOU matter, you make a difference, you have a life worth living.

Thank you for reading, 

Carmel x

Thank you Carmel for that interesting journey of how Every Time A Bell Rings came about. I haven't seen the film but I am really looking forward to the book.

Every Time A Bell Rings is out now in Ebook and on 19th November 2015 in paperback. 

Every Time A Bell Rings

Amazon UK

 An angel gets its wings…
Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating.
As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her back and Belle can’t bear the loss.

Hence, Christmas is cancelled.

So when Jim crashes his car one icy December night, after an argument about Lauren, Belle can only blame herself. Everything she loves is lost. And Belle finds herself standing on The Ha’Penny Bridge wishing she had never been born.

But what happens to a Christmas wish when an angel is listening…

Will Belle realise, before it’s too late, that her life is the most wonderful life of all?

Inspired by the timeless tale of beloved Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, Carmel Harrington’s next book tells the story of Belle, a young woman and foster carer from Dublin who faces the hardest decision of her life this Christmas on The Ha’Penny Bridge.

About Carmel Harrington

Carmel Harrington lives with her husband Roger and children Amelia and Nate in a small coastal village in Wexford. She credits the idyllic setting as a constant source of inspiration to her.  

Her first book, ‘Beyond Grace’s Rainbow’ was originally self-published in August 2012. Grace’s story quickly became a bestseller - fast forward 12 months and Carmel joined the prestigious HarperCollins publishing house, represented by Trace Literary Agency. Beyond Grace’s Rainbow was voted Romantic eBook of 2013 and Kindle Book of Year 2013. Her second novel ‘The Life You Left’, was published in June 2013, was also an eBook bestseller and earned Carmel the nickname, ‘Queen of Emotional Writing’.

Carmel writes emotional family dramas and they share one common theme - strong characters who find themselves in extraordinary situations. She loves to dig deep and see how they cope, as they grapple with life-changing moments. ! She is a regular on Irish TV as one of the panelists on TV3’s Midday Show, as well as being interviewed on RTE1’s Today Show, TV3’s IrelandAM and TV3’s The Morning Show. She has also been interviewed on US TV - Indiana’s WNDU. A a regular guest on radio stations and a popular freelance writer. Carmel is also a popular motivational keynote speaker, at events in Ireland, UK and US. 

Twitter @HappyMrsH

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