Friday, 27 November 2015

Guest Post & Giveaway - Has the Book got the White Stuff? by T.A. Williams

Snow… don’t you just love it? My latest book, What Happens at Christmas, takes place in the winter and my editor made it quite clear to me that she wanted snow. The words winter wonderland were bandied about a lot last Easter when the Christmas book was mooted. When I say mooted, I should say ordered. I was told I needed to write a Christmas book, with snow. 

So I did, and What Happens at Christmas is the result. I hope you like it.

Anyway, back to snow. As a little boy, growing up in the south west of England, I can remember a lot of snow. Seeing as snow is fairly unusual in these parts, I can only assume either that the climate has changed drastically in the last fifty years or that my ageing memory is playing tricks. They do say that the brain tends to remember the good things and casts a convenient veil over less pleasant memories, so that’s the proof that I like snow. Or at least that I liked snow then. As a little boy I can remember the silence of the snow. I remember the early morning excitement when you wake up and there is no traffic noise. No cars and no people. Then the wonderful moment you open the curtains and see a white covering over everything and you know that, with any luck, there will be no school and it’ll be snowballs and snowmen all day long.

Then there’s the skiing of course. I was lucky enough to live for almost three years in the high Italian Alps when I was working as an English language teacher. Better still, one of my students was the very rich developer of the local ski resort and he gave me and my colleagues free ski passes for the whole season. For somebody earning, as I remember, less than a hundred pounds a month at that time, that was an amazing gift. So, for three years, from the end of November until early April I used to go skiing two, three times a week. Alas, I didn’t have the money to pay for lessons so my skiing is, shall we say, idiosyncratic? I can go down anything. In fact, I have skied down slopes that I would have been terrified to undertake on foot. Unfortunately however, it’s not a pretty sight. I have got so many deep-rooted bad habits that I must look totally weird, but I get the job done and I still love it. Snow, you see; very important for skiing.

Snow does, of course, have its downsides. The most visible of these is when you combine snow and driving. When I lived in the mountains I had special snow tyres. They were great. You could go anywhere and keep moving when most of the other cars had stopped. The problem, however, came from the other road users. However good your own tyres may be, if you meet some moron coming towards you too fast, out of control on summer tyres, there’s nothing you can do but brace yourself. The only serious road accident I have ever had was on snow. An Algerian driving a French-registered car in Switzerland crashed into the front of an Italian-registered car driven by a Brit. You can probably guess what kind of bureaucratic nightmare ensued. Anyway, I am currently working on a new book, to be titled What Happens in the Alps, and I draw heavily on my memories of those years and, of course, the snow.

In What Happens at Christmas, I save the snow until the end. When it comes, it transforms the rugged landscape of Dartmoor into the aforementioned winter wonderland. The Christmas lights turn the snow crystals into a multi-coloured curtain. The sharp edges of the houses, rocks and walls are rounded off, transforming familiar objects into bulbous sculptures. Stirling the Labrador disappears up to his tummy in the snow and starts doing that crazy mad-dog thing dogs do in the snow, scampering round in circles like a jack rabbit. The only vehicles still running are tractors and Land Rovers and smoke from the chimneys indicates the woodburners are in use all over the village. Outside it’s cold and crisp. Inside it’s warm and cosy.

Snow, you see; that’s what does it.

Author Bio:

My name is Trevor Williams and I'm a man. I thought I'd better point that out as my books are designated by my publisher variously as "Women's Fiction" or "Chicklit". I write under the androgynous name of T A Williams in the hope that prospective readers won't be put off by the fact that I am in reality a bald old man. I have been writing for many years, but it's only in the last couple of years that I have found my niche, writing romantic comedy. I live in a little Devon village with my Italian artist wife. When I can tear myself away from the computer, I ride my bike or spend time in the garden, principally removing fox poo in summer and feeding the pheasants in winter. 

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Buy links on Amazon and B&N:

Giveaway to win an e-copy of When Alice Met Danny (open internationally)

T.A. Williams and Carina  have kindly offered readers of Rachel's Random Reads a chance to win an e-copy of When Alice Met Danny

Giveaway open to everyone, all options are voluntary, but please do what they ask, as I will be verifying the winner. Giveaway closes 23:59 4/12/2015. Winner will be announced on twitter and emailed, and they will need to reply within 7 days, or forfeit the prize, and I will re-draw for a new winner.  Good luck everyone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much Trevor for this wonderful guest post. I do like a bit of snow, but it never looks picturesque for long. And thank you for offering a giveaway too. It is always appreciate especially for one of my favourite of your books.

For more #CarinaChristmas click here

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