More Q&A with Kitty Wilson

Posted on 9th December, 2021

This week, Kitty Wilson is back to chat some more about her lovely Christmassy novel, Every Day in December, which explores the growing relationship between Belle and Rory. It's funny and warm-hearted and contains more Christmas venues and activities than you can shake a stick at, plus a wonderful child-character called Marsha, who frankly deserves a book of her own.


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Do you find yourself writing about recurring themes in your novels?

Yes, I do, although often unintentionally. I write romance so obviously they have a happy ever after but the themes that I write along the way seem to repeat themselves.  The most obvious is community and its importance, the way that the support of and acceptance by others is so fundamental to us as humans. It is a huge part of The Cornish Village School but I found once I was writing Every Day In December I really wanted to weave that same sense of community through, even though the setting was now a city instead of a small village.


The other thing that always comes through in my novels is that everyone, no matter how golden their life may seem, is carrying baggage. We all have issues, we all have awful things that happen in life that impact us but we also all have the capacity for joy and recovery and hope. Things are never perfect and things are never exactly as they seem. In Every Day In December Rory assumes Belle has grown up with a silver spoon and has been blessed with levels of privilege he could never attain, whereas the truth of it is that Belle's family may be wealthy, but they're also highly dysfunctional and she lacks the one thing Rory does have, the security of feeling loved. Belle sees Rory as highly successful and succeeding at life, but his perception is utterly at odds with that, he sees himself as someone who cannot be relied upon, someone who has let down those most important to him, a man so broken that his demons keep him awake at night.


And finally family, although my books are all about romantic love, the importance of family always seems to weave its way through the pages, whether it be the way it shapes us, the way it supports us or the way it can hinder us.


What are the four essential items a writer has to have?
Ooh goodness, I suppose the most obvious is a laptop, otherwise submitting in a digital age would be next to impossible, long gone are the days of sending of extremely heavy manuscripts from the post office. So, although you can breathe life into your book and bring it into being with pen and paper, if you want to be professional then that beast ultimately needs to be typed in Word and sent via email.


Not strictly an item – I believe I mentioned I struggle with rules – but nonetheless absolutely essential is tenacity. Getting published is a tough old process, you need to have tenacity to hang on in and not be broken by the vast number of rejections you will inevitably receive on your path, and that's the endgame bit. The writing of a book is not a brief exercise, you need to have written a minimum of 75,000 words and then shape them so that they make sense (harder than it sounds) and ensure they fulfil the expectations of your readers. It is not quick, and there will be several points where you want to throw your laptop out the window, give it all up and crochet for a living instead, so you really do need the tenacity of a terrier to keep on track and get to the end of a book.


I'm also going to class a freezer as an essential item which sounds bonkers but sometimes you are so lost in your work that the chore of cooking a meal isn't going to happen or if it does it will pull you away completely. Having something ready to go in the freezer means the mundane necessities of life can be taken care of in a matter of minutes and you can get back to getting all your words down on the page.


And finally, notebooks. I always have a brand-new notebook for each new book, which I use to plan each chapter, write down my ideas (I can be trusted -just about - to take a notebook into the bath) and where I write down all those things I want to weave through and edits I know I need to make at a future point. The truth though is you probably don't need a notebook, I just love buying them at every opportunity so really I'm just shoe-horning this in as an essential so I can feel validated as I indulge myself shopping for more than I'll ever need later.



And some Christmassy questions:
Do you have a favourite Christmassy book?

I do read a lot of Christmas romances throughout December but the truth is I'm an old-fashioned kind of girl so it's the books that I read as a child that stay with me the most so I'm going to say The Nutcracker, because it gave me so much joy when I was younger and then as an adult I used to use it every year to teach my Reception Class – which I'm fairly sure ended up somewhere in The Cornish Village School books – because there is so much fun to be had  playing the Mouse King or the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Oh and now I've remembered The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, that has to be mentioned as well as I seem to sneak a Narnia reference into most of my books, the snowiness of which can't be beaten.


What's your favourite Christmas food and/or drink?

All of it.


I LOVE Christmas food. I love Christmas lunch and make sure I only ever cook pigs in blankets and sprouts with pancetta only on Christmas Day so they don't lose their magic. I start making mince pies in November because I cannot get enough of them. And whilst I always promise myself I won't start the Christmas chocolate until at least the 1st of December, I am always a good two tubs down by then. And as for cheese and biscuits, oh my goodness, just lay me down and cover me with them!


Do you like to have festive music in the background? What will it be?

I do. When my children were little we used to play so much Christmas music and being complete little toads, their favourite was always Fairy-tale of New York so that one can be guaranteed to make me smile. I also like to sing a sultry Santa Baby, but only when the house is empty and no-one can hear me. But my favourite of all, a bit like the books, is Christmas carols. All the ones we have sung since we were in Infant school. I have a secret love of choral music – from where I do not know – so if I have my way I will be playing Christmas Carols really loudly and loving them. O Little Town of Bethlehem is a favourite. I wrote Every Day In December throughout the summer so I did used to play Christmas music as I wrote it, simply to get in the mood – that's what I told my family anyway.
What does your tree look like? (Mine is so covered in decs that you can hardly see the tree and there are so many lights on it that we are in annual danger of the planes from RAF Anglesey landing in our front garden.)

That made me giggle and I can picture it. It sounds amazing! All my tree decorations are really simple. Just like Belle in Every Day In December, I string popcorn and cranberries and have that instead of tinsel (I know. Boo, hiss. No fun!). The majority of my decorations are wood or straw or fabric although I do have a the most amazing sparkly gold chain that belonged to the children's grandma that goes on and some beautifully crafted stars so I have a little bit of shimmer. Also, like Belle (I should just admit I am very like her, more so than any other character I have written, minus her horrendous parents) I cover the house in pinecones and some years ago I got hold of lots of fake pine branches which I have decorated with ribbons and pinecones and fairly lights that I string all around the ceiling. So my house is very green come Christmas time – like I said, a bit of an old-fashioned girl.


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Kitty's links:


Every Day in December on Amazon  


Kitty's author page on Amazon - including her Cornish Village School series   



Kitty on Twitter  


Kitty's Facebook page  


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