Today as part of Bookouture Christmas I’m welcoming Mandy Baggot, author of One Wish in Manhattan, to the blog for a Q&A! Find out about what gets Mandy in a Christmassy mood, her writing tips and an X factor audition!
1. I love the theme of the novel about making every moment count – how do you do this in your day to day life?
I think we all struggle with making every moment count, possibly on a daily basis! I know I do. We all work so hard sometimes you just need to step back and realise what’s important. The way I do this is by spending all my spare cash on holidays rather than home improvements or clothes etc. I like to give my children experiences they will remember forever. For me, spending quality time with those you love is more important than having the latest gadgets or flashy cars.
2. Do you have any top tips for planning a winter trip to New York?
I think winter trips to New York are all about those scenes from the movies. I would suggest Googling Christmas in New York and visiting all the touristy sights. And of course save some dollars for hitting those famous stores!
3. What gets you into a Christmassy mood?
Food! I am a lover of Christmas nibbles! Mince pies, yule logs, cheese boards, Quality Street chocolates and don’t get me started on the turkey dinner.
4. When did you start planning this Christmas story? Was it hard to keep the Christmas feeling alive along the way?
I was writing my Christmas story in New York in the summer! It was very hard writing about snow and jingle bells when there was a heatwave going on outside. I lit some spiced orange candles, made hot chocolate and listened to Frank Sinatra!
5. How did you start writing? What tips do you have for us budding authors out there?
I started writing short love stories when I was at senior school. After that I was more about romance in real life and didn’t write very much until my twenties. I penned my first self-published novel, Excess All Areas on maternity leave with my first daughter. It was an escape from the nappy changing and it changed my life. I rediscovered my love of writing and haven’t looked back. I am so pleased to be able to do this as a job now. Any budding authors out there should just keep writing, feed your passion, enjoy every second and make every page your learning curve.
6. I read that you auditioned for the X factor! How did that go?
Yes! I auditioned for the X Factor in 2008. I was one of 10,000 people at Cardiff Millennium Stadium in Wales who auditioned on the pitch to a member of the production team. I’m pleased to say I got down to the final 500 but that’s where my journey ended and I didn’t get to meet the judges. I sang Bon Jovi’s ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’.
7. Favourite Christmas song?
It has to be Jona Lewie ‘Stop the Cavalry’.
8. I think there’s nothing like sitting down with a good book and a cup of tea. How do you make your cuppa?
I love a cup of tea! I have about six or seven a day. Tea bag in, splash of milk and then I add the hot water. No sugar. Slurp! Lovely!
One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot is published by Bookouture and is out now.
Come back tomorrow for my review of the book!