Wednesday 19 December 2012

Christmas Is Cancelled - Interview with Debut Author Aurelia B Rowl

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to brand new Author Aurelia Rowl, as she tells us why Christmas is cancelled,  and answers my nosy questions.

Lovely to have you here, Aurelia :-)

Q. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

A. I live on the edge of the Peak District with my very understanding husband, two mostly-adorable young children who are just weeks off turning 6 and 4, and my mad mutt who we rescued 8 years ago. I am an avid reader turned writer—although looking back, I’d probably been a writer all along—and I try my best to turn a blind eye to the housework. The house often resembles a rummage sale-meets-toy shop as a result and I am guiltily counting down the months until my youngest starts school full-time.

Q. What made you write ‘this’ story?

A. Christmas Is Cancelled was never planned. I was in the middle of another project when I saw a submission call for holiday stories, and couldn’t resist, even though I had no characters, no setting, and certainly no plot. But then came the spark, closely followed by the characters, and I just left them to tell me their story.

Q. Tell us about your cover.

A. Isn’t it gorgeous! I am so thrilled with this cover, although slightly concerned that the cover artist, Mina Carter, may actually be a mind reader. Right there on the front cover is the entire story, so when you finish reading and turn back to take a look, it all makes sense.

Q. Describe a typical day’s writing for us

A. Right now, there is no such thing as a typical writing day. I get just two hours to myself, whilst my youngest is at nursery school, which I try to cram with ‘work’. This could be writing, or blogging, or doing something else that is easier to do without distractions. I will then snatch time on the laptop as and when I can throughout the afternoon, sat on the sofa amidst the chaos, but the writing generally has to wait until the little darlings are in bed. 

Q. What inspires you?

A. What doesn’t inspire me? I get ideas from everywhere! Snatches of a conversation I’ve overheard, a facial expression, a headline, a nursery rhyme, a what-if… I could go on all day.

Q. If you weren’t a writer what would you be?

A. I don’t know really. I would still be a stay-at-home-mum for the foreseeable future, but if I hadn’t fallen into writing, I guess I’d be facing the prospect of trying to find a part-time, term-time job along with a whole bunch of other mums next year. Here’s hoping I can make the ‘writing thing’ work, as it’s ideal to fit around my family’s needs whilst satisfying my needs as an individual too.

Q. Do your characters ever surprise you?

A. Oh definitely. All the time. Even in stories that I’ve outlined, at least in my mind, can go off in completely different directions than I’d anticipated.

Q. What could not do without when you’re writing?

A. As long as I’ve got my laptop, I’m happy. I can write anywhere, anytime, and get by with whatever is on offer. Although without the support of my husband, to pick up the slack when I’m stuck in writing-mode, I’d be scuppered.

Q. What words of wisdom do you have for the aspiring authors out there?

A. I actually have two, but they will come as no surprise…

      Read! Then read some more. And don’t be afraid to step out of your favourite genre. I am an avid YA paranormal reader, yet at this particular time, I am more comfortable writing contemporary romance.
       Believe! You will be able to find a million reasons why you shouldn’t/couldn’t be a writer, but if you have a dream, or a suspicion that you could do it, then go for it. You will face a lot of raised eyebrows or glassy expressions, but don’t let it dishearten you. I am convinced I’ve come on so far, so fast, because I went for it. The moment I decided to write, I came up with a pen name and got myself on Blogger and Facebook – I told people I was going to write a book – and it helped to motivate me, if nothing else, to prove the naysayers wrong. I built up a network, a support group, and I learned how to write along the way. Think of it as a form of cosmic ordering, if that helps ;-)

Q. Where do you see yourself in ten year’s time?

A. Ooooh, now we’re entering ‘hopes and dreams’ territory! I hope to be a successful romance author, respected within the industry and earning enough to be considered as a ‘decent income’, plus I hope to have found a place in the YA market too.

Q. Do you have a favourite quote?

A. “Write as the bullets fly” – Wendy S. Marcus, who ‘borrowed’ it from somebody else.

Q. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

A. Not exactly. I’ll sometimes hit moments where I’m not sure what will happen next, either because I’ve hit a wall or because there are too many options, but once I’ve dived back inside the characters’ heads, it seems to clear itself up.

Q. What other books can your readers look forward to?

A. I have another title coming out in March, writing as my raunchier alter-ego, Allie A Burrow. I am also determined to get at least two books finished next year that are well underway, one of which I hope to self-publish as the first in a series. If I can produce two to three books per year, I’ll be happy, and I’ll be able to treat it like a job from next September and boost my output considerably.

Q. And finally can you share an excerpt with us?

Tears welled in her eyes, clouding her vision. She turned and wandered blindly toward the exit as the first tear escaped, forging a track down her cheek for the rest to follow. Tilly took in a lungful of air and then another. Having made a spectacle of herself once already, she really didn't want to be the cause of yet another scene.

The crowds swarmed around her, with students and family members heading home for the holidays only adding to the usual rush-hour melee of commuters. They jostled past, threatening to swallow her whole, as they rushed en mass in the opposite direction, using their briefcases and suitcases as a battering ram.

It was suffocating. She had to get out of there. Breaking into a run, broken heel or not, she raced through the doors and out into the biting December chill. Her waterlogged eyes struggled to adjust to the dark, dreary sky after the bright station lights, but she didn't dare slow down, desperate to escape the throng of festivities and merriment.

Carol singers assembled outside burst into a jovial rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," full of joy and happiness. Didn't they know Christmas had just been cancelled?

"Ooof!" Tilly smacked her shin against the edge of a low bench, too dark to see as she tried to dodge the growing audience. She ended up sprawled across the bench, dropping the handle of her suitcase with a loud clatter.

At least the pain shooting down her leg gave her an excuse to be crying. Unfortunately, it meant she had to stop running too. Not good. Whenever things got too tough, too intimate, or too confrontational, you could rely on her to make a run for it. Running away was what she did best...

A tall figure loomed in the edge of her vision, something vaguely familiar about the man's loping gait. In an effort to see him more clearly, she wiped her eyes with the back of her hands, then cringed inwardly at the black streaks now etched all over them. Great. She could add impersonating a panda to her day from hell as well then.

The mascara stung her eyes, rendering her unable to focus properly. She blinked furiously as the man strode past her, talking into a mobile phone in a deep voice that resonated throughout her body and made the fine hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. A surge of adrenaline rushed to her legs, numbing the pain as her subconscious told her to run. Now!

The cloaked figure stopped mid-stride as if he'd heard her gasp. "Mike, I've gotta go," he barked into the phone, hanging up instantly. He backtracked until he was standing right in front of her, his tone changing from a growl to one of surprise. "Basmati?"

Great. She hadn't heard the nickname for years—nine years, four months and...sixteen days, to be exact—and even then, only one person had ever actually used it. She screwed her eyes tightly shut, shaking her head from side to side. No. No way. There was absolutely no way this could be happening to her. Not now. Not today of all days... Talk about kicking a girl when she was down.

Matilda 'Tilly' Carter didn't think her day could get any worse, but even Christmas had just been cancelled.

The one girl Dean Watson has sworn never to have—never even expected to see again—just flared back into his life and into his home—his sanctuary—like she belonged there. Christmas would certainly be more bearable with Tilly around though…

As the chinks in Dean's armor appear, Tilly seizes the chance to win her knight once and for all. She's not about to take no for answer—not this time—but Dean must resist, even as his heart rebels and temptation threatens to undermine his resolve.

Win or lose? Love or honor? Which will Dean choose? Assuming he gets a choice…

Author Bio:

Aurelia B Rowl is a contemporary romance author but you can also find her masquerading as Allie A Burrow, her raunchier alter-ego.

She lives on the edge of the Peak District in the UK with her very understanding husband and their two fantastic children aged 5 and 3, along with their mad rescue mutt who doesn’t mind being used as a sounding post and source of inspiration. They are all used to her getting too caught up with her latest writing project... or five!... and she is guiltily counting down the months until she has both kids at school full-time.  

If you’d like to find out more about me, or read about the many writing projects I’m working on, you can connect with me online in the following places:

Thank you for having me Doris, and may I take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by, Aurelia. It was lovely to learn more about you. Have a great Christmas!


  1. Congratulations Aurelia, I hope all your hopes and dreams come true. To see your name on a book cover is a real jump up and down and punch the air moment

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  3. Great interview, ladies. looking forward to getting my pre-ordered copy, Aurelia! :-) x