Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Guest Author: AL Michael - Driving Home for Christmas

It's November and I think it's almost safe to talk about Christmas. It's definitely chilly enough. From here to March, you'll find me wrapped in a duvet-like jacket, grinding my teeth while the husband wonders around in a short-sleeved t-shirt, declaring it's still too warm to put the heating on. 

But this isn't the time to talk about my faulty body thermostat, we have a guest!

Today, AL Michael, author of The Last Word, is on the blog as part of a blog tour to celebrate the release of her new novel Driving Home for Christmas.


Megan McAllister is home for Christmas…
whether she likes it or not!

Christmas is about family…and for Megan family means two people: herself, and her daughter Skye. It doesn’t mean her parents who, ten years ago, saw her pregnancy as anything but a miracle. And it definitely doesn’t include her irresistible ex-boyfriend Lucas Bright.

So ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ has never been top of Megan’s festive playlist. But for Skye, she knows she needs to spend the holiday season with the people she’s left behind. She can do this. Even if the thought of meeting Lucas under the mistletoe still has her feeling like she’s drunk one-too-many Snowballs!

But somewhere between the hanging of stockings and the crackle of wrapping paper, Christmas starts to sparkle. And Megan begins to wonder if family could be bigger than her and Skye after all… 


What three words would best describe your new novel, Driving Home for Christmas?

Nostalgic, bittersweet, hopeful.

Was it strange writing a Christmas novel over Summer? How did you get in the mood?

It was ridiculous trying to write a Christmas book in July! Sitting in flipflops and dreaming of icicles! I started scanning Pinterest for Christmas craft ideas and just focused on all the things I used to get excited about at that time of the year. Mainly food and booze. I can get excited about a turkey sandwich and a glass of baileys anytime in the year!

Your main character isn't looking forward to Christmas because of a tricky relationship with her family. What's Christmas like for you?

Christmas for me is...complex, I guess? When we were kids my mum made it this amazing over-the-top Idyllic Xmas. And she still does, really, it's just that when you get older and see how much money and effort and time goes into it, you're not sure it's worth it for one day. I think when there are young kids in the family it'll be crazy fun again. So now Christmas is about chilling out, eating great food with my massive family and then vegging out on the sofa! 

What would be in your ideal stocking?

Ideal stocking presents- benefit cosmetics, pens, sparkly nail varnishes, lots of clementines and chocolate coins!

This is your third novel and you're still only 'twenty-something', what's your secret?

I've always wanted to be a writer and once I got a little encouragement from people who wanted to publish me, I just ran with it! Now it's actually starting to feel normal! 

December 2004

Maybe they’ll be merciful, Megan McAllister thought as she hung Christmas decorations onto the same Christmas tree they’d had every year since she could remember. Old Piney spent the year out in the garden, and was cruelly uprooted every December and brought into the sweltering heat of the living room, with the log fire crackling, almost as a warning of what happened to bad trees. It was starting to look like it was suffering. It wasn’t the only one.
Maybe they’d see it as a Christmas miracle, and look to the kindness and understanding of the people of Bethlehem when she told them. But she doubted it somehow.
She was meant to be off to Cambridge, to read English. She was meant to go off and do great things. She’d only just got her head around the idea of being independent, leaving their little village for a proper town. Leaving Lucas behind. And now…well, none of that really mattered any more, did it?
She paused, looking at the decoration she’d picked up. A red clay hand imprint, heavy and solid, with ‘Megan’s first Christmas’ marker-penned across the front.
Oh shit.

Or, Visit to find out more about the author and her books!

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