Samantha Tonge enjoys writing romantic comedy novels as well as short stories. Her upcoming book Mistletoe Mansion is out on 10th November and we all know it’s never too early to discuss Christmas…
Q. Mistletoe Mansion is your new book. For those who don’t know what it’s about, could you please give a hint (or two) of what it’s about?
A. It’s about wannabe celebrity Kimmy who ends up living the high life she dreams of, when she house sits a supposedly haunted mansion. There’s a famous golfing wife next door, an annoying but hunky handyman and lots and lots of cake as she also hopes to run her own baking business! And the question is… Will the celebrity lifestyle live up to her fantasy or not?
Q. The main character Kimmy is an aspiring baker and wannabe celebrity. Why did you create a central character who is unsure of what she wants to do in life?
A. Because I think many of us are, in our early twenties. I mean, goodness, I didn’t work out I wanted to be a serious writer until I was nearly forty! I think we are vulnerable in our twenties, not really knowing who we are yet, but still trying to forge a path forwards for ourselves, career and love-wise. And I think it’s interesting to see how people reach life-changing decisions.
Q. Mistletoe Mansion is the title and of course, mistletoe is in reference to Christmas. How did you find writing a Christmas book when it wasn’t the festive period?
A. Strange! But then I am used to doing this as a short story writer – the magazines I used to sell to always work at least 3 months ahead. I am now working on a summer novel!
Q. Your books are romantic comedy novels. Do you ever struggle with writing humour?
A. Not now – but it took me a long time to find my humorous writing voice. My first book wasn’t a comedy and looking back was very stilted. I was advised to really try to “let go” when I wrote, and the result of that was the tone of how I write now. Although I do manage to switch that off when writing short stories.
Q. Christmas is ALMOST upon us (she says while we’re in October…), are you one of those who buys presents months in advance or do you panic on Christmas Eve?
A. I used to be reasonably organised until I started writing, and now all I can say is, thank goodness for Amazon and their quick delivery times!
Now for the quick fire round…
Father Christmas or Santa?
– Father Christmas
Christmas Eve or Boxing Day?
– Christmas Eve
Mince Pies or Terry’s Chocolate Orange?
– Terry’s Chocolate Orange
Stocking Fillers or Big Presents?
– Stocking Fillers
Putting the tree up or taking it down?
– Taking it down
Jingle Bells or Santa Baby?
– Santa Baby