Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Plot to Play With by Valerie-Anne Baglietto

My own fairytale background

I've been tagged by fellow writer and Novelista, Louise Marley, to participate in The Next Big Thing. 

So deep breath, here goes ...

What is the title of your book?

Once Upon A Winter. You can read all about the launch in the previous post, but this is more about the nitty-gritty details of why I wrote it.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It was a Christmas present last year from Santa. No, seriously - it was. Sort of. I'd been dabbling with children's books, which had magical elements to them, but I'd been hankering to return to adult romances again, which I used to write years ago for Hodder. Could I marry the two together somehow? I wasn't sure, but faffing around on Christmas Eve because one of my children decided to wake up at midnight (which meant Santa couldn't visit till said child was asleep again), an idea floated into my head which then proceeded to keep me awake till the wee hours. Long after Santa had been and gone.

What genre does your book fall under?
I have no idea. It's NOT a Christmas book, in case anyone was wondering. Is chicklit-fantasy-reality-fairytale a genre? One minute my heroine is doing the school-run and sewing cushions for the PTA, the next she's discovering that the husband who deserted her and her children might belong more to a fictional world than the real one. The majority of the action takes place in a picturesque Welsh village 'hidden among the hills', which hopefully lends it a slightly fairytale-like quality.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Ah *rubs hands here* everyone has their own images in their heads when they read a book, don't they? But if I had the chance to cast the movie, I would willingly audition Richard Armitage for the character of Silas. (Not with all the Hobbit make-up on, though. Remember, John Thornton, North and South *sighs dreamily*.) 
Dan Stevens (Matthew, of Downton Abbey fame) could be Daniel. 
And if Zooey Deschanel (Elf and New Girl) could pull off a convincing British accent without sounding too posh or acting too goofy and zany, she could play Nell.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Well, I started in earnest in January and finished it literally the day my three children broke up for the school summer holidays in July (phew). I wanted to put it to one side so that I could edit it with fresh eyes in the autumn.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

I suppose if you like your characters firmly grounded in reality, then this book isn't for you; which I know is more 'putting off' than 'piquing', but I'm simply trying to be honest. It's not a dark paranormal novel, either, and if anyone likes vampires, then there aren't any to be found here. Sorry! 
As I said in an earlier post, if you like Once Upon A Time, Enchanted and Stardust, then you have similar tastes to me, and might enjoy this book. I also love Tangled, such a great romance, even if it is an animated movie; I don't care. My daughter and I watch it over and over again. And have you ever seen the film Penelope? If you have, I suppose that's the kind of world I'm trying to create. Reality - but not quite. Contemporary - but slightly timeless. 

Oh, I do go on, don't I? Apologies. I'll sign off by saying, if you do decide to read Once Upon A Winter (the direct link is under the cover image above), then thank you very much, and I hope you enjoy it. Comments and reviews are always welcome, too. I'd love to hear from you.

Very best wishes,

Valerie-Anne x

The next author I’ve tagged to tell you about her new book is another fellow Novelista - the bestselling and deservedly popular Anne Bennett.


  1. I've recently bought this book and look forward to reading it very much!

    1. Hi! Thank you very much, I saw your tweet about it, too. I do hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


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