Michelle Smart and Louise Fuller join us on our blog to talk about their new Modern duet, set at Christmas-time in the Swiss Alps! Read about their writing journey below…
Having worked on a duet (The Sicilian Marriage Pact) together before, Louise and I knew exactly how to tackle this one—with a marathon phone call! Louise already knew in her mind that she wanted her heroine to be an ice-skater and I knew I wanted mine to feature a luxury train. The one thing we both knew from the outset too was that we wanted snow. Lots of snow. And lots of Christmas. Settling on the Swiss Alps as the primary setting was easy, as was deciding on our heroines’ relationship and how to tie the books together, and everything grew from there.
Christmas is my favourite time of the year so writing a Christmas themed book is always a dream for me. My luxury train travels from Paris to Switzerland, passing through Vienna (the Christmas markets there are amazing!) and Austria, and all the while there’s this passionate romance building with the aptly named Merry and her Christmas-hating temporary boss Giovanni.
I hope you enjoy reading Merry and Giovanni’s book, Unwrapped by Her Italian Boss as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Michelle and I worked together before on a Sicilian based duet where two brothers trick two sisters into marriage to avenge their father! This time, instead of multiple sets of siblings—and editorial headaches—we settled on two childhood friends who are set to spend Christmas together in the upmarket Swiss ski resort of Klosters.
The inspiration for my heroine came via one of those strange evolutions that go on inside authors’ heads. I had read an interview with the diver Tom Daley about his Olympic journey and the bullying he faced at school because of who he was. Somehow Tom turned into Santina, and instead of being a diver she became a skater. With four daughters aged seventeen to twenty-nine, I also hear a lot about issues that affect young women’s lives and one I found particularly interesting was ‘revenge porn’. Those strands combined to build Santa’s back story: success on the ice matched by a total loss of faith in relationships.
My goal was to give her the chance to recover that faith.
Enter my hero: Louis Albemarle, Duke of Astbury. Louis was great fun to write and I had even more fun compiling inspirational pictures of him- as you can see if you go to my Pinterest page! Louis has also been betrayed by someone he loves, but his way of dealing with it is by living up to his bad boy reputation. Until the morning after a night before that never happened becomes one scandal too many and he and Santa are forced to marry, and confront their pasts.
I hope you enjoy unwrapping the story of Santa and Louis as much as I loved writing The Christmas She Married the Playboy.
Michelle and Louise’s brilliant new romances are out now!