Welcome Kirsty. I've got some questions which I hope will disclose a few of the behind the scenes moments from writing Holly's story - and Sorcha's story too.
You've chosen to set Holly's Christmas Secret in your fictional Pencradoc Estate - what are the plusses of using a location that is already familiar to the reader? Are there any minuses?
I’ve made it a bit of a tradition that my Christmas books are part of an existing series, as lots of readers ask ‘what happens next’ and love reading about the places they know and already have a relationship with. It does make it a little easier for me too, as I have got to know the place so well, I can literally drop my characters straight into the location with their Christmas hats on, and away they go. I might have a problem with 2021, as the first book in my new series is as yet unwritten so we will have to see how that goes! It’ll be a new experience to try to do a Christmas book with no background, so to speak…
Were there any vital touches that you felt had to be included in the book to make it feel Christmassy - even though it is Cornwall, with a milder climate, will there be snow?
There is snow! I did have to say well it might not lie long, but look, it’s here! I needed it to snow for the very last scene anyway, so I made it lie for a bit! There is festive baking and Christmas trees and descriptions of Christmassy things like writing cards, buying presents, telling ghost stories, and lots of lovely decorations – and mistletoe of course. I like to make my readers feel as if they’ve dropped into a magical, old-fashioned Christmas, when I do a Christmas timeslip – like one of those lovely jigsaws or prints you see depicting them. A writing tutor once told me you have five senses, use them all, so I always try to include scents in there as well. We all know how gorgeous a Christmas cake smells when it’s cooking, or the fresh, earthy scent of a real tree, or even the scent of frost and cold outside. It brings it all to life a bit more, somehow.
You have to be quick on your feet to manage two sets of lovers, but as this is part of a series, there will be other people that the reader recognises - and maybe some who will get their own books in the future? How important is the supporting cast for this story?
As I’ve said, Elsie is going to have her own story – it’s a request many, many readers have sent my way – so I’m happy to say she will star in Pencradoc 4. It’s with Choc Lit now, so hopefully she can shock Society in the summer. And she is truly shocking for a woman of her time – but I can’t help loving her. The contemporary tale will focus on Coren and Sybill, characters who have been in the series since book 1, and again people who readers have asked to hear more about. They’ve never actually got together, despite everyone knowing they are ideal for one another and despite both of them having strong feelings for one another. This story might go some way to explain why it hasn’t happened yet and we explore a few more of their deepest secrets. I also move on Merryn and Kit’s story in a very happy way, which I hope people will like as well.
Once upon a Cornish Christmas ...
It’s almost Christmas at the Pencradoc estate in Cornwall which means that, as usual, tea room owner Sorcha Davies is baking up a festive storm. And this year Sorcha is hoping her mince pies will be going down a treat at ‘The Spirit of Christmas Past’ exhibition being organised at the house by new local antiques dealer, Locryn Dyer.
But as Locryn and Sorcha spend more time together, they begin to uncover a very special story of Christmas past that played out at Pencradoc more than a century before, involving a certain ‘Lady’ Holly Sawyer, a festive dinner party and a magical secret encounter with a handsome author ...
Kirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and lives there with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 and has had articles and short stories published in various magazinesHer work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.
Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.
Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting.
For more information on Kirsty visit: