Hope: Hey, Stella, thrilled to be here!
Stella: Let's talk holidays: Is there anything special you usually do for the holidays? Any special family tradition?
Hope: My current tradition is to hold an open house on Christmas Day for my friends here in New York who don’t necessarily have their families nearby. We have a blast.
Stella: Do you have any favorite holiday themed stories (movies or books)?
A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life are my go-to gold standards. And of course A CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS CAROL is based on the Dickens’ classic.
As an aside, I recently visited Senecca Falls, NY. It was a spontaneous stop-over en route home from a friend’s wedding. I’d known of Senecca Falls as the birthplace of the modern women’s movement—the “Declaration of Sentiments” etc.—but I hadn’t realized that it is also the template for Capra’s Bedford Falls in It’s a Wonderful Life. My boyfriend and I had such fun taking the self-guided walking tour based on the film.
Stella: Could you share with us your favorite holiday meal/dessert/candy?
Hope: I always make a big pan of mac n’ cheese—not traditional fare per se but I suppose it’s become my tradition.
Stella: What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
Hope: Getting to spend time with the people—and pets—I love.
Stella: Please complete: Christmas/the holidays wouldn't be the real deal without...
Hope: ...my pets!
By the by, Starr’s cat in A CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS CAROL is my real-world rescue girl. Don’t believe me, check out the acknowledgements.
Stella: What’s one of the best gifts you ever received/gave for Christmas?
Hope: Good advice. “Don’t wait for other people’s permission to live your life.” Not just good advice, but priceless, and given by a dear friend who is keeping company with angels now.
Stella: What makes you feel that Christmas time is finally here?
Hope: On Thanksgiving evening, my boyfriend and I always walk over to see the decorated store windows of Macy’s. It’s not Christmastime for me until then.
Stella: Since this whole event is about the Best Books we read in 2012, could you share with us some of your favorite titles you have read this year?
Hope: I adored Beatriz Williams’ OVERSEAS. Who doesn’t love a good time travel novel, especially with characters you can’t help but cheer? Her research of the World War II era is meticulous and her dialogue is sublime.
Leanna Renee Hieber’s DARKER STILL is an homage to Wilde’s THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY with several fun, fresh twists, a stylish launch to her Gaslight Era paranormal YA series set in New York.
Stella: We all love Christmas holidays, but I was wondering if there’s anything about them that you find annoying?
Hope: The pressure to purchase more, more and MORE wears on me after a while. Even though I’m not much of a shopper, still we’re all inundated with Christmas ads, catalogs etc. But merchants count on the winter holidays to make their money, so it’s a necessary evil, I suppose.
Stella: Let’s say you have the chance to spend the holidays with a fictional character, who would that be and what would you be doing?
Hope: I think I’d start with Mr. Charles Dickens if only so I could ask—“Chuck, dude, what’s the deal with all the ghosts at Christmastime?”
Stella: What would you ask Santa to bring you this year?
Hope: More time—there never seems to be sufficient!
Stella: What would be your (bookish or not) New Year’s resolutions, if you make any?
Hope: Do less, enjoy more. It’s easy to get caught up in rushing from event-to-event and, in the case of writing, living from deadline to deadline.
Stella: It's just a bet but with your new Suddenly Cinderella series out it might be a given that your favorite fairy tale is Cinderella, am I right? What is it about this particular tale you love?
Book #1.5 in the Suddenly Cinderella series
There’s nothing On Top managing editor Cynthia “Starr” Starling hates more than Christmas. With an important deadline looming, plus her dreaded Christmas Day birthday, Starr just wants the holiday to end. But when she wakes up Christmas Eve night to the ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future—all in the form of the super-hot Matt Landry, the new art director—she knows she’s in for a long night.
Matt is the one person on Starr’s team she can’t boss around and the only one she doesn’t need to. He’s also her employee and totally off limits, even if he does seem interested. Though he’s seven years younger and all kinds of forbidden fruit, he’s the form the Powers That Be decided she’d be receptive to.
Because they have a message for her: learn the true meaning of Christmas spirit or risk being alone for the rest of her life.
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