The great thing about social media is having the chance to meet new and interesting people; people who are on the same journey as yourself. Whether it be through blogs, twitter, facebook … you name, people are out there. And one fabulous person I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know is Jaimie Admans – another UK author who has taken to the Indie path rather adventurously. With the release of her new book, North Pole Reform School, just gone by, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for us to get into the Christmas season, and get to know a little more about this quirky young woman. Her new seasonal romantic comedy sounds like it would be perfect for teenage girls as an Xmas gift. Here is what it’s about:
Mistletoe Bell hates Christmas. So would you if you had a name like hers. Her Christmas-mad parents make the festive season last all year, and with another Christmas looming, Mis doesn’t think she can take any more. After her carelessness causes an accident at school, it seems like things can’t get any worse.
Then she wakes up to find The Ghost of Christmases Ruined in her bedroom.
She is taken to the North Pole, to a reform school run by elves determined to make her love Christmas. Stuck in a misfit group of fellow Christmas-haters with a motley crew of the weird and even weirder, watched over by elves day and night, she doesn’t expect to meet cute and funny Luke, who is hiding a vulnerable side beneath his sarcastic exterior. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with him.
But all is not as it should be at the North Pole. A certain Mr Claus is making the elves’ lives a misery, and pretty soon Mistletoe and Luke are doing more than just learning to like Christmas.
A YA romantic comedy in which Santa is the bad guy, teaching reindeer to fly is on the curriculum, and zombies have a fondness for Christmas music.
Jaimie Admans is 27 years old and from South Wales, UK. She confesses she loves to write. Quite a lot having written seven novels so far, although, she admits the first one doesn’t count as it will never, ever, see the light of day, no matter how much her mother nags her!
She writes mostly chick-lit and young adult books.
Jaimie absolutely loves NaNoWriMo, and has done it every year since 2006. No matter how much writing she gets done (or not done!) during the year, come 23.55 on October 31st, you will find her sitting at her computer in her lucky hand-warmers (no, really) ready to get started as soon as the clocks ticks over to November 1st!
- Your upcoming novel, North Pole Reform School, sounds extremely original and witty. Tell us a little about it and the main character, Mistletoe Bell.
Well, Mistletoe hates Christmas. She hates her name, she hates the fact that her dad works as a Santa in a supermarket, and that she was born on Christmas Eve, and that her parents are absolutely mad about Christmas. Her mum is on a mission to become a real-life Mrs Claus and starts preparations for the next Christmas every January, and is constantly baking Christmas stuff and trying to get Mistletoe involved. It’s no surprise that she can’t stand the festive season! Until one night in December, when she gets whisked off to the North Pole, to a reform school run by a gang of elves who are determined to change her feelings towards Christmas! She’s not alone though and is stuck with a group of other Christmas-haters and forced to work with the elves until they can convince her that Christmas isn’t really that bad!
- I’ve read that Santa himself is the bad guy! What a quirky feature. How does this Santa differ from the fabled loveable treasure we grew up with?
I think I must have a bit of a problem with Santas, actually! I’ve just realised that I’ve used Santa as the bad guy three times now! I’m writing something at the moment in which Santa is, once again, the bad guy, and last year’s Christmas book had an evil Santa as a villain too!
In NPRS, Santa is new to the job, this is only his second year, and the power has gone to his head. He wasn’t always a bad guy or he wouldn’t have got the job in the first place, but since he started, he’s realised that he now controls the whole North Pole and has complete control over the elves. He can do whatever he wants, and no one can stop him. He doesn’t even like children (or elves!) So yes, he’s quite different from the traditional Santa, but that’s part of the fun!
- When an appearance from The Ghost of Christmases Ruined occurs, Mistletoe is flown off to the North Pole. Where you influenced by the infamous Scrooge and his relationship with the three ghosts?
Of course! I knew that something had to visit Mistletoe in the middle of the night before taking her to the North Pole, and if you’re writing a Christmas story and need a midnight visitation from something, surely it has to be a ghost of some kind!
- With love, school accidents, being whisked off to the North Pole, teaching reindeers to fly … there seems to be so much going on! How do you prepare when you are writing a novel with so many aspects?
Not all of those things happen at the same time, so there’s not really that much going on! I have to admit I had so much fun plotting and brainstorming for this book, thinking up weird things to happen next! I wish I could say my preparation was really organised, but mostly it consisted of unorganised Word documents and folders full of notes scribbled on Post-Its!
- Is research vital when you are writing a book such as this? Is the North Pole as we know it to be, or have you created your own?
It’s a pretty traditional Christmas North Pole, lots of snow, elves, and twinkly lights! I love writing books like this because there are no limits, you can put in anything you want to! I did do loads of research into reindeer though, I wanted them to be realistic, and I did a bit of research into polar bears, which are mentioned briefly in the book – for some reason, all animals had to be ‘real’!
- This is your second Christmas novel isn’t it – with Creepy Christmas being your first. They both seem to be based on Christmas disaster. Are you a fan of the festive season? And if so, what gets you in the giving mood?
I LOVE the Christmas season! I found it quite hard to write Mistletoe at first because she hates it so much, and I’m the complete opposite, I love everything Christmas! I even wrote most of the book with North Pole Radio playing quietly in the background, and I never usually have music on when I’m writing! Everything gets me in the festive mood – hot chocolate with Marshmallow Fluff on top, Christmas adverts, when the music channels start playing Christmas songs, and of course, Christmas movies!
- Books shouldn’t be gender orientated, but it can’t be denied that in reality, they are. Do you think that romantic comedies can appeal to the male reader, and if so, how?
Brilliant question! I wish I knew the answer though. I openly admit that my novels are aimed towards girls, and I get quite surprised when guys want to read them or enjoy them! My main characters are always female, to be honest, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start otherwise! I don’t know what it would take to make a romantic comedy appealing to male readers, possibly a strong male protagonist with the story told through his eyes?
- What’s the best and worst presents you’ve ever received from Santa?
The best was definitely my first ereader! It was a rubbish one which promptly died after a few months and was replaced by a Kindle, but it opened a whole new world of reading to me! Suddenly I could have as many books as I wanted and not have to worry about them overflowing the bookshelves and being precariously piled on the floor! I don’t know about the worst, I’m really easy to please so I like all presents! Things like socks and toiletries that most people would complain about make me happy!
- What have you read recently?
I’ve been busy getting NPRS ready for release, so it feels like the only reading I’ve done lately is proofreading that! I have been working my way through the new Bridget Jones though, and I’m just about to start on The Sentinel by Holly Martin!
- If you were whisked away to the North Pole Reform School, how would you handle all the drama? Would you echo Mistletoe?
I’d love it! I suppose they’d never take me there anyway because I love Christmas and don’t need reforming, but I would love to go! I’d get really into it and be outside helping the elves build snowmen in no time at all!
- If you could fly a reindeer, where in the world would you go?
I’d go everywhere! I mean, there are no limitations if you’re on a flying reindeer, right? I’d start off going to New York, then to Japan, then the Caribbean, and if I ever wanted to leave, I’d nip back to London to do a bit of shopping!
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