…….Part one, I hasten to add before my other guest, the fair Aurelia thinks she’s being thrown over. Yes, there are so many fabulous Christmas releases, the fact I have magnanimously decided to feature two interviews this month has nothing to do with opening my mail box and seeing the dreaded E word. Anyway, I have just finished round one.
Anyway, to business. Why did I ask Charley here to talk about her new release, apart from the fact she is with Etopia Press, her story has a Christmas setting and she seems such a nice lady to know I’d have asked her anyway? The title of course. Comfort and Joy, straight from my younger girl’s favorite, complete with flashers, mentioned last blog, carol
Q. Charley, all your Christmases must be coming in one having your book, Comfort and Joy out just before the big day itself. How has that felt?
A. It’s been overwhelming—in the best way possible! I’m looking forward to hearing what readers think of Comfort and Joy.
Q. So, how have you found working with Etopia Press?
A. Everyone has been fabulous! I was happy with Comfort and Joy when I submitted it but I feel I found new depth in a couple of places and I fell in love with it all over again. My editor even offered to help me polish up the short story I’m giving away, and created an awesome PDF so I can share it quick and easy.
Q. Now I know this book is about a journey. In life we all make one, bits happy, bits sad. Christmas highlights that. Your story certainly does.
A. Yes, their problem is that Charlie was assaulted and finds intimacy difficult. A year and a half later the assault is still playing a big part in their lives. Since Sam’s family loves them both it seemed like a good idea to retreat there and spend the holiday surrounded by family. But no matter how warm and loving they are, it isn’t always the easiest thing though.
Q. So? Are you going to ask Sam and Charlie over on Christmas Day yourself!
A. Yeah! Why not? Even though I’d really rather join them on the farm!
Q. Go on.
A. Okay. If I were to have Sam and Charlie over for Christmas dinner the one thing I’d be sure to do is to let Charlie help with the cooking. He loves to cook—if he owned their apartment in LA the first thing he’d do would be to knock out the wall between the kitchen and the huge living/dining space. They both spend a lot of time in the kitchen and usually have better ideas for what to do in one than I do!
Q. What about yourself this Christmas? Apart from the book coming out!
A. I don’t usually cook a whole big dinner for Christmas, but I have a couple of favorites I make every year. This year it’s especially busy with Comfort and Joy coming out and working on a couple of new stories too! I’m changing things a little this year to make time to write but it just wouldn’t be Christmas without Parker House Rolls. My ‘Grammie’ made them every year and I always feel close to her when I make them. Plus, they’re delicious little butter-bombs!
When my daughter was growing up I always made cinnamon rolls on Christmas Eve so breakfast would be waiting on Christmas morning. I’d make a batch from scratch and instead of cutting the rolls completely apart I’d leave them together just enough so they’d cook into a wreath. With frosting and raisins and candied cherries, breakfast was very festive! My daughter still loves to tell the story about the year I forgot to add the cinnamon!
(Cinammon rolls…er not something I put togther earlier)
Q. Well Charley, sounds better than my baking! So, it being Christmas though what gift would you give Charlie and Sam?
A. Considering I’ve tortured them quite a bit already? All right, I’d want to give them good presents. I mean I think hand-knit willy warmers would be nice!! I am a knitter in my spare time after all! I’d make Sam’s hunter green and Charlie’s royal blue, to match their eyes. Of course there would have to be multiple fittings to get things just right! Since they’re both shameless gym bunnies that would be a lot of fun for me!
Q. Charley! May I say I’m so shocked you might as well give me the low down on who you’re looking to find in your Christmas stocking?
A. Well, that’s definitely a hard question! Right now I’m crushing hard on Danai Gurira who plays Michonne on The Walking Dead. I’d help her slice & dice walkers any day! Also, I’m completely in love with Charlie Hunnam but if I had to choose only one man it’d be almost impossible not to choose John Barrowman. I’d never kick him out of my stocking!
Q. What’s the low down on the day itself?
A. After the meal I’m usually in a food coma for a good few hours! Clicking play on a DVD or starting a playlist of Christmas music is usually all the physical activity I can handle. I usually try to watch something completely inappropriate ever since daughter and I went to see The Faculty on Christmas day. Something about drug dealers saving the world from aliens just says Christmas to me. One year we even had a Hellraiser movie marathon. Those flicks are so cheesy I just love ‘em!
I’ve always wanted to have a holiday like the ones Sam’s family has. At Sam’s house on Christmas afternoon their whole family gathers around the piano for carols, family members playing guitar or violin or just about any other instrument they could carry into the living room. I know, it’s sentimental, but the holidays do that to me!
Q. Because you’re still a kid at heart? Any traditions you want to tell us about?
A. When I was a kid I was deathly allergic to just about anything with pollen or sap. So, you guessed it, Christmas trees too! So my parents bought a huge artificial tree. Most of the year it lived in a refrigerator-sized box in the garage, but the day after Thanksgiving my father would bring it into the living room. My little sister and I would unpack it and organize the limbs by the color on their tips. Mostly it was me—most people don’t think it’s fun to organize a six-foot-plus tree’s worth of artificial limbs—but I’ve always loved creating order out of chaos. Even if I create the chaos myself. Back then I’d put the tree back in the box as haphazardly as I could; now I stir up my character’s lives so I can put them all back together again.
By the way, Sam and Charlie would be politely abhorred to see the tree I have now, my artificial, pre-lit four foot tree! Although they would approve of the handmade ornaments from my daughter’s school days.
So that’s it. Except to say here’s Charley’s book cover and her blurb.
Sam and Charlie have been together over a decade, and their commitment to each other has only grown stronger through the years. But love isn’t always easy, and eighteen months after a violent assault, their fairy-tale relationship is still struggling. Charlie can’t shake the lingering fear of attracting more violence by displaying affection, and he’s angry at himself for not getting past it. Sam would do anything to help Charlie feel better—if only he knew what that was.
The century-old farmhouse in Northwest Oregon is the perfect place to spend the holidays with Sam’s family, but it was their refuge after the attack, and it still holds painful memories of those difficult first months. Christmas should be a joyful time, but even being surrounded by people who love him isn’t enough to make Charlie feel safe. He could try to keep to himself, but even if Sam agreed to give him the space he needs, Sam’s warm and loving family might not. And even though they agreed not to exchange gifts, Sam has a surprise up his sleeve that he hopes will make everything merry and bright. But he may end up more surprised than Charlie before the week is out…
Charley Descoteax ladies and gentlemen….
Anyone going to her blog and leaving a comment and e-mail address wil be sent a free short story, Coping Mechanisms featuring Charlie and Sam. She will send it to everyone who comments here too.
Comfort and Joy is available from Amazon.
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/CharleyDescoteauxAuthor