Continuing my #AuthorInTheFestiveSpotlight series and today I’m delighted to be joined by another Bookouture author. Sophie Ranald’s main character, Rowan, has quite an unusual request for Santa!
Welcome Sophie. First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
I’m Sophie Ranald and I have been writing full time for almost ten years. Santa, Please Bring Me a Boyfriend is my 12th novel and the 9th to be published by Bookouture. I live in South East London with my partner and our two cats.
In a nutshell, what is your Christmas book about?
Santa is the second in a sort-of series of what will be four books featuring the Girlfriends’ Club – a group of women who met back when their boyfriends played five-a-side football together and, although they had little else in common, struck up a firm friendship.
With Christmas approaching, Rowan finds herself down in the dumps – she’s got money worries, her teenage daughter seems to hate her and her ex has just announced his engagement to someone else. So her friends decide to treat her to an advent calendar with a difference – each day, a new gift is delivered to her by courier. But will Rowan get her mojo back by Christmas – and is Alex, the blue-eyed delivery driver with a smile that gives her butterflies, just the gift she needs in her stocking?
How did you come up with the title for your book?
Fortunately, the excruciating process of choosing titles for my novels is one that’s undertaken by my publisher. I’m very relieved not to have to do it myself, because it’s hard! But I love this title and I hope my readers will too.
How do you plan to celebrate Christmas this year?
Christmas in our house is always the same. My partner and I both have family abroad so we celebrate Christmas quietly at home with our cats. We go for a long run and count how many Christmas trees we can spot, cook lots of delicious food, have a nap, exchange presents and generally chill out – it’s brilliant!
You have £5 to buy a Secret Santa gift – what would you buy?
I am a terrible cheat when it comes to Secret Santa and always go over the £5 limit. However the last Secret Santa gift I bought was technically free – a bottle of sloe gin I made myself with fruit foraged from the hedgerows near my friend’s home in Cambridgeshire. Although come to think of it the gin was more than £5 so I cheated on that too!
What’s your favourite Christmas song?
I’m a sucker for a Christmas carol. I always listen to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Radio 4 on Christmas Eve, and for me the moment when the choirboy sings the first line of Once in Royal David’s City is when Christmas truly begins.
What’s your essential Christmas food or drink?
One of my friends had a mother-in-law with whom she really didn’t get on – to the extent that she nicknamed her Satan. However the lady made ace Christmas cakes, and my friend shared the recipe with us all. So Satan’s Cake is an essential part of Christmas for me, along with a marmalade martini on Christmas morning.
What Christmas book are you looking forward to reading this year?
It’s not a Christmas book as such, but I always find myself wanting to reread Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love at Christmas. It’s somewhat dated but it’s such a wonderful example of a romantic comedy and even though I must have read it about thirty times, it still makes me smile.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I absolutely love hearing from readers, and they can connect with me @sophieranald on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
And finally, what’s your favourite Christmas tree decoration?
Probably the star that goes on the top of the tree. When my partner and I first had a Christmas tree, I realised we didn’t have an ornament for the top, so I quickly improvised a star cut out of the cardboard back of a notebook, with gold paper glued to either side. Readers might recognise it in the pages of Santa, Please Bring Me a Boyfriend…
Thanks for sharing your answers Sophie. I fancy some of that sloe gin
myself, so if you are making any this year…
Santa, Please Bring Me a Boyfriend is available now in paperback and ebook.
You can order a copy here: Santa, Please Bring Me a Boyfriend