Why do you think people are still so drawn to Paris today?
The City of Lights is the epitome of romance, and Paris is synonymous with love. The architecture, the culture, the food, the wine, the beautiful gardens - what’s not to love about that?! As a location for our novel, Paris offered the perfect blend of associations with romance and the First World War.
What inspired you both to write "Last Christmas in Paris?"
We had worked together on an anthology, Fall of Poppies, during 2015 and as that was nearing completion we both felt there was more we wanted to write about the war, and how a generation was so deeply affected by it. After a frenzied exchange over Facebook Messenger the concept for a co-written epistolary novel, told from the point of view of a young man at the Front and a young woman back in England, developed really quickly.
What was it like working with a co-author?
For each of us, this was the first time we’d worked with another author to write a novel, so it was an exciting and daunting prospect. There is a huge amount of trust and commitment involved on both sides and from the very beginning we were both so excited about this idea and our story and characters. There was something really special about having someone to bounce ideas off and work through plot along the way. From the moment we first heard the book had sold, right through the news of many foreign rights deals and stellar early reviews, we have loved having someone to celebrate it and share it all with. We made each other laugh and cry a lot along the way and it has been a truly rewarding experience. So much so that we hope to write together again. Watch this space!
What is each of your favorite scenes in the book?
Hazel loves the very last scene in Paris. It was so emotional to write, not only because it was the culmination of the story, but because it came with the realisation that we had done what we’d set out to do, and written a book we were both so very proud of.
Heather also loves that scene best, with a close second being the flurry of telegrams when Tom returns to London mid-war to visit his father and Evie. The dancing, the drives, the fancy dinners and laughs between them. We were first really beginning to develop their feelings for each other there, and that was so much fun to write! I think we sped through that section of the book with our hearts and heads on fire!
If you could bring three people, fictional or non-fictional, with you to a deserted island, who would you bring and why?
We would bring Tom, Evie and Alice from Last Christmas in Paris because in writing them, they became so real to us and it would be quite something to hang out with people who were formed purely from imagination! Also, they really need a vacation