Hi Lucy! Welcome back to BreakfastAtShelbys, I’m so happy to have you return and give us all the behind-the-scenes gossip of your newest release – How about we kick off this interview with you telling us all about ‘One Snowy Week in Springhollow?’
Thank you so much for having me back on your blog Shelby. Your blog is beautiful, and I’m so honoured to be on it again. Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous book review the other day too, it made me cry, I loved it so much!
‘One Snowy Week in Springhollow’ is about best friends Scarlett and Devon, who grow up doing everything together, but at 16 years old are separated. Scarlett is distraught as Devon is her side kick and shield and now, she has to face the school bullies and her mother on her own. Scarlett ends up hiding all the things that make her her because too many of those things remind her of Devon. Then 10 years later Devon is back in Springhollow promoting his big movie and they bump into each other.
It’s very much about rediscovering a beautiful friendship and learning to embrace all that makes you, you, with lots of festive joy and fun thrown in.
I’m going to have to kick-start this interview off by saying how much I would love to see this book up on the big screen! I think we deserve it! Who would your dream cast be for Scarlett and Devon?
Oh my goodness, Shelby it means the world when readers say this. Can you actually imagine? I would literally be floating in the clouds. It would be a dream. I’d love to see that too.
Throughout writing this story I very much pictured Devon to be like Zachary Levi. He’s so lovable and kind and fun, so Zac would be amazing. However, I’m completely in love with Brianna Hildebrand and think she would make a perfect Scarlett and I think Nick Robinson would be wonderful paired with her. I think they are both are so sweet and brilliant and fun, and I’d love to see them teamed together.
Who would you pick?
What was your inspiration for writing Scarlett’s story?
Honestly, when I first sat down to write this story it was all simply fuelled by joy. Shazam had just come out and I was starting to feel like me again after a bumpy 2018. I was just in my dream world and wanted to write something happy. I like writing happy things and I love writing how I wish the world was. So many times, we are made to feel silly for liking rom-coms or are told that Hallmark is corny. I feel like we always have to justify liking things that are about love and people constantly tell us that love in the movies is all fake and real life isn’t like that. Sure, I’ve experienced heartbreak but I still really want to believe in the good and in love.
I believe love, and anything in life, is what we make it. If you want a fairy-tale romance, I believe you can have it. If two people put in the work, who’s to say magic and joy filled days can’t be possible?
I wanted things to come together and align for Scarlett and Devon. I wanted that big grand gesture of running after the person you love. I wanted the magic of dreams coming true and loving who you are, and I think writing all of that helped me. It helped me believe in it and it helped me come to terms with a lot of my anxiety and insecurities. They don’t disappear completely but sometimes its nice to have a break from those negative thoughts and step into a world where you are shown that getting through each day and working side by side with those insecurities is possible and you can still achieve great things, if that makes sense?
I struggle with overthinking and feeling like I don’t fit in and so much of that comes from growing up and the things I went through as a teen. It was nice to explore that with Scarlett and see her pull through it. I loved writing her story.
What was the process like in creating Springhollow?
I love books set in cosy, small towns and when Devon and Scarlett came to my mind, I could immediately picture their little world. I could see them running around as kids and all the residents of Springhollow knowing what they were like and up to all the time. It very much came together as I sat down to write. Each scene bought with it wonderful chances to step into their home and I adored making it that extra bit festive and warm. Also, as I mentioned above in writing what I want the world to be, I liked the idea of people caring about each other and everyone knowing each other in the village. It made me smile.
What is the key theme/message in One Snowy Week in Springhollow?
I’d say the key theme/message is embrace all the things that make you you, regardless of literally anything. (sex, age, gender, religion, profession, whatever it may be) I think society puts a lot of pressure on us to have it all figured out by a certain age. Sometimes it can be ourselves who put that pressure on our minds, but that might be because of what someone said when we were younger or because of a look that someone gave us once. We are constantly told what models look like, what politicians look like, what ‘successful’ people look like, what nerds look like, but the fact is anyone can be anything. Love what you love, enjoy what fills your heart with happiness. Be who you want to be. I don’t believe in guilty pleasures or this is for this person and that is for that person or you have to be this to be able to do this. Of course, be kind, be respectful, but be you.
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
I’d like for them to take away all of the above. I’d also love for them to smile at the fun and festivities within this book. And I’d love for them to allow their imagination to wander when reading it and for a little while just be that kid/person that believes in superheroes and creating your happy.
If any, what were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
I have periods when I am writing where I feel so giddy about my words, my characters and my stories and then boom!!! All of a sudden, I am hit with an overwhelming sense of doubt. It has happened with every book I have written so far, and I think that is always the biggest challenge I have to get through. Sometimes it can be really bad, and I end up not writing for a little while and I panic and think how am I ever going to finish the book, but I know once I just sit down and write I will find my feet again.
I am very fortunate to have the loveliest family, friends and readers who always make me smile and encourage me, and that truly helps. But my goodness, those days when my brain wants to tell me I suck, are hard. For me, crying helps and doing little things I love to get my inspiration back helps too.
What were the key highlights of writing this book?
Joy. Just the joy I felt in this story coming to life and re-living my magical little moments that sparked the idea, like my meeting Zachary Levi in New York that first time and getting ready to go to our first Comic-Con. Also, I got to write a lot of it while sat with my Nanna. I’d ramble to her about all my ideas and she would smile so cute when I would talk to her about things I loved. I’d sit on her bed with my notebook and just scribble away. Her strength inspired this book too. Her love fills this story. She always just wanted the world for me, and my siblings, and she is one of the reasons I believe in happy and in fairy tales.
Who is your favourite superhero and why?
I think I have to go with Captain America for the reason that I adore what he stands for. I’ve never read the comics but the arc we get with Steve Rogers through the entire Marvel movies makes me smile. I love his story; I love his heart. I love that he remained a good man throughout it all.
Also, I do have a soft spot for Shazam, again because of his heart. The whole finding his family element in the movie and becoming a superhero and figuring out what that meant, protecting his family and finding his home, honestly, I cry every time at the end of that movie.
Which is your favourite superhero movie and why?
Ooh that’s a tricky one because Shazam is definitely Top 3 and then of course Captain America; The First Avenger. I love The Winter Soldier because I adore Cap and Bucky’s friendship. But ooh ok, I’d have to say, Captain America; The First Avenger. Shazam. Thor; Ragnarok. Ragnarok is in there because I have watched it so many times and every time, I laugh so hard with Chris Hemsworth. I cannot wait for Love and Thunder.
If you were to design your own superhero outfit, how would it look?
Ooh I’m thinking I’m going to go with something similar to Captain America in Civil War. Cap’s gear is probably one of my favourites as he looks badass and I’m definitely thinking I would want a shield. Ooh, maybe my shield could be the Italian flag. I’d love that. I wouldn’t say no to a Shazam or Superman style cape either. Colour scheme, I do love blue so I probably wouldn’t change Cap’s gear. But that wouldn’t really go with the green, white and red of the Italian flag, so maybe I’d need like a red suit or maybe more like an all in one badass white, like Storm’s white/gold outfit.
Ok, so white suit with maybe some red trimming. It would need that cool detail that Cap’s has, you know the stitching, almost embossed type detail, and then a pretty metallic red, white and green shield.
On the other hand, I’d love a badass bright yellow suit because I love yellow, in the style of Cap, but then I’d want like a flowery/ rainbow multi-coloured cape. I’m finding it hard to choose! :p
Looking back on previous Christmas’, what has been your favourite Christmas memory?
Honestly, all my Christmases spent with my family at my Nanna and Grandads house are some of my favourites. It’s hard to pinpoint specific moments as just being at their house, the whole day, the little traditions, just all being together, makes my heart happy. I think about those days a lot. We later started having Christmas at my Mum and Dad’s house and our Nanna and Grandad would come to us, but again the day was mostly spent around the table, Grandad putting his Christmas cracker paper hat on in the most unusual ways just to make everyone laugh and cuddling up next to them on the couch while watching food channels and playing games. I feel very blessed for all those beautiful memories. This year is our first one without them both so it’s going to be strange and very different, but we’re hoping to keep smiling and carry on with all our little cosy traditions and enjoy time with our family.
If you had to be trapped in one Christmas movie, which one would it be?
Ooh Shelby, all these questions are so much fun. The Santa Clause is one of my all-time favourite Christmas movies and I would love to be stuck in that one if it meant I could hang out at the North Pole. They made it look so incredibly magical and I would love to try Judy’s hot chocolate.
But also, I would adore being trapped in The Holiday if it meant I could just snuggle up in the cosy cottage for Christmas and read and play in the snow. That would be idyllic. Of course, I would have my family round too and we’d all squish in and maybe play board games and cuddle up by the fire.
I think those would be my two. What about yours?
You are allowed to invite three of your book characters over for Christmas Dinner this year – who would they be and why?
Ooh, ok so I absolutely adore Amanda, Sabrina and Louisa from my first two books, ‘How to Bake a new Beginning’ and ‘The Ingredients for Happiness,’ but I think it would have to be Scarlett and Devon from ‘One Snowy Week.’ The idea of talking superheroes and just letting my hair down and being a big kid would be so much fun. And I’d love for them to teach me how to skateboard.
And then, I think it would have to be Harper, from ‘Wishes Under a Starlit Sky,’ because I just love her and think she would be so cool to talk to. Also, I wouldn’t mind if I went to hers for Christmas dinner as Colorado is on my list of places to visit and I’d also love to meet Madi, Em, Bella, Ariana and Hayley.
You are standing under the mistletoe with one of your leading male’s – who would they be and why?
Hmm, again I’m rather fond of all the boys in my books but I think that would have to be Devon from ‘One Snowy Week.’ He’s just extra lovable and I adore his heart and how he wears it on his sleeve and isn’t afraid of his emotions. I also just think he would be a blast to hang out with. He doesn’t take life too seriously and embraces his inner child.
Who would you pick?
If you could have one wish granted this year, what would it be?
Honestly, it would be for the world to be a little kinder to each other and show more love. It’s not been easy this year for anyone and we have all been on different, unexpected and unusual journeys. There has been a heck of a lot of sadness and pain but also a lot of good and a lot of positive change. We still have such a long way to go to keep enforcing those changes but I’m incredibly grateful for the lessons I have learnt and things that I now am so much more aware of. I think if we can all keep doing our bit, whatever that ‘bit’ is, be it small or big, and do it with love and kindness, then we really can make a difference.
What one thing are you most grateful for this holiday season?
I’m incredibly grateful for my family and friends. This year I have been blessed to work with the most amazing people/friends. I have gone to work feeling inspired every single day and have been surrounded by people who genuinely care and are passionate about their work. All professions/people have had to adapt to the craziness of this year, so my love goes out to literally every single person out there, but to be in the midst of the teachers/teaching staff this year has been ridiculously inspiring. Everyone has been working so very hard to support the kids while full of anxiety for our own families and ourselves. The work has never stopped (which is a blessing I know) and there have been so many quick changes, new skills that had to be learnt in a matter of days and so on but seeing everyone work together and support each other is something that I am grateful for. It has been an example of that kindness and love.
In turn, to have got through the past few terms with my health and my family all still being healthy is another thing I am grateful for.
If you could describe ‘One Snowy Week in Springhollow’ in three words, what would they be?
Joyful. Dreamy. Shamazing! ;p
Lastly, do you have any future book news that you are able to share with us?
I am currently working on book 6, which is book 3 with Aria Fiction, and am waiting on edits for book 5. I am super excited to bring you book 5 as it is a little different for me, but I can’t say too much as I am keeping my fingers crossed that my wonderful editor, Hannah, likes it. So, watch this space! :p
Thank you so so much for these questions Shelby, they were a blast to answer, though I do apologise if I tended to ramble a little.
Thank you always for your love and support, it means everything to me! <3
Thank you so much, Lucy, for coming back on blog and bringing these gorgeous answers along with you! You’re very welcome with the review, it brought tears to my eyes, knowing my review brought tears to yours! I absolutely love the idea of Zachary Levi or Nick Robinson as Devon, what amazing choices! Great choices for your favourite Superhero and Superhero movie – Shazam is definitely one of my top favourites as well, absolutely love it! It does help that Jack Dylan Grazer is also in it, I always say I wish I could put him in my pocket! Let’s talk about that superhero costume design as well – amazing!! We need to find an artist now to recreate it! I absolutely love hearing stories of your Nanna and Grandad, they sound like they were absolute darlings! I would agree with you as well, on jumping in to The Santa Claus, I’ve always thought Judy’s hot chocolate in those particular mugs must just be absolutely magical! I think I would have to say Devon as well, to have under the mistletoe – you know that you’re safe with him and can be your true self!
I am so so excited to see what you have next in store for us and can only imagine it being just as incredible as all your others have been! Have a safe and wonderful Christmas with your family, Lucy! And a Happy New Year 🙂