About the Author
Annabell “Bell” Renshaw has always loved books and the power of a good story. She turned those passions toward writing at an early age, finding solace and adventure in made-up worlds when her mother would read to her as a kid. She’s grown up now, but still finds herself lost in those worlds. She believes in the power of a happy ending and the fact that--no matter what--love will always find a home.
1. What is one of your favorite Christmas traditions?
On Christmas Eve my family and I always end up sitting in our living room with the lights off and only the Christmas tree lit. It's a moment for us to sit, be calm, and enjoy the beauty of the tree. During that time we will often read the Christmas story from Luke as well. I love this because it symbolizes what I want my Christmas to be - not cluttered with busyness but peaceful and focused on the true Reason for the season.
2. When did you first decide you wanted to become an author?
Probably when I first picked up my Barbie and Ken dolls and thought...how does their love story begin? I would spend time figuring out their "back story" before I would being playing (because that's important to a 5 year old apparently hehe). The love grew as I started to enjoy reading more thanks to my mom and dad. I can't remember a time when I haven't loved creating stories.
3. In One Christmas in Winter, what character was the easiest to write? the hardest?
I think that Reba was easies to write for the fact that she's a Type A personality like me. She likes things "just so" and over prepares for everything...just like me! There's a lot of her that's not like me too, but that part was easy to create.
The hardest was probably Beau, oddly enough (even though he's a secondary character in this book). As I work on his story now (for book 2) I find that he's a very complex guy. He's likable, but there are parts of him that are tough to get past, and it's been a challenge getting to know him. And yet, as I do, I like him more and more.
4. What inspired the idea for One Christmas in Winter? What do you want readers to take away from reading One Christmas in Winter?
My family and I watch a lot of Hallmark movies during this season and I've always loved them. I remember last year I was daydreaming about the people who go to these towns to film the Hallmark movies. Then I thought, "what if they fell in love"? And One Christmas in Winter was born.
As for my readers, I want nothing more than for them to take away the feeling of Christmas! It's a tall order, but I love a happy ending and I love Christmas, so combing the two just made sense for me. I also hope that my readers will be able to share this story with their friends and family too. I believe in creating and cultivating community and if my book can help with that, then that's huge bonus for me!
5. What is something readers would find surprising or interesting about you?
I actually created the town of Winter with influences from my own home town growing up. Even a few of the characters are born from people I know (though drastically changed of course!). And it's my not-so-secret desire to fall in love just like Reba and Hoyt did ;-)
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