Ruby Basu’s novel, The Twelve Wishes of Christmas, was published by HQ on 25 November 2021.
Ruby kindly answered a few of my questions.
1. Tell us a little about The Twelve Wishes of Christmas.
In The Twelve Wishes of Christmas Sharmila inherits the chance to experience a small-town American Christmas but she needs to complete items on a festive wish list to get her full inheritance. Zach must stop her if he wants to keep his family’s legacy. As they spend time together amongst the twinkling town lights and fallen snow, they learn to open up their hearts to the close-knit community and each other.
2. What inspired the book?
The Twelve Wishes of Christmas is my homage to Christmas movies, particularly those by Hallmark or Netflix. I was watching one of those films and started thinking about what the story could look like with a South Asian-British protagonist. I wanted to explore the fish out of water theme not only in terms of place but the festive activities.
3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you?
A bit of both. I start with an idea of the characters and then I tend to write the first scene seeing where the words take me. After that, if my characters are working the way I want, I work on a short synopsis highlighting the key milestones, or beats, I want to reach. From that synopsis I have a good idea of the scenes I will need but I often add or remove scenes during the process. As I come to write a scene I know the goal and conflict that I want to cover but I don’t have anything more than that planned before I write.
4. Is there anything about the process of publishing a book that surprised you?
Many things. I’m lucky that I have two contracts with different publishers so I got to experience different editorial processes from the start but I was surprised at how both my editors emphasised it was my book so they were offering notes and suggestions based on their expertise but if I didn’t feel it fit with my vision they were very open to discussing it – I never felt I was told to change something. Perhaps both my editors gave me some leeway because I’m a debut, but there was a lot of flexibility in the process which I also didn’t expect.
5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?
I love spending time with my family, watching movies, playing board games or just chatting. I also enjoy knitting and scrapbooking and of course reading,
6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?
Such a great, and difficult question to answer. My initial thought was Pride and Prejudice since that book has been on my shelf since I was thirteen. But that’s not the book I grab when I want a warm, comforting read, which I think I would need if I could only read one book for the rest of my life, so I’m going to say The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas.
7. I like to end my Q&As with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
I haven’t done many Q&As or interviews but at the moment there are no questions that I particularly wish I had been asked, more questions that I hope I never get asked! Sorry for such a weak answer.
About the Book
She’s here for the perfect Christmas escape…
When Sharmila discovers her late friend, Thomas, has gifted her the holiday of her dreams, she can’t pack her bags fast enough. Arriving in Pineford, it’s everything she’d ever hoped for and more.
But she’s in for another surprise, because Thomas has left her with one last request: if she completes his Christmas wish list of festive activities, her chosen charity will receive a big donation. Or so Sharmila thinks.
…He’s there to reclaim his family’s legacy
Little does she know, she’s set to inherit Thomas’s estate too, much to his nephew Zach’s disbelief. Determined not to see his family’s legacy left to a stranger, he’s come to Pineford to do whatever it takes to stop Sharmila from fulfilling that list.
When Sharmila and Zach meet, neither are prepared for sparks to fly. For Sharmila’s sworn off love, and Zach doesn’t trust her. But with every passing wish they find themselves growing closer. And amongst the twinkling town lights and fallen snow, Sharmila can feel her heart opening up to Zach. But when she learns he’s been keeping a secret from her, can Sharmila forgive him and get the happy-ever-after she’s always wished for this Christmas?