Welcome all to our Christmas edition of ‘Three things I learned while writing…’ and to our first author featured this month – Carla Caruso. Carla joins us today to tell us about three things she learned while writing ‘The Christmas Witch’.
1. It’s fun to flex my creative muscles with a quirky project, in between my more traditional ones.
Ordinarily, I write more ‘traditional’ women’s fiction fare—small-town romances and dual-timeline yarns. Before The Christmas Witch, I’d never penned a story featuring a witch heroine.
But when the idea for the tale, surrounding a descendant of Italy’s Christmas witch, La Befana, took hold, I knew I couldn’t ignore it.
I’m one of those people who has plenty of ideas but soon grows bored of them. So, I’ve learned that, to keep myself inspired, I have to keep challenging myself. In between my more traditional projects, it’s good for me to stretch my wings a little. Next year, amid the romances, I plan to tackle a few middle-grade/young-adult stories that have been swirling around in my head. Wish me luck!
2. I’m all about the characters.
Some people are driven by plot, but for me, it’s a cast of colourful, lovable characters that’ll keep me returning to the page.
The Christmas Witch has something for everyone—a love-cursed young witch (who can see auras and is attuned to plants), a green-haired wannabe-Wiccan colleague, an absent-minded nonna with Isabella Rossellini-like style, a handsome lone-wolf ‘suit’, a sprinkling of warlocks … and oodles more.
I reckon if you fall in love with your characters, and miss them once you’ve wrapped up the tale, chances are your readers will too!
3. A novel can encapsulate a time in your life.
When I was writing The Christmas Witch, I was slightly obsessed with restoring (and selling) roadside finds and vintage items. I’d also log onto Instagram for inspiration from other furniture up-cyclers—and take gardening pics on my phone while out jogging!
I was able to channel this phase of mine (and all the knowledge I gleaned) into the novel. The witchy heroine works at an antique shop, and in her downtime, rescues abandoned plants.
My background’s in journalism, so I can be a tad fickle. I’ll be fixated with something one minute, then onto something else the next—as, admittedly, has happened with my vintage furniture/plant obsession.
At present, I’m living through renovation hell at home, and now I’m all about minimalist, modern décor and the ‘magic’ of decluttering. I’m glad, though, that I can pour a bit of whatever I’m currently passionate about into a tale and preserve that moment in time. Not only do you grow as a writer, after all, but as a person. Art should imitate life.
About The Christmas Witch
Misfiring spells. A gorgeous new boss. Looks like this Christmas will be magic…
The festive season isn’t Mina Rosso’s favourite time of year. It reminds her that as a descendant of La Befana—Italy’s Christmas witch—she’s cursed to forever be unlucky in love… Her plan this Christmastime is to lie low, keeping her secret identity under wraps as usual, and do what comes naturally: spread goodwill.
Unfortunately, the arrival of her boss’s son, Jadon Eder, puts a spanner in the works. Fresh from working in Milan, Jadon’s full of big-city arrogance and plans to overhaul the antique shop Mina loves. Pity he’s also sinfully attractive. Despite her best intentions—and even though he’s human, a no-no in the witchy world—Mina finds herself falling for him.
Then she finds out some bad news. Some of the spells she’s sold online have backfired … horribly. While she’s critical of the dark witches in her neighbourhood, is she really the good witch she thinks she is?
A fresh, funny story of love and the chaos and joy Christmas can bring from the ever-popular Carla Caruso.
About Carla Caruso
Carla Caruso was born in Adelaide, Australia, and only ‘escaped’ for three years to work as a magazine journalist and fashion stylist in Sydney.
Previously, she was a gossip columnist and fashion editor at Adelaide’s daily newspaper, The Advertiser. She has since freelanced for titles including Woman’s Day, That’s Life and Marie Claire.
These days, she writes fiction in between playing mum to twin sons Alessio and Sebastian, making fashion jewellery, and jogging. Oh, plus checking out her online horoscopes and devouring trashy TV shows.
You can find Carla at: