Three things I learned while writing… Unwrapped

In Creative Writing, Guest Articles by RWA Blog Coordinator1 Comment

Welcome to our second Christmas edition blog of ‘Three things I learned while writing…’ and to our second author featured this month – Andra Ashe. Andra joins us today to tell us about three things she learned while writing ‘Unwrapped’.

Unwrapped by Andra Ashe

1. The first thing I learned writing this story was that I can ‘pants’!   Who knew?

Previously I’d considered myself a plotter – kinda. I knew my characters, the start, a couple of middle scenes, the black moment and the end. Then I’d join the dots. In my usual procrastinator style, I started this story late and therefore left myself not much time to write.

At the time of starting I was in Fiji where my other half worked all day and I had nothing to do all day except write. I sat out on the balcony with a small table and my laptop and started writing with no plan or plot in mind. I had to write because there was a deadline looming, and there wasn’t anything else to do where we were staying, and it worked!

The story started, and thoughts and ideas kept coming. Not quickly. I’ll never be fast writer. Ever.  But I couldn’t believe a story was forming without any prior planning, and I really liked what I was coming up with.

I never thought I was, or would ever be, a pantser – but now I am 😊

2. The second thing I learned was that I enjoy writing children.

I’d never had a child in any of my stories. I write steamy to erotic, so kids generally don’t feature, but this was a Christmas story about a heroine who hated the family aspect of Christmas, so of course the hero had a child.

I’ve got kids, and I guess that must help in writing about them, but I found Jenna was a real cutie and her personality just rolled off my fingertips, as did writing Ry as a single dad and a widower.

I haven’t written a child since then, nor do I have any planned, but I really enjoyed creating Jenna – well she really just created herself on the page, and that was an exciting new experience.

3. The third thing I learned from writing ‘Unwrapped’ is that I will write really well, and will be very productive, if I’m taken to a tropical island!

Even in the second week in Fiji, when we moved to a swish resort, there really was only swimming and eating to distract me and there’s only so much swimming and eating you can do. But writing by the ‘child-free’ pool, under the palm trees and vivid blue sky, with a drinks’ waiter on call, was very conducive to writing about a cold, snowy Christmas. It was the perfect writing environment – and I didn’t have to do any cooking. Win win!

Now I’m back to writing on my lap, on my couch and if I want a drink, I have to get it myself. But I have a newfound confidence in my newly acquired pantsing skills,  lovely memories of a beautiful time on a beautiful island and I live in hope of another trip somewhere to write another story.

About Unwrapped

HOLLY MAYNE has no time for Christmas and the whole happy families vibe. It’s bad enough she has a Christmas name, but now she’s stranded in her car, in a Santa’s elf costume, in a snowstorm. And she’s probably going to die.

Enter widower RYLAND MAXWELL with his warm 4WD, crazy good looks and ready-made family.

With no option but to share Christmas with the Maxwells, Holly is enveloped in the warmth of family life, and in Ry’s arms. It’s only until her car is fixed, which is just as well, because she knows that good things inevitably turn to bad.

Ry keeps his love life away from home, away from the chance of breaking his daughter’s heart. And, if he’s honest, his own.
But Molly is just as appealing in jeans and a sweater as she in her little elf outfit so how can Ry not kiss her under the mistletoe? Or on a snowy hill, or in the kitchen?

Those kisses become so much more, leaving Ry wondering if he should put aside his fears and just have some winter fun?
It’s only for Christmas. Isn’t it?

(Previously published as ‘Mistletoe Kiss’)

Unwrapped is currently available for free on Amazon:

About Andra Ashe

Author Andra Ashe

A sensualist and a romantic, Andra writes about heroes and heroines who veer from the mainstream to indulge their desires and find love. As a self-confessed genre-hopper, her erotic romances span historical, contemporary and paranormal.

When not arm-wresting her Muse over plot lines, or who gets to wear the stilettos, Andra can be found wielding a paint brush at her latest renovation site. She sees renovating as a lot like writing; you start with something that’s rough around the edges and pummel it into submission.

Andra lives in Melbourne (Australia) with her wonderful man and her never-ending TBR pile and hopes her adult children aren’t too traumatised by having a mother who writes smutty stories.

You can find Andra at:



Instagram is andraashesmutmaven


  1. I love your three things learnt. It’s amazing what can be achieved when you dont have to get your own drinks.
    (Or should I say, it’s amazing what can be done when you DO have to get your own 😄)

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