December 18th – Marcie Steele’s Christmas Advent featuring Deborah Carr

Today’s guest on Marcie’s Christmas Advent is Deborah Carr. Hi Deborah. Please tell me about your latest book.

Mrs Boots is Book 1 in the Mrs Boots series. This first book is the story of how Florence Rowe, an independent 23-year-old woman working in her father’s stationers in Jersey was determined never to marry, until she met Jesse Boot, the man behind the Boots empire, and fell in love with him.

What was the idea behind it?

My publisher, Charlotte Ledger came up with the idea and when she discovered that Florence was born in Jersey, like me, asked me what I knew about her. Florence is a woman who has fascinated me for many years and being asked to write a series of books inspired by her life was exciting and a little terrifying. Florence was an incredible woman with foresight, empathy and determination to help other women to see their true value rather than be limited by traditional expectations put upon them by society. She was very much ahead of her time and as the wife of Sir Jesse Boot had the opportunity and means to make positive changes for her female staff. I’m working on Book 2 now, The Lady of Pelham Street, which begins with Florence as a young mother living in Nottingham and working side-by-side with her workaholic husband to build the Boots empire.

What would be your main character’s idea of a perfect Christmas? 

Both Florence and Jesse Boot were philanthropists who were constantly looking for ways to help others, so I think that for them to see a positive difference being made to someone’s life due to something they had instigated would probably be the best gift for them to receive.

What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

My husband does all the cooking in our house, apart from on Christmas Day when I cook Christmas lunch for around 14-16 people. My children – both in their twenties – come home for Christmas and two of my four siblings, their children, and my father also join us. It’s usually a noisy, fun affair.

What is your favourite Christmas film?

It has to be Joyeux Noël, a war film based on the Christmas truce of December 1914, depicted through the eyes of French, Scottish, and German soldiers. I love books set during this era and also watching this film, especially on Christmas Eve.

What is the one book that you would like to see wrapped up under the Christmas tree for yourself this year?

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. I haven’t read any of the authors’ books, but this book’s blurb intrigues me and it’s one that I’m going to have to read.

HyperFocal: 0

What is your favourite Christmas song?

Let It Snow by Dean Martin. My husband loves all the old crooners and is known to play their songs on occasion. This is one of the Christmas ones that go round and round in my head, and I end up singing parts of it, rather badly.

What’s your best Christmas tipple and snack?

Champagne is my favourite tipple especially at Christmas. I also love nibbling on cashew nuts and the odd (ahem!) Rose’s chocolate.

What is your first draft process?

The first thing I do is decide my characters names, oddly this can take me a couple of days, especially when it comes to the main characters. I then carry out extensive research and make notes about what I want to include, and how. Then I write a rough synopsis. This often changes as I go along and get to know my characters better, but when I’m finding progress a little tricky seeing what I had intended to write can help spur me on. Then I sit down and write. I like to write between 1-2,000 words each day when working on a first draft. It can be more, but rarely less.

What’s your poison – high heels or flats?

High heels when I go out; flats the rest of the time.

Buy Mrs Boots


Deborah writes historical romance for HarperCollins’ romance imprint, One More Chapter. After reading her debut historical romance, Broken Faces, Deborah was commissioned to write The Poppy Field to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War. The translation rights of The Poppy Field have been sold to HarperCollins Holland and the book will be published in January 2020 under the title, Een Veld Vol Klaprozen. The first two books in her Mrs Boots series will be published in February and October 2020. She is represented by Kate Nash of the Kate Nash Literary Agency. Deborah is one of the co-founders of, the first global virtual literary festival venue created to connect readers with authors. The site recently won awards for Start Up of the Year and Creative Project of the Year and was a Finalist in The Bookseller FutureBook BookTech Start Up of the Year Awards 2019.

You can find Deborah on Twitter at @DebsCarr, Facebook at @DeborahCarrAuthor and visit her website here.

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