We love Christmas here at Sinfully, so how exciting to have one of our favourite authors pop in for tea, mince pies and a girly chat, complete with Christmas themed PJ's! Problem is… I don’t think Heidi will ever be the same again!
Heidi pops in for Tea and Mince Pies
Monique: Macky! ...silence ...MACKY!!! ...where are you? Heidi just rang, she’ll be here in five minutes!
Macky: Comes out of kitchen covered in flour. I’ve been finishing off the mince pies.
Monique: Stands looking at Macky in a state of shock. ...Did you miss the part where I said Heidi would be here in five minutes...and why are you dressed as a Christmas pudding?!?
Macky: You said we were going to have a Christmas girly night with Heidi. So I thought you'd be wearing your green and red fleecy Elf Jammie's with the matching pointy ear muffs...you know you like wearing your pointy ear muffs! I actually emailed Heidi and she's bringing her Rudolph onesie...said it has a REALLY shiny nose to go with it ...and a headband with antlers! I was like "Ooooh Heidi, shame you're not bringing your Rudy, we LOVE him...I bet Monique would love to see HIS big, red, shiny..."
Monique: Begins to hyperventilate. MACKY!!! ...tell me you didn't?… Macky grins...OMG! You did!!
Macky: Whistling innocently!
Monique: Gives Macky the evil eye… So Mrs, does that mean I need to go get my pointy ears on? ...Remind me again why we’re friends? dashes off to get pointy ears muttering
Macky: Don’t know what you’re muttering about… I’m the one covered in flour and dressed as a pudding!
Monique: Returns in pointy ears ...I feel ridiculous!
Macky: Haha… Too late she's here. Oh I'm so excited! Heidi's in da house!
*Door bell rings*
Monique: Come in, come in… gives Heidi a big hug. Welcome to the madhouse, it's so lovely to finally meet you. How are you?
Heidi: Awesome! Thanks for having me over.
Macky: Well I'd love give you a big hug too Heidi, but...gestures to costume... I'm not sure I can reach around my pudding! Just wondering did you bring your onesie?
Heidi: Of course.
Monique: Come and sit down Heidi, we’ve put some questions together for you, have you got the list Macky?
Macky: But of course, how could I forget 'The List'... hisses at Monique...List? What list...you never said anything about a list??? Starts scribbling madly....
Monique: Smiles sweetly at Heidi ...While you’re thinking about it Macky, I have a question for Heidi… Minnesota Christmas… what a fabulous series! ...Arthur and Gabe, OMG, you just captured the whole spirit of Christmas in Sleigh Ride with those two adorable men, and the supporting cast. We loved it didn’t we Macky? Why did you choose Minnesota as the backdrop for the series?
Macky: Nods… We certainly did. It's definitely one of my favorite seasonal stories this year. Yeah, I'm interested to know why Minnesota as well. Does it hold any particular significance for you Heidi?
Heidi: I never went to Minnesota much until we moved to central Iowa. When we lived on the east side of the state, if we wanted city we went to Chicago, but now it’s six hours away and Minneapolis is three. I’ve come to love it even more, to be honest. I love Iowa too, and I can’t explain why I don’t write about it more.
For this particular story, I chose Minnesota because boy howdy do they get snow, and the first book in the series was a snowed-in tale.
Macky: Aww… happy memories, we loved Frankie and Marcus in Let it Snow!
Monique: Yes… and we also loved how you incorporated the children’s book Williams Doll into Arthur and Gabe’s story, is it a book that you’ve read to your own children and was it a conscious decision to include it in Sleigh Ride?
Heidi: I actually knew nothing about the book until I wrote Sleigh Ride. Thomas was a later edition, and when he walked onscreen, he started telling me about Soupy. I thought, that’s not going down well in town, and things progressed from there. When Gabriel went to do story time for Thomas, I hunted down books which might be appropriate, and there it was, the perfect book. I ordered it so I could get the full effect, and now I’m giving it away as part of a blog tour grand prize pack.
Macky: Bless, somebody's going to be very lucky then. It's such a lovely message; delivered in a very special way. The library scene was one of my favourite's...I cried!
Monique: Me too! We first met Arthur in Let it Snow, and as grumpy as he is I did love him… I mean what’s not to love about growly kinky bear!… Did you have his love interest planned out from book #1? I have to say a geeky librarian is the polar opposite of who I thought would end up being the love of Arthur's life.
Heidi: I think by the end of the first book I had ideas. They mention the librarian briefly in Let It Snow, possibly not even by gender, but as soon as they said “librarian” I saw Gabriel and knew he was gay. Everything else just sort of happened. Honestly, I didn’t intend to write the whole series as a bear/twink thing, but that’s what it’s going to be.
Macky: Talking of the bear/twink thing, I think there's one thing we both agree on ...looking at Monique ...Those sex scenes were bloody hot!..You do that so well. .Combining kinky sex with such a sweet, romantic Christmas story was genius. I'm not even going to ask if you enjoy writing those scenes, I think the end result answers that question... fans self...but I'd love to know if your boys whisper sweet nothings in your ear whilst you write, ‘cause if you’re ever busy they can call on me anytime!
Heidi: Actually, they can be a bit of a pain. I struggled initially with the ones for Sleigh Ride. The first scene on the couch was pretty easy, but they had a tendency to go a bit too far, which I know you think sounds good, but it’s a hairsbreath between things being great and things not going so well. The sex scenes have to have an arc too, building toward something, and then that something has to fit the overall theme too. Part of my problem was I really wanted this book to be 60,000 words or less, and it wanted to be 70. Which by the way is short, for me.
Macky: Yes, I can see where you're coming from Heidi. I just wanted a plug in Christmas Tree complete with trimmings but as you can see ...gestures to surroundings… Mrs Christmas here just had to go the whole hog and now we're drowning in tinsel and balls...rolls eyes
Monique: Say’s the woman dressed as a Christmas pudding! I happen to love Christmas! ...looks at Heidi… What’s a traditional Christmas for the Cullinan family?
Heidi: We usually put up our tree sometime between Thanksgiving and the first of December, and then I start making Christmas cookies, timing them to be done before my daughter’s last day of school so she can give them to teachers. She gives them to every teacher she’s ever had, so this is a lot of cookies and driving around. The weekend before Christmas we have an event with Anna’s godparents and their partners, which is the flashiest, most fun Christmas. We get our families worked in as we can, and on Christmas Eve we eat pot pies and watch Emmet Otter. Then we open on Christmas morning, and if possible sit around all day watching movies we got as gifts.
Macky: Sounds like fun but I know what I'd like to see waiting for me on Christmas morning ...Monique kicks Macky ...Oww, I was only going to say, a shiny new kindle with lots of hot guy action on it, Lol...what about you Heidi? If you could wake up to one present under the tree this year what would it be… whispers in Heidi’s ear… careful what you say, Monique’s kicks are lethal! ...rubs shin.
Heidi: A time-turner. I can’t get everything done that I need lately.
Monique: Oh… I could do with one of those! Well, I think it’s time we sampled some of those mince pies Macky… offer’s plate to Heidi, ...I know they are a traditionally British Christmas treat, but have you ever tried mince pies before?
Heidi: I have not! They sound good, and I’d be game to try, but they will sadly need to be gluten free or I have to pass.
Monique: Monique looks pleadingly at Macky… Macky?
Macky: Keep your knickers on missy!… email! You know, conversation with Heidi… of course they are! So Heidi… we’ll be leaving Santa a mince pie and a glass of sherry on Christmas Eve, oh and carrots for the reindeers. What do you leave for Santa?
Heidi: Well, my kid, who is 13, still believes. I think she knows but doesn’t want to, so she’s doing this complicated dance with herself. We’ve been trying to steer her toward “spirit of Christmas,” but IDK. She leaves cookies, milk, and carrots for the reindeer. But we have to cover the milk with a plate or the cats will drink it and spill it. This year’s cats might find a way to get into it anyway.
Macky: Oh yes...cats and milk are a dangerous combination. The poor reindeer wouldn't stand a chance...
Monique: Macky, you do know that Santa’s not real...don't you?...Shakes head and turns to Heidi… Anyway… back to reality, we know that Turkey is something you have at Thanksgiving but for us,Turkey will always be synonymous with Christmas dinner as its yet another British tradition, so what goodies will you be serving this year ?
Heidi: I’m actually in the process of putting my Thanksgiving meal together right now. We don’t do a big deal for Christmas. We do the pot pies on Christmas Eve, because that’s what my daughter wants, but we vary on the day, as it depends if we’re traveling. Chili is popular. When I was young it was a choice of chili or oyster stew, and I always ate the chili.
Macky: I don't know about anyone else but Christmas isn't Christmas for me if I don't get to see the Alistair Simm version of "A Christmas Carol". I watch it every year with my mum because we both love it. Which film has Christmas memories for you two?
Heidi: Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas. This is my husband’s family movie, and we laugh all the way through it, and sing the songs all year long, especially when we pull out barbeque sauce.
Monique: White Christmas is my favourite Christmas movie, I watch it without fail every year and cry buckets every time! Oh… Monique jumps up and down… I have lots of Christmas favourites, especially baubles for the tree… do you have a favourite Heidi?
Heidi: Actually, we have all kinds of ornaments we’ve given each other and ones we buy when traveling. This year we have several from Washington DC because we couldn’t choose just one.
Monique: Talking of ornaments we have a small keepsake for you from your visit here to Sinfully… Macky, have you got Heidi’s gift?
Macky: Ermm… yes, hands over wrapped gift to Heidi looking guilty… but I don’t think you’re going to be very happy with me.
Monique: Turns slowly to stare at Macky in horror… what have you done now?
Monique: Blushing… whispers through gritted teeth… I send you out for a classy Christmas bauble and you come back with strap on cocks!
Macky: Well I was thinking Heidi might like a little cock inspiration for her next book.
Heidi: It’s funny you should say that, as Winter Wonderland, Minnesota Christmas book 3, opens with a snow penis sculpture on Paul’s front steps.
Monique: Haha, that’ll make Macky happy! ! Annnd… I can’t wait for Paul’s story! ….sighs… He deserves a happy ending too.
Macky: Looks at Monique… Mmm… Winter Wonderland and penis…Haha…that’s given me a great idea for this years Christmas cake… evil grin… wonder if Handy Andy will model for me? Macky runs of to the kitchen waving… Bye Heidi, lovely to see you again.
Monique: Smiles sweetly at Heidi… Well on that note… Thank you so much Heidi for taking the time during your Thanksgiving Holiday to pop in for a chat, sounds like you are in for a fun weekend… give our love to the family and we look forward to seeing you again in the New Year.
Series Reading Order
Meet Heidi Cullinan
Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren't enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn't writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and ten-year-old daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first midwestern state with full marriage equality.
Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at www.heidicullinan.com.