Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for I’M DREAMING OF A WYATT CHRISTMAS! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Tiffany Schmidt to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it!
I'm Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas by Tiffany Schmidt
Published on October 26, 2021 by Amulet Books
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram
Noelle Partridge is known for three things: being the best ballet dancer, babysitter, and person with the most Christmas spirit in her small town. But lately she’s bored by the lessons at her dance school, and her friends and father are more bah humbug than Hallmark movie marathon. So when her favorite babysitting clients ask her to accompany them on a ski trip over winter break, she packs her bags for the slopes. It helps that they’re offering double her rate—she’ll need the money for Beacon, an elite ballet academy that’s granted her an audition.
Noelle is ready to “Deck the Halls” and have fa la la la fun, until Wyatt, the older half-brother of her babysitting charges, decides to surprise his family for the holiday. He’s one of the best dancers at Beacon, and makes Noelle’s head spin faster than pirouettes. Unfortunately, she also manages to step on his toes—spoiling his surprise and complicating his secret plans. After a few missteps, Noelle and Wyatt begin to thaw toward each other and bond over the big decisions looming in each of their lives. With enough Christmas magic, Noelle might just start the New Year with lots of babysitting cash in her pocket and a chance with the pas de deux partner of her dreams.
What would you do if you spent the day with Noelle and Wyatt? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
If I were to spend the day with Noelle and Wyatt, it would have to be in December. Noelle’s ideal day would start with hot cocoa (extra marshmallows) and end with Christmas cookies. In between there’d be Christmas carols, a Hallmark movie or two by a big roaring fire, more cocoa—and if the timing were lucky, a tree lighting. There would not be a snowball fight or skiing; Noelle is strictly an “indoor sports girl” who prefers to watch the snow from inside a warm, cozy building (coincidentally, I feel the same way about the cold!).
If Noelle and Wyatt were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
Noelle would get along great with the teens in The Babysitters’ Club series. She is already the go-to babysitter in her town. If her life wasn’t so busy with ballet classes, she would absolutely be trying to rope her friends, Mae, Coco, and Autumn, into starting one of their own.
Wyatt would fit in well with Huck Cavendish from Get a Clue (from my own Bookish Boyfriends series). Wyatt is about to embark on a new adventure—life as a new kid and where he’s not defined by ballet. Huck’s got experience being a new kid, a strong sense of self, plus, he’s funny. Huck would be a great friend to have while Wyatt’s navigating his new journey.
If there was one fictional place you could travel to for a day, where would it be and why?
I’d have to travel back in time to when I was a teenager too, but if so, I would absolutely be enrolling in The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. I have long adored Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series, about a school for young spies in training. Who wouldn’t want to attend an academy where you learn disguise and codebreaking with a side dish of crushes and a whole lot of strong friendships? Sign teen me up, please!
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
- My middle school journal so that future me (or future whoever was opening it) could have a good laugh. My middle school life was epically boring—but you would never guess that based on the levels of drama I managed to record.
- Photos of my family.
- A giant bag of Skittles—that way, even if they get discontinued, I’ll always know someplace I can dig up a backup.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
I went on a deep dive into the history of The Nutcracker ballet, when it was composed, its reception, when it became popular, different interpretations and productions—Clara vs. Marie—and none of that made it into the book. I also watched every single episode (plus the movie) of Dance Academy. Was that technically research and did I use it? Questionable. But it was addictive to watch.
My favorite piece of research that did make it in was delicious. There’s a gingerbread house decorating contest in the book– and I made my family hold one with me. But since I was writing this book in the spring, our gingerbread house contest took place on Easter weekend. On the plus side, the decorating kits were super cheap. But on the minus—they were smashed to pieces. This unintentionally helped inspire one of my favorite life hacks (which I totally included in the book) –hot glue to hold together gingerbread houses.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas?
I really love this scene where Noelle is performing as Sugar Plum Fairy in her small ballet studio’s version of The Nutcracker.
This is what I live for; it’s when I come alive. Practice is for determining the precise angles of wrists and timing of steps, finding my spot for turns, and blocking out leaps. Performance is for taking those thousands of tiny decisions and calculations that I’ve rehearsed to the point of muscle memory and making them sing. If I need any motivation to lift my leg higher, exert on my turnout, or land lighter in my jumps, all I have to do is remember that Wyatt Kahale was almost in this audience and imagine that he’s actually here. I picture his full lips pressed tight in concentration as he studies the girl who’s stolen the show at his younger siblings’ ballet. Maybe he’d shift in his gray metal chair and do some imagining of his own—of himself partnered with me.
The idea makes me sort of breathless, which isn’t ideal as I head into the hardest combination of my dance: the thirty-two counts of continuous turns that end the song. It’s a dizzying sequence of pirouettes, fouetté, chaîné, and piqué turns that form the manège—which just means it makes a big circle around the stage.
I force all thoughts of Wyatt Kahale from my mind as I sight my spot—the first of the five focal points I’ll use to keep my bearings as I spin and circle. I close my rib cage, lift my chin, and rise to relevé, going en pointe to begin my turns.
I’m stepping out, and out, and out, my head twirling, my core aching, stepping out—and then I’m done. I end in fourth position, trying to catch my breath without looking like I’m gasping. The applause creeps up on me slowly. It’s not that the audience is slow to clap, I’m just slow to hear it. But when I do, it feeds a hunger deep in my aching muscles. The sound is a rush of adrenaline, of satisfaction, a craving for more, even while I’m still in the midst of it.
But my very favorite scene is Wyatt and Noelle’s first kiss. It is my favorite kissing scene I’ve ever written—and for a person who takes kissing scenes quite seriously, that’s saying something. I won’t spoil it, though. You’ll have read the book to feel the swoon ☺
What do you think about I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!