A BARRHEAD author is aiming to warm hearts on cold winter nights with her hilarious festive rom-com.

Driving Home for Christmas is the seventh book by Joanna Bolouri, who has also penned other titles such as The List, I Followed the Rules and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

It follows the story of Kate and Ed, who are in their late 20s and have made the journey home every Christmas of their decade-long relationship.

Normally they are both feeling festive, listening to seasonal tunes and wearing their Christmas jumpers as they travel north from London, but this year the car is filled with a frosty silence.

The pair have a massive argument and decide to break up halfway through the journey but agree to continue with Christmas for the sake of their families.

Joanna, 44, told the Barrhead News: “It’s a rom-com about how two people try to hold their relationship together for the sake of their family while they are going through what they are going through.

“First and foremost, it’s funny. It’s a really light-hearted read because no-one wants to be getting a book at Christmas that they are bawling their eyes out over.

“It’s very uplifting. It’s all about Christmas spirit and if two people can find their way back to each other.

“The reviews have been really good, so hopefully they continue.”

Joanna, who has a 16-year-old daughter, worked in sales before she began writing professionally at the age of 30.

Winning a BBC comedy script competition allowed her to work and write with a number of stand-up comedians, comedy scriptwriters and actors from across the UK.

She has also written articles and reviews for various publications.

Since her first book was published eight years ago, however, she has not looked back and is delighted to have been able to make a living doing what she loves – bringing relatable characters and tales to life on the page.

“I tend to write things that are as true to life as possible so that people can maybe recognise traits and characters in people they know,” she explains.

“My books are not filled with Kardashian-type characters that are so out of reach you can’t imagine. I tend to write people who could live in Barrhead – very relatable characters who are, for me, easier to write and much more fun to write.”

Joanna drew inspiration from her own experiences of Christmas, as well as those of other people, as she penned her latest book.

She said: “I don’t think anyone ever really has a straightforward Christmas, do they? There is always something.

“Hopefully, the book will resonate, with the joy of having your whole family over at Christmas and the stress it brings.”

Joanna is now working on her next book, which she hopes will be published in March or April next year.

Driving Home for Christmas is available to buy in e-book and paperback format from a number of leading retailers.