Wednesday, December 14, 2011




Thank you again for donating a book for our 1st annual "Good Tidings & Trimmings" e-book Giveaway! What book or books did you donate, tell us more about them.

My pleasure. I’ve donated two books…. The first is ‘Who’s Afraid of Mr Wolfe?’ Published by Quercus in April this year, it’s my first novel. I wanted to write a chick-lit that had all the traditional elements – woman who’s lost her way, sexy Alpha male, gay best friend, dash to the airport – but give it all a bit of a shake-up. In real life I tend to see the funny and ridiculous side of things, so there’s lots of humour.

The other book is a collection of short stories ‘The Booklovers’ Appreciation Society’. It was an anthology put together to raise funds for Breast Cancer Care and it features lots of authors – Sophie Kinsella, Maeve Binchy, Philippa Gregory, etc… and me. Short stories are another of my writing passions and the story I have in this book won me the 2008 Woman & Home short story contest sponsored by Costa.

What is your favorite thing about the holiday season and what does Christmas mean to you?

My husband travels a lot with work during the year, but he always has about two weeks off over Christmas and it’s lovely for us as a family to kick-back and catch up with each other. That for me is Christmas, really, getting back in touch with all those people and things that are important, and making sure you think of others less fortunate – anything else is just icing on the Christmas cake.

What is your favorite holiday memory?

I think I must have been about four or five – I remember reaching out to touch the stocking at the end of the bed and feeling the parcels inside it and hearing the paper on them crinkling and feeling such elation and excitement. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to recapture that feeling just for a few seconds when you’re an adult… a mix of wonder and magic?

Do you still have any of the toys you got when you were a kid?

A fairy dress, wand and crown my Mum and Dad made me. I remember wearing it and feeling soooooo beautiful. The wand and crown didn’t survive, but the dress is in a box in the loft, a little tarnished and faded but still magical.

How do you celebrate the holidays?

I suppose in a traditional way – try to go to some kind of carol service on Christmas Eve then have friends round afterwards for drinks; put out mince pies, carrot and sherry for Father Christmas; stockings for the girls and then up early on Christmas morning for present opening before turkey or Beef Wellington for Christmas Lunch. We do the whole charades, board games thing too … and the rubbish TV programmes.

Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

I’m going to say ‘yes’… don’t know who might be reading this and I don’t want to end up on his ‘naughty’ list.

A lot of people get that warm, fuzzy feeling around this time of year, are you one of those people?

Not always… sometimes it can feel a really stressful time… I remember battling my way round the supermarket with the other grim faced shoppers and then looking down at my supermarket trolley and seeing I’d put in about four different flavoured butters and creams for the Christmas pudding and thinking perhaps things had gone a bit too far.

Now I try and keep to the ‘good enough is good enough’ rule and I don’t start too early so that I’m fed up with Christmas before it even gets here. Warm, fuzzy feeling for me starts on Christmas Eve when, glass of sherry poured, I peel the sprouts in the kitchen with the candles lit and the carols on the radio. Yup, weird really, I don’t even like sprouts much.

Have you ever gone caroling or wanted to?

Yes, I used to go when I was at school and this year the drama group I belong to is staging ‘Christmas Carol’ so I get to sing my heart out on stage with a snow machine. How cool is that?

If you had a choice of the perfect weather for Christmas would it be cold and snowy, or warm and sunny?

Has to be ‘deep and crisp and even’…. the last two Christmases have been cold here and last year there was a bit of snow lying around. I suppose going somewhere hot for Christmas would be ok, but I dislike it when it’s a warmish day in the UK… I feel cheated somehow.

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