Each day on the blog we will be posting a special festive offering, as we interrogate our authors about Christmas. Today's answers are from Ian Flitcroft, author of the recently released The Reluctant Cannibals.
What do you love most about Christmas?
Christmas is the only proper ‘Feast’, with a capital F, that we have during the year. So I love Christmas dinner most of all. I even enjoy cooking it as it means that I am off duty after dinner. Two years ago I made up a recipe for Partridges roasted with Pears in a port and chocolate sauce, inspired of course by the Twelve Days of Christmas. I’m already thinking of what else I can come up with this year. Colly birds (aka blackbirds), French hens and turtle doves watch out.
What makes you a Christmas Scrooge?
Plastic! For me plastic seems to symbolise how commercial Christmas has become. The Christmas fairs in places like Copenhagen are rooted in a more natural and historic tradition than we manage in the UK or Ireland. So I can be easily tipped into a Scrooge-like humbug-mode by the cheesy-fake side of Christmas.
How do you fit your writing around Christmas, or do you make sure you have a break?
As I don’t follow a 1,000 words a day or die type approach to writing, Christmas is just like any other busy time and I doubt I’ll be getting much writing done on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Between then and new year’s I expect to disappear into any quiet corner I can find to read or write. I have two projects on the go at present so I’ll be looking forward to that.
What is your favourite Christmas film or book?
I grew up on The Guns of Navarone and It’s a Wonderful Life so they are the iconic Christmas films for me. I don’t think I have a particular Christmas book but the story behind It’s a Wonderful Life is a great publishing story. The author Philip Van Doren couldn’t find a publisher for his novella that was originally entitled "The Greatest Gift". So he sent a few hundred copies out to friends and family at Christmas in 1943. Within six months the movie rights had been sold for $10,000. If only Steven Spielberg was on my Christmas card list.
What are you hoping for under your Christmas tree this year?
Anything that doesn’t look remotely like a Christmas themed “onesie”. Being a wildly hypocritical parent, I do of course reserve the right to buy onesies for my teenage children (and the 20 year old one too).