Everyone loves Christmas don’t they? I certainly do. It’s a serious event in our house. We are not religious, but I love the Christmas story, as well as all the traditions ̶ sparkle, snow, carols, fairy-lights and gifts piled beside the decorated trees ̶ which have grown up around the celebration of Christmas. We enjoy it as the mid-winter pagan festival it once was in these islands.
The perpetuation of tradition happens on a smaller scale, within families. I am well aware that the things I insist upon ̶ the foil wrapped nugget of coal, alongside the nuts, chocolate money and Satsuma, in the toe of the stocking ̶ is not necessarily what anyone else does, it is simply a repetition of what happened in my family when I was a child. So there is a lot of sentiment wrapped-up in the attempt to recreate the Christmases of your own childhood ̶ a need to sink back into that remembered warmth, excitement and security.
My book, TORN, starts just before Christmas. Jessica has escaped London with her young son, and is making a fresh start in the country. Here she believes life will be simple, straightforward and peaceful. As she leaves a pub on her first evening out, she breaths in the chill air with a sense of relief and optimism.
I could have made the opening chapter of TORN a warm and cosy evocation of this time of year. But I write unconventional, unpredictable, unsentimental stories. So, what do you think happens?