I recently reviewed Michele Gorman's Christmas novella, The Twelve Days To Christmas. You can read my review here and Michele has kindly agreed to answer a few of my festive questions.
Why did you decide to write a Christmas book?
The Twelve Days to Christmas came about because of a dare and a threat. Earlier in the year I got together with a couple of other writer friends for a wine-filled evening of fun. One of those friends, Talli Roland, suggested that I write a novella around Christmastime, like she’d done the year before (Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts). When I said I had a full writing schedule already, she dared me to (bullied me into) trying to write one anyway. She does this a lot, and readers can thank her for my prolific publishing schedule J
The other reason I wrote it was because so many readers said they wanted me to write a sequel to Misfortune Cookie. I was really happy with how I ended it - the main character, Hannah, is finally settled in her Hong Kong life and in her job. I figured readers would imagine the happy love life she’d have based on the ending I wrote (she was on her way). However, nearly every review the book got said I’d better write a sequel so readers would know what happened between her and Sam. So clearly I had to write one! I’m glad I did, because it was great fun to write in the shorter format. I’d definitely do it again.
What is your favourite thing about the festive season?
“Last year I didn’t have a real tree, so I improvised”
I love putting up the Christmas tree because I’ve been collecting ornaments since my early 20s, and many friends have given me ornaments over the years. I crack open a bottle of wine and spend hours happily remembering where/who each ornament came from. My boyfriend is a very patient man who pretends he hasn’t heard each story before.
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
My mother’s family came from Italy so baking has always been a big part of Christmas. We have many family recipes and I make dozens and dozens of cookies for friends (and for myself of course!). Our family favourites are butterballs (as the name implies, they are not a dietary cookie), cut-outs smothered in cheery icing sugar, chocolate pepper cookies, peanut butter cookies, and I always throw in a batch of chocolate chips, which come from my Dad’s side of the family.
What is your best Christmas memory?
When I was about five, my parents took me to The North Pole! Okay, it was in upstate New York but it was magical. And my favourite cousin Debbie got to go too, which made it that much more special. I remember my Dad having trouble going into the little elf houses, which of course were perfectly sized for me.
What is your favourite Christmas film and song?
My favourite film is How The Grinch Stole Christmas. My sister and I can recite it word-for-word, which everybody else in the room really enjoys J
My favourite song has to be The Twelve Days of Christmas. Our grade school music teacher, Miss Disco (yes, really) always led us in the Christmas pageant, pleading with us not to emphasise “wish” when singing. So of course to this day I sing “We WISHHH you a merry Christmas”. You’re welcome, Miss Disco.
Finally, what would you like to find under your tree this year?
Now that I’m a grown up, I love to get books for Christmas. Top on my list this year is Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. I hope Santa is reading this blog!
Incidentally, my favourite Christmas present ever was my first bicycle. As you can see, I was very keen to ride it!
Thanks so much for having me on the blog to share my Christmassy musings, Jenni!
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Michele!