I love Christmas. More than love it. I have over 40 pairs of festive socks, a shelf full of Crimbo mugs and an obsession with nutcrackers. When December comes, I'm Mrs Christmas. Alright, alright. When November comes. At the latest.
Every year, the town where I live hosts a reindeer parade, which is full of festive characters and performers, and I wanted to capture the enchantment as families gather to watch it. The Christmas parade was the starting point of a new book idea. Something very festive. Something... magic. I'm a big fan of fiction with a quirky, magical element - Big, 13 Going On 30, Liar Liar - and Christmas is the perfect time to add a sprinkling of magic.
So I knew I wanted to write a festive story that involved a Christmas parade and a bit of magic. Maybe a bit of time-travel? But not the time-hopping kind like in The Twelve Christmases of You & Me. Maybe a do-over of the festive period, but how would that come about?
It was when I was watching a Christmas documentary (huge fan of those) about a festive parade in London that I saw a bus with a Santa Claus on it as part of the parade. What if someone was run over by that bus, and it was actually being driven by the Santa Claus? It would be horrific, obviously, but also a bit... funny? Not ha ha funny, but come on, imagine getting run over by Santa.
The seeds of Zoey's story was planted. A Christmas parade. An accident. And the chance to re-do December.