Thursday, 19 December 2013

From the Legend Press Advent Calender

Legendary Advent Calendar - 19th December

Ruth Dugdall 2 LegendsxamEach day on the blog we will be posting a special festive offering, as we interrogate our authors about Christmas. Today's answers are from Ruth Dugdall, author of The Woman Before Me and The Sacrificial Man.
What do you love most about Christmas?
I love Christmas smells: mulled wine, fir trees, brandy butter. Also the cosiness; it’s the time of year to get the fire crackling in the hearth and sit cosily watching DVDs. Naturally, a bonus with this time of year is the food. I’m a sucker for mince pies (so long as they’re warm) and anything with marzipan.
What makes you a Christmas Scrooge?
But one thing that makes me a right Christmas Scrooge is `lists`. And people who ask for gift vouchers / money. The whole point of the perfect gift is to find something unique, something that is specific to that individual and shows how well you know and care about them. This is not an item that anyone could put on a list, as hopefully they haven’t even thought of it.
It should not be useful or functional, but pretty or unique. Last year I got my husband the marble arm from a statue. The previous year I got him a resin skull used to train surgeons. Now, I ask you, who would prefer socks?
Not all the family understands this philosophy. One year I got a steam cooker (from a person who will remain anonymous) because said item was reduced at Currys.
How do you fit your writing around Christmas, or do you make sure you have a break?
Christmas is a great time to write because there is so much inspiration, so many family tensions, so many opportunities for alcohol-fuelled scenes of indiscretion.
I jest. But only to a point; any season with such emotion attached to it is ripe for an author. This is not just about happiness and excess, but also any sad event is magnified. If a writer is sensitive to this, there are stories everywhere. In fact, something happened just this morning at my son’s Christmas concert, which will go straight into my next novel! (Must remember to change the names).
What is your favourite Christmas film or book?
My favourite Christmas film is `It’s A Wonderful Life`. My goodness, I could cry just thinking about it…
”Why must you torment the children so?”
The house with broken windows…
If you don’t know what I’m talking about then go order a copy. You won’t regret it.
What are you hoping for under your Christmas tree this year?
And this Christmas, what would I want in Santa’s sack? A publishing deal for My Sister And Other Liars. I’ve been working on it for a long, long time and I want it to make its way in the world. And I’ve been so good this year.

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