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 of sparkle, snow, carols, coloured lights and presents around 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 in the attempt to recreate the Christmases of your own childhood ̶ a need to sink back into that remembered warmth, excitement and security.
About the writing of TORN
It is always difficult trying to describe what and how you write. We English are famously inhibited and self-deprecating. And though I'm sure there are many exceptions to this rule, I am afraid it afflicts me profoundly. I find it hard to ‘big myself up’. But needs must.....
I write unconventional, unpredictable, unsentimental stories. So when I came to write TORN, which begins a few weeks before Christmas, there was no way it was going to be a warm and cosy evocation of this time of year.