Christmas is inching that little bit closer! Today I am honoured to welcome the wonderful Chrissie Manby to Blabbering About Books. Chrissie has written a complete gem of a festive novel called A Wedding At Christmas and I was lucky enough to have a chat with Chrissie all about it. I hope you enjoy!
A Wedding At Christmas is your latest book, can you tell us a bit more about it?
It’s about a wedding at Christmas! Actually, I hope it’s about much more than that. It follows the wedding plans of Chelsea Benson, who was the hapless singleton in A Proper Family Holiday. She’s got her Prince Charming now but will she get her happy ending once money problems, sibling rivalry and the ghost of her fiance’s first love are thrown into the mix? The novel also looks at motherhood and the different ways some women come to be mothers – through adoption or step-parenting for example – and how they make it work.
This novel follows on from your series based around the Benson family. Can we expect any more novels about them in the future?
If I have an unexpected hit with this book! Perhaps I’ll come back to Jack and Lily when they’re terrible teens. I have enjoyed writing about a family instead of the usual ‘boy meets girl’. There’s so much fun and drama in family dynamics. For the time being, however, I’m moving on. I’ll be sticking with the subject of family life though.
Christmas books are always great fun to read but I imagine hard to write – especially if you’re trying to conjure up images of snow in your mind during the summer! How did you make yourself feel Christmassy enough during the writing process?
I ate mince pies. Luckily you can get them in the supermarkets earlier and earlier each year. I think I spotted my first in Waitrose at the end of June. I also play Christmas carols on YouTube. The Coventry Carol, which isn’t a happy clappy carol in the Deck The Halls sense, is my favourite.
Do you have a favourite Christmas book you love to read each year?
I don’t. I do like to watch White Christmas if I can though.
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
Yes. I always drink too much during at least one Christmas party and promise myself a dry January. It never happens.
What was the best Christmas present you ever received?
A typewriter. Dad refurbished an old one somebody was throwing out. I learned to touch-type over the dull bits of that Christmas holiday and used my new skill to write my first short story for Just Seventeen. An ultra-fast typing speed is without a doubt the most important super-power a writer can have and I can do 80wpm thanks to the gift of that typewriter and the accompanying ‘how to’ book. My typing speed has kept the wolf from the door in some tricky times too, as I could always get good temp jobs.
What is your one Christmas essential that you just can’t get through the festive period without?
I love an orange scented candle. Diptyque’s Oranger is the best though it’s ruinously expensive. Sometimes I just go and take a sneaky sniff of the ones on display in John Lewis.
And, the most important question of all – sprouts or no sprouts?!
I love sprouts! Christmas isn’t Christmas without them.