Welcome to a very special Festive Feature on my blog, where every day up until Christmas some of my favourite authors will be sharing what they love most about the festive season, including their favourite films, food, music, presents, memories, books…Plus much more!
I’m delighted to welcome Valerie-Anne Baglietto to Bookaholic Confessions today…
For some reason, I suddenly turn into Mary Berry around Christmas time, as well as getting all crafty. It isn’t that I don’t like the idea of making things with my bare hands the rest of the year, but most of the time my creative energies are diverted into writing fiction. Maybe my fingers are all ‘typed out’. (Not to mention how strenuous it is lifting a coffee mug to my lips.) Anyway, during the festive season that all seems to change, and with the aid of my kids and my husband I end up producing things like this, in rather excessive numbers …
I think it might all stem from one of my most enduring memories of Christmas, sitting in a classroom in primary school making paper chains and ornaments for the tree. I can remember the warm feeling that washed over me, intense and lovely, and the thrill of knowing it was Advent. It’s so potent, that I wrote about it in my novella THE LITTLE BOOK OF LOST HEARTS, sharing my feelings with my heroine; although hers, as she looks back at her own childhood, are more bittersweet than mine.
But isn’t it so hard to evoke the magic of Christmas as a grown up? Well, it is for me. To quote my story, it comes in ‘such tiny, short-lived bursts.’ I think part of the problem is that the season loses its carefree simplicity when you’re an adult, especially a parent dashing around organising the ‘perfect’ Christmas for your children. It’s stressful trying to live up to the hype.
So maybe slowing the madness down a bit, staying at home doing simple things like baking as a family, is my coping mechanism. My way of recreating the wonder and innocence of Christmas Past.
And while I’m busy clearing up afterwards, a sip or two of Baileys never goes amiss either.
…Sounds good to me! A huge thank you to Valerie for this lovely post. ♥
Valerie-Anne Baglietto was born in Gibraltar, but came to England when she was three. She wrote and illustrated her first book when she was four. Pure fiction, about a little boy whose mother’s nose was incredibly long and spiral-shaped. The writing bug had bitten. In 2000 she won the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writer’s Award for her debut novel THE WRONG SORT OF GIRL. After three further romantic comedies published by Hodder & Stoughton, life with her young family took over.
Nowadays, Valerie-Anne writes contemporary fairy tales; magical realism for grown-ups set in picture-book Welsh villages inspired by her gorgeous surroundings. ONCE UPON A WINTER was an Amazon UK bestseller, reaching #1 in both the Contemporary Fantasy and the Fairy Tale charts. Her latest releases are THE TROUBLE WITH KNIGHTS IN SHINING ARMOUR and THE LITTLE BOOK OF LOST HEARTS. She also has a short story, GENIE OF THE ROCK, in the BELINDA JONES TRAVEL CLUB SUNLOUNGER anthology, and a new one due out this summer in SUNLOUNGER II.
Valerie-Anne lives in North Wales with her husband, three children and a headful of plot lines.