In my latest book, my heroine Maggie debates the pros and cons of kissing a man in a Christmas jumper. To be fair, it’s a bit of a no-brainer – I’d kiss Marco Cavelli if he was wearing a bin bag, moon boots and a tiara.
Since the book came out, I’ve had my husband dressed up in Christmas jumpers for a blog post; debated their merits online, and been asked which Christmas jumper wearing celeb I’d like to kiss under the mistletoe!
The whole house has gone a little bit Christmas crazy as a result – including our dogs! In all honesty, they didn’t beg to be dressed up in Christmas jumpers. They’re dogs, after all. But they’re nice dogs, and they’re quite happy to do anything for a little bit of bacon (much like myself).
I have two pooches at the moment, a 9-year-old black labrador called Poppy, and a 10-year-old Golden Retriever called Toby. They’re both rescue dogs, and they’re both adorable – if they could choose their own clothes, they probably would go for a Christmas jumper.
The dogs – as anyone with pets will tell you – are important members of my family. I’ve always had dogs, and sometimes cats, occasionally fish, rabbits, budgies, guinea pigs, gerbils and a tortoise. I didn’t think the fish would be keen on a Christmas jumper, so the dogs got lumbered. I tried to capture them in all their furry glory, but due to my superior photography skills, their eyes always looked bright yellow, giving them the look of the hounds of Satan.
I can only apologise for that, and can assure you they’re normally super-cute, so don’t be scared.
I’ve not, as yet, made a dog a major part of a book – but I’m thinking of correcting
that with my next HarperImpulse title. They’re such a big part of my life, and such a brilliant addition to our domestic world, that I’d love to capture them in fiction. Like those magical moments when Toby scares himself with his own farts, and jumps up, looking around, as though he’s thinking ‘what the hell was that?’. Or the way Poppy comes and gives both me and my husband a goodnight ‘kiss’ on both sides of the bed
every night, before curling up in a ball and snoring for the next eight hours.
Or the way they will both, undoubtedly, be part of the mayhem on Christmas morning – snuffling around in the discarded wrapping paper, rooting out anything edible, stalking the fridge, and sniffing the Christmas tree in a way that makes us immediately send them out into the garden!
They don’t really understand Christmas, but they do understand fun – and make their own very special contribution!
Debbie Johnson lives and works in Liverpool, where she divides her time between writing, caring for a small tribe of children and animals, and not doing the housework.She writes romance, fantasy and crime – which is as confusing as it sounds!