Day 2 of our author Christmas calendar!
Gwyneth Rees is half Welsh and half English and grew up in Scotland. She studied medicine and qualified as a doctor, working as a child and adolescent psychiatrist before she became a full-time writer. Her bestselling books include the Fairy Dust series, Cosmo and the Magic Sneeze – always huge favourites in the library! Gwyneth’s book The Mum Hunt won the Red House Children’s Book Award. She lives near London with her husband, two young daughters and one noisy cat.
Name three things on your Christmas list this year! A new sofa (might be a bit heavy for Santa to carry but still!), a Terry’s chocolate orange (I always got one of these in my stocking when I was a kid) and a new diary for 2017.
(I always remember the Terry’c Chocolate Orange ad with the Indiana Jones type adventure!!)
Christmas is a time of family traditions – what are your best (or worst!) family traditions? We usually give out family Christmas cards on Christmas Eve and put them up in a specially reserved spot. We buy stuff that never gets eaten – bread sauce, those orange and lemon segment jelly sweets in a round container (they taste disgusting but we always had them at Christmas when I was a kid). We have to have After Eight mints after dinner. We get out all the old decorations my children made from toddler group onwards and look at them all and choose some to go up.
What is your favourite story to read at Christmas? The Grinch – it’s really funny but also has an important message.
If you could have Christmas dinner with anyone (alive today or person from history) who would it be? I would love to sit down to Christmas dinner with my grandparents as they were when I was a child. I still miss them and think about them loads.
(That’s really lovely. It’s amazing how Christmas can bring back so many memories of childhood and the people we share Christmas with.)
You’ve created some wonderful magical characters in your books. If you were to write a Christmas story about one of them, who it would be? I’d write about Cosmo the witch cat having a Christmas adventure with all his friends (and enemies). It would just be a lot of fun to write!
Christmas is a time when family comes together. The Honeymoon Sisters features a family who foster children in the short term. What do you imagine Poppy and Sadie’s Christmas to be like? I imagine their first Christmas together might be a bit different to what either of them have had before. Sadie would bring her own expectations and traditions from her previous family and Poppy will be used to sharing Christmas only with her mum. So they will both have some adjusting to do. But I think they will each be pleasantly surprised by some of each other’s Christmas ideas too.
Reader’s question from students in Year 10 at Warden Park Academy: you write stories featuring lots of fantasy characters; where do you get your inspiration from? A lot of my inspiration comes from real life – mine and other people’s. With fantasy stories I tend to blend real life with imaginary ideas which is great because it lets real people do amazing things that wouldn’t be possible in real life!
Turkey or goose? Turkey
Real or fake tree? Real
Mince pies or Christmas pudding? Both!
Stockings – end of the bed or over the fireplace? Fireplace
Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve? Christmas Eve is my favourite!
Thank you so much for participating and have a very Happy Christmas!
Find out more about Gwyneth Rees at www.bloomsbury.com. You can read reviews of Gwyneth’s books at lovereading4kids.co.uk. Follow Gwyneth on Twitter @gwyneth_rees