Day 3 of our author calendar.
Today we’re featuring the wonderful Patricia Forde, who lives in Galway, in the west of Ireland. She has published three Picture Books, lots of Easy Readers, and in May 2015 she published her first novel The Wordsmith with Little Island. Patricia has written plays and television dramas for children and teenagers as well as writing on both English and Irish language soap operas. She was a primary school teacher and the artistic director of Galway Arts Festival. She lives with her husband, two teenagers,and a dog called Ben. In her spare time, she collects vintage children’s books and reads them late at night.
Name three things on your Christmas list this year! Snow. Tasteful Ornaments for the Tree. (See 2) Dystopian weather. (See 4)
Christmas is a time of family traditions – what are your best (or worst!) family traditions? Worst family tradition: Every year we dress the tree together as a family. I always imagine that we will be like a scene from the Waltons – all peace and harmony. It always ends in civil war. Usually, because I am the only one who wants classy ornaments…and a little more dignity. Everyone else wants tinsel.
(Ah ha. The old lets-throw-everything-on-the-tree vs. keeping it simple and sophisticated argument! I’m sure this is echoed up and down the country!!)
What is your favourite story to read at Christmas? ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (which may or may not have been written by Clement Clarke Moore) is a tradition in our house. It calms people down after the Christmas Tree row. (See 3). The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis – because of the snow. I intend to add Katherine Rundell’s Wolfwilder this year because of the wolves and well… the snow.
(Twas the Night Before Christmas is my absolute favourite!)
If you could have Christmas dinner with anyone (alive today or person from history) who would it be? I would love to have dinner with J. R.R Tolkien. I adore The Hobbit. I could get him to read a bit aloud as we dress the tree. (See 2) Then we could talk about Galway. He used to come here to the university where he was an external examiner. He loved the west of Ireland. Obviously a man of good taste.
Your novel The Wordsmith is set in a dystopian world. What would a dystopian Christmas look like to you? It would look very frugal. There would be beetroot, of course and apples. Also carrots. I’m thinking beetroot crumble with an apple and carrot salsa. Dystopian worlds suffer a lot from bad weather, so there would be snow, which might brighten the thing.
You collect vintage books, if you could have a copy of any vintage book in the world for Christmas which would it be? I would love a first edition of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience. I love his poetry and the illustrations, and when I’d finished admiring it, it could become my pension. What’s not to like?
Reader’s question from children at the Inkpots Writers’ Hut: do you type your work or write by hand? I do both but for volume I type. I write notes by hand and draw little diagrams and the odd map. When it comes to the serious writing – I type, badly, with two fingers.
Turkey or goose? Turkey.
Real or fake tree? Real!
Mince pies or Christmas pudding? Both though not together.
Stockings – end of the bed or over the fireplace? Over fireplace.
Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve? OMG! No contest! Christmas Eve.
Thank you for taking part and have a very Happy Christmas!