YA Author Sarah Govett takes part today!
Sarah Govett read law at Trinity College, Oxford. After qualifying as a solicitor, she set up her own tutoring agency, Govett Tutors, which specialises in helping children from all backgrounds. She has also written for children’s television. She has two young children, and lives in London with her TV presenter, stand-up comedian husband, Spencer Brown. Her first novel The Territory was published in May 2015.
Name three things on your Christmas list this year! I don’t really have Christmas lists. I like surprises!
Christmas is a time of family traditions – what are your best (or worst!) family traditions? We’ve got two young children so my husband and I thought it’s about time we invented some traditions of our own – hence pyjama eve. Everyone gets a new pair of pyjamas that you unwrap just before bed on Christmas Eve. You’ve got to be smart (and snug) for Santa!
(This is such a great family tradition!)
There are wonderful stories shared at Christmas time. What is your favourite story to read at Christmas? Last year I re-read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to my elder daughter at Christmas time and it was really magical to re-experience it again through her eyes. The snow, the firs, the sacrifice, and the look of horror on her face – always winter and never Christmas?!
If you could have Christmas dinner with anyone (alive today or person from history) who would it be? I would normally choose a writer, but in our house Christmas is very much about food so I think I’d like to kidnap Nigel Slater. He’s brilliant with words as well as recipes and maybe he could teach me how to make a decent turkey gravy that doesn’t taste of aniseed (star anise – Jamie Oliver – why? Oh why?)
Your series The Territory is set in a dystopian future. How do you think we will celebrate Christmas in the year 2059? I hope we’ll all have matured as a society, have completely changed our attitude to the environment and mindless consumerism and be all Hygge around fir trees that we’ll replant the next day in our gardens. However, I fear we may be eating synthetic turkey grown in a vat and listening to the rain as winters become warmer and wetter.
The Territory deals with thought provoking issues such as the divide between rich and poor. Christmas can be a time when the gap between the advantaged and disadvantaged in society is amplified. If you could do just one thing to change this what would it be? I’d channel all the money spent on rubbish obligation presents – the sort of £5 novelties for your brother-in-law – and spend it on making sure that everyone is sheltered and fed.
Reader’s question from children at Inkpots Writers’ Hut: did you start off with writing a series in mind or did it evolve as you wrote? Good question. I actually knew that it would be a trilogy from the off. I knew that I wanted to explore life in The Territory in the first book, then wanted to set off to The Wetlands in the second before reaching some form of resolution in the third.
Turkey or goose? Turkey. I love turkey.
Real or fake tree? Real. It’s all about the smell.
Mince pies or Christmas pudding? Mince pies with actual meat in. Yes, I’m serious. My husband made some a few years back and they were delicious.
Stockings – end of the bed or over the fireplace? Pillow cases at the end of the bed. In case Santa wants to bring you a lolo ball.
Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve? Christmas Eve. At a candlelit mass. With children dressed as shepherds.
Thank you for joining in our festive Q & A and have a Happy Christmas!