INTERVIEWED BY CESCA MARTIN
I hear on the grapevine that you are being Miss Christmas this week, what is going on?
Indeed I am! Christmas is my favourite time of year – I love the cold nights, the warm fires, the smell of satsumas (and the built-in excuse for lots of parties) – so when my publishers suggested writing a seasonal short story I jumped at the chance. Tinseltown is available on the Kindle now and the best bit is that it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE! This festive frolic follows gorgeous Brit actor Dom Judd, who’ll do anything to get out of wearing a mortifying Santa suit at the Hollywood Christmas Parade; waitress Clare who’s just been dumped and is dreading facing the big day with a broken heart – until she agrees to a gig that will change everything; and Laney Allen, fresh from winning America’s number one talent show and who is concealing a shocking secret that only Santa Claus can cure . . . It was a challenge sewing Santa and his reindeer into the glitzy bonkbuster world (is it possible to make a chortling sherry-quaffing bloke who climbs down chimneys sexy? It’s creepy when you think about it) but it was also masses of fun. I hope you enjoy it – and a happy Christmas to everyone.
What was your favourite Christmas memory when growing up?
I was six, and I’d seen her in the John Lewis toy department a couple of months before . . . a polar bear, snow-white, in a red sleigh, and almost as big as me. I’d wanted her so much (don’t know why she was a girl: she just was), with her squidgy belly and cuddly fur, but Mum steered me away with the customary, ‘You’ve got too many soft toys already.’ But I never forgot the polar bear. Then, after lunch on Christmas Day, as full of anticipation as I was on lunch and the net of chocolate coins I’d snarfed out the foot of my stocking as soon as I’d woken up, my dad left the room. Moments later, the doorbell rang. The world outside was quiet and cold; we’d heard no crunch of gravel or no footsteps approaching. It was suggested I went to answer it, and, when I did, who should be sitting on the doorstep but my beloved polar bear, as lovely as I remembered her. I embraced her like we were long-lost friends. She’d come all the way from her sleigh in John Lewis and found a home with me. I didn’t let her go all afternoon. That was the best Christmas.
Christmas is all about tradition: you’ve got to do it in the way you always have – because what other way is there? Each year we’ll get out the same decorations (cue tatty crafts I made with Mum when I was nine), have the same argument about the tree (my guilt over an angel whose face I chewed so she has to go on the top – not a popular choice) and everyone will get annoyed by rudimentary (by which I mean crap) carol-playing on the piano. There’s comfort in tradition, warmth in familiarity, but for me it’s something more. I’ll probably be getting that poor angel out in twenty years’ time and having an identical debate with my children, in the same way my dad sets the lunch table a particular way because that was how Christmas was when he was young. It’s all about memories re-conjured and passed down, so Christmas becomes this magic amalgamation of Decembers past and future.
Do you have a favourite Christmas movie?
Home Alone always makes me feel Christmassy (and weepy – it’s Old Man Marley, he’s like a knife to the heart), as do films from my childhood that aren’t necessarily seasonal but always nostalgic: Edward Scissorhands, Annie, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves . . . I found Bad Santa funny, and there’s one with Arnie called Jingle All the Way which is so hilarious it ought to come with a health warning. We never watched It’s a Wonderful Life at home but my boyfriend loves it, so in recent years that’s started making me feel festive, too.
Is Christmas a time off for you or will you still be writing on the day itself?
It depends. Being an author you have to be ready to work at a moment’s notice, whether that’s a publicity opportunity or an interview on a tight deadline, but the great thing is it doesn’t really seem like work. Delivery dates can be planned around, so I don’t anticipate writing on Christmas Day. I’ll be plotting and working up my next novel idea in the run-up, but it’s important to have time away and not be distracted from what Christmas is about, which is spending time with family and loved ones – not working.
What has 2012 got in store for Victoria Fox?
My next novel, Temptation Island, is out in June and I think it’s bigger, bolder and braver that Hollywood Sinners. It’s pretty controversial so I am very intrigued to hear from readers when it hits the shelves – I love it and I hope you will, too. We’re planning several literary festival appearances and more red carpet events, so I’ll be on the frontline of celebville to fuel all the ideas for my novels. Also next year we’ll see a further sweep towards digital, so we’ve plans for shorts, freebies and giveaways to get people talking about the books.
If Novelicious could sing you a carol on Christmas Day what would you like us to sing?
Love this question. OK. My top three carols are ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, but I’d ask you to sing ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ because I want to see you try to hold your breath on the ‘Glooooooooooria’ bit. If I could pick a Christmas song, it’d be hands-down ‘Fairytale of New York’ by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.
Thanks, Victoria, Novelicious loves your generous gesture and we wish you a Ho Ho Happy Christmas, X
You, too! Hope your Christmas is merry and bright.
Love, Victoria x
Find out more about Victoria and her books on her website