Hello Carole and welcome back to FLY HIGH! This time we talk Christmas. Are you ready? What do you like best and what the least of Christmas time?
I love all the decorations and dressing the house for Christmas. I least like how crowded all the shops are and that I can never find quite the right gift!
What are your favourite …
Christmas movie - The Muppet Christmas Carol. Christmas can really start once Kermit has been on the television
Christmas book - Has to be A Christmas Carol again. By Dickens this time though!
Christmas song - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland
Christmas decoration - I love to get a real Christmas tree. The bigger, the better
Christmas traditional dish/food? I love all Christmas food. It’s my diet downfall. Now that I write Christmassy books, I start eating mince pies in July.
When and how did you decide to write your novel “With Love at Christmas”?
I wrote a book a few years ago called That Loving Feeling which featured a really great family, the Joyces. When I decided to write a family-based Christmas book, they seemed like the ideal characters. So it was really nice to pick up with them again. It’s not a sequel, we just catch up with the family two years later as they’re approaching Christmas.
How would you present it to our readers?
It’s about a mad, chaotic family Christmas. The mum, Juliet Joyce, is mad about Christmas and can’t wait for it to come round. But she has a lot on her plate. She’s trying to deal with problems that her son and daughter have plus tending to the needs of her elderly parents - something that many women have to deal with now. Then she finds mystery texts on her husband’s phone and wonders if she’s been neglecting him too much.
What did you like the best while writing it?
It was nice to revisit characters that I already knew very well. Plus, I enjoyed getting into the mood for Christmas by eating mince pies while writing the book in July!
Let’s go back to your Christmas. What’s one of your favourite memories from past Christmases?
A few years ago we had a really heavy downfall of snow in our town - which is very unusual. We hadn’t seen proper snow for about ten years. It was so bad that no one could get their cars out of our road to go to work, so everyone had to stay at home. We decided to make a party of it and all our neighbours took their barbeques into the park. We fired up the barbies, made a table and chairs out of snow, topped it with candelabra and had a party in the park. It was a really lovely day to remember.
The best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
A couple of years ago there was a mystery present under the tree from my partner, Lovely Kev. It looked like wrapped slippers and I was psyching myself up to like them in case they were hideous. On Christmas morning I open the present to find a gorgeous Lulu Guiness bag. Considerably better than slippers! Thanks, Kev!
How will you celebrate the upcoming Christmas festivities?
I like Christmas best when I’m just at home chilling out with friends and family. This year we’ve got a couple of very good friends coming over for the day and I can’t wait. I’m just raring to go with the decorations and tree! We always go into our neighbour’s house on Christmas morning and start the day with bucks fizz. It means that I go through Christmas day in a pleasant haze. I like to settle down at some point with a great film and some cocktails.
THE BOOK: WITH LOVE AT CHRISTMAS
Can the imperfect family really have the perfect Christmas?
Juliet Joyce adores Christmas. She loves the presents, the tree, the turkey, the tinsel, everything. Already the festive spirit is upon her, which is just as well as this Christmas things are starting to get out of hand.
Her son Tom is out of work and bringing home a slew of unsuitable partners; pregnant daughter Chloe and her little boy have moved back in; Juliet's father, Frank, is getting over a heartbreak of his own and Rita, her eccentric mother, is behaving more erratically each day. And has the chaos got too much for Juliet's husband Rick?
With the big day fast approaching, Juliet hopes that she can stop everything spiralling out of control, because the only thing she wants is her family all around her and her home to be filled WITH LOVE AT CHRISTMAS.
Carole Matthews is an internationally bestselling author of hugely successful romantic comedy novels. Her unique sense of humour has won her legions of fans and critical acclaim all over the world.
As well as appearing on the Sunday Times and USA Today bestseller lists, Carole is published in 24 different countries. Her novel Welcome To The Real World was shortlisted for the RNA romantic novel of the year award.
In the USA, the hilarious For Better, For Worse was selected by one of America's top TV book clubs - Reading with Ripa on LIVE with Regis and Kelly - as their book of the month. As a result it went straight into the USA Today and New York Times Extended bestseller lists.
Carole co-edited two editions of the hugely popular Girls' Night In charity series called Girls' Night Out - one for the USA and one for Canada. All proceeds go to War Child. She has recently contributed a story to an anthology for the Romantic Novelists' Association, Loves Me, Loves Me Not. Carole has presented on television and is a regular radio guest.
Born in St Helens, Merseyside, England, Carole has always been an avid reader and dreamed of being a teacher, an air traffic controller, a travel guide or a hairdresser - writer never featured once. Leaving Liverpool for London after a torrid holiday romance in Torquay, she worked as a secretary, an ice-cream lady, a shop assistant and a beauty therapist. It was when she was working in a completely mad holistic clinic that she first thought 'one day I should write a book about this.' She still hasn't got round to it.
Entering a short story competition in Writing Magazine, the first fiction she'd written since being coerced into it at school, Carole - to her and everyone else's amazement - won a thousand pounds! Then - to her and everyone else's amazement - she spent the money, not on shoes and handbags, but on a writing course. The tutor on the course liked what she was writing and recommended an agent who took her on straight away. He sold her first book, which became Let's Meet on Platform 8, a week later.
Previously very unlucky in love, she now lives happily ever after with her partner, Lovely Kev, in a minimalist home with no ornaments or curtains. She likes to drink champagne, eat chocolate and spends too much time on Facebook.
When she's not writing novels she likes trekking in the Himalayas, rollerblading in Central Park, taking tea in China or being cajoled up the Andes by Lovely Kev. More often than not, she can be found daydreaming in her garden shed in Milton Keynes which is near London.