Monday, 10 December 2012

Festive Fun - Day 10 - Linda Gillard

Day 10 - Linda Gillard is the guest for Festive Fun Author Advent

What is your favourite festive film/book or both?
Well, it’s hardly an original choice but A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens has always been one of my favourite books. I still have the edition I bought when I was a child. It’s a big hardback illustrated by Ronald Searle and it’s one of my most treasured possessions. It became my annual ritual to read it in the weeks before Christmas.
But it’s only since I became a writer myself that I realised just how brilliantly it’s written. If I had to pick the greatest opening page of a book written in English, A CHRISTMAS CAROL would be my choice.
I love Dicken’s message – that it’s never too late to make a new start – and I adore all the ghosts. I’ve finally written my own ghost story and it’s actually set at Christmas. My sixth novel, THE GLASS GUARDIAN is a paranormal love story with a ghost hero and it’s set on the Isle of Skye

THE GLASS GUARDIAN ebook at Amazon

Ruth Travers has lost a lover, both parents and her job. Now she thinks she might be losing her mind.

When death strikes again, Ruth finds herself the owner of a dilapidated Victorian house on the Isle of Skye: Tigh na Linne, the summer home she shared as a child with her beloved Aunt Janet, the woman she’d regarded as a mother. 

As Ruth prepares to put the old house up for sale, she’s astonished to find she’s not the only occupant. Worse, she suspects she might be falling in love again. With a man who died almost a hundred years ago...

What is your favourite Christmas Carol/festive song?

I love Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols. Listening to those songs takes me back to being a teenager, listening to the school choir tackle the canon, This Little Babe with its eerie echo effect. Despite the title, it’s a vigorous piece and the lyrics (by Elizabethan poet Robert Southwell) offset some of the saccharine sentimentality of Christmas:
“This little babe so few days old,
Is come to rifle Satan's fold;
All hell doth at His presence quake,
Though He Himself for cold do shake;
For in this weak unarm├Ęd wise
The gates of hell He will surprise.”

Mince pie or Choc Yule Log?
Definitely mince pies. I make my own cranberry mincemeat every year using a Delia Smith recipe. She claimed in the recipe that once you’d made your own mincemeat, you’d never buy another jar of the shop stuff. She was absolutely right. I never have.
My mince pies are a little unorthodox. We prefer a lighter version that has a frangipane topping instead of a pastry lid. That’s a Nigella recipe.

You open the door to Carollers, who would be your dream team of Carollers?
Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band.
I was supposed to go and see them play live in Sunderland this year. My son bought tickets for my 60th birthday and we were going to go together, but then I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was actually recovering from surgery on my 60th birthday. So the Boss and I still have to fix a date…


Thank you, Linda
Wishing you well in 2013



  1. Hi Linda! *waves* You are a woman after my own heart. Dicken's Christmas Carol is also one of my all time faves (in all iterations, I have to confess, from the original story to the Muppet rendition!). And I adore Britten's 'This Little Babe." I'll never forget singing it in a choir for the first time. It's a hard one to get right, but if you do... Awesome!! Great post, thank you!

  2. Oops. Many apologies to Charles for the misplaced apostrophe. I must go and have a strong cofffee. Now. :-)

  3. another great interview and a real treat, thank you Carol. x

  4. Lovely choices from one of my favourite authors.

  5. Thanks Nicky, I have to apologise to Mr D too. I also misplaced an apostrophe. :-( (Memo to self: take more water with it.)

    Thanks Lucinda & LindyLouMac. Happy Christmas!

  6. You're doing really well with these festive interviews, Carol! Loved reading Linda's answers. I do hope that she is recovering well from her breast cancer. I Love Dicken's Christmas Carol as well, and always look forward to watching it at Christmas. Such a turnaround for Scrooge, and it really does say that there is hope for everyone to change their ways. Do hope that Carol gets to see Bruce Springsteen soon.

  7. Thank you for your comments, folks. xx



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