Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Countdown to Christmas Day 17: Festive Fun Q&A with Holly Martin

Today's Countdown to Christmas feature is a festive fun Q&A with author Holly Martin who has had an amazing year, winning the short story competition to feature in the Sunlounger anthology, publishing her debut book The Sentinel and winning a book deal with Carina UK.

What’s your earliest or favourite Christmas memory? 
My earliest Christmas memory was my brother getting Star Wars figures for Christmas and leaving them on the floor whilst he opened his other presents and Bob, my old dog, chewed Darth Vader’s head off and one of Han Solo’s legs. To be fair to him anything left on the floor was his, so he probably thought it was his Christmas present. My brother wasn’t too happy, I thought it was hilarious.

What are you looking forward to most this Christmas?
I love that family time, chatting, spending time together, playing games. It also means two weeks off work and I love that time of seeing friends and family, of having time to read a good book or five, of staying indoors when the weather is lousy, or having cold crisp walks and lunch in the pub if the weather is dry. It’s about spending time with my favourite people, in which ever form that takes.

Do you have any family traditions that you always follow? 
Me and my family always play games on Christmas Day. I love playing Cluedo or other games and it’s the only time of the year that I actually get to do it. Normally we always buy a new board game to play every year. Last year it was The Cube. I laughed so much at the blatant cheatery and the complete ineptitude that I was crying. I don’t know why we don’t do it more often when we all love it so much.

Do you do the whole traditional Christmas dinner or have alternative? 
Turkey, stuffing, (normally three different types) roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, parsnips, sweet potatoes for me, sprouts for dad and always, always trifle for pudding, my Mum’s homemade trifle is the best in the world. 

What’s your favourite Christmas song or carol? 
I’m not a big caroller but I do love some of the pop songs from recent years. The Pogues Fairy tale of New York is a great one, Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea and All I want for Christmas and just anything Christmassy from Michael Buble.

What film do you hope to curl up and watch on Christmas afternoon? 
I love ‘Love Actually’  and ‘The Holiday’, such lovely, heartwarming films. I love Muppet Christmas Carol too. I don’t think I’d ever get tired of watching these.

Do you have a favourite Christmas book that you read again and again? 
No, I don’t tend to read a lot of books again and again. There are so many new wonderful books out there and never enough time to read them all, so I don’t tend to spend my time reading books I have already read before. There are a couple exceptions. But every year the shelves are filled with Christmas chicklit and I love reading as many as I can at this time of year.

Which singer/band would you like to turn up carol singing at your door? 
Westlife, definitely. There’s something about Westlife songs/videos that always remind me of Christmas.

Which celebrity would you like to snog under the mistletoe? 
Orlando Bloom, I love him. If he came to my house as Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean that would be even better.

If you could spend Christmas anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
I love Christmas with my family, so I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but if I could take them all with me I think somewhere warm for a change. I have Australian friends and I hear tales of their Christmas with barbeques on the beach and I love the idea of that, just for one year.

What’s top of your wishlist this Christmas? 
Can I say Orlando Bloom again, or maybe Johnny Depp, Chris Hemsworth or Tom Hardy. I’m terrible to buy for as I never have any idea what I want. People ask me what they can get and I’m always stumped for ideas. I like to be surprised. I’d quite like a Kindle as my current Kindle is an app on my phone so hopefully if Santa can’t fit Orlando Bloom on his sleigh I might get one of those instead.

If you could do one good deed for someone less fortunate than yourself this Christmas, what would it be?
I think helping others comes down to time or money. Last year I took part in a sponsored Santa Dash, running through the streets with hundreds of others all dressed as Santa, raising money for cancer, this year I have written a short story for a Christmas anthology called Merry Chick Lit with all money raised going to Breast Cancer Care charity ‘Rocking the Road to a Cure.’

Now a few quickfire questions to close...

Tree: real or artificial? I love the idea of a real tree, the smell, the feel of it, but it’s the getting rid of it at the end of Christmas that’s the problem and the hundreds of needles that seem to fill your house for weeks after no matter how many times you hoover up.

Fairy Lights: White or Multi-Coloured? White is classy, multi-coloured is fun, so probably multi-coloured.

Drink: Mulled Wine or Bucks Fizz? Mulled Wine

Food: Mince Pies or Xmas Pud? Mince pies

Games: Monolopy, Trivial Pursuit or something else? Cluedo

Holly Martin has been writing for four years. Her second novel Changing Casanova and her third novel The Chainsaw Masquerade were both shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance last year. In June this year she won the Belinda Jones Travel Club short story competition and her story One Hundred Proposals was published in the Sunlounger anthology alongside her favourite authors Belinda Jones, Miranda Dickinson and many others. Sunlounger 2 will be out next summer and this time Holly will be a featured author. Her fantasy adventure Young Adult book, The Sentinel, was published on October 16th and it hit three different bestsellers lists within twenty four hours.  She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance this year and her winning story, The Guestbook, a love story with a unique twist, will be published on Valentine’s Day 2014.

You can find The Sentinel here.  http://myBook.to/TheSentinel

You can find her blog and upcoming information on The Guestbook here http://hollymartinwriter.wordpress.com or information on The Sentinel http://thesentinelseries.wordpress.com

Follow Holly on Twitter @hollymartin00

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