It’s (almost) that time of year again, when the entire Western world embarks upon a huge sweaty orgy of buying and selling, and we all demand to have our stockings well and truly stuffed. When having fun is mandatory, and rapidly-sobering revellers are admitted to A&E Departments after attempting injudiciously ambitious dance moves at office parties. It’s…
No, wait! There’s no way I can say it as well as this gentleman:
Let the Festive foolishness begin!
I try to hate Christmas, I really do. I fulminate against the crass commercialism of it all, at the way a jolly Midwinter festival has been hijacked by the crazed forces of global hyper-Capitalism. But the moment I see a twinkly Christmas tree or hear the strains of Jingle Bell Rock, all is in vain. Sooner or later, my inner Scrooge always gets socked in the mouth by my inner six-year-old.
Someone – it might have been my inner six-year-old, come to think of it – once told me that I really ought to lighten up a bit. I was outraged for a moment, but then I found myself wondering if that person might have had a point. Is a little bit of fun and frivolity really so bad? Do we have to take things obsessively seriously all the bleedin’ time?
In fiction, let it be said, I tend to wander around somewhere on the dark side. Not on the really dark side, just in a sort of murky, foggy zone where there are no real heroes or villains, and where everyone and everything is sort of ambiguous. This fits in with my experience of the world so far. I’m convinced that there really aren’t many people out there who are either truly good or truly bad. In my experience, people are truly complicated. The same person can be both kind and cruel, sometimes simultaneously.
Sometimes, I wander out of that zone, and shuffle forward, blinking, into the light. Not radiant, uncomplicated light, exactly – that would shrivel my gothic heart and strike me dead – but into a world where most people, though still ambiguous, are rather more kind than cruel. It’s a world where not everyone is hiding some hideous secret (though some people are), and people at least attempt to get along. A world where Christmas can truly be a time of great peace and joy, at least as soon as you’ve escaped from the maniac who was trying to kill you…
That last bit probably doesn’t make much sense to you. It soon may, at least if you follow me to the end of this post. If the preceding paragraph has induced a bout of Exorcist-style projectile vomiting in you, on the other hand, it’s probably better for your own sanity if you don’t read any further. A little musical interlude follows, to allow you time to run screaming from this post.
Still here? Well, you have been warned. Let us proceed.
I’ve written a book, you see. Nothing odd about that, since writing books, or at least attempting to write them, is what it’s all about in my world. Most of those books, let it be said, never make it out into the big wide world; they either die prematurely or are strangled at birth, usually as an act of mercy. Every so often, though, one of them manages to escape, which is just what this ‘ere book has done.
Perhaps I just overlooked it. It’s a slender little book, a mere 32,000 words or so. And it’s fun (well, I think it is, anyway). It’s not really that serious. It’s The Famous Five for grown-ups. Yup, it’s like Anne from the Famous Five grew up, got married, got divorced, took up journalism and got into a hair-raising adventure as a result of her
tiresome busybody snooping determined quest for the truth. Make of that what you will. Some of you may be itching to slap me. Sorry.
Anyway, it being Christmas (almost) I’m running a special offer. If you fancy reading The Famous Five for grown-ups – think Five Have a Jolly Spine-chilling Christmas and you’re getting close – Wintergreen is currently available on Amazon, free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers and 99c/99p to buy. Or I can send out review copies to anyone who fancies one and is willing to put together an honest write-up for Amazon and/or Goodreads: please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In any case, have a very Merry Christmas, and a prosperous New Year!