In the run up to Christmas, I have wonderful author interviews to help get you into the festive spirit
Here's the fabulous, Anna Belfrage
Anna, thank you so much for being our guest on the blog today
🎅What’s your earliest Christmas Memory?
We were living in Peru. It was hot. I was about four or so and my mother asked me to fetch the garden hose in the garage so that she could fill up my new inflatable pool, my favourite Christmas gift that year. I rushed into the garage and grabbed the hose. When I turned, I noticed that the heavy drain lid was hovering a metre or so above the floor. Below the drain lid was a huge snake. I screamed. And screamed. Screamed some more. My mother burst through the door and ran over to where I was standing.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, hands flying over my body. I pointed. My mother turned. She screamed. I screamed. We screamed some more. Totally futile behaviour, but I was very young and my mother suffered from serious snake phobia. We’d have been standing there still had not my father come running to save us both.
🎅Do you have any special Christmas Traditions?
We celebrate Christmas the Swedish way, which means we do our main celebration on Christmas Eve. In our family, the day starts well before eight. I get up and tip-toe out into the kitchen. Hubby appears a minute or so later. In silence, we prepare hot chocolate, heap plates with warm saffron buns, with home-made ginger biscuits.
Hubby lights the fire in the tiled stove. We flit about lighting candles all over. Steaming mugs of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream are set down on the table. And then, when everything is ready we crank up the Christmas music on max volume. Some moments later, they appear: with sleep-encrusted eyes, imprints of their pillows on their faces and hair standing more or less on end, our four children come down the stairs. (Said children are now adults, albeit young adults) We hug them and wish them a Happy Christmas. They hug us back and rush over to check what’s in their stocking. For a little moment, time hangs suspended and I see them as they used to be, small and cuddly and dressed in matching pyjamas. Now they have long, hairy legs (bar the daughter, obviously. She waxes) would rather die than wear a pyjamas, but they are still very cuddly. At least on Christmas Eve.
🎅What’s your favourite festive carol or song?
Oh, Come all Ye Faithful.
🎅Do you have a favourite festive film?
Not really. But I always watch Sound of Music at least once during the holidays.
🎅What’s your favourite festive read?
A Swedish poem called “Tomten”. And Luke 2:1 and onwards. “And it came to pass…”
🎅Are you organised or do you leave everything until the last minute?
Very, very organised.
🎅Christmas tree – real or artificial?
🎅Tinsel or Glitter?
🎅Christmas cracker or party popper?
🎅Mince Pie or Yule Log?
Neither. For me, it is Swedish saffron buns.
🎅Christmas Dinner – Traditional Turkey, Nut Roast Veggie or something a bit different?
We eat filet of beef with mushroom & cognac sauce, roasted potatoes and a huge salad. The alternative would be a Swedish Christmas smorgasbord, but the family has nixed that. Personally, I am relieved: preparing a smorgasbord takes days and days, what with various types of herring, salmon, lutefish, ham, pig trotters, meatballs, ribs, pates, cheeses, sausages, smoked meats, rice porridge (very important), dried fruits and like fifteen other things I’ve forgotten.
🎅Christmas Tipple – Bucks Fizz/Mulled Wine or something stronger?
Err…water and tea, please.
🎅A fun game of after dinner charades or more chocolates and the television?
Chocolates and telly. By the time we get that far, I’m exhausted!
About the Author
Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with three absorbing interests: history, romance and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England. She has recently released the first in a new series, The Wanderer. This time, she steps out of her normal historical context and A Torch in His Heart is with a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. She has loved writing it – she hopes her readers will like reading it just as much.
🎄Happy Christmas 😊