All Karen Gregory Wants For Christmas Is...

5 people you'd want to spend Christmas with (can be family, friends, fellow authors, celebs (dead or alive), be as creative as you want!)
The first two slots would definitely go to my children; it’s a truism, but kids really do make Christmas special. The older one is no longer a believer - she demanded ‘The Truth’ in the style of A Few Good Men earlier this year - but she’s been sworn to secrecy for her little brother’s sake and I know they’ll both have a brilliant time. I’m putting silly string in their stockings this year so pray for me.
I’d also have the rest of my family, but it’s quite large, so I’m going to snub them all in favour of Margaret Atwood, who is one of my favourite writers; Naomi Klein, who writes such blistering political books and Bill Bailey for laughs.
4 Books you want under your tree this Christmas (they don't have to be Christmassy - the books also don't have to be YA, can be MG, Children's or Adult)
My book wish list is gigantic, as is the pile of books I’ve bought/been sent and not read, so I am going to be really strict with myself and choose just two YA: Francis Hardinge’s A Skinful of Shadows and Holly Bourne’s It Only Happens in the Movies. When it comes to Christmas themed books, I only recently realised there’s two Christmas Mog books, so I’m planning to order Mog’s Christmas for me the kids. I’ve also just bought Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst as a Christmas present for my nine-year-old.
3 Christmas foods (You can only choose 3 foods to eat around Christmas time, what would you choose?)
I love a roast and I’ll be cooking this year with my sister. She’s in charge of the roasties and sprouts, and I’ll do a turkey crown (I have a tiny oven) and proper Yorkshire puddings, because I don’t care what anyone says; Christmas dinner comes with Yorkshires in my house! If I was forced to choose, I’d go for pigs in blankets, Christmas Pudding set on fire with a dramatic flourish, and lots and lots of cheese.
2 Christmas films you couldn't live without (As long as it's based around the Christmas holidays, that's fine!)
The Snowman. Everything about is perfect – the music, the flying scene, David Bowie in a scarf. I also love Father Christmas featuring Mel Smith as a boozy, gluttonous Santa (from the same DVD). I could watch both on repeat most of Christmas day, but I’m also looking forward to the seeing new doctor in the Dr Who Christmas special this year!
1 Christmas song (Only one Christmas song you can listen to on repeat around Christmas!)
I worked behind the tills in Woolworths when I was younger and we had a Christmas CD on repeat the whole day, which meant I developed a twitch around most Christmas songs for several years. I’m more or less over it now so my vote would go to Fairytale of New York, although it’s a close-run thing! Choosing just one song is so hard … I’m hoping Zoe will let me cheat and nominate a traditional Christmas carol too. I’d have Silent Night, despite it forming the soundtrack to every Christmas day soap tragedy ever, as to me it is the sound of Christmas magic.

author-pic-6Karen is a graduate of Somerville College, Oxford, and a project manager by day who's become adept at writing around the edges (strong coffee and a healthy disregard for housework help). A confined bookhead since early childhood, Karen wrote her first story about Bantra the mouse at the age of twelve, then put away the word processor until her first child was born when she was overtaken by the urge to write. Karen lives in Wiltshire with her family and is represented by Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge & White.
Her debut YA novel Countless (Bloomsbury) is out now, and her second YA novel, Skylarks, will be released by Bloomsbury in 2018. (Eeee!)

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