Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas with You by Jane Killick
Back to the holiday anthology, The Gift of Christmas, author interviews.  As a reminder, I am continuing my posts for individual authors on what inspired them to write their particular story. Today I'm talking to Jane Killick, the author of the short story "Christmas with You" in the anthology. 

Jane lives in the UK and works for BBC radio.  Like myself, and many Windtree Press authors, Jane is a cross-genre writer in both fiction and non-fiction. For my SF fans you may know Jane's well-regarded books about the series Red Dwarf and Babylon 5.   For my romance fans, you may have laughed your way through her romantic comedy novels, If Wishes Were Husbands and Fairy Nuff. She's also written plenty of short stories for magazines, anthologies, and as stand-alone reads.

What I love most about Jane is her sense of humor. Many of her titles make me laugh out loud. This story made me smile and cry.  It is poignant and reflects so much of a young family's first Christmas together with a new baby and all that entails.

So, Jane, What Inspired You to Write "Christmas with  You."

Last Christmas, I was out having lunch with a friend when the restaurant owner got into conversation with the couple on the table next to us. The man was an airline pilot working out of London’s Heathrow and was talking about how he had to work over Christmas. The planes have to keep flying, he explained, because there isn’t enough room to keep them all on the ground. I found this really interesting and, when I was looking to write a Christmas story for The Gift of Christmas anthology, I remembered this conversation and used it as my starting point. But my story, Christmas with You, although it features an airline pilot, isn’t really about an airline pilot.
Some years ago, my brother-in-law started to come to our house for Christmas. In his family, opening Christmas presents is a solitary affair as everyone opens their gifts in their own little corner all at once. We thought this was boring and selfish, so we made him do it our way. He was amazed at how we opened each present, one by one in front of each other, so the rest of the family enjoys the excitement as each gift is revealed. This makes opening Christmas presents much more inclusive and fun, even if it is only watching Grandma tear off the wrapping paper from her new pair of slippers.
I used this annecdote in my story. But even though it features a family opening their Christmas presents, this isn’t what my story is about.
One year when I was a child, my parents bought a turkey for Christmas that was so large that it wouldn’t fit in the fridge. So my dad put it outside in the greenhouse to keep it cool and fresh. This seemed like a good idea until Christmas morning when he went to bring it in, only to discover it had frozen solid during the overnight frost. We had to wait for it to defrost before we could cook it. Christmas dinner was very late that year.
I remembered that incident when I was writing my story, which features a turkey too frozen to cook for Christmas dinner. But my story isn’t really about desfrosting turkeys.
My story is about a young couple desperate to spend their first Christmas together with their baby son. Fate, it seems, is on their side as circumstances fall into place to allow this to happen, despite the husband’s work schedule.
Except my story isn’t really about that either. The truth about my story is only revealed at the end, and to find that out, you’re just going to have to read it.

Readers, doesn't this peak your interest? I have read Jane's story and I promise you will remember it for a very long time. 

To learn more about Jane and her work visit her at these places:
Jane's website | Windtree Press author page | Facebook | Twitter |

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