Matt Haig's newest book, A Boy Called Christmas, is out now in the UK. From the author's Q & A with Charlotte Eyre at The Bookseller:
Why did you decide to write a Christmas book?--Marshal Zeringue
For a few years I wanted to write a Father Christmas story. Originally I wanted to do it as a novel for adults, a more cynical take on Christmas, but then I decided to do something a bit more confident, something that actually had a real Christmas feel. My son Lucas asked me: “What was Father Christmas like as a boy?” That was the start of A Boy Called Christmas.
What happens in the story?
It is an origin story for Father Christmas, so it is about how an ordinary human boy called Nikolas becomes the magical superhero we know as Father Christmas. Nikolas is a poor boy living with his woodcutter father in a forest in Finland. His dad goes on a mysterious quest to find proof of the elf kingdom. When he doesn’t return, Nikolas runs away from his ferocious Aunt Carlotta to find his father. On the way he discovers elves, a troll, bears, reindeer, the truth about his father and who he himself could grow up to become.
How much of the story is folklore and how much is from your imagination?
I wanted to start with the elements we know about Father Christmas—the elves, the sleigh, the reindeer, the red clothes and so on—and...[read on]