Merry Christmas, E.H.Howard!
How would you describe your Christmas in only three words? Eric: Damned silly question, the answer is obviously, December Twenty-fifth. You see, possibly being the oldest geek in the wild, I do tend to take statements literally. I am simple and programmable. I suspect you were expecting something booze related: Beery, Blurred and Bleary, or Crackers, Cocktails and Crazy. These days, it more about the grand-children, than the grand-marnier. So, Magical, Mayhem and Magnificent.
If you could have a relationship with a literary festive character who would it be and why?
Eric: In some ways, I have to merge these next two questions together. The person isn’t from festive literature, but they do appear in the Christmas scenes of one of my secret pleasure books (also films and boxsets,) Julia Flyte in Brideshead revisited. I’m a sucker for an angst-riddled female. Add to that the hedonistic swirl of crumbling stately wealth mixed with the roaring twenties. The Christmas scenes an upper-class oblivious to the chaos awaiting them. So, yes please, a week of stately decadence at yule time with Miss Julia. Of course, I doubt I’d be presenting her with a jewel encrusted tortoise in these days of political correctness!
If you had to exist for a week in a Christmas story … which one would it be?
Eric: However, other answers to this question would be: I would love to be in the Walton’s Christmas special where they’re dressing the Christmas tree and John-Boy tells Mary-Ellen, ‘Hang Santa by the balls.’ So, whilst not an example of literary excellence, a quick dip into that storyline for a couple of hours would be good. Failing that, it would need to be the “real” Christmas tale, especially with a week to spare. I would take a room at the inn and once Joseph and Mary come knocking I’d announce “You can have my room, I can sleep in the barn.” Just think, instead of the baby Jesus surrounded by kings bearing gifts on all those Christmas cards, it would be me! I feel a song coming on … Myrrh? Huh, Yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, say it again yawl.
Dead or alive literary Christmas lunch: who would you invite, and what would you serve?
Eric: Oscar Wilde, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, JK Rowling, Kim Harrison, William Gibson, Trudi Canavan, Virginia Woolfe. Slightly male heavy, but what the heck, around the table it would be boy, girl, boy, girl, doubtful, boy, girl, boy. I am a fan of the totally traditional turkey including real stuffing made with sage, onion, sausage meat. Plus, sprouts, pigs in blankets, apple and cranberry sauce. Okay, I can’t do the flaming in brandy, but Christmas pud is a delight with custard. Plus, the bird has to be big enough for turkey butties before Morecambe and Wise.
If you had to write a Christmas themed story in your current genre, what would the title be?
The Bells of the Slayer
One man rides out.
They try to ban joy,
They try to kill happiness,
They’d better watch out,
They’d better take care,
Because if they hear the sleigh bells,
They’re already dead…
What do you dislike the most about Christmas?
Eric: People who don’t like Christmas. Those miserable people who whinge about it losing its real meaning as if they ever knew what it was. I love the presents, the overeating, the overspending, the total excess! There is nothing to dislike.
Favourite festive word? Eric: MORE!
E.H. Howard was in the Christmas chair: Author of Amara’s Daughter & new release, Amara’s Legacy.
Amara’s Legacy: http://ow.ly/V6ZPE