Merry Christmas, Terry Tyler!
How would you describe your Christmas in only three words?
Terry: Unusually low key. Not sure if low-key is hyphenated, which would make that only two words … okay, we’ll go for Ignored Where Possible!
If you could have a relationship with a literary festive character who would it be and why?
Terry: Hmm, I suppose Father Christmas for presents, but all that ho-ho-ho stuff would get on my nerves. And the girth size might put me off once he got naked, not to mention the elves peeking through the log cabin window. On the other hand, the sleigh ride over the rooftops would be fun. Or I could go for Scrooge. He’d be a rubbish boyfriend for the rest of the year (during which I’d choose a Christmas chick lit hero instead!), but at least he wouldn’t expect a Christmas present or Christmas dinner, and would let me write on Christmas afternoon, right?
Terry: The nativity one. I’ve always fancied long journeys o’er mountain and desert, so I wouldn’t mind being one of the Three Kings. You get to wear fab velvet cloaks and crowns, too. I’d be the myrrh or the gold guy, because I’ve got some Frankincense stuff for my oil burners and the smell makes me feel sick.
Dead or alive literary Christmas lunch: who would you invite, and what would you serve?
Terry: I’d invite Father Christmas, any of his elves who know how to party, and the aforementioned Three Kings. The shepherds could come too, as long as they took a shower first. I have a picture in my head of a Tudor style banquet with a whole bunch of courses and lots of jewelled goblets of wine. Oh – and I’d invite all the folk of Narnia who were allowed Christmas once The White Witch’s power diminished. I could have a jolly time with the nymphs and Mr and Mrs Beaver, etc, and (before I’ve had too much wine) flirt with the Magi (I think Caspar looks the hottest), and any of the more rock star looking centaurs.
If you had to write a Christmas themed story in your current genre, what would the title be?
Terry: I already have. It’s called Christmas Pudding. I wrote it in 1995, and it’s a full length (probably about 65K words) novel that all takes place on Christmas Day. Five characters (plus one child), whose lives turn upside down because of the events of the day. It’s a dark humour type domestic drama. I started trying to re-write it for publication earlier this year, but as I wrote it twenty years ago it needs so much updating that it’s like writing something from scratch – I’ll get to it one day!
What do you dislike the most about Christmas?
Terry: The way in which it has become nothing more than a celebration of the retail trade. Enough said. Shop assistants wearing antlers at the Morrisons checkout. Oh, and Christmas cake. Horrible stuff. And dates. I don’t do dates.
Favourite Festive Word? Terry: Epiphany
< My sister, Julia, and me on Christmas Eve, 1989 (you can just see the Christmas decoration at the top of the picture). I am supposed to be David Lee Roth, and she is Steven Tyler. I like to think we were playing charades, but we were probably just being silly>
Terry Tyler was in the Christmas chair: Author of several works of fiction from romantic suspense to contemporary family-saga with a historical twist.