We all love a panto at Christmas don’t we? Oh yes we do! Angela Britnell’s Christmas book this year features a pantomime in a small Cornish town and it sounds great fun. Here she is to tell us more about it and what she’ll be up to this Christmas.
Hello Angela. First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
I grew up in a very small Cornish village, joined the WRNS (Women’s Royal Naval Service) at 18, met my American husband (who was in the US Navy) at a NATO headquarters in Denmark and married him a year later – in April we celebrate our 40th anniversary so there’s no doubt he’s the main reason why I’ve become such a fan of trans-Atlantic romances! While living in various places we had our three sons and ended up settling in Tennessee (where my husband grew up). That’s when I started to write and I haven’t stopped since!
In a nutshell, what is your Christmas book about?
Can a little Cornish village panto convince a troubled Hollywood heart throb to act again? Zach Broussard is convinced it won’t when the eccentric Anna Teague tries to railroad him into helping out with her community pantomime production in the run-up to Christmas. Zach has his reasons for leaving Hollywood behind, and his retreat to the remote village of Polcarne in Cornwall signals the start of a new acting free life for him. But when Zach meets Anna’s daughter, Rosey – an ex-concert pianist who has swapped Mozart for panto tunes – he starts to wonder whether he could change his mind, and not just about acting.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
Interestingly this book started life as a short story that I wrote as part of the publication week promotion for my last year’s Christmas book. It was originally titled Oh Yes They Do but when I expanded it to a full length book my publisher felt the title might not work for readers who weren’t familiar with the traditional pantomime cast/audience banter that occurs during the shows – for example my American husband had no idea what it meant! Between us we came up with A Little Christmas Panto with the tagline of Oh Yes It Is.
How do you plan to celebrate Christmas this year?
If all goes to plan we’ll spend Christmas in Colorado, where our middle son lives, and will be joined by our other two sons and their families (from Oregon and Tennessee). For the first time in over three years we’ll all be together and I can’t wait! I make no apologies now for the extreme grandchildren spoiling I plan on indulging in.
You have £5 to buy a Secret Santa gift – what would you buy?
It really has to be a book chosen to suit that particular person doesn’t it?
What’s your favourite Christmas song?
I’m not a fan of sentimental Christmas music – I particularly dislike White Christmas and much prefer traditional carols so I’ll choose Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
What’s your essential Christmas food or drink?
Mince pies, preferably served with Cornish clotted cream. Of course you can’t buy mince pies easily in America so I’m forced to make my own! I remember the first time I tried to buy mincemeat at an American supermarket and the assistant directed me to the meat section and told me to look for ground beef (their name for our minced beef). It took a little explaining to make it clear that wasn’t exactly what I meant! Afterwards I was relieved to discover something close to English mincemeat in the baking section.
What Christmas book are you looking forward to reading this year?
Rather than pick one and possibly upset some of my author friends I’ll choose for The Night Before Christmas which I fully intend to read to my grandchildren.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
Instagram as AngelaGolleyBritnell
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
I love nothing better than hearing from my readers!
And finally, what’s your favourite Christmas tree decoration?
It’s impossible to pick one because every year when I decorate the tree so many of the ornaments bring back wonderful memories of people and places – it’s like a patchwork quilt of our marriage and tells a story of its own.
Thanks so much for joining me Angela and for sharing your Christmas favourites. We still read The Night Before Christmas to our daughters and they’re in their 20s!
A Little Christmas Panto is published by ChocLit and available now.
You can order a copy here: A Little Christmas Panto