At least that’s what the shops seem to think. Personally, I wish they would hold off just a little longer, or possibly entirely.
But this year I can hardly complain because I seem to have become part of it in some small sense. Because despite having only just recovered from the launch and associated promotional madness of “matt new book” (aka Ten Tiny Things), I am here to announce the publication of my latest shiny new book, which is decidedly and inescapably Christmassy.
It’s called Wreck the Halls, and it’s my latest contribution to Walker Books’ Lightning Strikes series. It seems I have accidentally written a trilogy of sorts, as this is the third book to feature the adventures of the hapless Nathan, Ronnie, and Weasel, who readers came to know and roll their eyes at in Going for Broke and The Big Dig.
In Wreck the Halls, the boys find themselves suddenly in need of cash and decide to enter the local Christmas lights decorating competition. Of course, things don’t go exactly to plan, and various forms of hilarity ensue (or at least, I hope they do).
The publisher’s blurb is:
$500 prize money! Yes! This Christmas decorating comp is too easy. Decorations? No sweat. Strategy? Who needs it? What on earth could go wrong?
And that pretty much sums things up. It was a lot of fun to write, and even more fun to rewrite. I hope it’s lots of fun to read too.
And so I leave you with these two fun facts:
* The book began, as many of my stories do, from the collision of two disconnected ideas. The first thing was seeing my house on Google Maps and thinking it would be funny if something weird/embarrassing had been happening when the photo was taken, which would then be on the Internet for everyone to see. The second was knowing some people who moved, without realising, into a street where everyone goes all-out with their Christmas lights. If you read the book, it’ll be obvious how those ideas interacted to form the basis of the story.
* For the first time, I have named a character after someone I know. In the story, he’s a helpful little guy, cheerful and cooperative. His name is Norman and he’s a garden gnome. He’s named after this fellow here, who by way of
retaliation thanks has named a character in his work-in-progress after me. Look out for a ‘strumpet’ named Meg, coming soon to a book near you!