Please welcome my good friend Gloria to the blog. Gloria has let me run wild on her blog with a series this fall on web presence. She's been more than a good sport about listening to me yammer on about my OPINIONS. She's so funny and I'm lucky to know her; I hope you have people like Gloria in your day. Just follow her blog after you read the interview and you'll see!
GLORIA RICHARD, author of Contemporary Single Title Romance.
A brief bio:
"I can’t remember a time I didn’t love to read, a time I didn’t love word play, a time I didn’t love to laugh. No matter the book, one sentence rings true for scenes that rock my writing world.
I love laughter in life, and that’s what I put on the page.*
My books have tension, conflict, snark, spark, passion, quirks, twists, turns, spunk, pain, steam and Happily Ever Afters. Whoop! A spoiler?"
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Please feel free to copy these questions and answer them on your blog. This is a Christmas meme. If you do want to play along, leave a link in the comments section. We'd love to read your Christmas interview answers! TAG--> YOU'RE IT!
I'm going to personally tag some terrific writers: Lori Freeland, Sherry Isaac, Jessica Aspen, and Florence Fois. Take it away, Gloria!
Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot chocolate like Judy makes it in The Santa Clause. Ghiradelli chocolate melted (in milk) on the stove. Deep, rich, topped with vanilla flavored whipped cream. That pop, pop, pop sound? The fat cells around my belly doing their pre-holiday stretch exercises.
Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
He wraps them. And he often enlists my husband’s help. Now, I love that John wraps presents. I do not love that he slaps remnants of multiple patterns on the same gift. Each year I promise myself I’ll do a preemptive strike, remove all of the old paper, and replace with color coordinated “cool” paper. Each year I forget, and Mr. Christmas totes home rolls of ugly paper from Walmart.
Coloured lights on tree/house or white?
[Psst. Sidebar. Ok. So. Are you originally from Canada or England or some other place where they like the U more that we do? I LOVE it being there. I may launch a Love the U campaign.]
I’m sorry was that an “or” question? Because two trees have coloUred lights and the remaining three are twinkly little white lights. When I’m rich and famous, I plan to buy bubble lights, too. Puh-leeze. Seven lights per strand? That’s a headband, not a string of lights for a tree.
Do you hang mistletoe?
YUP! Right in the foyer, because when NCIS Gibbs and Jesse Stone/Tom Selleck walk through my front door, I want to greet them properly. I have a secret dream that I sit next to Tom Selleck on a flight (first class, of course). So! He’s nonchalant. Probably doesn’t want to pester me. And, I pull out the airsick bag and sign it just for him. He’s thrilled (of course) and signs one for me. That fantasy leads to him begging to… …produce a movie based on one of my books. Come on, people! I’m a married woman. He’s a married man. This is a public forum.
When do you put your decorations up?
I leave a little bit of Christmas around the house all year. Thanksgiving weekend is the latest Deck the Halls and all that jazz around my house. The first thing that comes out is my Christmas movie basket. Hmm. I think Charlie Brown Christmas is calling me.
What is your favourite holiday dish?
Stuffing. Bread stuffing. Bread stuffing with celery and onions and whatever else I decide to throw into the mix. Give me a heap of that with mashed potatoes and gravy and I am one happy chomper.
Favourite Holiday memory as a child?
I was in grade school, and found an old, tattered, black vinyl purse. I hid that old purse in my closet and saved pennies and nickels and dimes for months. I wanted to buy something for each of my four sisters. I only remember one of the gifts I bought from my stash—an Etch-a-Sketch for Sheri. To me, it was like giving her the equivalent of Ralphie’s BB Gun. (Channeling The Christmas Story here.)
When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I suspected it all along, but knew for sure the year I got day-of-the-week panties. I only got Monday through Wednesday. Sister Donna got Thursday through Saturday.
Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yes, and sometimes several evenings leading up to Christmas Eve—especially if there are books or Christmas movies under the tree.
How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
The lights stay on year-to-year. The Story of The Year of the EERT will appear elsewhere, but it involves a frightening story of what happens when the lights need replaced on a twelve-foot pre- strung tree.
All of my trees have bow toppings. I don’t envision a near term change (even though I LOVE your nutcracker topper). I purchased a nifty bow-maker last year. A simple piece of wood with four dowels unleashed a Bow Artiste Extraordinaire.
I section off the tree so there’s a pop of my favoUrite ornaments from every angle. ColoUr distribution is key. My ornaments range from old, homemade ones, to basic balls in primary colors, to whimsical ornaments, to a collection of Waterford Heirloom Mouth Blown and painted ornaments.
Then, I spend the rest of the season, tweaking the ornaments each time I pass.
Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it, love it, love it! I grew up in Pennsylvania. We rarely get a white Christmas in Texas, so it’s magic when it happens.
Can you ice skate?
HAHAHAHAHA! Um. No. Not well.
Do you remember your favourite gift?
A Polaroid camera from my high school sweetheart. I still have a picture of the Big Winter Moon that night. Funny how tiny the moon looks when shot with a Polaroid. It wasn’t the most expensive gift I’ve ever received, but it was the most memorable. Remember, I’m the kid who got half a week’s worth of underwear. Timing is everything.
What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Family: old traditions, and creating new traditions for the next generation. I hope to keep the Reason for the Season in mind, but admit I fall into gift and decorating mania.
Each Christmas, I adopt an angel from angel trees, adopt-a-family, drop food at the local food bank, purchase sandwiches and hot coffee for wandering old men, and over tip. Still, each year, there’s a tinge of guilt when I look at the glut of gifts under our tree.
What is your favourite Holiday Dessert?
This is an easy one. My grandma’s double-layer chocolate and peanut butter fudge. I love that I have her recipe in her handwriting. And, my MILs Pecan Pie recipe topped with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle.
What is your favourite holiday tradition?
Family together for food, movies, games and gifts. Every year. No exceptions. Even if we have to move our Christmas celebration to an alternate day to accommodate the in-laws and steps.
What tops your tree?
Did I mention I have a nifty bow-maker?
Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
Definitely giving, and I’m not being an altruistic Dudley Do Right when I say that. Anticipation of the smile on the face of the person receiving the gift floats my bows.
What is your favourite Christmas Song?
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. The words “peace on the Earth, goodwill to men…” evoke a sense of hope and peace.
Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?
Hey, kids! Check out those candy canes! Take one. Take two. Take a fistful for your friends.
Favourite Christmas Show?
I have to pick a favoUrite? The Christmas Story, then. Just the right balance of nostalgia and humoUr. I triple dog dare you not to love it.
Saddest Christmas Song
I’ll be Home for Christmas. It is to songs what Old Yeller is to movies and Where the Red Fern Grows is to books. I keep hoping the sentiment at the end will change. So much love, tradition and heartfelt promise until the last line, “if only in my dreams.”
That song reminds me of the men and women who can’t come home because they’re deployed, in harm’s way, protecting our freedom.
Thanks so much for playing along! If you want to let us know more about you in a Christmas interview, please leave a link in the comments to your blog where we can read about you (or should I say, "U"). Actually, I copied this meme from a person who isn't from the US. I didn't catch it when I sent it to Gloria. She had so much fun with it; I didn't want to change to the American spellings before posting. In the document below, you'll see the American spellings. :)