I was born at Christmas time. I think that's why I like winter and Christmas so much. Right now, I am working on a winter fantasy I have been trying to write on and off for years, in which the ghosts of the Wolf Tribe ride on Christmas Eve.
I expect all of us book lovers have books we like to read again and again at this time of year. It's lovely to snuggle up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and the Christmas lights on, enjoying a magical read.
At the moment, I'm reading The Toy Makers by Robert Dinsdale, about a magical toy emporium that opens each year with the first snow of winter. I bought the book in summer, and it seemed weird and wrong. Re-reading it in December is just perfect.
But I also have some regular favourites:
The Box of Delights by John Masefield. Both the book and the 1980s TV series always thrill me, when I hear the words: "The wolves are running." (Ooh, do I spot an influence? I hear you say.)
The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder, about a magic advent calendar, with a chapter for each day in December. This was the book that wooed me back to contemporary literature after ten years' absence.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Sometimes I read it in translation for convenience, but nothing beats the beauty of the original Middle English.
Wenceslas by Carol Ann Duffy. This is one of her single-volume poetry books, with gorgeous illustrations by Stuart Kolakovic.
And speaking of poetry, I couldn't forget "King John's Christmas" by AA Milne. "Oh, Father Christmas, if you love me at all/Bring me a big, red india-rubber ball!"
What do you like to read at this time of year? Right now, I'm running a little Christmas giveaway on Twitter. Follow me @hidden_grove, RT and leave a comment telling me your favourite Christmas read, and I will send you a flash fiction story from Tiny Tales from the Hidden Grove, my flash fiction ebook, featuring previously published and brand new tales. It's only 99p or equivalent from all good ebook outlets. And for the same price, you can also buy its sister book, Tales from the Hidden Grove, which has 12 longer tales. One for each day of Christmas!
Merry Christmas and happy reading!