This time last year, I had the honour of having one of my short stories, The Reason Why We Eat Turkey at Christmas, featured on the Mumsnet Advent Calendar.
Mumsnet, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is a highly-regarded, well-read parenting website. Dads are by no means banned from it, though some may be intimidated by the name.
Mine wasn’t a children’s story (though older children may enjoy it), because the calendar was aimed at parents – and what parent doesn’t love an advent calendar, big kids that we all are?
But in this age of the e-reader, another fun festive trend is emerging to get us in the mood for Christmas: the rise of the special Christmas e-books. These are usually short stories rather than full-length novels, because who has time to read much when there’s Christmas shopping to be done? Nor the budget to buy them – so these e-books are usually priced low, designed to provide an affordable treat that offers light relief from the stresses of Christmas preparations. Speaking as one who has yet to write a single Christmas card, post a parcel or finish my shopping, it’s a service made to measure for me. I’ve just enjoyed two very different such stories by my friends Joanne Phillips and Andrew Peters.
On finishing Andrew’s book, it dawned on me that here was a bandwagon (or perhaps I should say sleigh) on which I, as a self-publishing author, ought to jump. So last night I entered the fray, and hey presto, via the digital magic of Amazon, I’ve conjured up a new Kindle e-book of my Mumsnet Christmas story, under the new, snappier title of The Owl and The Turkey. As its original name suggests, it is a fun, frivolous and ever so slightly silly fable that suggests the real reason that we eat turkey for Christmas. The tale begins when a young Queen, bored of wild boar, despatches her Royal Huntsmen on a quest to find the medieval answer to fast food. No birds were harmed in the writing of this book, which is suitable for vegetarians of all ages.
The Owl and the Turkey is now for sale on Kindle at just 77p/99c here.
And while you’re reading it, I’d better make a start on those Christmas cards….
While we’re in wintry mood, make a mental note to come back to this site on Saturday, when I’ll be taking part in a special feature about the winter solstice, with links to fun and fascinating contributions from 30 other writers, kindly choreographed by my friend the historical novelist Helen Hollick.