The Christmas Pig is my new book for children, which is out on 12th October. It’s the story of a little boy called Jack, and his beloved toy, Dur Pig, and the toy that replaces Dur Pig when he’s lost on Christmas Eve – the Christmas Pig.
I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas story, but it had to be the right story, and finally I found it. The book was a long time in the making. It was supposed to be the next children’s book I published after Harry Potter but, because I wanted to do something to help during the pandemic, I decided to put out The Ickabog instead. But now The Christmas Pig is coming!
I can’t wait to hear what you think of the story!
Jack loves his childhood toy, Dur Pig. DP has always been there for him, through good and bad.
Until one Christmas Eve, something terrible happens – DP is lost. But Christmas Eve is a night for miracles and lost causes, a night when all things can come to life… even toys. And Jack’s newest toy – the Christmas Pig (DP’s annoying replacement) – has a daring plan: Together they’ll embark on a magical journey to seek something lost, and to save the best friend Jack has ever known…
There are many classic stories which are set at Christmas-time. Is this setting important to you?
I’ve always, always wanted to write a Christmas story, so this is the realisation of a longstanding ambition! But it had to be the right story, and finally I found it.
If you had to describe the character Jack in three words, what would those three words be? How about The Christmas Pig?
Jack is brave, loving and a little lost, though he finds himself through his adventure with the Christmas Pig, and I’d describe CP in exactly the same way.
How different was it to plotting out the Harry Potter series? Is there any magic in The Christmas Pig?
I’m a great planner and I knew exactly what was going to happen, and where, and how, before I started writing The Christmas Pig. The Christmas Pig is a magical story, but in a very different way to Harry Potter. You’re entering a world that runs according to its own peculiar magical laws, and there is magic around Christmas Eve, but there are no wands and wizards.
Are Jim Field’s illustrations as you pictured the characters and world in your head?
Jim’s illustrations are simply perfect. It really is as though he got inside my head and drew what he saw there! I gasped out loud when I saw one particular illustration (I can’t say which it is without giving spoilers), because it was such a perfect representation of one of my favourite scenes.
How did you work with Jim and did you enjoy it?
Jim and I worked through my editor, Ruth, who sent me Jim’s rough drawings and passed my feedback to Jim. As he was getting everything pretty much spot on the first time he drew it, most of my comments consisted of expressions of delight! I loved working with him. He really was the perfect illustrator for the project.
Where did you write the story?
I wrote most of the story in my writing room in the garden, but I remember mapping out the Land of the Lost while our family was on holiday. My children were playing on the beach and I was huddled beneath a sunshade, drawing maps and thinking through the logistics of the world.