Q. Whereabouts do you live, Joan?
A. I’m very lucky; I live in one of the nicest places you could wish for – two minutes from the sea, in the sleepy village of Benajarafe in southern Spain. It’s the perfect place for a writer to live and work. And best of all, you can eat your Christmas dinner outside on the terrace – no snow and no snowmen.
A. I don’t have another job – I used to be a teacher but my only profession these days is writing. I spend, on average, 20 – 30 hours a week either writing or promoting my books. Of course, if I’m in the middle of a book, I don’t like to break off and so end up working more hours. I prefer to work in the morning when my mind is fresh and keep the afternoons and evenings for leisure time and family.
Q. How do you spend your leisure time?
A. I play golf at our local golf club. I used to be very serious about my golf but I now find that it takes me away from my writing so I limit myself to one game a week. I like to walk my dogs; I read a lot and spend time with friends. I’m also very keen on the cinema and TV dramas (I think I would like to try my hand at script writing one day). Living where we do, we usually get quite a few friends visiting us during the year and it’s nice to take them out and show them the area. At least once a year we also make a point of travelling to some part of Spain that we haven’t visited before – and trying the wine and local dishes. I am also very interested in local history and many things I discover end up in my novels.
Q. Name three people you would like to entertain for Christmas dinner and why?
A. Hilary Mantell because I’d like to pick up some writing tips from her and because she looks like she has a good appetite and would enjoy Christmas dinner.
Johnny Depp because he is handsome, a great actor and I would imagine a very entertaining dinner guest.
John Pilger, journalist and author because he would be a stimulating conversationalist and keep us awake after the Christmas pudding.
A. Venice – I think spending Christmas Eve in a gondola, drinking champagne and seeing the city would be magical.
Q. If you had one Christmas wish, what would it be?
A. I have quite a few unrealistic ones but one, that has at least a slight possibility of being granted, is to have all our family together for Christmas dinner (and someone else to cook it).
Q. Describe yourself using only three ‘Christmas’ words.
A. This is hard – I am not really a Christmassy person. Words like jolly and jovial don’t apply to me. The best I can do is sparkling (especially in congenial company), reflective (because Christmas is a time to look back as well as forward) and hospitable (because I like to organise a good party.)
A Having the family together and watching the children enjoy themselves.
A. That’s difficult because the memories have a way of running into each other. I would say it was probably when I was very young and was so excited that Father Christmas had eaten the mince pie and drunk the brandy that my parents had left out for him – too young to realise that he would never have fitted down our narrow chimney!
Q. What is the worst Christmas you have ever experienced?
A. That is a sad one – it was the first Christmas after my son died. We tried to make Christmas as happy as usual for the sake of my daughter and our parents, who always spent Christmas Day with us, but it was hard. Christmas is the time when everyone thinks of their loved ones and the happy times they have shared. When one of them is missing it is heartbreaking.
A. My latest published book is THE ONLY BLUE DOOR.
Q. Tell us about your work and what influenced you to write in this exciting genre?
A. It is the story of three English children who become separated from their mother during the Second World War and are wrongly identified as orphans. They are sent to Australia as child migrants – the two girls go to an orphanage in Melbourne and the boy is sent to a farm school in Western Australia. It is a sad story based on actual events but despite all the hardships that they face, they manage to pull through. The main character, a girl called Maggie, desperately tries to find their mother and reunite the family.
There is not much about Christmas in the book except that the only way they can count the years they have been in the orphanage is by counting the number of Christmases that have passed.
Q Do you have a particular character that figures consistently or are you in the stage of developing a lead character?
A. I suppose Maggie is the lead character but her mother, Irene and her brother, Billy also have major roles to play.
Q. Where can we find out more about your work?
A. You can find out more about me on my web page: www.joanfallon.co.uk and my books are listed on Amazon:
Q. And where can we follow and support you on social media sites?
A. I have two Twitter accounts: @joan_fallon which is to do with writing and @notesonspain which is all about things Spanish.
I am also on Facebook and Linked-in
A. Thank you. Can I invite you to meet my friends in this wonderful world of writing? Just click on the names below and you’ll find yourself reading a different set of answers to the same questions. Please support my friends and fellow authors by visiting their sites and checking out their contribution. Thank you for joining me on my blog tour.
PS You do believe….. Don’t you? Naturally
1. AMY METZ
2. MARIA SWAN