Dec 2, 2015

Agi and Suze's Christmas Countdown: Interview with Lynn Marie Hulsman! + Giveaway


About Lynn Marie Hulsman

Lynn Marie Hulsman is the bestselling author of three romantic comedies, who also writes cookbooks. She enjoys Nora Ephron movies, pop psychology, terriers, and napping. She is not a fan of people walking three abreast on New York City sidewalks or spiders of any ilk. She does not believe in white chocolate.Once a stand-up comic, and now a PTA mom and corporate ideation agent, she spends a lot of energy keeping her wise-cracks to herself. Find out more about Lynn Marie by following her on Twitter and Facebook, and by visiting her website. She's on Pinterest, but accepts defeat in the face of true crafty types. Don't be shy about reaching out to say hi -- as a Black Belt Procrastinator, she welcomes the distraction. 

Website: www.lynnmariehulsman.com

Interview

1) What's your best Christmas memory?

I had a little toy poodle named Bitsy, that my mother got from my aunt when it turned out my cousin was allergic to even a non-shedding dog. They got her for me because I was the only girl of five children, which meant I didn’t share a bedroom, and I was the youngest. I was scared to go upstairs in our large suburban house by myself, and Bitsy was my companion and friend. She passed away… she was never really healthy, but getting into the stockings under the tree and eating the chocolate may have been what sealed the deal. She died shortly after Christmas when I was 13. My mother said we’d never get another dog because there was too much heartbreak when they passed away. The next year, I had no hope that a dog would be a possibility, but on Christmas Eve, I was led into the “good” living room… the one we only went in at Christmastime when the tree was set up, and told to close my eyes. When I opened them, a tiny, shiny black tangle of curls with two gleaming dark eyes came out from behind the coffee table. I kept asking, “Is he mine? Is he mine?” I named him Bonkers, after a dog in a John Irving novel. (I know… what was I doing reading John Irving when I was 14, but helicopter parents hadn’t been invented yet). The whole thing was like a television commercial. The memory is sparkly and technicolor.


2) What are your 3 favourite Christmas reads?

It’s so hard to pin down only three! I’ll make you a deal… I’ll tell you three of my TOP choices for this year if you promise not to hold me to them forever. And I’m going to choose only from my favorite genre, Romantic Comedy. If I start getting into Dickens or Dr. Seuss, we’ll be here all day. 

Number 1: Bridget Jones, by Helen Fielding. I’m going to say both 1 and 2, and count that as one answer. I love the first one for Mark Darcy in his Christmas jumper and the shenanigans of the oldies at her parents’ house. I love number two because the scene in the church, where Bridget comes to some great realizations had such depth. It’s a really well written piece of literature. I cried and cried. It was so cathartic.

Number 2: The Great Christmas Knit-Off by Alexandra Brown. It had it all: Heart, humor, romance, and a dog. I really enjoyed the mythical village in which it was set, and the magical joy of the season. 

Number 3: Tinsel and Terriers by Cressida McLaughlin. Dogs, England, Christmas, conflict, and a happy ending. It’s like it was made for me.

Number 4: All the Christmas books by Carole Matthews, Trisha Ashley, Miranda Dickinson, and Katie Fforde. (Sorry, I told you this was really, really hard for me).

3) If you could choose one person, dead or alive, to celebrate a one time special Christmas with, who would you choose and why?

My mom. I lost her five years ago, and with hindsight and with children of my own, I can clearly see how hard she worked to make so many people feel joy for the holidays. I’d like a chance to explain that I really get it, and to truly thank her. 


4) What are your thoughts about Santa?

I think Santa is different to every person the way God is different to every person. My Santa doesn’t have a naughty list. My Santa is like the one in the film A Miracle on 34th Street. He’s kind, and smart, and good, and very, very real. He’s like a very intelligent and benevolent granddad who only wants the best for everyone, and has no ego of his own. I love that guy.

5) What are your best and worst Christmas gifts and why?

I guess the worst, if you could call it that, are sweet food gifts. Not because I don’t welcome the sentiment and the thought, or even the gifts themselves. It’s just that in the holiday season, there’s so very much of this type of goodie that it almost ceases to be special. I’m almost jealous of people in the olden days who truly got excited about a Christmas cake, the occasional mince pie, and oranges and nuts in the toe of a stocking because they were so rare. It’s like I tell my kids, “If everything is special, then nothing is.” 


Best? Time with people. Honestly, I’d rather have the undivided attention of my friends and family than anything I can unwrap. We’re all so busy with working from home, and screen time, and trying to do things better. Downtime is sacred. Unhurried conversations make me so happy. And if someone really wants to get me something… I wouldn’t say no to gift certificates for spa massages and mani/pedis, or promises of boozy lunches. 

6) Your favourite Christmas song?

Let it Snow! It’s because of what I’ve just said. Nothing could be better than to be ‘forced’ to stay put in front of a fire with some drinks and lovely food and good company. Resting, enjoying, and sharing company are what the season is about for me. 


7) Your favourite Christmas movie?

I love The Bishop’s Wife with Cary Grant, David Niven, and Loretta Young. It’s so poignant and complicated, and it boldly examines marriage and what women’s lives are like. It’s funny, too, which I love. And the ending isn’t pat. I don’t know why it’s not ranked up there with It’s a Wonderful Life. 

8) Top 3 books that you're giving as Christmas presents?

The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes because it’s just really, really, really good.

Debbie Johnson’s Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper to all my Rom Com/Anglophile friends because it’s festive and English.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty because wow. It’s funny and dark and scary and layered. I’m in awe. 


9) Most favourite and least favourite part of Christmas?

Most favorite: Relaxing and laughing with friends and family without any pressure to do anything else or be anywhere else.

Least favorite: Cleaning the house for guests. I’m the worst housekeeper, ever. 

Amazon USA Amazon UK

10) I must ask, sorry - the best Christmas food is…?

In England: Tiny mince pies. Bonus if they’re warm and are served with Stilton cheese. 

In America: Really buttery homemade cut-out Christmas cookies with glazed icing. They are so special and rare.

11) Do you perhaps know what's your Christmas gift is going to be?

So far, I’ve asked for a sea salt mill. I have high hopes that it could happen.

Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK                                                                  Amazon USA Amazon UK    
One very lucky reader of our blogs will receive paperback copies of the fabulous Christmas at Thornton Hall and the amazing A Miracle at Macy's. Good luck!




40 comments:

  1. My favourite Christmas movie: IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946).

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  2. "Let it snow" is my favorite Christmas song too and now if only temps would drop and the white stuff would actually fall ... Christmas just isn't the same when it feels like spring is around the corner. *big sigh*

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  3. My fav christmas movie,
    HOME ALONe, i still watch it when i saw it on tv and laugh a lot!
    thanks!

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  4. My fave Christmas memory is when we went to Cornwall for New year and it was all Christmasy xx πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

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  5. My fave Christmas memory is when we went to Cornwall for New year and it was all Christmasy xx πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

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  6. My fave Christmas memories are of my childhood and although we didn't have much, my Mum made our presents and everything was so lovely :)

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  7. My favorite Christmas memory is getting a kitten as a gift.

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  8. i do imagine your joy at discovering Bonkers

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  9. Boozy lunches...lol. I just want some time with my husband and kids without any electronics.

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  10. I hope you get what you want. My favorite movies include Home Alone 1 and 2 and The Christmas Card.

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  11. What a great interview, I really enjoyed it. I've always wanted to try mince pies, you just don't see them here.

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    1. So delicious! I wish there would be a mince pie revolution in America!

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  12. I remember sitting on the couch with my daughter watching Christmas shows and movies making Christmas ornaments.

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  13. Enjoyed the interview. I love holiday based books.

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  14. I love reading Christmas-themed books in the weeks leading up to the holiday.

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  15. My fave christmas memory is of my son's first Christmas, many years back, when i bought him a bouncing Tigger and we spent the days watching him giggle at it :)

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  16. My favourite Christmas song is "Stille Nacht" (Silent Night in German). Me and my family are from an Italian town near the Austrian's borders, so we sing it in German on Christmas' Eve before opening our presents. It's a moment of intense spirituality!

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  17. I like snow and a bunch of colourful lights~

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  18. great interview, I like to read Christmas/holidays based books.

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  19. I don't think I have ever seen THE BISHOP'S WIFE. I will need to look for it. HOME ALONE always makes for fun family viewing.

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  20. I think/hope that I'm getting a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas.

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  21. I think/hope that I'm getting a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas.

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  22. I was a bit surprised that the giveaway on Goodreads, for this book, A Miracle at Macy's, was only good for members in two countries. (members in the following : countries: GB and IE.) Macy's is a United States based store and the giveaway isn't even open to the United States, pretty ironic.

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  23. I'd like to be with the Sprouse Bros ☺ -Mary Rose Benipayo

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  24. My favorite Christmas song is I'll be Home For Christmas, because so many people are away from those they love during the holidays.

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  25. Worst gift... an iron from my mum. haha Practical but not the model I was after. :)

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  26. Favourite memory? 13 of us for Christmas dinner at my grandparents' house. Meant we had to have dinner in 2 sittings. We weren't allowed to open the presents from the aunts/uncles until we had all finished dinner so no-one rushed as there was no point and the children (as we were at the time) always ate first, but we managed to watch Top Of The Pops (showing my age now) while the others ate their dinner so we weren't too bored.

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  27. What are your best and worst Christmas gifts and why? Gift Cards - It fits under both catagories. It's a great gift to give so that someone can get exactly what they want. But it's a horrible gift because there is no personalization to it.

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  28. My favourite Christmas movie is Scrooged. I think it's a good twist on A Christmas Carol, and Carol Kane as the ghost of Christmas Present is so funny.

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  29. Do you perhaps know what's your Christmas gift is going to be? I asked for books so a book for sure :)

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  30. My favourite Christmas movie is miracle on 34 street.

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  31. The person I would like to celebrate a one time special Christmas is my father because I don't have any Christmas memories with him.

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  32. My favourite Christmas Movie is The Snowman

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