It seems a little strange to be talking about Christmas in March!

However, I’ve just finished writing a Christmas story, to be released later this year, and I’m feeling rather excited.

What was even stranger today was reading said Christmas book to a group of children, sat out in the beautiful sunshine! The sun shining didn’t stop the fantastic conversations about Rudolph though and, at one point, a few of the kids even broke into a round of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer! I’m sure anyone passing would have wondered what on earth was going on.

Being a writer of therapeutic stories, a Christmas book was never on my agenda. Then, at Christmas I just couldn’t help but start writing notes. I remembered back to my brother once hearing Father Christmas come to fill our stockings and the excitement we all felt! The idea of meeting Father Christmas is magical and I could never count how many times I dreamt of it as a child.

If Only I Could Stay Awake… follows the story of a child desperate to stay awake for when Father Christmas arrives on Christmas Eve. They’ve tried so many times before but have always ended up falling asleep. This year though, they’re much older than before and truly believe that this is the year they can do it!

Having finished the story, I’ve been sending it out for review. The following is a selection of what I’ve received back so far:

“A new Christmas classic.  A lovely, magical story to read to children in the lead up to Christmas and the rhyme makes it very soothing before bed. Everyone dreams of staying awake to see Father Christmas so every child will empathise with the character.”

“Clare invites us into the sights and sounds of Christmas Eve with this lovely festive poem.  Inspired by every child’s hope to meet the real Father Christmas, with beautiful illustrations this bouncy, rhyming story carries us on one little child’s journey of wonder into the myth of the man in the red suit.”

At my school visit today, one girl wrote this:

And Ruby (aged 11) drew me a picture of Rudolph to keep:

Writing anything new and getting ready to release it to the big wide world can be pretty daunting, but receiving the feedback I have so far, and chatting to the kids today, my excitement is building. I can’t wait to get it out there!