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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > January 2016 > Star interview: Matt Haig

Star interview: Matt Haig


Exploring relationships and humanity is at the core of all Matt Haig’s books, he tells Tina Jackson

Matt Haig, whose adult fiction has depicted vampires and aliens living in suburbia, has turned to the most loved imaginary character of all for his new novel for children, A Boy Called Christmas.

‘I’d just come out of writing Reasons To Stay Alive (his memoir about living with depression, shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year) and spent months thinking about the worst period of my life and really dark subject matter. I wanted to write about something that would make me as happy as possible, which was Father Christmas,’ he says. There was another reason too: a child asking for a story. ‘My son, Lucas, who’s seven, asked me to write about what Father Christmas was like as a boy.’

A Boy Called Christmas is a heartwarming seasonal adventure packed with reindeers, elves and trolls, but it is also a rites-of-passage story that visits disturbing territory.

‘It’s dark in that there is death in it,’ says Matt. ‘But I personally believe that in children’s fiction as well as fiction for adults, to write a hopeful book you have to acknowledge the dark stuff in life. A Boy Called Christmas includes the deaths of both parents, horrible evil relatives, danger, despair and grief.

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Easy ebooks – format and publish your ebook step by step RoMANce – why you need strong male characters 6 grammar rules you need to break Writing resolutions you'll stick to in 2016 Star interview with Matt Haig, author of The Humans and Reasons to Stay Alive WIN: A four-day Iceland Writers' Retreat worth £1,500 £47,350 in writing prizes News you can use: • 19 competitions to enter • 50 opportunities to get published PLUS! NEW Made for Mobile edition now available - it has never been easier to read Writing Magazine on the go!

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