A week ago today, I posted the cover of the anthology Christmas Lites III and told you that it would be coming soon – today, in point of fact.
To give you a little taste of what to expect, I managed to get a hold of this interesting bit. It is an interview with one of the characters from that anthology. A rare treat and a mysterious thing – well, read it for yourself and see what I mean.
A Dickens Fireside Chat with Ginny Peabody
Two people, a man and a woman, are seated in a parlour. A blaze crackles in the fireplace, as a light snow falls gently outside. Tea is served, and the man smiles.
Now it begins…
“Welcome to the Dickens Fireside Chat. Today we have as our guest, the plucky heroine of ‘Once Upon a Christmas Eve’, Ginny Peabody. Greetings, Ginny, so nice to have you join us today. Why don’t you begin by telling everyone about yourself.”
“I’m so glad to be invited. There’s not much to tell, really. I live in the village of Westerly, with my mother, and my brother Edward. We’re a close family, especially since Father passed away. Mother’s a dear, but she worries over us too much. Of course sometimes she has cause, as my brother and I can be quite trying at times.”
“No doubt. I dare say we’ve all vexed our mothers at one time or another. What’s village life like? I hear you celebrate Christmas with quite the flair in Westerly.”
“Well,” she pauses a bit, and fidgets in her chair, “we do have our reasons for our Christmas celebrations, things best not talked about openly.” She picks up a cup of tea and smiles to lighten the mood. “The rest of the year is very sedate though, just your typical village goings on: a bit of gossip, visiting neighbours, that sort of thing.”
“You make Christmas in Westerly sound rather ominous. It can’t be that bad, surely?”
Ginny shudders. “Trust me, these matters are best not discussed. We don’t want to give anyone nightmares or lead to regrettable consequences. Christmas in my village is a tricky season, and can be, ah, perilous.”
“Very well, I’ll leave the matter be. Let’s chat about a more personal subject. You’re a young girl of marriage age, do you have a beau?”
Ginny blushes. “There is a young man I’m sweet on, but I’m not certain I’d call him a beau. Not yet, at least.”
“Does this young man have a name?”
She giggles. “Of course he does. But I couldn’t possibly say. It wouldn’t be proper.”
“I understand, ladies do have to maintain their decorum. And speaking of such, what passes for polite society in Westerly?”
Ginny sets her tea cup down with a clatter. “I’m sure it doesn’t come up to city standards, but we do fine. We have a Sewing Circle, the Ladies Charitable Auxiliary, the Westerly Scientific Society, and we even have a Readers Club.”
“I certainly didn’t mean to ruffle any feathers. It sounds like a very lively place. Except of course at Christmas. Then some decidedly unlively things occur, don’t they? What really goes on in the village of Westerly at Christmas, Miss Peabody?”
Ginny gasps. “None of your business, sir. And quite rightly so, for your own protection. Keep your nose out of our affairs, lest you regret it.”
“Is that a threat?”
“No, sir, but is a friendly warning.” She shivers. “Is it getting cold in here? I think I’d best leave.”
Ginny abruptly rises from her seat and departs the room, leaving her interviewer to stare at her now vacant chair. He quickly recovers his composure.
“Well, apparently that ends this session of the Dickens Fireside Chat. Join us next time for a talk with Fred, that mysterious nephew of Ebenezer Scrooge.”
The man settles back in his chair, to finish his cup of tea, never noticing the grey mist gathering outside the window…
And that’s it! That’s all I could find. But now the anthology is available and perhaps we can get to the bottom of this mysterious interview.
Author Bio: A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, and still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she has always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She is fond of good books (especially science fiction/fantasy), action movies, sword collecting, and oil painting as a hobby.
Ms. Stewart is an indie author with several published novellas and story collections in the dark fantasy or horror genres, with a few side trips into poetry and non-fiction. She has a great interest in history and mythology, often working those themes into her books and stories.