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Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury

For our twelth Firefly Christmas Book Advent, Jennifer Killick shares the cover for her next hilarious MG book, Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury publishing in May 2018... isn't if fantastic! Illustrated by Heath McKenzie and designed by Alex Dimond.

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Christmas. I love the cosiness of it: the twinkling tree lights in a darkened room; the fluffy red pyjamas patterned with snowflakes; the gooey, chocolatey, fruity comfort food in festive packaging that I eat far too much of. I really, REALLY love presents – giving them and receiving them. And I love that I get to share all of these things with my family and friends. But the thing I love most about Christmas is the feeling that magic is swirling all around us – closer at this time of year than any other. And nowhere is that magic more evident than in the Christmas stories we all love.

Putting Christmas in a story is a magic in itself. Like whipped cream, melted cheese and Emma Thompson, everything Christmas touches is instantly made a hundred times better. The Christmas films Home Alone and Elf fill me with a warmth that could toast marshmallows. I must have watched them fifty times each, and they still make me laugh as hard as I did the first time around. And then there are the Christmas books. I set aside all other reading for the month of December to give the Christmas and winter stories the focus they deserve. The Grinch, with his gorgeous, evil green face, is a favourite. A Christmas Carol, in all its Dickensian splendor, is clever and timeless. And more recently, Matt Haig and Chris Mould’s A Boy Called Christmas series has sledded its way into my heart.
Of course this leads to the big question: will I ever write a Christmas story? The truth is that writing a hilarious, standalone Christmas classic is probably the number one ambition on my extensive 'hopes and dreams' list. It’s something I would truly love to achieve. When planning which of my story ideas I will attempt to execute next, there are always a couple of Christmassy tales in the mix. But though patience isn’t a quality I usually have in abundance, it’s important to me to get this right. I don’t know when it will happen, but when the right idea bursts into my brain, I will do my very best to write a brilliant Christmas story.
For now, Alex and Jess are keeping me busy, but it’s no accident that their timeline has moved from September to October in The Stink, and October to November in Furry Fury. So if a third Alex Sparrow book was to come about, you can probably guess which month it would take place in…
I wish you all the happiest of Christmasses!