Hello Pernille, thank you so much for joining me on Novel Kicks today. Your book is called Him With The Beard. Can you tell me a little about it?
Hi Laura, I´m so glad you would have me!
In Him With The Beard, we follow a little family whose life is turned upside down when the daughter Mille stops believing in Santa. We read the story from the mother´s, Stella, perspective.
It’s a sweet Christmas story about family, Santa Claus and the big question whether it’s possible to find a way back to the joy of Christmas when you discover that Santa isn’t who you thought.
What is your writing process like from planning to editing?
I always begin with a vague idea, often a funny scene, and work with the idea in my head for some while, before I begin writing it down on paper. I love the process of getting all the small pieces in the puzzle to fit.
And then I begin writing, writing, writing and writing. I´m one of those unwise people that edit and write at the same time, but I just know when something doesn’t work, and I would rather change it when I know what I can do differently than forgetting it and try to change it later.
From then on it’s off to beta readers and the editor and I do changes based on what they find. I´m not perfect, so I love getting feedback that can help me get my story better across to readers.
Is there a certain place you like to write and are there certain things you need like coffee/tea/music/silence?
I´m pretty easy to please. I just need my computer to write 🙂
I always write late at night or very early in the morning when it’s quiet. I´m also pretty tired at this point so it’s like writing drunk which can be a good thing because then my inner critic has gone to bed. Ha!
What elements do you feel need to be present in a novel?
I really like when a book has humour and a twinkle in the eye because I feel like the book becomes your friend and you share all these inside jokes that no one else understands (Even if the author wrote them like that).
I often wonder what kind of relationship other readers have with my favourite books, and now also what my book will give people.
What’s your favourite word and why?
I love this question! And I don´t know!
I´m such kind of person that often stops up to repeat a word because it sounds funny or delicious in the way it leave my lips.
I´m a Dane so the word “Hygge” is a word I use at least ten times a day. At least!
English words I like is: Dazzle, giggle or the hilarious Flabbergasted. I feel like I have to do the flabbergasted face to say this word!
Is there a fictional character you’d like to meet? What would you both do?
I´m thinking I would have a lovely day with Lily from Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon. Just walking around in an Australian conservation park, and say hello to kangaroos, wombats and koalas (NO SPIDERS PLEASE) and then have lunch in the shade of a big eucalyptus tree. If I’m lucky I might even get the chance to say hello to Lily´s sexy husband Ben.
What traditions do you most look forward to at Christmas?
Did you know that scientists have found out that we celebrate Christmas ¼ of our lives?
I love Christmas and am one of those (annoying hehe) people that celebrate Christmas like half of my life!
That’s also why this question seems so unfair, because how can I choose?!
I´m sorry if this is going to make you puke, but it’s not so much the traditions I like, but those small moments in the traditions, or in the magical moments (like when Santa visits) where you share some joy and happiness with other people 🙂
Are you working on something new? Are you able to tell me a bit about it?
I´m working on another short story, but for now, it’s all very hush, hush because it’s in the idea stage and from here everything can change. But I hope it will be a bit funny and a bit romantic 😉
What advice do you have for new writers?
Read a lot, write a lot.
Yeah, yeah I know you´ve heard it before but that’s because is true.
Reading will give you different inputs of ways to tell a story and how to use the language.
Writing will help you find a way to get your thoughts down on paper, and that is a challenge on its own.
Plotting and writing are two different skills, and it might make better sense for you to write fanfiction eg. if you´re only just starting. I wrote fanfiction with Robin Hood and Xena the Warrior Princess when I was younger, and it was liberating to continue on a story I already knew.
Because I already lived in that world, the words came so easy by themselves and that is something I´ve learned a lot from.
But if you don’t have time for a lot of reading and writing, don’t give up!
The most important thing really is to have an opinion about what you read and write. That way you learn what it is you love the most in a story and why it is a story doesn’t work for you. Now you just have to find out what you would do differently to make it work. That’s your plotting skills you are training 🙂
Don´t give up is another great advice you need to remember. Breathe and take it one line at a time.
I wish you good luck with your writing journey!
Pernille was born in 1988 and loves that she was born in the decade with the tallest hair, the most colourful clothes, and the best music.
Her imagination never stands still, and it’s often expressed in words and pictures.
She wrote her first story when she was six years old. It was about the cat she unfortunately never got but wished for more than anything.
She loves autumn and Christmas and believes in elves.
From day to day she is a knight in training, an animator, and a secret agent – she has saved the world a few times by now.
She’s also a professional daydreamer.
She thinks the recipe for a good book is the same as the one for having a good life – a sense of kinship, humour, love, and that one thing that gives you a daily smile.
Vestercity is a fictional city based on her upbringing near the city of Herning in Denmark.
Say hi to Pernille on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pernille56
About Him With The Beard:
Do you remember that moment you stopped believing in Santa Claus?
When nine-year-old Mille suddenly no longer believes in Santa Claus, it turns the house upside down.
Her mother, Stella, is in a pickle as the hunt to find Santa Claus unearths some family secrets.
Christmas is at risk!
And there’s only one person who can save it.
Him with a Beard is available to buy. Click on the links to visit the following: