A Sense of Wonder: Talking with Penny Macoun about The Christmas Door
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A Christmas poem borne from a love of this magical time of year and the inspiration from the classic, A Night Before Christmas, Penny Macoun (Gorkle, Rollo’s Wet Surprise) shares the joy and journey behind her latest picture book, The Christmas Door. Thank you so much, Penny!
Congratulations on the release of your latest picture book, The Christmas Door!
Thank you very much. It’s great to be talking about this book and exploring my favourite time of the year.
This is a magical story that sparks wonder and imagination, as well as the importance of family and togetherness at this special time of year. What do you hope readers will gain from this book?
I hope readers will be captivated by the magic this poem creates. A sense of wonder and excitement.
Why did you want to write The Christmas Door? How did the idea of a door in the floor come about?
I have wanted to write a Christmas story for a long time and have always loved A Night Before Christmas, and I wanted to write something similar. My desire was to create something magical and different, which is where the door came from. Originally the girl found the door in the back yard and took it to the living room, but I felt that was too much, so I changed it to her finding it in the living room.
Why did you decide to write the story in rhyme? Does rhyme come naturally to you?
Rhyme definitely does not come naturally, but I like to give rhyming a go and with practice, I hope to improve. My Dad was a natural rhyming poet and I always wanted to have that talent. He seemed to be the natural poet and I’m the natural prose writer.
The illustrations by Paul Nash are lively and bright, warm and enchanting. What is your favourite spread or aspect about Paul’s art? Why?
I think Paul captured the amazement and magic of this poem very well, and there is one page that is my absolute favourite. It’s the page where the girl first opens the door, and the glorious rays surround her, and she is looking down through the door in amazement. I wonder what she is seeing? Perhaps some of the reindeer are looking back at her?
Can you name up to five (unusual) possibilities of what might be behind the door?
Oh wow, that’s an interesting idea. Well, as we are talking about Christmas, some possibilities are cheeky elves, dazzling tinsel, or perhaps a box full of Christmas treats.
What do you really hope, for yourself, and for your loved ones, this Christmas?
As always, I hope to spend Christmas with family, any family. The weather is good, the food delicious and I go to bed at night feeling thankful and blessed that there is still magic at Christmas.
Besides books (!), what would you say is the best present for Christmas?
Gift cards! Especially gift cards for book shops! 😊 Seriously though, the best present at Christmas is a hug and a smile followed by a gift that is thoughtful.
Which one is your favourite reindeer?
Comet, because the name is associated with outer space and I love all things outer space, astronomy, space exploration and sci-fi involving other worlds.
Thank you, Penny, and may you and your loved ones enjoy the lead up to a very Merry Christmas! 😊
I hope all the readers enjoy The Christmas Door and have a magical Christmas season. Thank you for supporting me along the way. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone. 😊
Penny Macoun was born in Sydney, Australia. She has been writing since 1993 when her story about a funnel web spider was printed in a school newsletter. She is an author, editor, book reviewer and trained primary school teacher. After teaching in public schools for eight years, Penny decided to pursue her passion for writing and fulfil her dream of becoming a published author.
The Christmas Door (2022) is her third book. Gorkle (2020) and Rollo’s Wet Surprise (2021) are her previous books for children. When she is not writing, teaching or editing, Penny dabbles in various forms of visual arts and enjoys travelling, completing short courses, and being out in the garden.
Visit Penny Macoun at her website: HOME | Penny Macoun Author
Paul Nash can be found at https://www.nashyart.com
THE CHRISTMAS DOOR is available for purchase through: Penny Macoun| Amazon | Booktopia | All online bookstores found here.
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