December 17th – Marcie Steele’s Christmas Advent featuring Josie Silver

Today’s guest on Marcie’s Christmas Advent is Josie Silver. Hi Josie. Please tell me about your latest book.

My latest book is called The Two Lives of Lydia Bird. It’s about a girl, Lydia, who loses the love of her life, Freddie, but then miraculously gets a second chance at life with him. She quickly finds herself living two lives; one without Freddie, and one with him. But she discovers that there is a price to pay, and ultimately a choice to be made. It’s a story about love, and grief, and finding your inner strength.

What was the idea behind it?

My editor set me a broad brief; to think about a woman whose life could have gone in two different directions, and how the choices she makes knock on in both small and big ways. That lead me to thinking about double lives, and I tumbled down a fascinating rabbit hole of parallel universe research! Not the usual path for a love story, but it sparked lots of ideas which became the basis of the book.

What would be your main character’s idea of a perfect Christmas? 

Lydia is a real home bird and very family orientated. Her ideal Christmas would be with her mum and her sister, the three of them are a real team. Obviously Lydia would love to have Freddie there too. He was a big kid and adored Christmas – she misses him all of the time, but special days are particularly difficult. But then of course, she gets to spend Christmas with him after all in her other life… 

What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

I love Boxing Day. We always spend Christmas Day with extended family, and it’s noisy and hectic and wonderful, but Boxing Day we always stay home. We light the fire, cook roast beef, and slump in front of the TV in Christmas PJs. It started when our kids were little so they could have a play day with all of their new toys. They’re bigger now, but we all love it so we stick with it.

What is your favourite Christmas film? 

Ooh, tough one! I am a complete sucker for Christmas movies. I love The Holiday and Love Actually, but I have to pick Bridget Jones as my absolute favourite. I mean… nice boys really do kiss like that! Just thinking about that beautiful romantic snow scene at the end makes me feel like grabbing a mince pie.

What is the one book that you would like to see wrapped up under the Christmas tree for yourself this year? 

I’m really looking forward to Marian Keyes new book, Grown Ups, – Marian is basically my writing queen. I’m also hankering after the final instalment of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval series, Finale. It’s a magical fantasy trilogy, it’s spellbindingly good. The kind of book I couldn’t wait to get to bed early and escape into. 

What is your favourite Christmas song? 

Well, being a Black Country lass I feel duty bound to choose Noddy Holder, but I’ll shake it up and go for ‘Driving  Home For Christmas’ from Chris Rea. I especially love to hear it when I’m in the car, it’s a proper turn it up loud and sing along tunelessly situation. 

What’s your best Christmas tipple and snack?

I‘m a Christmas pudding fan. It’s always too heavy to have it on Christmas day itself, but I like to have a big one on the go for pretty much the whole of Christmas week. I regularly hack a slice off, flash fry it in a bit of butter, and then have it with cream or brandy butter. I totally stole that tip from Nigella, except I don’t do it at midnight in a silk dressing gown. 

What is your first draft process? 

I only ever write one draft. I don’t rush it though and I’m pretty thorough, self-editing yesterday’s work before I start the next day. Another good tip I use is to try to leave each day’s writing at a point where I know exactly what’s going to happen next so I can easily get back into it. 

What’s your poison – high heels or flats?

I have a dodgy bone in my left foot which may or may not have been the result of a drink-related tumble, it really plays up if I wear high heels. For that reason I mostly go for flats, I’m most often found in Converse. I have some sequin ones I’m especially partial to.


Buy The Two Lives of Lydia Bird


Josie Silver is a writer of love stories. 

Her debut novel One Day in December was a Sunday Times & NY Times bestseller and has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. 

Josie lives in the Midlands with her husband, their sons, and an ever-changing cast of animals.

You can find Josie on Twitter at @JosieSilver_, Facebook at @JosieSilverAuthor and visit her website here.


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