Written by Aleksandra Tryniecka
The idea for writing the novel Bunky and the Walms: The Christmas Story was born in 2019 during… one of the spring months!
Meeting The Blue Hippo
Chris and I were attending a conference in London and, during our trip, we bought a plush mascot – a Blue Hippo. The Hippo had such a unique face expression – partly happy and serene, yet partly dissatisfied. I thought that this characteristic enabled him to look more natural! After all, we all experience such a wide range of emotions in everyday life.
Chris and I immediately fell in love with the Blue Hippo and imagined him as a literary character! Then, the character of Bunky was born and his entire literary world appeared around us! While in London, we also took a walk through Brent and, suddenly, we encountered the Walm Lane. In this way, Bunky’s family – the Walms, came into existence.
Starting To Write
I began writing the novel in the summer 2020. At this point, Bunky’s adventures were so vivid in my mind! The Blue Hippo became the prototype of my Bunky. On a warm August day I gathered some fabrics, threads and needles and made the mascot of Bunky and his sweater. Then, I made the mascot of the Bunky Princess. In this way, these beloved literary protagonists fully entered my reality!
The year 2020 was difficult in so many new ways, thus I decided to take shelter in Bunky’s literary Christmas world, hoping to invite my Readers into this safe and peaceful land as well. Christmas always held a special place in my heart. My happiest memories are connected with Christmas and, also, I associate this time with hope and dreams coming true. I love the feeling of taking a walk in the snow and this mysterious yet tranquil atmosphere on the Christmas night, when magic is almost tangible and kindness and goodness are within, simply lingering in the air. Then, it seems that everything is possible and each and every dream can enter our reality.
A Love Of Christmas
I thought that Bunky and I could share with our Readers this unforgettable, magnificent spirit of the approaching Christmas. My novel, Bunky and the Walms, is filled with Christmas scents and colours, winter landscapes and sounds and, predominantly, with the warmth of Bunky’s home which is located in the Walmland Village, “one thousand miles away from the North Pole, west of the Faroe Islands and east of the Baffin Bay” (Bunky and the Walms: The Christmas Story, p. 4).
It is the Christmas village from my childhood dreams – even as an adult, I am often dreaming of living in Walmland in a small house similar to the one which belongs to the Walms family, surrounded by spruces and Christmas lights!
Yet, in the novel, this magical, peaceful place can be discovered only by those who deeply believe in Bunky’s existence! It is exactly like with dreams – they are there, truly at hand, but only tangible for those who deeply believe that everything is possible!
Bunky And The Walms
Bunky and the Walms: The Christmas Story is a novel with two intertwining storylines: firstly, it is the Christmas story about one slightly grumpy, but also noble, loyal and courageous Bunky who suddenly has to become the Christmas Hero, repair Santa Claus’s sleigh and save this year’s Christmas!
Secondly, there is a story within a story: Bunky is secretly writing his own novel about the fairyland of Bunkyland and the most beautiful and talented Bunky Princess who lives in the Bunkyland castle. Just before Christmas, Bunky realizes that he might be falling in love with his literary character. Bunky starts wondering whether it is possible to connect his reality with the literary world from his novel. The Readers will find out if it is possible while reading the book!
The overall message from Bunky and the Walms is that dreams, reality and literature do overlap in one way or another, if only one is courageous enough to believe in what others might consider to be impossible.
A Protagonist Readers Can Identify With
While writing the novel, it was of utmost importance to me to create a literary protagonist – the hero – who does not possess supernatural qualities but, instead, undergoes ordinary inner struggles in his daily life. I thought that such hero would be very close to my Readers.
I am often disappointed with the modern narratives which present to the youngest audience the heroes who are almighty, beautiful and always perfect. I feel that it is quite impossible, especially for the young Readers, to identify with someone flawless and all-powerful.
My hope was to fill Bunky and the Walms with a resounding message that the true heroes struggle inwardly and the true hero is the one who bravely faces and appreciates everyday life. Bunky is the true hero because, despite of his small imperfections and initial grumpiness, he never ceases to be loyal, loving and caring and, throughout the novel, he acts in a responsible way. Even though he does not want to grow up, it does not prevent him from being responsible. It is his childlike attitude that actually enables him to be pure and loyal at heart!
In this respect, he resembles many Readers and I deeply believe that it makes Bunky ultimately beautiful – inside and out. He is such a warm and loving character – both in Bunky and the Walms and in his own novel as well, where he appears as “the Hero”! I do hope that my Readers will become lifelong friends with him!
The Warmth Of Christmas
Last but not least, it is the novel for the Readers of all ages who long for the warmth of the Christmas world from the olden days. I would like to invite them to step into our literary world and accompany Bunky, Rodney (Bunky’s cousin) and Plum (their friend – the little Wolf) on their amazing adventure – not only a once-in-a-lifetime Christmas quest, but also a journey into their own hearts!
Find More From Aleksandra and Bunky:
Dear Readers! Bunky and I invite you to join us on our literary adventure!
Please visit us here and subscribe to our literary world for online reading events, surprises and our blog: www.aleksandratryniecka.com
Please follow us on Twitter: @ATryniecka
Please subscribe to our youtube channel: Aleksandra Tryniecka https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDXu5PYPERav3baE8R7Ldzw
… and find us on Instagram: @aleksandratryniecka
We strive to keep The Table Read free for both our readers and our contributors. If you have enjoyed our work, please consider donating to help keep The Table Read going!