Santa Montefiore reveals late sister Tara Palmer-Tomkinson visits her from the afterlife

Santa Montefiore poses for HELLO!
Santa Montefiore poses for HELLO!

Statuesque in a crisp white trouser suit, Santa Montefiore looks like she is on top of the world.

Striking a series of elegant poses in a suite inside London's luxurious Peninsula Hotel, the best-selling author exudes a quiet confidence while chatting animatedly to everyone on this exclusive HELLO! shoot and interview.

As Santa prepares to release her 27th novel, Shadows in the Moonlight, she seems to be in a great place.

Santa Montefiore poses for HELLO!
Santa is releasing her 27th novel Shadows in the Moonlight

"I'm really happy," she tells us. "I'm 54 and I'm absolutely where I'd like to be. Yes, of course, I'd like my body to look like a 30-year-old but I accept the ageing process.

"I'm just happy managing my life and not having to fit in. I think as you get older, you are more you because you don't care what other people think."

Santa's new novel

Santa's latest book, Shadows in the Moonlight, which she describes as a 'psychic detective novel' centres around heroine Pixie Tate, who has the unusual gift of being able to link into earthbound spirits and travel through time, a spiritual skill she uses to solve the disappearance of a young boy.

Santa Montefiore poses for HELLO!
"I think as you get older, you are more you because you don't care what other people think," said Santa, 54

It will come as no surprise to Santa's fans that there is a paranormal element to Shadows in the Moonlight as she has always felt an affinity to the spiritual world.

"It sounds really crazy, but I have had quite a few out-of-body experiences myself," she tells us. "As a child, I used to wake up in the night and hear people walking around my room and see shadowy figures. I thought it was normal.

"I would slip out of my body and fly around the garden, and they were the most blissfully, ecstatically, happy moments. The joy I experienced was indescribable."

Santa Montefiore poses for HELLO!
"It sounds really crazy, but I have had quite a few out-of-body experiences myself," she says

Visits from her sister Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

She has also been greatly comforted by the times that her late sister, socialite and television personality Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, has visited her since her sudden death in 2017.

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"The first time I saw her was in the night and that was really amazing. She was young, vibrant and happy and wearing a baby pink t shirt.

"In the morning when I called my mother to tell her, she said: 'We buried her in a baby pink t shirt,' but nobody knew that, so it was really extraordinary.

"Another time I was staying in the Mesa mountains in Utah. And all the way driving from Las Vegas I heard this voice in my head going 'Santa, Santa, Santa,' like a singsong on a loop.

"When I got to the hotel I had this real urge to go and sit on a mountain and meditate. The sun was going down and I closed my eyes and I tuned in and there she was. I knew then it had been her voice in my head saying my name."

Santa Montefiore poses for HELLO!
Santa has been comforted by her late sister Tara Palmer-Tomkinson visiting her

How she coped after Tara's death

The loss of her adored sister 'hit me like a train' she says.

"It taught me some very valuable things. One thing was that I can survive anything. When I was absolutely heartbroken, I thought 'I'm still here and I'm still working and I'm still loving and living'. It actually carved out a layer within me that hadn't been there. The shadows were darker in my life, but the light was also brighter because of the contrast."

Future plans

Currently working on the second and third books in the series which begins with Shadows in the Moonlight, she also wants to pen another novel from her Flappy… series while creating another novel about a coffee shop.

"I get tired of having this monkey on my shoulder [to write] all the time. But then when I stop and think I'm going to take a gap year, which I was going to do a few years ago, I get kind of bored. As soon as I get back into a book again, I am excited and happy."

Shadows in the Moonlight by Santa Montefiore is out now in hardback (Orion Fiction, £20)

To the full interview, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale in the UK now. You can subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.