It’s a Christmas Themed week! And there are lots of cool things ahead.
Last Friday, I kicked off the Holiday Theme by throwing a giveaway for anyone that posts a picture of Open Minds on my FB page (open until 12/20, so check it out). Today, I’m over on Goodreads doing an author Q&A about my books, writing, and publishing. Stop by and post a question!
But for the main event today, I have a guest post from middle grade author Rick Daley. You can check out my review of Rick’s Christmas book, The Man in the Cinder Clouds, or gaze upon the awesome cover. This is one you’ll want to tuck under the Christmas tree, and I’m looking forward to reading it aloud with my kids to usher in the season.
stories. I have a deep file on my
computer, along with a stack of post-it notes on my desk, chock full o’
crazy. Other times, though, what seems
like an insane undertaking can turn into something special, if only you choose
to take a dare.
are few characters in modern culture that are more cemented in the public mind
than Santa. Trying to create a new
canon…to re-write the history and origins of one of the star players in one of
the world’s most beloved holidays…That’s crazy, right? I mean, there must be a thousand ways to
screw that story up.
story revealed through a book found in an arctic ice core, had been
simmering on a back-burner in my mind for years. I always knew I would at least try to write the story someday, but was
hesitant to start. Could it really work,
or would it be a monumental waste of time?
with an unexpected chunk of free time.
So I got to work and cranked out the first draft. By the time I finished my feelings had changed. I was no longer afraid. I was elated!
The story was different that I thought it would be; it turns out The Muse
had stepped in and guided my thoughts in a new direction.
shifted from farcical to realistic. Humor
was still there, but now it was balanced with suspense and action. The characters came to life, and not one or
two, but three stories grew together, weaving around each other into one solid
revealed them, but the feedback also told me something important: the story worked.
special, and I am eager to share it with people.
finish, and most that do finish never complete a second book. I have written another book (to be published
in the Spring), and I have a new work-in-progress, but no matter what levels of
success those other endeavors reach (assuming there is a measurable level of
success), The Man in the Cinder Clouds will always be a crowning achievement in my writing career.
discovery at the North Pole—an ancient book embedded deep within an ice
core. Even more incredible is the story
the book tells: the long-lost history of
Santa Claus you never knew…and will never forget.
story is a great holiday read for the whole family. Its mix of action, humor, and Christmas
spirit keeps younger readers turning the pages, but The Man in the Cinder Clouds is not just a kids’ book.
reviewer puts it, “THE MAN IN THE CINDER CLOUDS is one of those middle
grade books that the grown-ups get sucked into along with their kids. You think
you bought if for your young reader but after you browse chapter one you just
sort of… can’t stop.”
familiar Christmas traditions: from Christmas trees, stockings, and lumps of
coal to jingle bells, the North Pole, and flying reindeer. Highly original and thoroughly entertaining, The Man in the Cinder Clouds will show
you how Kris Kringle came to be known as Santa Claus. It wasn’t easy.
years. His experience includes marketing copy for print and web, press
releases, business proposals, training and technical manuals, and
whitepapers. His essays, ranging from family life during the holidays to
his first skydiving experience, have been featured in The Columbus Dispatch.
(and a neurotic schnauzer).