After reading the Enchanting Yuletide anthology, I absolutely needed to get in contact with the authors to know more about their wonderful stories. Luckily enough, I was able to get a hold of them and ask them a few questions! Enjoy a deeper look into these first THREE of these fantastic winter/holiday tales and authors, and be sure to check back tomorrow to read more!
A prolific writer, Jena Baxter creates characters with depth and stories filled with action, emotion, and a little bit of romance. She loves building fantastical worlds and cultures.
Living in Northern California with her husband, Jena enjoys soapmaking, her pets, and writer’s conferences. She also reads for a screenwriting contest on an annual basis.
Q – Where did the idea of making Father Time, Santa Claus, and Death siblings come from?
A – I’ve always wanted to write a story about Father Time. I used to collect Father Christmas statues, and always thought Father Time and the old Father Christmas images could almost be the same person. Brothers seemed like a good answer to that. Since the Grimm Reaper is also an immortal sort of existence, he fit better into the equation that I initially thought.
Q – The choice to have Time and Death as rivals of a sort is interesting. Why set up that rivalry (in Time’s mind at least)? Was it from a feeling of Death cheats people out time kind of situation?
A – I try to incorporate emotion into my stories. I might write numerous times to create a period or moment of sadness. But, I feel like humor, laughter, and happiness, are also an important part of our emotional make-up. So, I was contemplating where that could fit that into a story where the plot was based on tragedy. Since Death was part of the equation, having the Grimm Reaper would add an interesting mix. I wasn’t sure how that would play out at first, but as I started writing, the two characters were getting more and more snippety with each other. As it escalated I thought it was perfect.
Father Time does his job and takes it seriously, but he thinks Grimm is a lazy loser who has everyone else doing his job for him. This craused the resentment that created the clash between them.
Q – Family togetherness played a big part in your short, is that something you tend to hold dear during the winter holiday season?
A – My best Christmas’ were years ago when the whole family gathered. We were by no means a functional group, but once a year we managed to let bygones be bygones. I miss that. I’ve often said that no matter what someone believes, the holidays are good, because they bring families together if even for a short time.
Q – What is your favorite Winter Holiday tradition?
A – Every year my husband and I connect with friends. We stop at Starbucks for coffee or cocoa, and spend the evening hunting for the best Christmas lights and displays.
Thank you so much for reading our stories.
C. K. Brewer is a native Montanan living in Washington State with her husband and three profoundly gifted children – who also are extremely advanced readers. She noted when her eldest was entering third grade a full year younger than the rest of herclassmates, that the stories her daughter could comprehend easily were whollyunacceptable in terms of content. By the time her third child began displaying the same capability with his reading, C. K. was frustrated by the lack of entertaining books with acceptable content for advanced readers.
Taking matters into her own hands, C. K., with the help of her three children, began writing a fantasy series that is set in a world based on the map her eldest drew and filled with creatures imagined by her two sons. As it has been a labor of love, it has been a long process in which C. K. hopes to see come to fruition in March of 2018 with the publication of the first book of the Royal Velanian Series, DragonStar. C. K. has, at this time one novella which is a history of Velania story that is included in the Enchanting Yuletide Anthology.
Q: The world you created in Deep Winter Fire seemed like there was much more to it than we were able to read. Is this something written specifically for the anthology, or do you have plans to possibly expand on it/the world in the future?
A: The world, Velania, was created by my eldest child and myself for a series of books that I began writing years ago when she was still in middle school (she graduates from
high school in the spring of 2018). I began writing the series in response to the lack of reading material for the young advanced readers as I have three children who read an average of 3 – 4 grade levels higher than their actual grade in school and the content is utterly unacceptable for many children who read like mine do.
Deep Winter Fire is actually a history story of Velania that is touched on in DragonStar, the first of the series. This series picks up many generations after Deep Winter Fire takes place. I have plans to publish DragonStar around the end of March 2018 and will eventually write the rest of the series as well as all of the short history stories like Deep Winter Fire.
Q: The future belonging to a group of 4 human siblings is reminiscent of the Narnian Kings and Queens. Was there any inspiration there or simply coincidence? Do you feel that humans would be the natural evolutionary choice for magic/society in a fantasy world?
A: A small spoiler: The future of Velania is sadly narrowed to three human siblings. Among the history shorts that are planned, there will be the telling of the female sibling passing into the Etherworld before seeing the end of her first year. This event will shape the way Velania is ruled and how the Magic weaves itself into a new path.
It is only by coincidence that Deep Winter Fire has Narian similarities. But I’m sure in some way in the back of my mind, all of the Velanian stories are inspired by the high fantasy that I have loved since my own childhood such as the Chronicles of Narnia, The Dragonlance Saga, and so many others.
As to a natural evolutionary choice… in my world of Velania, yes. I think perhaps, subconsciously, most authors naturally revert to humans as the future of their fantasy
worlds in hope that humans will figure out how to work together and save the real life world they live in.
Q: Do you have a favorite Winter Holiday tradition? If so, could you share it with us?
A: Winter time, historically, is a difficult time for me personally so I tend to avoid most holiday trappings. If I had to put a specific tradition into a spotlight, I’d have to say the
“Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” that we enjoy on Thanksgiving Day. We, as a family, watch the Macy’s parade then spend the bulk of the remainder of the day binging on Holiday movies (both animated and action packed – Son-in- Law is, in our family, a Thanksgiving movie and Die Hard is a Christmas movie) and eating snack foods similar to those in the Charles Schultz Thanksgiving cartoon. It’s usually a day of snuggling and giggles so that is always a good day for me.
In the 1990s and 2000s, I worked in both television and feature films as an animator and storyboard artist/designer for Marvel Films, Hanna-Barbera, Sony
Pictures, DreamWorks SKG, and Warner Bros Feature Animation, among others.
Now I work a government job in North Dakota in return for a steady paycheck and job security, allowing me to continue my wasteful habits of eating and providing
for my family.
Creatively starved by my job, I turned to writing at the advice of my wife, a fellow Hollywood expatriate who writes both screenplays and novels. That led to my
current obsession with 5th century Wales, which is the setting of my Dragon’s Treasure Series. The first three novels, The Forgotten Princess of Môna, A Cold, White
Home, and Songs of Autumn are currently available as e-books for the Kindle. The final installment, Memories so Distant and Brief, will follow in winter of 2018.
Q: How does Santa deal with boredom and the monotony of basically doing the same thing for hundreds of years? Is it the cider?
A: The cider certainly helps! Otherwise, I guess like so many senior citizens, Kringle finds a certain amount of comfort in repetition. I mean let’s face it, none of his
old school chums are still above ground, and I can only assume that he and Jessie are, umm…beyond a more youthful intimacy at their ages, so with travel being a
given for at least one night a year, what’s left? Honestly, I sort of envisioned Tempest Fugit’s Santa as a milder version of Clint Eastwood’s character from Gran
Torino—only without the M1 Garand and with a sleigh instead of a car. In fact, now I think of it, the elves could even be sort of Hmong-ish. Oh-kaaay…I’ll quit with
the analogy there before I get myself into trouble.
Q: While Stuckey is more open to new things, particularly tech, Santa seems resistant to it. How would you upgrade his schtick?
A: Well for one thing, those ridiculous fur accents have to go! He is a saint, right? Given his usual riding position in relation to those eight reindeer of his, it only
makes sense that he would at least make a token effort to appear interested in animal rights. The consequences of seeming even a little cavalier could get—messy. So
basically, I’m thinking that going with some nice faux fur accents on a big, red, Gore-Tex suit would be a great start. Beyond that, the sleigh is a classic, so that
definitely stays, but perhaps some ground effect lighting underneath it would add a modern touch. Plus, it might help with fog in the post-Rudolph era.
Q: What is your favorite Holiday tradition?
A: Easy, watching old Christmas specials with my wife and daughter while stuffing ourselves silly with pumpkin pie and eggnog. The simple pleasures are really the
Come on back tomorrow as I interview Barbara Lieberman, Ellie Lieberman, and Raven Williams on their delightful holiday stories in Enchanting Yuletide!