Friday, December 20, 2013

Michael's First Real Christmas

Christmas has become so commercial and with God being taken out of our schools and religion becoming taboo, many people forget or just don't want to think about the real meaning of Christmas.. Without Christ we would not have Christmas. This book is a beautiful reminder and teaches children what Christmas is really about.
Michael is in a Christmas play and bored with being a Wiseman, he wants to go home and do real Christmas stuff. When he gets home and falls asleep he dreams about a Christmas long ago when baby Jesus was born. The First Real Christmas.
This book is tastefully written no matter what religion you are and the illustrations are beautiful!
I would highly recommend it young and old will enjoy it for many years to come.
My Interview With Marion Richardson:

Christmas has become so commercial and with God being taken out of our schools and religion becoming taboo, many people forget or just don't want to think about the real meaning of Christmas.. Without Christ we would not have Christmas. Your book is a beautiful reminder and teaches children what Christmas is really about.

 1.I see Michael representing most children this time of year. Is that what you hoped his character would represent?

I wanted Michael to represent the typical American child who seems to be bored with anything that does not entertain them, that is not the latest and greatest, and that doesn’t bring some sort of outside stimulation into their world. Doesn’t this actually sound like the typical “American” period, both young and old?

2. How did you come up with the idea for this book?

I actually dreamt this story around 3 years ago. It played itself through from beginning to end. I am not one to usually remember my dreams, so when I did recall this one in the morning, I knew I had better write it down. I sat down with a few note cards and wrote out the outline of the story. I didn’t actually sit down and write the text until this past summer.

3. The illustrations are beautiful, who illustrated Michael's First Real Christmas?

My daughter, Kat Ford did the illustrations. She has great depth to her art and has an ability to capture the essence of the characters. The watercolor illustrations were the perfect match for the dreaminess of the story.

4.  Did you enjoy working on this book with your daughter?

It was a great collaboration! I tried to give her complete independence in interpreting the scenes. She has a way of seeing things from a perspective that I would not have imagined. Our vision for the overall look and feel of the book was the same and I am so pleased with how it came together.

5. Why did you choose to self publish?

Self publishing allows so much flexibility. It gives the author/illustrator the ability to create the work as they want it to appear and distribute to the market they choose. It is fast, professional, affordable, and meets my needs. I give a lot of my books away, so this has been an ideal outlet for me.

6. What / Who inspired you to write your first book?

Around two years ago, the children at church asked me to teach them the story of Hanukkah. Time got away from me and I was unable to do so. I decided to write it for them, then I needed illustrations, so I struggled through drawing a few very primitive looking ones. Finally, I discovered that I could get them printed in vivid color and in book form. That is how it all began! Since then, I have gone back and reworked the illustrations and published that book on CreateSpace as well. (I actually was commissioned to write a story for, “Cosmo’s Great Adventure” several years ago during the beanie baby craze. It was a cute little story, but was not a theme I came up with on my own.)

7. What is your favorite Christmas memory?

I love Christmas Eve Services when all of the hustle and bustle is over, the family is all together, and we sing Christmas Hymns. The songs of Christmas bind the past and the future, they ground us in our faith, they resound with hope and joy that is the birth of Jesus.


8.  What Christmas tradition do you cherish the most?

Going to church on Christmas Eve. There is something special about a church at night. The light in the darkness pictures what Christ is to the world. The soft glow of the candlelight service is serene and holy.

9. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

There is something special about a child and a book. I was never an avid reader myself as a child, but I taught elementary school for many years and the image of a child engrossed in a book just makes my heart soar. I guess I must have wanted to share in that experience.

10. What is your favorite thing about writing?

I love words and the way they look on a page and resonate in my heart.

11. What do you find most challenging in writing?

Editing. I want to use lots of words. I want to string them out making my sentences ramble on forever. My punctuation is not the best, so proofing is tedious.

12. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write from your heart.

13. Do you have any upcoming projects you want to tell us about?

I am doing a series of books for toddlers called “Just Like Us.” The first in the series is “Little Monkey”. It is very simple in all aspects except it’s profound truth that children will do what they see others do. I included some great foundational scripture in the back of the book, The Lord’s Prayer, The Ten Commandments, The Shema, The 23rd Psalm, and others. These are basic tenants of the Bible which teach who God is. The next in the series will be “Little Lamb” and “Little Dove”. I plan to have “Little Lamb” available by Passover and “Little Dove” for Pentecost.

14. Where can we purchase Michael's First Real Christmas?

It is available on Amazon and CreateSpace. I believe, if purchased soon, it will arrive by Christmas.

15. Do you have a facebook or blog? How can we follow you?

My web site is: We are working on getting all of my books with links to purchase them on that location by early spring


Thank you so much for telling me about your book and taking time out to answer a few questions for me!

Thank you as well! I believe in this project and hope it will be a tool for parents who want to instill in their children the real meaning of Christmas.

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