We're starting our Christmas in July blogfest with a special story written by a delightful author, Deb Hockenberry. Deb specializes in children's stories and offers a free copy of Beepy's Christmas Wish to a lucky few who leave a comment with contact information.
Please stop by regularly this month for more prizes and Christmas themed books.
AUTHOR: Deb Hockenberry
BOOK TITLE: Beepy’s Christmas Wish
BUY LINK: None
DO YOU HAVE A GIVEAWAY?: Yes.
WHAT IS IT?: A copy of Beepy’s Christmas Wish as an ebook.
HOW IS THE WINNER TO BE CHOSEN?: Please leave a comment with your name and contact email, then winners will be chosen in a random drawing for a lucky few.
WHO WILL DELIVER THE PRIZE TO WINNER?: Winner's names will be sent to Deb, and she will send along the ebook.
Tell me a little about your book. Beepy is a taxi who is very unhappy. Everywhere he looks, people are wishing each other Merry Christmas. Even when he sees the store windows decorated for Christmas, he notices that the windows are saying Merry Christmas in their own way too. He wants to do this but just has to find a way to do it. This wanting to wish others Merry Christmas begins a journey for Beepy. I wrote Beepy’s Christmas wish as a giveaway. It’s my Christmas present to everyone else.
What gave you the idea for this particular story? To be perfectly honest, Penny, my brother did. One Christmas, Santa Claus brought him lots of Match Box Cars®. I feel like I’m dating myself in saying that! In fact, he lined those cars up and the parade of Match Box Cars® started in the living room and went all the way through the dining room! I played with the thought of putting a Christmas parade in the story and tried to. However, the parade made the story too long for young children and had to be cut. But Beepy’s Christmas Wish was in my head trying to get out ever since. Ideas come from anywhere and everywhere, don’t they?
Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it. The real life event that Beepy’s Christmas Wish was based on was my brother getting those Match Box Cars® for Christmas that I mentioned previously.
Why did you choose to write a story with a Christmas theme? Actually, I didn’t choose to write Beepy’s Christmas Wish, it chose me. I was casting about for a children’s story to write at the time. Beepy chose me when my brother received those Match Box ® cars for Christmas. The little taxi got in my head and wouldn’t budge!
Do you see special challenges to marketing a book with a seasonal theme? If so, what are they? Yes, there could be some challenges to publishing seasonal stories. In particular, Christmas stories. Because we are so conscious of being politically correct all the time, do we say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or Seasons Greetings? Is it a Christmas Tree or a Holiday Tree?
I’m going to say Merry Christmas, or should I say Beepy is going to say Merry Christmas. I feel that saying Merry Christmas encompasses all people, no matter what their religious beliefs are. This debate comes up on the social networks every year.
How long before Christmas did you submit to your publisher? I didn’t have Beepy’s Christmas Wish formally published. I wanted it to be a Christmas present for everyone. But I did learn at the Institute of Children’s Literature that a good rule of thumb for submitting seasonal work is six months before the holiday or season.
Why did you choose to write this as a giveaway? The Christmas season is a time for giving. That’s something I just love to do!
What about your book makes it special? Beepy shows children that anyone or anything can say Merry Christmas. You can be a car with a wreath on its hood, a mute person dressed in Christmas clothes, a store window that’s decorated, a house that’s decorated and lit up or just have a smile on your face. The list goes on and on but all these things say Merry Christmas.
What does Christmas mean to you? Christmas means a few things to me. It means spending a quiet day with family, which is so special. It means playing with kid’s toys that Santa brought them. It means treating yourself to foods you wouldn’t normally have. Naturally, there are the parties that you have with your friends. But most important to me is the religious side to it.
What is your favorite Christmas memory? This is a tough question since I have so many happy memories! Hmmm. I’d have to say when I got the recycled Christmas present from Santa. Don’t laugh! When I was little, Santa brought me a beautiful bride doll for Christmas, which I named Susie. I played with her for months then quit since I had other things to do like playing outside with the neighborhood kids. Suddenly, Susie disappeared. I half-heartedly looked for her from time to time without any luck. The following year, there was Susie sitting at a toy piano on Christmas morning. I was so happy! My mother had made her a new gown. She had gone from being a bride doll to being a bridesmaid doll. But she even had new high heels! After all these years, I still have Susie. She’s tucked away in a closet.
What was your favorite stocking stuffer? This is another tough one since my family didn’t do a lot of stocking stuffers as we know them today. This might sound silly, but it has to be the apple that you get in your stocking. My brothers, sisters and I got the largest apple I’ve ever seen! This has to be my favorite since Christmas is the only time I received these large apples, which were so good.
What was your favorite Christmas present? Now, that’s a toss-up between Susie and a toy piano.
Where can people learn more about you and your work? I have a website you can visit at http://www.debhockenberry.com.
The Bumpy Road To Writing For Children http://thebumpyroadtopublishing.blogspot.com
Deb's Book Nook http://debsbookreviews.blogspot.com
"When God closes a door, He always opens a window."
Beepy wants to wish everyone a Merry Christmas just like everyone else does. He asks his two friends to help him and they, their mother and Beepy set off on a journey that can possibly help him. Along the way, Beepy realizes that there are many different ways to say Merry Christmas!