I’d like to welcome B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Al E. Boy today to Layered Pages. Al E. Boy is an English teacher, originally from Canada, but currently residing in Seoul, South Korea.
Through almost 40 years as a Santa Claus, Al E. Boy developed quite a repertoire of tales to explain and answer the many questions children ask about Santa, the North Pole, his reindeer, and his friends, the elves.
It was this collection of tales which prompted him to begin writing The Adventures of Fawn. Through the young daughter of legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen, he’s been able to weave an exciting, colorful, imaginative world which will delight readers of all ages!
How did you get into writing children stories?
I’d always toyed with the idea. But my 40 years experience as a ‘Santa’…and the repertoire of stories I developed to answers children’s queries about Santa Claus, the North Pole, the reindeer and elves…among other things…prompted me to think of a way to put it all into story form…for generations to read.
Tell me about your book, ‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls.
While Fawn is indeed a young reindeer…she is actually a composite of any child growing up. She has an attitude, she can be stubborn, she can (at times) refuse to listen, and she doesn’t really understand anything at all about life. She wants to be free to do what she wants to do, she wants friends, she wants to explore the world outside the confines of her home, and see what she is capable of. And…she fails to appreciate her parent’s warnings the there are many dangers out there…dangers she is unprepared for…incapable of…handling. She begins sneaking out of Santa’s Village each day in search of friends, fun and excitement. She makes friends readily enough, but also encounters many unexpected situations and dangers. In the end…the citizens of Santa’s Village all pull together to bring about a happy conclusion.
I’m happy to be able to say ‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls’ was chosen as an indieB.R.A.G. Honoree in April 2017.
How did you come to write about Fawn-a young daughter of legendary reindeer?
Fawn is…more a less…a character I’ve invented/employed to tell my many stories and explanations about Santa Claus, the North Pole, the reindeer and elves. In my books…the Santa Claus mythos is tweaked and played with a tad…to better explain how it all came to be…and how it all works. I thought making her the daughter of legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen would make her easy to relate to.
Is there a message in your story that you hope readers will grasp?
I’m happy to say that everyone who has read or reviewed the books so far have all commented on the themes of friendship, love, trust, commitment and responsibility, parental love, community, and the naivety of youth. These are the important elements or themes to Fawn’s adventures.
How did you choose your setting and period of your story?
Fawn’s tales (thus far) all happen in the final months of 1849. I wanted a time period sans electricity and modern transportation, instant communications, the comforts we take for granted in the 21st century…. and…I also needed it to be some 20 years or so after the writing of C. Clement Moore’s “A Visit From St. Nick”.
Are there illustrations in your story? If so, who was your designer?
Yes, there are illustrations in my books. I have one illustration at the conclusion of each chapter. I am the illustrator.
If someone were to get into writing children stories, what advice would you give them?
First…let your imagination run wild. If your set up ‘constructs’ beforehand…you’ll limit your…and your story’s potential
Secondly…even if you REALLY love a particular line, saying, or expression…you must be prepared to discard it…if necessary…for the good of the story. Something might be cute…and you love it….and it sounds oh-so-funny…but if it seems forced…or contrived…or doesn’t really fit the scene or dialogue…it will detract from the tale.
Third…write, write, edit, write, edit, write, edit, write…it’s kind of like polishing a car. Don’t stop until the whole tale is a thing of beauty that shines and attracts readers instantly
Fourth…if you give your work to people to read…make sure they’ll give you honest criticism. It’s absolutely no good…and not very constructive…to have everyone who reads it politely say, “It’s really good!” or, “Good job!” NO!!!!! You want them to give you some negative feedback. You need to know where there were typos…where something didn’t ring true…where it kind of dragged on…where it was terribly confusing…where there was a plot hole you didn’t quite realize was there, etc.
How long did it take to work on your story and publish it?
‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls…the first book in ‘The Adventures of Fawn’, actually began as a 4,000-word short story. I wrote it in the early spring of 2014. In late July, I got another idea for another story featuring the same character. This story was some 35,000 words in length. Quiet a disparity between the two. I decided to ‘marry’ the two. Of course….the whole thing grew into something much larger from there. A bit of Chapter 2, and a good deal of Chapter 4 are all that remain of the original short story.
I published it eight months after the short story was conceived.
What is up next for you?
I am currently working on Book 4 of ‘The Adventures of Fawn’.
Where can readers purchase your book?
The entire series of ‘The Adventures of Fawn’is available in e-book form on Amazon Kindle E-books.
Mr. Boy not only hopes you enjoy these tales, but make reading them part of your Christmas traditions, as well.
A message from indieBRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Al E. Boy who is the author of, ‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion ®, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, ‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.