Monday, December 22, 2014

My Christmas Tradition

I love Christmas, and I always have. It’s a happy time of year, no matter what your religious beliefs are. I love the bright holiday lights, the comforting sameness of the music, the smiles on everyone’s faces, the smells (pine needles, hot chocolate), and the tastes (fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, roast turkey, pumpkin pies). 
The other thing that makes this holiday special is that it’s the time when I published my first ebook. I published “The Christmas Gift” in 2009, a year when the experts said ebooks were just a passing fad, and that people would never pay to read something on a screen. “Ebooks are meant to be free,” I remember one expert said. “Authors can use them as giveaways to promote their print books, but no author is going to make money by selling ebooks.”

How things have changed, in only five years! Ebooks now account for over $5 billion in revenues in the U.S. alone. When I wrote my little book about a doll named Constance in Depression era America, I had no idea what types of ebooks I’d be publishing five years hence, let alone that “The Christmas Gift” would still be on the market. There are many traditionally published books that came out in 2009 and have long since disappeared from the shelves, but “The Christmas Gift” is still out there in cyberspace, ready to be downloaded. Each year I get a spike in sales around Christmas, and I am happy that my story continues to live on. I don’t really know how to categorize it -- “a children’s story for all ages”, is the best I can come up with. But it gladdens my heart at this time of year to realize that this little ebook is still around to spread its message. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tales Told In Winter Is Here

I’m doing a storytelling performance again at Bucks County Playhouse. This one is called “Tales Told In Winter” and it’s in the tradition of storytelling around the Christmas holiday. 
In the British Isles and certain parts of Europe people used to get together and tell scary stories at Christmastime. Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is just such a story, with a visit from some scary ghosts on Christmas Eve to rattle poor Scrooge and convince him to mend his ways.
I did my first storytelling performance last May, and I enjoyed it so much I signed up to do another. It’s great fun for the storytellers and the audience, and I’m looking forward to it. 
These aren’t all scary stories, actually. There are funny stories, heart-wrenching ones, and stories that will amaze you with their twists and turns. I am in awe once again at the  rich trove of stories everyday people have to tell. We all have our own unique dramas, it seems, and everyone has a tapestry of memories to turn into stories.

If you’re in the area, come out December 10 for a great evening of stories! For more information, click here.