When I was a kid, as soon as December hit, Christmas break couldn’t come quick enough. There was so much to look forward to. Two blissful weeks of no school, baking and eating cookies, watching my favorite Christmas specials, skiing and sledding, playing with friends, opening presents and most of all, waking up to Santa’s gift and a stocking stuffed with goodies.
Christmas Eve was especially exciting. I could barely sleep and I’m positive I heard reindeer thumping around on the rooftop a few times. I definitely heard my parents wrapping last minute gifts. It never occurred to me that the paper crinkling in the other room might be the special wrapping paper used on all Santa gifts every year. No, I was too busy imagining the Movin’ Groovin’ Crissy doll I’d asked Big Red for. I had to have her. She was the doll with beautiful long hair that grows right down to her toes. Yup, that was the catchy sales line hitting the air waves way back in the 70’s.Santa was good to me. He always gave me what I asked for, whether it was a Crissy doll or a new bike with a flower-power banana seat. There were other gifts of course, though much less exciting. You know the ones. Necessities like clothes, mittens, pajamas and socks lurking beneath those shiny bows that fooled me into thinking at least one of them had to be a glow-in-the dark Kozmic Kiddle.
And then there were the books. I never failed to receive at least one book from some well-intentioned relative, who no doubt wanted more for me than the plastic comfort Mattel was offering every ten-year-old in the country. Thankfully, my resistance to reading came to an end the year I was given A Wrinkle In Time. It’s not like I cracked the book open immediately. Up until that point, no book had ever had me in its grips the way Crissy had. But as it turned out, combing her luxurious auburn hair lost its luster after a few hours.
When I finally did give the book a chance, I was hooked from the very first line, “It was a dark and stormy night.” I related to Meg Murry’s problems and sensed a greater trouble brewing in the storm. The remainder of my Christmas break was spent on the other side of the universe with Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin. Suddenly those all important toys and holiday TV specials seemed empty in comparison to Madeleine L’Engle’s rich, dangerous world unfolding before me with each turn of the page.
That’s when I knew I’d unwrapped the best Christmas gift ever, one that kept the holiday magic going. There’s no better feeling than being taken on a perilous adventure while enjoying the cozy comforts of home and the presence of family in the background.
Now that I’m all grown up, I’ve always tried to pass this magical experience on to the youngsters (and oldsters) in my life with perfect book choices for Christmas. I can now look back to the moment the magic of reading a good book was instilled in me and see that this is what I wanted to create for other readers. My character, Fate Floyd, and her harrowing journey through the Book of Fables gave me the opportunity to do just that. In essence, Fate’s Fables is nine books in one. I wanted this novel to be one of stories within stories by creating eight dark, enchanting fables, all of which were wholly new yet felt as if they’d been around forever. This gave me a deep well in which to draw from for the main storyline of Fate as she encounters the long list of storybook characters dwelling within the Book of Fables. It’s my hope this holiday season that I can give to you or someone special in your life the magic, adventure and thrills waiting inside Fate’s Fables.