The Adventures of Fawn is Children’s Fiction/Fantasy. I suppose it appeals to me because of the opportunity it presents me. Allow me to explain.
I’ve been a department store/shopping mall Santa since Christmas 1976. Over the decades, I’ve developed quite a repertoire of stories to answer children’s queries about Santa, the North Pole, his elves, reindeer, the Toy Shop, Christmas candies, et al.
The idea came to me one day, of employing a young reindeer as the vehicle with which I could present my stories and explanations. Fawn, the daughter of legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen was born. I wrote a short story…and thought that was that. But…it was succeeded about a half year later by a second much longer story. Initially, I thought I had two stories on my hands…but one was rather short, while the other much longer by comparison. I decided to combine them…and things took off from there. A small bit of chapter 2 and part of chapter 4 in ‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls were the original short story.
Also, Fawn present an additional opportunity. The Batman movies and books have always attempted to answer the question: “What possesses a man to don a batsuit and live the life Bruce Wayne lives?” I wanted to delve into what it was that changed the life of Kris Kringle to devote his life to Christmas, to live at the North Pole, and even offer a plausible answer to how ‘Ho-ho-ho!’ came to be.
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
While I’m certain it’s different for every author, for me….writing three books has been a learning experience. I suppose the old adage: ‘Nothing is written in stone.” holds especially true for me.
A number of times…I have liked a certain wording…or passage….only to have to eventually discard it, or revise it…in order to make the overall scene, dialogue, or chapter better or more coherent.
That…and the job of editing and editing, and re-writing and re-writing. I’ve learned the best method (for me at least) is to write something…and let it sit for a few months before trying to edit it. By doing so…I read what is actually ‘written’ on the page…rather than what I’m assuming is there….just because the story is so stuck in my head already. Much too often…I didn’t read what was on the page…but rather what I thought was on the page.
Developing characters who were decidedly unique from one another…and engaging for the reader was an interesting process. In the beginning, I had to decide what each one was like…and try to stick to it/bear it in mind. But as I progressed into the other books…I ‘knew’ the characters and that, in itself, made the stories flow quite nicely.
Also…I’m not that great an artist…but I ‘know’ what my characters look like. Doing illustrations is always time-consuming…and I’m quite often disappointed with my work. I want something a little less ‘Disney-looking’ and a little more akin to the illustrations one would find in books from the 19th century. I suppose I’ve compromised with something ‘in-between’.
On the other side of that coin…the easiest part is the writing itself. I usually sit down at the keyboard and let the story tell itself. Many times I’ve found myself writing 20 or 30 pages without missing a beat. I’ll sit back in my chair and think: “Wow! That was interesting…I wasn’t expecting that to happen!” With each book, the story I thought I was going to write…and the story that eventually appeared on the pages turned out to be distinctly different.
When and where do you do your writing?
I usually write when the opportunity presents itself. I’m an English teacher, and have time constraints which make it necessary to try and write first thing in the morning, after I wake, or, on the weekends. I have a desk in a spare room at home to work in.
What have you learned about promoting your books?
Well…it’s certainly a learning experience! I’ve never been a big fan of people who spend a great deal of their energy in shameless self-promotion. But….that being said (written?), it is necessary to a certain degree…to do just that when promoting one’s work. For me…it’s a fine balancing act. I try to focus on the books…and what they convey…and leave me out of the mix as much as possible.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
I set out to compose what I hoped would not only be enjoyable reading for any age group, but also create books which would become modern-day Christmas classics. It took a great deal of work, imagination, focus and energy….but I firmly believe The Adventures of Fawn are indeed quite deserving of that distinction. A reviewer recently wrote that my trilogy “should be Christmas classics, and that if they’d been published by one of the big companies…they already would be…and there would be movies coming soon.” I liked her enthusiasm.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’d have to say William Shakespeare. I love the beauty of the English language, its evolution, and his ability to coin new words when the situation called for it. While scholars have recently deemed that at least some of his works were collaborations with others like Christopher Marlowe, I think it’s undeniable he had a unique way with words. I’d want to discuss how he comes about deciding the nature of his characters, and how he decides/determines whether a play is going to be a tragedy, a comedy, or strictly an historical narrative.
About the Author
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!
Mr. Boy not only hopes you enjoy these tales, but make reading them part of your Christmas traditions, as well.