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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Let's Talk Christmas Books and Traditions: Author Interview with Scott Douglas

Today is the start of my Annual Christmas Book Blog Tour. 
Every Tuesday and Saturday from now till Christmas, I’ll be posting interviews with best-selling authors. We’ll be discussing their new Christmas-themed books and holiday traditions.

Bring your own hot cocoa, cider, or mulled wine and relax with us as we chat about books. Share your holiday traditions with us, too. Now read on to my first Christmas book offering.

How did you come up with the idea for your Christmas book? 
The idea came while working on my last book--which was about the Ascension of Christ; it was an Easter / Lent book, and it made me think about how, just like Easter, there are a lot of things people don't know about the holiday they are celebrating. 

It's been 2,000+ years since the first Christmas, and cultures have tacked on a lot of things that take away from the original message. As I thought about this, I started wondering why there were wise men and what was the significance of their gifts? Did it really matter that Jesus was born to Mary and not someone else? And why did it matter that Jesus was born in Bethlehem?

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
I have a four-year-old, so Christmas traditions right now are about blending the traditions of my family and my wife's family to make sure she has memories that she can one day pass down; one of my favorite traditions was my parents putting bananas in my Christmas stocking. It started because they were out of money and didn't want my brother and me to have an empty stocking, and continues to this day. One year they didn't do it, and my brother, who was almost 40 at the time, was actually angry!

What’s next?
I hope to continue this series, which explores the theology of the Bible in a much more friendly and even humorous way. My goal is to make the Bible approachable to people who aren't scholars (or even Christians).

What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been given you’d like to share?

Show don't tell.

What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?
I think it's rare for young writers to really understand the importance of having a platform. You are so busy writing, and you aren't working at all to find your readers. 1,000s of books are published every day, which means even if you've written a book worthy of a Pulitzer, there's a pretty good chance no one will read it. You have to actively work to find your readers, and can't expect them to find you just because you have something interesting to say.

Any last words or tips?

The graveyard is home to some of the best ideas--dead with the people who gave up on them. Writing isn't always about whose the best--it's about who can finish the race. Be persistent. The moment you feel like giving up is the moment you should run ten times faster. It took me about ten years before I started seeing stuff I wrote published, and another five or ten before I got a book deal.

Are there any other books that you’d like to tell my readers about?
If anyone is looking for a devotional for Lent in the New Year, check out Jesus Ascended. What Does That Mean? If anyone wants to know what it's like to be a librarian, check out Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian.

Here's the link to Scott's Webpage, so you can learn more about his books.

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