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Author Interview: Terry Broxson

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Katie Specht is talking with Terry Broxson, author of Santa Claus: The Beginning.

FQ: I was intrigued when I learned of the premise of your story. What prompted you to write a book based on the character of Santa Claus?

BROXSON: In March of this year, at five in the morning, I had a dream and heard a voice that said, “Terry, write a new version of A Christmas Carol. But instead of the main character being Scrooge, make it about the man who would become Santa Claus.”

As I lay in bed, now awake, I started thinking about the idea. I wondered “Who would that guy be? What did he do before being Santa? How did he grow up? And who would visit him on Christmas Eve, and try to convince him to be Santa?”

I thought this required some good salesmen.

I am a member of a writer’s forum called FanStory. It’s a group of writers who share stories and use each other’s input to do better work. The morning I had the dream I started working on the story. I posted the first draft. The response was very favorable. That is how the book evolved.

FQ: Your bio states that your career was in management in the non-profit and private sectors. Can you elaborate a bit on what that entailed?

BROXSON: My entire career was spent in the health/medical arena. I held management positions in nonprofit and profit fields. The last twenty years before retiring I was the CEO of Advanced Ergonomics, Inc. We provided services to employers by doing pre-employment physicals.

FQ: You also share that you worked with charitable organizations for twelve years. What types of organizations did you work with, and what kind of work did you do?

BROXSON: Upon graduation from college, my first job was with the American Cancer Society. I spent two years in Waco, Texas, and then two years as the director of fundraising in Dallas. I also served for eight years as the Executive Director of the Dallas Chapter of the American Heart Association.

FQ: The pictures that were interspersed throughout the story were a nice added touch. What made you decide to include these in the book?

BROXSON: I thought a book about Santa needed pictures to help illustrate the story. Some of them made me laugh.

FQ: Within the synopsis, you state that your book is suitable for all ages. Do you hope that your book touches any certain age group, in particular, more than another?

BROXSON: That is a great question. My wife and I never had kids, only cats. When I finished the first draft of the short story, I sent a copy to a friend who read it to her grandson. She told me he enjoyed it, but she loved it. That is where I got the idea for the book. I think parents and grandparents will like sharing it. I also think they may smile or chuckle at something and have to explain it. I think that will be cool.

FQ: This is your third published book, but the first you have written in the fiction genre. What prompted you to shift to writing a fictional story?

BROXSON: I have been on the writer's forum I mentioned for a couple of years and have been experimenting with fiction. I had a lot of fun writing this story.

FQ: Do you have any plans for future books, and if so, what can you share about these plans?

BROXSON: It’s possible I might continue the story of Santa. I have a few ideas for more adventures. One might include another marriage of a couple of elves, but I might have to find some pixie dust.

FQ: It was a rather unique addition to the plot to have Jessica, Santa’s bride-to-be, raised by royalty in England and to also include them in their wedding. How did you develop this rather interesting portion of the story?

BROXSON: I wanted the future Mrs. Claus to be interesting. I wanted the wedding to be fun and a bit unique. I thought having some real historical characters would add to the story. I also tried to make sure the names and dates were correct.

FQ: Santa Claus: The Beginning is a heartwarming, classic story that explains how one of children’s most beloved characters began. Are there any lessons or messages that you hope to impart to your readers with your book?

BROXSON: I made up a translation for the name of Santa Claus. At least I hadn’t heard anyone else use it. Santa Claus means to give freely and lovingly. That also applies to each character in the book.

There are some thoughts on fairness, fun, chocolate, and the secret to success—hard work.

FQ: After spending your career in management, what prompted you to begin writing books once you retired?

BROXSON: For some people, publishing a book is a life-long dream, whereas, for others, there may be a motivating event. Would you fit into one of those categories?

My wife died suddenly from a heart attack five years ago. I wrote a poem about her death. The writing of it helped me.

One day, I saw a contest on a website for writers, FanStory, and I entered the poem. It was the first contest for writing I had ever entered. It won second place. I was now hooked on writing. It's kind of like she led me there.

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