Phil Sanderson takes some time to answer some of the questions you may have about his first-ever Christmas story, The Saint Who Stole Christmas!
Q: Why would I want to buy The Saint Who Stole Christmas after hearing that you were bitter when you wrote it?
A: Despite being bitter during my separation from my wife, I still managed to focus on the joy of Christmas, which helped to keep me mentally healthy during this emotionally stressful time in both our lives. I also attempted to channel humor into s bitterness creating a more realistic look at the Santa legend while making fun of it at the same time. Great efforts were made to utilize descriptions that will warm a reader’s soul creating a comfort during whatever Christmas the reader will decide to read it.
Q: Did you model the characters after anyone in particular?
A: No. But the irony of the story is that I worked with a fellow named Robert Moorer at the Veteran Affairs Hospital shortly after I finished the story on my blog. Robert reminded me — in a strictly humorous way, not serious way — of the story’s main character. Officer John, a policeman who suspected a complainant of being racist at the beginning of the story, and Robert would actually get along quite well, buying each other’s rounds of Rum and Eggnog during a fine Christmas Party in the story’s New York City setting while making humorous conversation. LOL Coincidentally, Robert also assisted me with the cover of the book. The majority of the cover image is credited to him as photographer. The only part that isn’t are the hands, which I had to super impose from another image due to failure to obtain handcuffs.
Q: Santa Claus is one of the characters in your story. Do you believe in Santa Claus?
A: Absolutely! I do not believe in him as an actual physical person. But I do believe in him as a spiritual embodiment that exists in the hearts of all who are willing to believe and have fun in doing so. He exists simply because parents take the time and trouble to help their children believe in him: wrapping gifts and tagging them in his name, sneaking gifts under the tree while they sleep, eating cookies and drinking milk that were left out by the children for Santa to enjoy, etc. As long as parents continue to act as Santa for their kids, then he will continue to exist…at least as far as I am concerned. 😉 At the very least, parents sharing my mindset can HONESTLY answer their kids that the Good Saint DOES indeed exist and is very real.
Q: What is the concept of The Saint Who Stole Christmas in a nutshell?
A: The hard economy hits Santa’s North Pole like a brick through plate-glass! Santa now has to find a new way to provide Christmas to millions of believers the world over. With a limited means to accomplish this historical objective, he is forced to lay off elves and reindeer alike. He also decides to visit the boys and girls on his “naughty” list and STEAL their toys from their homes in order to deliver them to the homes of those on the “nice” list. Two police officers at the beginning of the story are trying to catch whatever burglars are committing these various crimes, and the whole experience requires them to examine their deepest beliefs in Santa and Christmas.
Q: What do you hope the reader will take away from this story?
A: I hope the reader will realize that it pays off to be good and productive not only at work, but also in how we treat others. I hope they will feel the spirit of Christmas as they move from one page to the next. Lastly, I hope they will not lose fact that Christmas is about Jesus, not Santa. I make this point boldly in my introduction. Some may call me a hypocrite because of the boldness displayed in the “Off-Color” edition of the story. But I never claimed to be a perfect Christian. And anyone who judges me that claims to be is not any better.
Q: When does the story take place?
A: It takes place during the modern world where many people are still jobless with gloomy outlooks. My goal in writing the story is to take it from a funny sort of doom and gloom prospect and to weave it into a very positive and happily ended story.
Q: The book is available in two editions: The Off-Color Edition and the Children’s Edition. What are the key differences between both?
A: I started off writing the Off-Color edition. And then I decided to tone it down so that children could enjoy it. I wanted a children’s edition primarily because I feel that Christmas — as depicted in the tone of this particular story — is FOR children. So when I went to work editing my original work, my key goal was to eliminate any and all cuss words and sexual references. Right now, the only even remotely questionable content is the fact that there is a slight racial misunderstanding at the beginning of the story that — I personally feel — will not affect children in any sort of negative way due to how it is portrayed in the story…in more of a comical way.
Q: Why is this book only available exclusive to Amazon?
A: I wanted to try out Amazon’s KDP Select publishing program which allows me to keep more of my royalty money. So far, I am quite pleased with it. I only wish for readers to know that they can still read the book due to the free apps that Amazon offers for their Kindle reading program. I, myself, own a Nook. But I have added the app so that I can read Amazon books on my Nook.
Q: When is the best time to purchase this book?
A: Definitely during the Christmas season! Right now, you can get the book for only $1.99 until the end of Black Friday on Amazon. Right now, the Daily Countdown Deal allows you to save nearly 40 percent off the cost of my book as it normally costs $2.99. I am deciding whether or not to offer a deal on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. But it will depend on how this current promotion goes. I’ve invested advertising dollars on Facebook. And it is looking as though the investment may very well have been worth it.
Q: How can readers purchase your story?
Q: Anything you else you want to convey to your book and blog readers?
A: Yes. I wish all of you the very best in your holidays. And I hope that you will consider allowing my book into your digital library so that you may possibly enjoy the spirit of Christmas that much more. Being a short story, it is a quick and fulfilling read according to others to whom I’ve read the story. God bless all of you and keep you safe this wonderful season.