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The Ultimate Christmas Wind Quiz - Question #2

Click here to listen to the answer buttonThe correct answer is: 2005

The Christmas Wind has been a LONG time in the making. It was, in fact, written before most of you were even born … in 2005!

That’s the short answer. If any of you are interested in a few more details, here they are:

  • I wrote The Christmas Wind for the first time in 2005 and sent it off to a publisher to read and think about on May 24, 2005 … in other words, BEFORE most of you were even born!

  • While the children’s editor, Peter Carver, liked the idea of the story, he didn’t think I had everything perfectly figured out yet. He asked me questions such as, “Whose story is this? The old man’s or the little girl’s?”. This was a very good question because in the first versions of the story, I was looking through the old man’s eyes as much as I was looking through Jo’s eyes.

  • Over the next two years, I worked hard to make the story better and re-sent it to him two times. Each time he sent it back after several months (by mail, not email!) with helpful comments, suggesting I was getting closer, but that it still wasn’t quite right for him. Most publishers won’t look at a story more than once, so I was very lucky that he was kind enough to help me.

  • On June 4, 2007, I got a letter from him saying that he was no longer going to work for the publishing company. I didn’t believe that any other publisher would really understand what I was trying to create with this story, so this was sad news and it was at this point that The Christmas Wind almost died. I put the pages of the story in a drawer where they sat for over four years. (Can you imagine Jo and Murdock sitting in that drawer for four years, wondering if they would ever get out of there to tell their story?)

  • In 2011, I learned that Peter Carver was back working for the publishing company, so I decided to try again. I had been working hard to become a better writer over these four years and this gave me an opportunity to look at the story with fresh eyes. I pulled Jo, Murdock, Merry and Christopher out of the drawer and pushed myself to make the language stronger and the images more interesting. I worked hard to make Jo more like Jo and Murdock more like Murdock, and I sent the story off to Mr. Carver again in October 2011.

  • On February 15, 2012, Mr. Carver wrote me an email saying he had decided he would like publish The Christmas Wind. A few more emails back and forth set a tentative launch date of Fall 2014, but warned me that the wheels of publishing sometimes grind slowly. On many occasions, Mr. Carver has advised me to “bear my soul in patience”, which basically means: Be Patient! What will be, will be.

  • From the tentative date of Fall 2014, the launch date for the book was pushed back a year to Fall 2015, more than 10 years after I’d sent the story off for Mr. Carver to look at the very first time.

  • Red Deer Press selected a wonderful illustrator, Brooke Kerrigan, and everything started to happen.

  • Until it didn’t …

  • Sometimes things happen that get in the way of our best made plans, and that’s what happened to The Christmas Wind last year. Despite everyone’s best efforts, everything that needed to be done to turn the words and pictures into a book, just didn’t come together as fast as expected, so the launch date was pushed back one more time … this time to Fall 2016 – ELEVEN years after I first wrote the story!

  • This time, though, it’s really going to happen, and before the end of 2016, Jo, Merry, Murdock and Christopher will be sitting on the bookstore shelves

  • I am both a patient and impatient person! Maybe you are the same. Do you find it difficult to sleep the night before your birthday or the night before Christmas because you feel you can’t wait for all the fun that’s ahead of you? I think that’s a pretty normal feeling.

  • Waiting is difficult sometimes, but sometimes it’s the best thing. All along I have believed that Peter Carver will do the best thing for this book and that it is more important to do something right than it is to do something fast.

  • If you think about this story, you will realize that “leaving” was probably not a very easy thing for Jo, Merry and Christopher to do. Jo needed a lot of courage to lead her family down that dark, skinny road to such a scary place on that cold and windy night. I think that Jo had to “bear her soul in patience” too!

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