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Noella and Tom are engaged to be married. Noella, a journalism professor at ...
Noella and Tom are engaged to be married. Noella, a journalism professor at Northwestern University, and Tom, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, both think they have found something special following several failed relationships. However, as Christmas approaches, they discover differences in their personalities -- Noella is the eternal optimist, Tom a thoroughgoing pessimist. When Noella insists that a silver medallion she received as a child was actually given to her by Santa Claus, Tom begins to wonder how someone who has a Ph.D. in journalism can continue to believe in a childhood fantasy.
Unfortunately, Noella and Tom can't get past this and other disagreements, and they begin to realize they are just too dissimilar to get married. Heartbroken, Tom heads to the Black Forest in Germany to write a story for the Tribune about Father Christmas. What he sees changes his life and restores his faith in more than Santa.
With books that have topped the religious-fiction bestseller lists, Jerry Jenkins is far from a one-dimensional writer. His work ranges from children's books to biographies (he assisted Billy Graham with his bestseller Just As I Am) to stories and articles in periodicals such as The Reader's Digest.
Jerry B Jenkins: Hi. We're here.
Jerry B Jenkins: Real, believable people, large life issues, and a goal that keeps readers turning the pages.
Jerry B Jenkins: Fiction, hands down. It's much more personally fulfilling to have the fun of creating a world and characters and a story. Thanks for your comment about Dr. Graham. Working with him was the privilege of a lifetime.
Jerry B Jenkins: Thanks. Actually, even the Left Behind series is a solo effort as it relates to plotting, creating, and writing. I don't believe you can actually collaborate on the writing of fiction. Dr. LaHaye came up with the idea and serves as scholar, prophecy expert, and theologian. He's also my biggest cheerleader.
Jerry B Jenkins: You answered your own question. I almost set it in the Black Forest of Colorado Springs, where my wife and I will be moving soon.
Jerry B Jenkins: I would like to think my personality is reflected in Noella, but Tom's journalistic background is actually my own, almost to the last detail. Of course, I did not become a columnist for the Chicago Tribune -- but I would have enjoyed that.
Jerry B Jenkins: Yes. Truthfully, I hope not. I still see enough people buying gifts as a reflection of God's ultimate gift to us, so I'm still optimistic overall. No question, we have become a secularized society, but that should be no surprise to true believers.
Jerry B Jenkins: I'm frankly a little concerned by the fact that much of the media and secular society lump all Christians, assuming we are all ultra-right-wing hate-mongers, intolerant, and unloving. There are wide diversions on the spectrum of evangelical Christians, just as there are in any large group. I'd like to think the majority of Evangelicals are characterized by their love for one another as well as for those they seek to reach with God's message.
Jerry B Jenkins: Until that list draws from a more representative sampling of where books are sold, it's unlikely that overtly Christian books (other than those about people like Billy Graham or famous athletes) will appear. Christian bookstores are still considered specialty stores to The New York Times. It is gratifying to see how popular the Left Behind series has become in secular outlets. Perhaps as it grows in exposure, The New York Times list will have to recognize it. The titles in the four-book series have been averaging sales of tens of thousands per month for more than a year, which would be the envy of all but the very top bestsellers in secular fiction. Tyndale House plans to release 700,000 hardback copies of the fifth book in February, and if they sell out during the first month or two, you just might see APOLLYON recognized even by The New York Times.
Jerry B Jenkins: "It's a Wonderful Life." Our family watches it every Christmas Eve and often mouths the dialogue throughout.
Jerry B Jenkins: Yes, every English-speaking person on the planet. Seriously, I try to write fiction that I myself would enjoy. If it excites me, I assume the reader will be excited. If it bores me, I assume the reader will be bored. I simply hope there are plenty of normal people like me out there in the book-buying public.
Jerry B Jenkins: Where did you get the idea that I went to Northwestern or that I never became a newspaper journalist? Tom's story is my story. He is not a college graduate. I worked for five newspapers and three magazines before getting into the book-publishing world.
Jerry B Jenkins: It depends on what the definition of the word "in" is. Sorry, couldn't resist. I was too old when I learned the truth about Santa. I think I was 19. Just kidding. Actually, I was very disappointed to learn what most adults think about Santa, so 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE is therapeutic for me. I got to create a world and a story in which Santa is real after all.
Jerry B Jenkins: Yes and yes. Tom Douten was actually based on New York Times columnist Rick Bragg, with many liberties taken, of course. I have had the privilege of meeting him and telling him that. Only Tom's best traits reflect Rick, of course.
Jerry B Jenkins: Truman Capote (only his writing), Stephen King (I avoid his gory and evil stuff, but I find his general fiction, i.e. THE GREEN MILE, masterpieces), and Rick Bragg (his ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTIN' is so lyrical and haunting that I can only say I wish I'd written it).
Jerry B Jenkins: I am motivated by deadlines. I usually write in bursts of concentrated blocks of days wherein whole novels are produced sort of all at once -- at least the first drafts. If it makes you feel any better, I have found that most novelists confess to procrastination. The successful ones learn to overcome it and actually use it to their advantage.
Jerry B Jenkins: No different in private than in public. Deeply spiritual, humble, kind, loving. No future plans at this point.
Jerry B Jenkins: I believe in perfect love, which the Bible says casts out all fear. Of course, that is generated by God himself. My wife and I will be married 28 years in January and believe our love is true because it seems to grow every day. It sounds like a cliché, but we find ourselves marveling over the seeming endless capacity to love more than yesterday but less than tomorrow.
Jerry B Jenkins: At the risk of sounding falsely modest, I remain pleasantly surprised to discover that people enjoy my stories as much as I do. I think maintaining some sense of wonder at one's own creativity is crucial to growing as a writer.
Jerry B Jenkins: I'm online a lot for research and at the GilThorp.com site (my comic strip) and JerryJenkins.com (my own site), but I have never been to a Christian chat room. I'll have to check that out sometime. I do worry about the potential to get addicted to the same and not get my work done.
Jerry B Jenkins: I am cautiously optimistic. Though one of my good friends is Mike Hyatt (author of THE MILLENNIUM BUG), I want to be safe without being an alarmist. We will probably stockpile a modest supply of necessities and carefully monitor the situation in advance to see if we need to become more aggressive in our preparations come the fall of '99.
Jerry B Jenkins: Exactly. That really is the overarching theme of 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE. The magic of Christmas is in giving, not getting. At our house, we try to constantly remind one another that giving at Christmas was God's idea.
Jerry B Jenkins: In my novel, he is, in essence, the same guy. The most commercial view of Santa, who simply gives presents to every good little girl and boy, is a dim reflection of the original, selfless saint.
Jerry B Jenkins: The sixth book in the Left Behind for Kids series; the sixth book in the adult Left Behind series (number five, APOLLYON, is finished and will be out in February, and number six, ASSASSINS, is scheduled to be released in August); the first book in the Three Rivers Legacy trilogy (Zondervan), THOUGH NONE GO WITH ME, which should release in late spring.
Jerry B Jenkins: Thanks for having me. I'll try to write answers to the remaining questions, so they might appear on your web site later. If anyone would like to ask me questions directly, they should contact us through www.jerryjenkins.com. Thanks again.
Posted December 24, 2002
I can't say enough about this book. It was just a wonderful find at Barnes and Noble. Every year during the month of December I go to find a couple of books that revolve around Christmas time and this was on the bargin table. The story is timeless. It is more than a well written love story, it just makes you start to believe in Santa Claus all over again. Read it you won't be sorry.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 18, 1999
'Twas the Night Before is a magical book for those of us who still believe (and always will),for the skeptics who aren't sure, and for the Scrooge's. The story will bring a heart transformation, with out having to be visited by the 3 spirits like Ebenezer. Everyone needs to read, enjoy and maybe discover...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.