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The 7th novel in the Claus Universe. The stories you never heard...
Great aunt Annie was a storyteller.
It was mostly Christmas stories she told. No one had ever heard her tales about giant reindeer, living snowmen, and Santa Claus. There were no movies about them. No books. When she passed, everyone thought they'd never hear such stories again.
But she saved the best for last.
When Tin's family inherits an enormous rural estate, they discover the hidden treasures of Toyland. The eccentric mansion was built long ago by a toy magnate named Wallace Noel, a man made famous by his beloved Noel toys.
Tin and her family spend Christmas at Toyland and find forgotten toys in strange rooms, abandoned workshops and old photos. When Tin discovers an authentic-looking elf hat, everything changes. She comes to know the truth behind the urban legends of Wallace Noel and what made his toys so special.
And where Great aunt Annie got her stories.
About the Author
I grew up in the Midwest where the land is flat and the corn is tall. The winters are bleak and cold. I hated winters.
I always wanted to write. But writing was hard. And I wasn’t very disciplined. The cold had nothing to do with that, but it didn’t help. That changed in grad school.
After several attempts at a proposal, my major advisor was losing money on red ink and advised me to figure it out. Somehow, I did.
After grad school, my wife and my two very little children moved to the South in Charleston, South Carolina where the winters are spring and the summers are a sauna (cliche but dead accurate). That’s when I started teaching and writing articles for trade magazines. I eventually published two textbooks on landscape design. I then transitioned to writing a column for the Post and Courier. They were all great gigs, but they weren’t fiction.
That was a few years later.
My daughter started reading before she could read, pretending she knew the words in books she propped on her lap. My son was a different story. In an attempt to change that, I began writing a story with him. We made up a character, gave him a name, and something to do. As with much of parenting, it did not go as planned. But the character got stuck in my head.
He wanted out.
A few years later, Socket Greeny was born. It was a science fiction trilogy that was gritty and thoughtful. That was 2005.
I have been practicing Zen since I was 23 years old. A daily meditator, I wanted to instill something meaningful in my stories that appeals to a young adult crowd as well as adult. I hadn’t planned to write fiction, didn’t even know if I had anymore stories in me after Socket Greeny.
Turns out I did.