Hello, everyone! We're wrapping up our #SpreadJoy event with a special interview with Gayle Krause. Gayle is here sharing her book, Rock Star Santa (illustrated by Will Terry). Her book follows a young boy who imagines Santa and his reindeer rocking around the Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve. How much fun would that be to see? Want to know more about Gayle, her rocking-good book, PLUS want a chance to win a copy of it - a perfect gift to receive and read this holiday season (and a completely rare gift, too, since it's out of print)? Read on...
Q: Hi, Gayle. Thanks so much for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit! I’m excited to have you and talk all about your seasonal picture book, Rock Star Santa! Before we get started, can you share more about yourself with everyone?
A: I’m thrilled to join #SeasonsOfKidLit! What a great idea, to celebrate every holiday with children’s books. About me? Where can I start? I attended my first SCBWI meeting in upstate New York in 1999 and have been writing for children ever since.
As a former Early Childhood Education teacher in a NY Career and Technical School training prospective Elementary teachers, I taught juniors and seniors as well as directing a Pre-K Laboratory School, so it makes sense that I write across the board, PB, MG, YA. I’ve taught Children’s Literature to both teachers and writers and my very favorite genre is fairytales. You can find hints of a classic fairytale in most of my work, but it’s true that you must dig to find that kernel. I change the story dramatically to make it my own. My new picture book, Zadie and the Witch’s Tea, coming in September 2023, is exactly that.
Q: Your book, Rock Star Santa, is a fun rhyming read. It follows a child as he imagines Santa and his reindeer putting on a concert on Christmas Eve. What gave you the idea to write such a fun story?
A: The night before I wrote Rock Star Santa, I attended a Christmas concert myself. It was Trans-Siberian Orchestra. If any of you have attended their concerts you know it is an evening of rocking Christmas carols. I started off trying to incorporate all the carols they used, and the original title was Rockin’ Christmas Eve, but my editor at Scholastic thought that title was too mundane, and so Rock Star Santa was born.
I had no perception as to whether the main character was a boy or a girl and Will Terry, the wonderful illustrator Scholastic paired me with, made the decision to make it a boy.
Q: What were some of your favorite parts about working with Scholastic on this book?
A: When I first submitted the story, it was shorter and my editor asked me to add a few more rhyming couplets, so that was my favorite part…creating more fun stanzas for a rockin’ Santa.
Q: Very cool - thanks so much for sharing this with us, Gayle. We can't wait to read your book!
Now, for some extra fun holiday-themed questions: What’s one of your favorite holiday traditions?
A: Holiday traditions for me were varied. I loved Christmas so much that as the oldest child in the family I soon took over the role of Santa. I decorated the house and tree, hung the stockings, and baked the Christmas cookies that my younger sisters devotedly left for Santa. So, spending Christmas with family was the priority and seeing the happy smiles on the younger kids faces was the best. It’s still the same today. Every year, I make a stuffed doll for the youngest children in the family, and this year my grandniece will be receiving her second Christmas doll.
Q: What neat traditions. Thanks for sharing that with us! Being an author now, we must know, what was your favorite holiday book as a child?
A: Since my childhood was a long time ago, there weren’t many children’s Christmas picture books, so I’d have to say the tried and true, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas was my favorite.
Thanks for joining us, Gayle. We enjoyed meeting you and hearing about your rocking-cool Santa book!
Q: How would you like to Spread Joy this holiday season?
A: Just a few months ago I was contacted by a librarian in Louisiana asking if there was any way she could purchase copies of Rock Star Santa for her school. Because it is now out of print, I am the only one who has the remaining copies in print. Because Rock Star Santa was my first book, and children still enjoy it, I’d like to donate a signed copy for one lucky winner.
What a sweet and unique gift. Thanks SO much for offering it to one lucky reader!
Giveaway Details: To enter to win this delightful book, comment below and let Gayle know why you can't wait to read it! The winner will be chosen on or about December 16th!
Note: books will be shipped in the US only.
Reminder, those who comment on every post will be eligible to win (1) of (5) RYS Speedpasses or a special book package!
About Gayle Krause
Named the 2022 MG first place winner of the Kid’s Choice KIDLIT Writing Contest, I’m a PAL SCBWI member and a member of The Storyteller Academy. My YA novel, Ratgirl:Song of the Viper, a retelling of The Pied Piper in a globally-warmed future was nominated for the Boston Globe /Horn Book and The International Reading Association Award. My picture book Rock Star Santa was performed as a play in Australia and presented at Storytime in Montserrat, British West Indies with a real British Rock Star. My picture book Daddy, Can You See the Moon? shares royalties with Our Military Child, an organization that helps veteran’s children deal with their parent’s war injuries/deployment, and Once Upon a Twisted Tale, a collection of “fractured fairytales” in different poetic forms has an international following. Currently, I am working on MG fantasies.
For more about Gayle, check out the below links:
To purchase Gayle's books on Amazon, or to leave a review, click here.