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Interview: Kristy Haile, Author of I Am Santa!

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Just who is Kristy Haile?  She is a Californian who earned an Associate’s degree in Dental Hygiene from Northeastern University in Boston and then went on to work as a hygienist in Massachusetts and California.  After making a move Los Angeles, from Turlock, CA,  her two children became actors on TV (The Office, Criminal Minds, Desperate Housewives), movies (Chihuahua: The Movie) and in commercials.  Ms. Haile began to keep a journal of the funny and unusual things her son, Ty (who at age four came to believe he was Santa Claus), said and did over the next two years, as well as of people’s reactions to his self-identification as the “new real Santa Claus.”  Thus began the beginning of Kristy Haile’s newest book I Am Santa!

To learn more about Ms. Haile, please visit her website at I Am Santa!

Please tell us a bit about your book: I AM SANTA! — characters, plot, etc.

In I AM SANTA!, a four-year-old boy named Nicholas meets a sick old man in a shopping mall who says he is Santa Claus. After some conversation, the man tells Nicholas that he will be the new real Santa. Nicholas persuades his mother to buy him a Santa suit, which he wears all year long, describing to his family his late-night trips to the North Pole.

Some people react negatively to Nicholas, while others ask him what he will bring them for Christmas; still others tell him and his mom that seeing such a jolly little Santa makes their day. His mother decides to support him and let him wear the suit all year, because she wants him to be free to dream and to believe he can be anything he wants to be.

If you could meet, in person, any of your characters, who would it be and why?

If I could meet one character in person from my book I AM SANTA! I would choose to meet Jack, the head elf. I would want to meet Jack because my son has described him so well to me that I have a perfect picture in my mind of what he looks like. Also, Jack is someone whom my son looks up to greatly and seems to really care about the success of my son as the new real Santa Claus.

If you could fictionalize yourself and put yourself in any situation, how would it play out? Could you give us a scene/scenario of such an occurrence?

If I could pick only one situation in the book that I would like to be in, I would choose to be in the scene at Snowball Park. I have always enjoyed playing in the snow and how falling down into the snow makes one feel like a child again. At Snowball Park, besides the snow, I would enjoy seeing how excited all of the elves there were to see the new real Santa Claus.

Do you have any particular habits that you do while writing? Places you write the best, foods, drinks, etc that help set your “writing mood”?

I most enjoy sitting on my favorite couch with a cup of coffee while I write using my laptop computer. It doesn’t have to be completely quiet in the house, for when I am writing, I am completely focused and there in the situation which I am writing about that I am able to block out all other noises.

What are you reading right now?

Breaking Dawn, written by Stephanie Meyer

Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books?

I have read quite a few books written by Anita Shreve, my favorite being The Weight of Water. I have also enjoyed reading the Twilight series written by Stephanie Meyer.

If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Dr. Seuss would have been a fabulous author to meet. He let his imagination run freely in his books which has helped many people young and old explore their own imaginations and find where they had hidden their imaginations.

Okay, here are a few “get to know you better” questions:

Please share with us a favorite memory.

About a year ago, I took the opportunity to surprise my husband on our anniversary. I was able to arrange a stay in a beautiful home on the Island of Santa Catalina off the coast of California, which is where we had stayed on our honeymoon sixteen years ago. I was able to arrange for him to be off work, for my mom to watch the kids and I even booked a helicopter flight to the island from Long Beach, all without his knowledge. The surprise on his face was priceless.

Please describe a perfect meal — including menu and those present.

My perfect meal is steak, potatoes and corn all grilled over the campfire. For some reason food tastes so much better when we are camping and it is cooked over the campfire. My husband Reece, my two children Ellalyn and Ty would all have to be present with me as well in order to complete the perfect meal.

What are some of your favorite ways to relax?

Going to the beach, wine time with my husband, family vacations (destination doesn’t matter as long as I am with my family), or relaxing in a spa or bubble bath.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I have always enjoyed going to the City of Malibu. One of my very favorite things to do is to simply relax on the beach. Most of the time, I like to go to Carbon Beach, one of Malibu’s stunning beaches. There is just something about this beach and the city that has caused a strong attraction for me to its beautiful surroundings. I have no idea what it is but what I do feel is it says, “your home.”

If you could only read books by one author, who would it be? *I know, this is an inconceivable thought, lol.

If I could only read books by one author I would choose to only read books by author Anita Shreve. Her books have always inspired me and I find myself reading her books over again.

Share with us a few of your dreams. Also whether they have been fulfilled or are still a work in progress.

One of my most important dreams is for children to feel less competition in this world. I would love for children to feel as if they did not have to compete against any one else and that they only had to strive to be the best that they can be.

I also dream that one day everyone would view each other as equal no matter what the differences may be. I believe every one is equal in this world and should not be judged by each other.

Both of these dreams are sill a work in progress.

What are some of your guilty pleasures?

Since I drink my coffee black, my favorite guilty pleasure is when I splurge occasionally on a Saturday and drink café mocha at Café Baccio.

If you could leave the world with one piece of advice, what would it be?

Choose to make life a positive journey, focusing only on the positive in life while holding on to our imaginations and believing in our dreams.

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About April Pohren