Throwaways The Claus Chronicles
Ever imagine what Santa Claus' childhood was like?
Just in time for the holidays, D. R. Strahan reveals the story behind the legend in Throwaways: The Claus Chronicles (according to me).
Geared toward young adults, the story begins in the town of At il, located north of the Arctic Circle. Two laws were strictly enforced: It was against the law to feed the children and number two, it was against the law to leave the city. Fox, the 13-year-old son of the governor, had done both.
When he and two friends were invited to visit a family compound outside the city, Fox deliberated hard and long about the situation. Breaking the law as a loner was one thing but when it involved others the decision was much more difficult.
As this adventure-driven story unfolds, we see how daunting adversity shapes young Fox's story into the holly, jolly legend we all know and love.
Strahan weaves carefully researched elements of the Aurora Borealis phenomenon, topical regions north of the Arctic Circle, and real-time terrain in these regions into her story, giving it an authenticated feel. The stature, habits and lifestyles of the regional populations were also included in her research.
The oldest of four children, Strahan has long been telling bedtime stories about Santa Claus. "I wrote Throwaways: The Claus Chronicles (according to me), to give Santa Claus a history," says Strahan. "Similar to Wicked and the Wizard of Oz, my book gives you the background of one of the world's most beloved legends Santa Claus. Who he really is, who his relatives were, why he gave yearly gifts to children and where he got his magical powers."
D.R. Strahan has lived in Glen Rose, Texas for the past 30 years. She is the mother of three, grandmother of four and great grandmother of five. Strahan earned her Bachelor of Science degree in fashion design at the University of Texas in Austin at age 32. At age 57, Strahan returned to school and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education.
Throwaways: The Claus Chronicles
Author: D.R. Strahan
Interview with D.R. Strahan
Question: What inspired you to write Throwaways The Claus Chronicles?
D.R. Strahan: I was inspired to write "Throwaways (The Claus Chronicles according to me)" because from all my research nothing was found about his early years. I thought he needed a history. The story begins when Santa Claus was only thirteen and reflects back to a life-changing event when he was eight years old. I have always been fascinated by the Santa Claus fantasy and have written many poems and short stories about him.
Question: Can you talk about the research that went into Throwaways The Claus Chronicles?
D.R. Strahan: Much of the research for the novel was done on the internet, especially the information about the aurora borealis (northern lights) phenomenon, area topography, dress and habits of the population referenced in the story. Research about Santa Claus himself was partially done by going through books of names and finding historical meanings and where they originated: example-Kris Kringle.
Question: Why did you think it was important to give Santa Claus a history?
D.R. Strahan: I gave Santa Claus a history to make him seem more real. His name is known pretty near around the world and all that is referenced: he is old, fat, jolly, and brings the appropriate gift to the right person. It seemed to me that there should be reason for his generosity and dedication to the children. Reason such as this usually comes from having lived it.
Question: Who did you write Throwaways The Claus Chronicles for?
D.R. Strahan: I wrote "Throwaways" mostly for the child in me. I think magic and fantasy are extremely important attributes for a child to experience before taking on the problems of survival. Children are often tossed into adult responsibilities at a very early age with no opportunity to feel life's magic. From page one, this is the primary focus of the novel.
Question: As a great grandmother of five, have you read Throwaways The Claus Chronicles to your grandchild? What was their feedback?
D.R. Strahan: Four of my grandchildren live a considerable distance from me. When referencing excerpts of the "Throwaway" novel on the internet/facebook, they rave about scenes in the book while reading the story to their children. Michael, my only grandson, just arrived from Australia where he attends the university and I've had no chance to ask. My thirteen-year-old step-granddaughter, Raven, said the book is awesome. She showed it to all her friends at school.
Interview by Brooke Hunter