The Ink Splat is our monthly activity letter filled with inspiration sparking challenges and resources guaranteed to inspire your creativity. In this Ink Splat, the book and author spotlighted is The Angel Tree By Daphne Benedis-Grab along with an author interview! Submit a response to a challenge and you may have a chance to be published online! What are you waiting for?
The Challenge: The Gift of Giving
For this month’s challenge, write a story centered around a holiday. It can be any holiday, even lesser known ones from other countries and cultures, or a made up one.
Submit your response HERE.
Do a little digging:
Do some research on the holiday you’re writing about. There are lots of things about the holidays we practice that not everyone knows, and a lot of holidays you might not even know about!
The Angel Tree By Daphne Benedis-Grab
Every Christmas in the small town of Pine River, a tree appears in the town square–the Angel Tree. Some people tie wishes to the tree, while others make those wishes come true. Nobody’s ever known where the tree comes from, but the mystery has always been part of the tradition’s charm. This year, however, four kids who have been helped–Lucy, Joe, Max, and Cami–are determined to solve the mystery and find out the true identity of the town’s guardian angel, so that Pine River can finally thank the person who brought the Angel Tree to their town.
About the BOOK:
Q: Is The Angel Tree a holiday novel, or do you think it can be read anytime of the year?
A: I think if you like mysteries and Christmas it can be fun any time of year. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I quite enjoyed writing about it for the year it took to create the book- an added bonus was putting myself in frosty Pine River on those ninety degree days of summer!
Q: What is an important message kids can take away from the story?
A: I’d love it if kids considered what Cami says about everybody having a story- sometimes we judge people quickly, without knowing all the circumstances that led to their behavior- kind of like Max and Joe in The Angel Tree. I would also be very happy if the story sparks generosity and the idea of giving to people in need.
About the PROCESS:
Q: Where did you get the idea for the novel? It sounds like something that could have really happened!
A: Funny you should say that because it did! Well, at least the angel tree itself did. It’s a real thing started by the Salvation Army and so there are angel trees around the country every holiday season. I think they are such a beautiful way to give to people in need that I decided to write a book about a town that had one.
About the AUTHOR:
Q: What was the hardest part about the writing process for you? The easiest?
A: Definitely revision. I love pouring out a first draft (that’s the easiest part for me) but those first drafts always need a lot of work and that’s where it stops being quite so fun. But it’s always worth it- my editor has terrific ideas for making my stories stronger and once I do the revising, the stories are always better.
A: The most important thing is to write what you love. Create a story idea and characters that you care about and want to spend a lot of time with. The second thing is to keep going! The beginning is always easier but push through to finish your whole story. Then- revise. The first draft is never meant to be perfect- so dive into your revisions willing to cut scenes and add any pieces that will make your story the very best it can be.
Thanks again Daphne!!