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Interview with Brittney Ryan on The Legend of Holly Claus
What were your favorite classics when you were growing up, and what book would you have chosen to read on Christmas Eve?
Classics that I still treasure are Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and Sleeping Beauty. I was also really inspired by the Wizard of Oz as a child, I loved the Emerald City.
Christmas Eve was a magical and spiritual time for my family. The velvet stockings were hung from the chimney and the fireplace was lit reflecting an illuminating light that lit each of the faces of my brother and sisters. To bed we went, and I would read the story of The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde. It so touched my heart, and showed me that giving was the most beautiful thing I would do in the world. I saw a pure and compassionate heart in the Prince and the little Sparrow.
Can you tell us where the idea for the story of The Legend of Holly Claus and the world of Forever came from?
When I was seventeen years old I performed in a Christmas musical. For the last song I invited all the children up to sing with me. There was one little girl about 4 years old who sat on my lap and never uttered a word during the performance. As the curtain went down she whispered something in my ear that would change my life forever. She asked, “Are you Santa‚’s daughter? I’ll keep your secret.” That soft whisper inspired The Legend of Holly Claus.
In creating the City of Forever in The Land of The Immortals, I knew it had to be a place where legends are kept safe forever for all who live there. It is a place where wonderful stories, kind deeds and great inventions contribute to humanity and are treasured.
For anyone who is still waiting to read The Legend of Holly Claus, can you share the secret of how to make snow angels and tell us if it’s something you still do on snowy days?
There is such a feeling that comes to you when its starts to snow lightly. It is ethereal and wondrous. When making a snow angel, spread your arms wide open, look up to the heavens and start waving your arms. Lean back into the blanket of snow and keep waving your arms and now your legs together. Imagine yourself soaring through the sky as if you have just taken flight. When you get up what will remain is the imprint of your spirit. Remember we are all angels, you just don’t see our wings. And yes, I still love to make snow angels, especially with my friends.
In The Legend of Holly Claus you write “Perhaps laughter is so powerful that it penetrates rock and metal.” Does laughter have magic powers itself, do you think?
Laughter is the music of the soul. When laughter strikes you, in that moment it is like you don’t have a care in the world. It is so powerful it penetrates the coldest hearts of humanity. The true magic is laughing with someone not at someone.
As well as having enjoyed a magical story, is there anything else that you would hope readers will take away from The Legend of Holly Claus?
My greatest hope is that The Legend of Holly Claus will become a Christmas classic that will be read and cherished as a family tradition every holiday season.