Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Diane Stringam Tolley - Carving Angels - Author Interview

My thanks to Diane Stringam Tolley for stopping by The Plot Thickens for an author interview during the blog tour for her book, Carving Angels.

Author Interview

1. Who is the plot based around?
Carving Angels is the story of Papa Adam, former chief wood-carver for Santa. An elderly elf who has given up on his life and livelihood with the loss of his sight.

2. What is the main idea of the plot?
Papa Adam is waiting to die. But a request to carve once more, given by his youngest grandchild and only granddaughter, Amy, helps him realize that his life is not over. And that he is definitely not useless. Together, the two of them begin a project that will change, not only their lives, but the lives of every single member of the North Pole community.

3. When does the plot take place?
The story begins in early spring and follows Papa Adam and Amy through the year till Christmas.

4. Where does the plot take place?
Almost the entirety of the story takes place in Pap Adam's cottage and work room. Though there is an occasional foray into the reindeer stables and the wood sheds. But all at the North Pole.

5. Why did the plot develop the way it did?
This story is a statement about people with disabilities. And in overcoming those disabilities. It was a sweet story about faith in others and in ourselves. Because of that, it needed no other 'antagonist' or 'motivator' to move it along. Once I realized that, I was free to simply follow my two protagonists through their gentle, peaceful days. To suggest that Carving Angels really took its own path might sound . . . odd. But that's exactly what happened!

6. How did you come up with the idea for the plot?
I was looking at a picture of Santa Claus and his sleigh. And the thought popped into my head, "I wonder where he got his sleigh?" I figured he couldn't have found it on E-Bay or at Sleighs Are Us. It must have been carved by an elf.

The rest of the story developed through a series of questions . . .So . . . what kind of elf? A wood-carver, obviously. But what makes him the most special wood-carver? Well, he was the best. Santa's chief. But what makes this an unusual accomplishment for him? He had retired because of disabilities. (Huh. Elves really do grow old and infirm!)

What sort of disabilities? Age and blindness. Okay, he will need someone to help him, at least at times. Who could it be? This was tricky. I wanted someone who could be a help, but who would also be disregarded by the community at large, due to a 'disability.' Then Amy came to me. A little girl, just five years old. Perfect!

About the Book
Carving Angels

Book Details:
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Published: September 2011
Genre: Children, ages 9-12
Format: hardcover
Price: $12.99
Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes&

Papa Adam, an elderly elf and former chief carver for Santa, has given up. Blind, frail and useless, he counts the minutes in every day as he waits to die.

But a challenge to carve, given by his youngest granddaughter, reawakens Papa Adam. Helps him to realize that he is not finished. And definitely not useless.

The two of them, the 'marginal' oldest and youngest members of North Pole society, begin a remarkable project that will change their community forever. Prove that the most paralyzing thing you can do is underestimate or undervalue anyone, especially yourself.

And that with the right love and encouragement, anything is possible.

About the Author
Diane Stringam Tolley

Diane Stringam Tolley was born and raised on a ranch in Southern Alberta, Canada. Educated in Journalism, she is the author of countless articles and short stories and 4 e-books including a novel for young adults, Essence. She and her husband, Grant are the parents of six children and live in Beaumont, Alberta, Canada.

Connect With Diane:
Author Web Site

About the Tour

Cedar Fort Blog Tours

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