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December Newsletter Feature: “Going ‘Gnome’ for Christmas” by Vyrene Skinner Wilson

Featured Author Spotlight:
Vyrene Skinner Wilson and the Magic of "Going 'Gnome' for Christmas"

In the spirit of festive joy and heartwarming tales, our December Featured Author is none other than the talented Vyrene Skinner Wilson, bringing the enchanting world of gnomes to life in her latest book, “Going ‘Gnome’ for Christmas.”

A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Vyrene’s journey in interior design intertwined with her love for the written word. Hailing from the town of Port Huron, Michigan, Vyrene brings a unique blend of creativity and passion to her storytelling.

In her latest book, “Going ‘Gnome’ for Christmas,” Vee, as she is known, shares the magic of Christmas traditions she has cherished with her grandchildren. 

Q. Writing a holiday-themed book can be a unique challenge. How did you infuse the festive spirit into your writing while maintaining a timeless quality that readers can enjoy year after year?

Vyrene: I simply infused the festive spirit of the season by reminding the reader that there are so many holiday traditions that one can become involved in. I related to those that are close to my heart. We all have gifts to give in many forms and sharing those gifts allows us to give and receive the Christmas spirit.

Q. What inspired you to write "Going 'Gnome' for Christmas"? Were there specific moments or experiences that sparked the idea for this festive and charming tale?

Vyrene: The inspiration for “Going ‘Gnome’ for Christmas” evolved from a cherished Christmas tradition I developed for my grand kids—to write a Christmas story for them each year. These stories were intended to carry the undercurrent of life lessons. In 2021, as the “gnome” craze caught my attention, I delved into gnome folklore, sparking the idea of using these whimsical beings to convey the meaning behind Christmas traditions.

Q. The holiday season is often associated with various traditions. Can you share any personal holiday traditions or influences that inspired elements of your book?

Vyrene: “Going ‘Gnome’ for Christmas” is a culmination of both childhood and adult Christmas traditions that brought me immense joy. Each chapter is inspired by personal experiences with traditions, and I wanted to share the magic and purpose behind these cherished moments.

Q. Illustrations can bring a story to life. How did you collaborate with the illustrator to visually capture the spirit of your narrative, especially when it comes to the charming gnomes?

Vyrene: I confess to being a detail fanatic! Detailed descriptions of each illustration were crucial to capture my vision. Collaboration involved extensive communication and feedback. Eventually, I even sent pictures of gnomes with size scale references to guide the illustrators. It was a collaborative effort, and with ample feedback, we brought the charming gnomes to life.

TAKEN FROM THE BOOK, “GOING GNOME FOR CHRISTMAS”

Q. "Going 'Gnome' for Christmas" explores themes of joy, friendship, and the magic of the holiday season. What messages do you hope readers, both young and old, take away from your story?

Vyrene: I hope readers take away the joy and purpose behind Christmas traditions. Each chapter holds a lesson, whether it’s about sharing, teamwork, or the belief in making a difference. Ultimately, I want the book to evoke the magical spirit of the holiday season.

Q. As our readers look forward to the holiday season, do you have any favorite holiday memories or traditions that you'd like to share?

Vyrene: Well, I love to bake and make fudge, so going to a cookie exchange and offering my goodies in the process would rate high on my list of favorites.  I do have a few memories in particular, however, that will always make me smile when recalled.  We once had a neighborhood gathering and everyone had to bring a while elephant gift to exchange.  As we took our turn drawing for a gift, we had the choice to draw a new gift or steal one from somebody else.  Years later, I hosted a Christmas party at my home for all the girls that I worked with.  I bought small gifts for each person that would come and wrapped them. I let them do the same thing that my old neighborhood had done once, and let them steal someone’s gift that they wanted more.  We all laughed so hard that night!  One other favorite memory I have is the Christmas I wrote a story, years before I ever started writing books.  It was read at the family gathering.  At different stops in the story there was a present, that had something to do with the story, for everyone that was there.

Q. With "Going 'Gnome' for Christmas" being a perfect holiday gift, do you have any recommendations for how readers can make the most of the book during the festive season?

Vyrene: It is a long book, and I know many parents read a little to their children each night before bed.  I think a couple chapters at a time each night at Christmas season would be great.  I also have a friend who said she wanted a book report on my book from her granddaughter.  Many of my friends bought the book as presents for children.  My books have been read by teachers to their   class a couple chapters at a time.

Q. What's next for you as an author? Are there any upcoming projects or themes that you're excited to explore in your future works?

Vyrene: Yes, my next book will be written during this winter, as is the season I always roll another one out.  I have been making notes on it since last Christmas.  As is my style, the character are animals that do most of the first person speaking.  It contains such an undercurrent of adult humor that those who have heard bits and pieces of it can’t wait for it to come out!

Q. Additionally, we’re interested to know what role your publisher, Write and Release Publishing, played in bringing this book to life. How did their support contribute to the overall publication and release of the book?

Vyrene: “I can’t say enough about the amazing job Write and Release Publishing did to get this book printed for me. I will be the first to admit that I am technologically challenged. In particular, the job, my book coach did to get me through this, was amazing! She helped me get the message across to the illustrators as we struggled to get the illustrations right through the revisions. You met timelines as promised and all I can say is, Hats Off To All!”

"I can't say enough about the amazing job Write and Release Publishing did to get this book printed for me. I will be the first to admit that I am technologically challenged. In particular, the job, my book coach did to get me through this, was amazing! She helped me get the message across to the illustrators as we struggled to get the illustrations right through the revisions. You met timelines as promised and all I can say is, Hats Off To All!"