Lexi: Dear readers, please tell me it’s impossible to look at the cover of FINDING CHRISTMAS and not smell the snow?! Agreed? Great, now let’s ask the author! Welcome, Karen Schaler!
It’s great to talk with you!
Lexi: We really are in love with your book cover, it evokes the perfect fresh-snow, cozy, sweet setting for this holiday story. What was your first feeling or word that came to mind the first time you saw the cover for FINDING CHRISTMAS?
I am so glad you love the cover! I do, too! I actually helped design the cover, thanks to the amazing creative team at William Morrow, HarperCollins Publishers, that understood how important my book covers are to me, offering a first glimpse into the world I’ve created. After all my years of telling stories in television, where I’ve worked as a national TV correspondent, anchor and host, I think very visually and because for Finding Christmas and my first books, Christmas Camp and Christmas Camp Wedding, I wrote the movie screenplays first, I had a clear vision of what I wanted to share with my readers for the covers. For this book, Finding Christmas, the cover and the town of Christmas Point is actually inspired by a magical Christmas town I grew up near, Leavenworth, in the Cascade Mountain Range, about 115 miles east of Seattle, Washington. Leavenworth has a beautiful gazebo very similar to what we created that I always loved so much and wanted to honor. I also then made sure we also add all the details, like the white twinkle lights, the wreaths, and Dasher our fabulous furry friend, that are very important in the story. So, this cover is very well thought out and the design team did a phenomenal job bring it all to life. When I saw the final cover, I got tears in my eyes, happy tears and grateful tears, because it was perfect, exactly what I wanted to share with my readers.
Lexi: And all of those feels make us think of Christmas traditions! And it’s traditions that Emmie uses to create a scavenger hunt to help her boyfriend get in the holiday spirit. Are any of Emmie’s Christmas activities ones that you grew up with?
Lexi, I love that you’re asking this question because it lets me share how my dad, Harry Schaler, inspired my novel Finding Christmas by always doing a Christmas scavenger hunt for me when I was growing up and he has ever missed a year. We didn’t have a lot of material things, but my dad, no matter what, would send me on a scavenger hunt to find my present. I remember as a little girl being so excited to follow the clues to figure out where dad had hidden my present. As a child, it was all about finding the gift, but as I grew up, I realized the real gift was my dad taking the time to put the scavenger hunt together and do something special for his daughter. As a teenager I remember teasing him about how I thought I was getting a little too old for the hunt, but that never stopped him. Every holiday there were clues and a present to be found. Even last year, at 78-years old, my dad was as excited as a kid at Christmas to keep up our family tradition and create a scavenger hunt for me. I know he has just as much fun as I do and I can’t imagine a Christmas without our scavenger hunts together. To help other families who might want to start a tradition like this I put some of our Christmas scavenger hunt tips in the bonus section of my Finding Christmas novel, that also includes some of my favorite Christmas recipes, like my Finding Christmas Gingerbread Snowballs Cookie Recipe. You have to try them. They’re delicious and so easy to make! When it comes to the other Christmas activities that Emmie does at Christmas Point, they’re all inspired by what I personally love to do and try to do every Christmas.
Lexi: When Emma planned each Christmas activity she sure didn’t picture herself doing them with Sam, the writer who stumbled upon her scavenger hunt instead of her boyfriend, but they end up having a blast together! What would you say took Sam more by surprise, that someone would go to that much effort to inspire holiday spirit, or Emmie herself?
That’s a great question. At first, Sam is impressed and surprised by the scavenger hunt itself, because as an author and storyteller he appreciates all the clever details. But from the moment he meets Emmie he’s intrigued and drawn to her, feeling she’s someone special. I think just like the scavenger hunt, Emmie continues to surprise Sam, sending them both on an unexpected journey together.
Lexi: The best Christmas presents really are surprises. Congrats on the release of FINDING CHRISTMAS! We’re so glad you stopped by the blog, Karen! Cheers!
Thank you so much, Lexi, for letting me share more about Finding Christmas with you readers. Wishing everyone all the magic of the season!