|25 Days, 26 Ways to Make This Your Best Christmas Ever|
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If Christmas seems like it's all about finding the perfect gift, maxing out your credit cards, and endless baking, Collins wants to help you make this Christmas your best holiday ever! In 25 Days, 26 Ways, he blends fascinating stories from history and spiritual truths about the holiday season, gently guiding you toward a new way of thinking about Christmas. Reading this partly devotional, partly practical, and always thoughtful book, you are only twenty-five days and twenty-six ways away from your best Christmas ever! Jacketed hardcover.
Ace Collins Q & A
When and where were you
I was born when my dad was in the Air Force. Hence, I first saw the world at Chanute Air
Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois
on August 17, 1953. Within a few weeks,
after my father’s enlistment was up, we moved back to Arkansas.
Were books a big part of
your life growing up? If so, what books influenced you the most as a child?
My folks were educators, so books were a huge part of our
home. I loved reading and the first
full-length book I remember reading was in third grade. It was about a cougar named Yellow Eyes. By the time I was in fourth grade I was
consuming the likes of Sherlock Holmes and a biography of baseball pitcher
Dizzy Dean. That pretty much set a
pattern I follow to this day that I never stick to a single genre and dip into
both fiction and nonfiction all the time. I also can’t go through a day without
reading a newspaper and that has been a part of my life since my youth as well.
Who are your favorite
authors and why?
As a child I was entranced by Mark Twain’s
storytelling. Still am to this day. On the modern fiction side I tend to read
authors such as Clive Cussler. Yet the
writer of a story does not draw me in as much as does the story itself. So my choices are more about the kinds of things
I like to read in fiction (action/adventure and historical drama) and then
finding information on things that fascinate me in nonfiction.
What are some of your
favorite hobbies and activities, besides reading and writing?
I love classic cars and currently have at 1965 Mustang, 1936
Cord and 1934 Auburn. They are not show cars, but rather cars that
I drive. I also love college
sports. Thus my television is usually
focused on football or basketball games.
Classic film is a passion as well, especially movies from the 1930s and
1940s. And I would have to say current
events are almost a hobby to me. I love
to keep up with what’s going on and then study the history of the moment set
against what has been experienced in the past.
And I think all of those things have fueled my books.
How has being published
changed your life?
Opened the door to meet some very exciting people. Given me a much wider range of
experiences. Exposed me to new ideas and
thinking. Really emphasized the fact
that we all make an impact on the world.
It has also put me into a changing marketplace that has forced me to
constantly grow as a person. I have
found the more I write the more I learn and the more potential my work has to
touch others in a meaningful way. In a
sense that might not sound too exciting, but it is. So in that way it is the readers who contact
me that keep me wanting to write much more than it is seeing one of my books in
Where did you get your
inspiration for 25 Days, 26 Ways to Make
This the Best Christmas Ever?
I had already had three bestsellers in the Christmas market,
so it was natural to consider doing a fourth book. But this book is a departure from the first
three because I wanted to create something that had the potential to refocus
folks on the real reason for this season.
I had seen that those whose true focus was on Christ had a much more
powerful, joyful and meaningful Christmas.
The problem became how could I share what I had learned about the season
with others in a written format. After
struggling with the idea for a while I came up with a spiritual advent calendar
in a book or written form.
Have you ever felt the Lord
speak through your writing?
I have gone back and read some of my books and realized that
the wording in certain paragraphs were beyond my ability as a writer. Hence I
think that was God speaking through me.
I believe I have also heard him speak through readers who have shared
how some of my books have inspired them.
When either of those things happens then reaffirms that I am living my
I also think the Lord opens my eyes to see things others
miss. This is especially true when it
comes to finding special stories in the lives of ordinary people. I suddenly am given a question or a direction
that I know couldn’t have originated in my own mind.
What are your dreams for
writing? What dreams have you already reached in writing?
I am storyteller and that is what I want to continue to
do. My biggest dream as a child was
writing a novel. With Farraday Road
and Swope’s Ridge that dream is being
lived right now. I would love to keep
that series going because I feel it has the potential to open up a new market
for male readers in Christian fiction (though it seems from the mail I have received
that females love the books as well).
So, in both fiction and nonfiction my continuing dream is to not as much
“preach to the choir (write just for the Christian market),” but have my work
touch those who normally don’t read Christian books. Those are the folks who most need the story
What’s your favorite, and
least favorite, part of being a writer?
The favorite part is coming up with the ideas and even doing
the research for the book. The writing
itself is work, very hard work, and, there are times that becomes a drag. Yet, even during those long days of trying to
meet deadlines and working with tough editors, I love what I do.
My least favorite part is waiting for a book proposal to
find a publisher. That has been
especially true during the economic downturn.
Fewer books are being published so for the time being I don’t get to
write my normal four books a year.
Hence, I don’t enjoy the downtime when I am not writing.
What is your most difficult
writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I would guess rejection.
I hate to think that I have a good idea and publishers aren’t
interested. Yet, if I believe in the
concept, I keep pushing it. It took ten
years and more than two-dozen rejections before “Stories Behind The Best-Loved
Songs of Christmas” found a home at Zondervan.
That book became a bestseller and is still selling today. Hence, I look at that one event in my writing
career and keep believing in the ideas.
How can readers learn more
about you and your upcoming releases?
They can go to my website at www.acecollins.com.