Today, Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our spotlight on author Robin Raven and her debut children’s book, Santa’s First Vegan Christmas, which we are pleased to offer in our children’s holiday display! Robin is a regular contributor for The Huffington Post and Parents and Kids Magazine, and she has also written for The Malibu Times, USA Today, Screen Junkies, and LoveToKnow. Santa’s first Vegan Christmas is her debut children’s book and has received numerous rave reviews in national magazines, including VegNews, Vegan Health and Fitness, Naked Food Magazine, Act’ionlone, and Animal Times.
Thank you so much for joining us, Robin! What was the inspiration for Santa’s First Vegan Christmas? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?
Well, I am a huge Christmas enthusiast. I love the holidays, and I love watching a lot of Christmas-themed movies. One year, I was taking in a lot of Christmas art, and I discovered that there was this casual violence against animals in the Santa – North Pole world that was prevalent in a lot of stories with otherwise very kind-hearted heroes. I mean, I could show you lot of this art where Santa is depicted holding a whip, and it’s shown mid-air about to strike a reindeer! Sadly, that is how horses are often treated in the real world today. So, I saw the parallel between the fictional mistreatment of reindeer and how animals are treated within our modern society. I also thought of moments in my own past where I’ve encountered injustice, and I envisioned this sweet, strong reindeer who was willing to stand up for what is right. With that vision, the character of Dana was born.
What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?
Dana the Reindeer is one of my favorite characters that I ever created. She is the true hero of the story even though Santa may have received title credit! Once the character of Dana became clear to me, I knew I had to tell her story.
I hope others see Dana as an inspiring character. She Is always looking for ways to spread love and kindness. I hope that people are inspired to start with themselves to help make the world a kinder, more peaceful place. I try to do that each day.
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
I am working on several different things. I have been speaking to a few national magazines about upcoming articles. I have a few children’s books in the works, and I am also working on novels, screenplays, a middle grade book, and some non-fiction things. Also, I should note that you haven’t heard the last from Dana the Reindeer.
While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!
Oh, I love having music on. Some of my favorite musical artists are Leonard Cohen, The Carpenters, Taylor Swift, Morrissey, Madonna, Olivia Newton-John, George Michael, The Band Perry, and Mindy Gledhill. When writing holiday stories like Santa’s First Vegan Christmas, I love having on Christmas movies and music. Holiday-themed movies like A Very Brady Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Mom for Christmas, All I Want for Christmas (1991), Babes in Toyland (1961), Small One, and The Holiday inspire me.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?
Oh, that’s a fantastic question! I learn so many lessons in my writing career. The greatest one that comes to mind is that I learned how much even a small act of support can mean to a writer. I’ve received so much support with the publication of Santa’s First Vegan Christmas, and I don’t take any of it for granted. I will never forget all the ways that people showed their support, and I love hearing from readers. I’m inspired to really show my support for other writers as well.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
Santa’s First Vegan Christmas is available on Amazon:
It’s available in the PETA Catalog:
Vegan Essentials carries it:
It can also be special ordered from any major or indie bookshop. ABSW is an awesome place to get it. J
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
Thank you so much for joining us on our Spotlight blog interview, Robin! We’re happy to carry Santa’s First Vegan Christmas for our friends and customers, sharing its message of kindness.