‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2017 with Stephanie Garber

‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays is a special seasonal feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which some of my favourite authors help me to celebrate the spirit of the season and spread a little holiday cheer. So, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in by the fireside as they answer the question: “What does the holiday season mean to you?” You can find a complete list of this year’s participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!


About Stephanie Garber

Stephanie Garber loves Disneyland because it’s the one place on earth where she feels as if the fantastical stories she loves to write about could actually come to life. When she’s not writing young adult fantasy, she teaches creative writing at a private college in northern California, where she’s known for turning assignments into games and taking students on field trips that involve book signings. Caraval is her first novel for young adults. She would love to hear from you on social media.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads

My family has a tradition. It’s simple. Every year we make a Christmas video, usually on Christmas Eve. And usually it’s around a minute long.

My mother, my father, my brother, my sister, and any dogs or significant others we might have, all sit near the Christmas tree, so it’s clear what time of year it is. The video always begins the same way. My mother says, “Merry Christmas (insert current year), this is the (insert number of wedding anniversary’s) year that Bernie and I have been married.”

My parents have been married over forty years, and there is video for each one of these. We don’t re-watch them often. Although the videos are short, some are uncomfortable to relive, reminders of awkward years, painful years, bouts of depression, or bad hairstyles. There’s even a video where I’m singing — and I should never sing. But though I cringe and cover my face whenever I view certain years, I love these videos.

Individually these short films might be embarrassing, but when watched all together it’s no longer about those singular awkward moments or the unfortunate clothing choices. When watched all together each video becomes something bigger, something that allows our family to hold onto memories that would have been lost, something that allows us to laugh at ourselves, and to be grateful that we have a family. Something worth spending years creating.

Today I asked my dad why he started making these videos. He said it was just for fun, which is the same reason I started writing. My writing began almost ten years ago as a hobby, as something purely fun. Over the years it became more — more fun, more challenging, and more stressful. This year in particular has been really rough; in 2017 I experienced moments so hard I wanted to quit. I wanted to walk away from writing and publishing and books and the constant insecurity I was experiencing.

I love writing so much, but love is a feeling, sometimes it fades, and sometimes it’s not enough to keep going. But, one thing I’ve learned from writing for the past decade is that it’s not about the worst days or the individual difficult or humiliating moments, it’s about the entire picture. It’s about perseverance, and going forward, even when you don’t feel like it, or you straight up want to run in the other direction.

It’s not the flawless moments that make something beautiful. In fact I’m pretty sure that if my family’s Christmas videos were comprised of only perfect pictures they would be hollow, as empty and as meaningless as stock pictures in photo frames. Life has far more messy and excruciating, uneasy and upsetting moments than it does perfect ones. And I believe it’s the combination of all the moments, the lovely and the ugly, the imperfect and the embarrassing, that build up to form something that’s even better than perfect.

Mery Christmas video

Title Legendary (Book 2 in the Caraval series)
Author Stephanie Garber
Pages 416 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Fantasy
To Be Published May 29th 2018 by Flatiron Books
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling breakout debut Caraval, following Scarlett’s younger sister, Tella, on a journey to the empire’s capital to fulfill a mysterious bargain.

One response to “‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2017 with Stephanie Garber”

  1. I love this, this is so sweet! I really like the idea of chronicling lives/marriages/anything by taking small videos each year and even if they make you cringe, they are also showing where you are at each point and seeing the progress must be lovely.

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