Ever wonder what really happens to the Christmas toys that do not sell? Bargain hunters may use that time as an excuse to discount shop after the holidays, but one author, Kay Conageski, wrote a book instead.
Kay’s story tells a fun tale about Christmas toys. It also teaches kids about giving to those in need. Set during this time of year, Toy Drive has set itself up as the perfect stocking stuffer, and a lesson kids can use any time of the year.
I recently asked Kay a few questions about her book and what inspired her to become an author.
Tell us a little about your book, Toy Drive.
Itâ€™s the story about what happens to the toys that are not sold at Christmas
What inspired your book? I actually wrote the original manuscript in 1978 for an 8th grade writing assignment – from what I can remember about the assignment was that it had to be a short story of some sort â€“I never thought all those years ago it would actually become a book!
What drove you to become an author?
I truly do love to write! My dad was a journalist and my mom was an elementary school teacher so I have it in my blood! Iâ€™ve also been told by nieces and my nephew when they were younger that I told the best stories! So why not put those stories on paper?
Do you have any new books currently in the works?
I actually do! Iâ€™m working on another childrenâ€™s book and a romance novel.
What separates your book from similar ones currently on the market?
It touches on the issues that surround people today. So many families lost jobs and they donâ€™t have money to buy Christmas presents for their children. The children donâ€™t understand especially if they know they were good all year long. You hear about it all the time on the news and itâ€™s very sad â€“ but with the help of others in the community, such as the Toy Drives all over the nation, these children can have a happy holiday in the end. The story has a meaning that isnâ€™t just for the holidays â€“ Iâ€™ve had so many people tell me that they used my book to explain to their children that they need to donate the toys to others so that they can play with them â€“ itâ€™s nice to hear that the message is working.
Do you have any goals you’d like to accomplish over the next year or so?
My main focus is to get the book recognized â€“ itâ€™s a story that has a meaning and I think itâ€™s important not only at the holidays but other times of the year. Because itâ€™s so seasonal, it has a very small window to be noticed â€“ but I think planning ahead into 2012 will help get it the exposure it needs. I know that once you write a book itâ€™s a living thing and hopefully it is just the beginning of a great future for it!
What are some lessons your business has taught you?
How funny children can be! Recently, after completing a book reading to children ages 3 â€“ 8, I asked the kids if they had any questions or which characters they liked the best â€“ they had all sorts of things they wanted to talk about after hearing the story â€“ their little minds just go and go and they are so eager to hear something or learn something new. The best was the little girl who raised her hand, stood up and very proudly asked me â€œDo you have any grandchildren?â€ Kids never cease to amaze me about what will come out of their mouths!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
You never know, the book â€œWhere the Wild Things Areâ€ took years to become a movie so thatâ€™s not out of reach for my little story!
Is there at least one lesson you would like someone to take away from your book?
I just hope that families can enjoy the book for years to come and that the children learn what it really means to support and give those that are in need.