Author Interview: Carol Aebersold

Carol-elfThe Elf on the Shelf is a quirky Christmas activity that is fast becoming a tradition in many households – it has taken America by storm due to the way it has tapped in to the imagination of thousands of families, endearing their children and creating a fun activity.

2012 sees the elf’s arrival in Australia for the first time, so we are absolutely delighted to welcome its creator – Carol Aebersold – to answer the My Book Corner questions …

About me in 25 words or less

Wow! I hope all of the questions aren’t this hard. ? Okay, here goes:

I am a quietly passionate woman who loves her God, her life, and her family. I thoroughly enjoy theatre, music, reading, and of course, writing.

What makes me happy?

Many things make me happy: Leisure time with my husband surrounded by all of our children and grandchildren has got to be at the top of the list. Other make-me-happy things include traveling, visiting and/or working with friends; performing or speaking, and curling up with a good book in front of a fire—or on the beach.

Where have I always wanted to visit, but haven’t made it to…yet (and why)?

There are several places left on my “bucket list.” Australia, of course, because the people seem so open and fun-loving, as well as because I’ve heard the scenery is beyond compare.  South Africa comes to mind next. I’m not really sure of all of the reasons, but I distinctly remember as a young child wanting to go to Africa, and I’ve never lost that desire.

Actually, I’m enthralled with the idea of visiting new places, learning there histories and meeting the people. I like revisiting places I’ve already been, as well.

Where is my favorite place to write?

Anywhere I feel “cozy.” Usually that means I’m propped up on my sofa with lots of soft pillows around me. There is a light blanket thrown over my legs, my laptop is at the ready, and my dog, Boz, is curled up at my feet. If it is cool enough, there will be a fire in the fireplace. More than likely there is classical music quietly playing in the background. I am blessed to have a beautiful view of the woods and rolling hills behind my house.

If I could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would really like to see more civility and respect among people. I have great difficulty understanding a basic lack of courtesy in anyone.

What’s the best thing about being a published author?

Without question The Elf on the Shelf has enabled me to meet wonderful people in all sorts of places. I love hearing people tell me how much our little family tradition has enhanced their Christmas celebrations.

What’s the strangest question I’ve ever been asked and my answer?

“Are you Mrs. Santa Claus?”  When asked that question I usually just give a knowing smile, glance over my glasses and move on to the next question. The real answer is that only Santa knows for sure.

Who or what inspires me?

Many things inspire me: beautiful music, magnificent scenery, an unexpected caring touch or hug from one of my four grandchildren. People who inspire me are those who have the courage to do “the next right thing,” as well as those who have chosen to positively overcome whatever adversity assails them.

What is my worst habit?

I can easily become engrossed in a thought or a project and end up overlooking people or a need around me.

My favourite word(s)?

I love words that encourage and uplift. One of my favourite phrases is “Let your light shine.” I even have that phrase displayed on a plaque in my office. My favourite word to say (and there aren’t many opportunities to use it), is “Onomatopoeia,” because I just love the way it rolls off the tongue.

How do you think the elves will cope with the warmth of Australia?

Elves are extremely adaptable, and I believe they will love the warmer climate. We often receive pictures of elves who have gone on holiday to the beach, and they seem to be having a wonderful time. I believe an occasional change of climate and scenery is good for everyone.


For parents encountering the magic of the elf for the first time—what key piece of info would I give them?

I always say a family should make this tradition their own! The whole idea is simply to create fun family moments. If the family who adopts an elf is fun-loving and enjoys pulling pranks, chances are the elf will fit right in. If, however, the adoptive family is quiet and reserved, that family’s elf will meld into the family culture. As I said, elves are extremely adaptable.

The Elf has really captured people’s imaginations. What’s the craziest/funniest/weirdest story about their antics that I’ve heard?

There are so many to choose from, but one of my favourites happened between my grandson Taylor and me.

Taylor was about four years old, and he was a huge Star Wars fanatic. He stood in front of our television set and twirled around as he swung his light saber at phantom villains. Ordinarily, this was a fine activity, but this particular time my husband and I were actually attempting to watch something besides Star Wars. And, Taylor was making it very difficult to do so.

I politely told him that he was free to continue saving us from Storm Troopers; he simply needed to do it some place else. He explained to me that he always stood in front of the television and swung his light saber when he watched Star Wars. I agreed with him, but then I pointed out that we weren’t watching Star Wars. Dejectedly he ran into a bedroom.

After a few moments, I followed him in there to see if he was alright. With all the seriousness a four year old can muster he pointed at me and said, “Gran, I’m giving you one more chance, and if you don’t let me play in front of the TV I’m going to tell the elf on you.”

Of course I had to point out that he was being disrespectful, but the whole time I was choking back my laughter. Bless his heart. The highest authority he could think of was one of Santa’s elves!

Did you forget anything?

Perhaps you’d like to know one of my favourite quotes—especially given my age: “You are never too old to set a new goal or dream another dream.” C.S. Lewis

Just For Fun 

Tea or coffee?    Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon

Paper books or ebooks?    Paper books – unless I’m travelling

Vegemite or Marmite?    I’ve never sampled either one.

Write or type?     Usually I type, but it took me quite a while to learn to write while typing. I used to always take pen to paper.

Poetry or prose?    Prose

Beach or bush?    Beach

Hot or cold?    I’m a “temperate climate” kind of person. Hot, I guess, as long as the humidity isn’t too high.

Read My Book Corner’s review of Elf on the Shelf to see our online price comparison.


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