Caleb, I’m SO SO proud of you! What inspired you to write Top Elf?
When I was a kid, I was always full of questions — and some of my biggest ones were about Santa Claus. How does he get around the world in a single night? How has one guy lived long enough to deliver presents to me, and my parents, and my grandparents, and my grandparents’ parents? What’s it like at the North Pole? Has Santa ever been to space?! I decided to finally write a book that gives some answers to those questions. (Faster-than-light travel, it’s not just one guy, it’s really great at the North Pole mostly, and YES.)
Where do you get your ideas?
All sorts of places. In the kitchen, at the gym, in my stocking . . . I just find them lying around everywhere. People should really clean up their ideas instead of leaving them all over the place.
Did your grandmother inspire you to become a writer?
The first time my name was ever inside a book was because she put it there, in the dedication, and that will stick with me for life. More than that, she showed me it was possible — writing stories didn’t have to be a dream. If you’re reading this, of course, you know my Mimi is amazing, but now I feel like I understand it even better. Writing books is hard, and I’ve only written the one! She’s written so many.
Do you believe in magic?
I believe in the kind of magic we make. The kind of magic that comes from direct, active kindness to other people. There is no magic outside of our control, no magic that will fix things for us. Go make some magic for someone else!!!
What’s your favorite holiday? and Why?
Halloween, because I like costumes and fall. (Christmas is actually a close second. Please do not tell Santa!!!)
What are your favorite Christmas traditions and why?
I like the stories we all get to share around Christmas. I like the movies, and the music, and the myths that tie so many people together. There’s always something to talk about around Christmas, and always some common ground. I also really, really like the food.
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