As I researched the four historical novels I’ve written, I collected images relevant to the time that helped me write with the ‘flavor’ of the period. In Tobit and the Hoodoo Man, Tobit’s son Tobias and his companion’s arrive in Savannah in search of Cherokee Jack on Christmas Eve.
“Andrew holds Dr. Graydon at arm’s length and examines his friend. ‘Alas, I was hoping it was Santa Claus on this Christmas Eve,’ Andrew jovially states. ‘But then again, it is still a bit too early, and he wouldn’t be knocking on my door, would he? Look at you. Graydon, your beard does need trimming, doesn’t it. No wonder I mistook you for the good Saint Nicholas.'”
When I wrote that passage, I recalled the 1881 picture by Thomas Nast that helped immortalize Clement Clarke’s timeless poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”
Yesterday morning, Marie and I strolled through an antique shop in our new community of River Falls, Wisconsin. I found the ‘deal of the day,’ at least for this nostalgic Christmas-man. For a mere $10, I was able to purchase this print of Nast’s picture.
As we approach the Christmas season, you might enjoy Tobit and the Hoodoo Man, and you might even consider gifting it to a friend with the knowledge that all royalties from Kindle editions of all my books go directly to the kids in Haiti.
Merry, early Christmas. Santa Claus is alive and well.