COLUMBUS, OH (July 2011)- A team of climatologists just reported a startling discovery: an ancient book of unknown origin was found embedded deep in an Arctic ice core. The team immediately set out to excavate the rest of the book—the drill had only punched through its center—and spent days piecing it together before cracking the cover. The text is in English, Spanish, and Japanese, and tells an incredible story you have to read to believe…
Such is the premise of The Man in the Cinder Clouds, a debut novel by Rick Daley. This brilliant re-telling of the origins of Santa Claus brings the nostalgia and wonder of the old clay-mation Christmas specials to life. “Rather than try to trace Santa’s history through the years, I focused instead on his first Christmas, and the challenges he faced that year,” Daley explained. “I wanted to make it real.”
And feel real it does. This story-within-a-story (within a story) reveals the origins of all of the most famous aspects of the Santa Claus legend: from his red suit and white hair to Christmas trees, stockings, and lumps of coal (and everything in between). The story also answers the age old question: How does Santa fit all those presents in his sack?
“The little details are a big part of the book’s appeal. They are not gratuitous; they all make sense in the context of the story and the characters. Sure his suit is red because that’s his favorite color, but why is red his favorite color? It’s no spoiler to say he meets Mrs. Claus and falls in love, but how does their relationship grow? That’s what was important to me in writing this tale,” Daley said. “And while the main character is Kris Kringle—known as ‘the man in the cinder clouds’ after an accident involving a chimney—the layers of the story above and below Kris’ tale are thrilling…from the people who found the book in the ice, struggling to decide if they should keep it and get rich or find a way to return the book to its rightful owner, to the two orphans Kris befriends after their greedy uncle robs them of their inheritance.”
If you've ever believed in Santa Claus, this is the book for you. And there’s no need to wait until Christmas, you can open this one early: The Man in the Cinder Clouds is currently available in print through CreateSpace, and will be available at Amazon.com and other online retailers in the coming weeks. A Kindle version is scheduled for release in early August. For more information, visit www.cinderclouds.com.
Publication Date: July 12, 2011