Brian C. Ricks is the author of Third Strike Christmas. He also has a story in the first LDS Publisher Christmas collection, Stolen Christmas.
LDSP: Hi, Brian. Welcome to the blog! Tell us about yourself.
Brian: I’m a PhD student at BYU in the 22nd grade. When I’m done I’ll have spent almost as long at BYU as elementary school, junior high, and high school combined.
LDSP: The 22nd grade! I love that. With all that studying, do you have any time left over for hobbies?
Brian: I am juggler with the secret ambition to juggle flaming torches before a spellbound crowd.
LDSP: Juggling. I tried that once. It wasn't pretty. I stick to writing and words now. And speaking of writing, have you ever entered a writing contest before? Won anything?
Brian: I’ve entered and placed in at least half a dozen of BYU fiction, non-fiction, and essay contests. BYU provides many opportunities to write all year long.
LDSP: That's great. What inspired you to write Third Strike Christmas?
Brian: My story is about a wife who always knows what her Christmas gift will be. Yeah, I have some experience with that…
LDSP: They always say, "Write what you know." It seems to have worked for you. Aside from this story, do you have other published stories or books?
Brian: I’m published in the anthology Sing We Now of Christmas: An Advent Anthology and LDS Publisher’s previous Christmas anthology, Stolen Christmas.
LDSP: That's right! R. Edwin Dugert. That was a funny one. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Brian: Taking advantage of writing contests at school really has helped me have the deadlines and motivation to write.
LDSP: That's why I do the annual Christmas story contest. To let writers practice. What is your favorite Christmas memory from your childhood?
Brian: My grandmother was Swedish and she opened presents in the Swedish tradition on Christmas Eve. Every year, Santa would come by on his “trial run” and drop my grandmother’s gifts to us at our door on Christmas Eve. It took years before I realized my Dad always had to “go do something in the bedroom” just before we heard Santa at our door.
LDSP: Dads can be pretty sneaky! What about Christmas now?
Brian: My wife Jennifer (who is also featured in Checkin’ It Twice) still wakes up at 5:30 Christmas morning because she is so excited to open her stocking. She really does still believe in Santa Claus.☺
LDSP: That's funny. We'll be interviewing her soon. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you can surprise Jennifer this year.