Gussie Fick is the author of Substitute Santa. She also has a story, Christmas Joy Ride, in the Stolen Christmas anthology.
LDSP: Hi, Gussie. Thanks for stopping by. I like to start with getting to know you. Where did you grow up?
Gussie: I was born in New York City, grew up on Long
Island, and moved to the San Fernando Valley in California when I was a
LDSP: Wow! You've lived on both sides of the U.S. Cool. So where do you live now?
Gussie: I live in southeastern Idaho in a beautiful high mountain valley.
I have two of the best jobs in the world—I teach art to elementary school
children and work part-time at the county library.
LDSP: How fun! What are your favorite hobbies?
Gussie: I love old books! I have too
many—in boxes everywhere. Even the horse trailer.
LDSP: That sounds like my house. What was your favorite book as a child?
Gussie: I was “horse crazy” as a child and loved all the Black Stallion books by Walter Farley.
Now my husband and I own four horses but he takes care of them.
LDSP: When and why did you begin writing?
Gussie: I think most writers begin
writing when they’re children and I did too. One of my first stories was about
a beautiful Mayan maiden who was about to be sacrificed in a deep pool. Horrors!
LDSP: That's a long way from Christmas stories. Why did you decide to enter the LDS Publisher story contest?
Gussie: I love
to write Christmas stories! Writing contests are fun and always a good
LDSP: Have you ever entered a contest before? Won anything?
Gussie: I entered the
contest last year and my short story “Joy Ride” is in the Stolen Christmas collection.
LDSP: That's right. I remember. It was a good one. What inspired you to write Substitute Santa?
sad that so many men put their career first and don’t spend enough time with
LDSP: I agree. And women, as well. What are you working on now?
Gussie: I’m writing a Book of Mormon historical adventure that was inspired by
another contest the LDS Publisher sponsored on her blog. I promise—there is no
Mayan maiden about to be sacrificed in a deep pool.
LDSP: Cool! I look forward to reading it. Let's talk about Christmas. Do you like Christmas?
Gussie: I love Christmas! I love to sing Christmas
music in the choir. I love all the old decorations on the Christmas
tree—especially the ones the children made. Now that we live in Idaho, every
Christmas is white!
LDSP: Are you on Santa’s Good List or Naughty List this year?
Gussie: My husband
thinks I’m on Santa’s Naughty List. I should do something naughty to him!
LDSP: Uh-oh. Divinity or fudge?
Gussie: Both! (I’m on the Naughty List, remember?)
LDSP: Who is your favorite character in It’s
a Wonderful Life?
Gussie: Clarence, of course. I need wings too. Too bad I’m on
the Naughty List.
LDSP: Which would you rather have on your roof, Rudolph or Frosty?
The idea of a possessed snowman on the roof is creepy. Haven’t you seen Christmas With the Kranks?
LDSP: Yes, I have. I totally agree! Which of The Christmas Carol
movies is your favorite?
Gussie: I love The
Muppet’s Christmas Carol. Our family watches it every year.
LDSP: Thanks for dropping by the blog, Gussie. It's been nice getting to know you.