This morning Bruce Templeton, author of The Man in the Red Suit: A Memoir sat down for a live online chat with The Telegram’s Steve Bartlett. The Creative Book Publishing launch for the title is tonight at Clovelly Golf Course, from 5pm to 7pm and all are welcome to attend.
7:54 Steve Bartlett: Bruce Templeton is joining me live at thetelegram.com this morning at 8 to discuss The Man in the Red Suit.
7:58 Steve Bartlett: Bruce Templeton is here to discuss his new book, first book, The Man in the Red Suit. Bruce, what prompted this?
7:59 Bruce Templeton: I have amazing experiences each year with children and I thought it was time to tell the stories.
8:00 Steve Bartlett: How long have you and Santa been friends?
8:01 Bruce Templeton: I have met Santa now for 33 years. I see him at the Santa Claus Parade and I leave him in the parking lot of the Janeway about 10pm on Christmas Eve
8:02 Steve Bartlett: Name one of those amazing experiences?
8:04 Bruce Templeton: I have been with Santa when Children ask amazing questions. On the flight to the North Pole, a child asked if her mother’s spirit would be with Santa on Christmas Eve. She had died a few weeks before in a car accident.
8:04 Steve Bartlett: How did you respond to that?
8:06 Bruce Templeton: Santa picked her up, gave her a big hug and said “don’t worry, your mothers spirit will be with Santa on Christmas Eve and your mother’s spirit will be with you for the rest of your life.” She said “thank you Santa. That is all I need for Christmas.”
8:06 Steve Bartlett: How does that affect you?
8:08 Bruce Templeton: Each January, I reflect on the 30 or 40 visits. A child stands out that we met. And I can’t forget them later. So I sat and wrote the stories of 25 of these wonderful memories and that is the basis for the book.
8:09 Steve Bartlett: What do you want people to learn from the book? To take from it?
8:10 Steve Bartlett: As he’s responding … Bruce is open to questions about The Man in the Red Suit. Just post one in the box at the bottom of your screen.
8:12 Bruce Templeton: After you have read the book, the reader should come away with a sense that most of the things in their own lives are actually going along well. But making memories for children through simple acts is more important than what is under a tree. So make some cookies, have a snowball fight, go sliding, make hot chocolate. Some people don’t get that chance. It is all about Presence.
8:13 Steve Bartlett: You’re a well-known businessman in St. John’s. What kind of response does your relationship with Santa get from the business community?
8:14 Bruce Templeton: Santa has some amazing elves. When you call and ask an airline for a plane and a crew for an hour to fly 36 people to the North Pole, they are slightly astonished but everyone comes through for Santa!
8:15 Steve Bartlett: Ha! How did writing a book challenge you?
8:17 Bruce Templeton: The writing of the individual stories was not hard. But the huge thrill was went some advisor elves who have published before told me to come to Creative Book Publishers. Some amazing things happened then and a wonderful team has taken a lump of clay and turned it into something beautiful.
8:18 Steve Bartlett: What kind response has the book received?
8:21 Bruce Templeton: Danny Williams wrote a touching Foreword, Earl Ludlow, Marie Wadden, Shelagh O’Leary all thought it was a beautiful. The media people who have read it prior to the interviews have all been in tears so I guess it is being felt.
8:22 Steve Bartlett: Were you moved to tears writing it?
8:24 Bruce Templeton: I still cry reading it. The child who had the seizure and was unconscious on Christmas Eve at the Janeway will be at the book launch. Come and meet her. Yes, I will have tears in my eyes then too!
8:24 Comment From Andrea: Hi Bruce, can’t wait to read your book! My daughter was a patient at the Janeway one Christmas when you visited her. She was a preemie and had already spent about 2 months in hospital. It was very uplifting for us as parents to have you visit her. Very special memory indeed!
8:26 Bruce Templeton: My visits to the Janeway are very special. We start on the 4th floor and then come throught PICU, NICU and Emergency. It changes my Christmas just being there.
8:26 Steve Bartlett: Thanks Andrea.
8:27 Steve Bartlett: Tell me about tonight’s launch?
8:29 Bruce Templeton: Tonight will bring all of Santa’s support elves to meet the families and children in the book. It has been wonderful that the families in the book have allowed the stories and the photos to be told and printed. Now come and meet them.
8:29 Steve Bartlett: What time is it and where?
8:32 Bruce Templeton: The launch is at Clovelly from 5-7 pm. I do hope that people come. But there will be lot’s of opportunities in stores. It will be widely sold and there are signing opportunities if people would like. The writers net revenue will go to the Janeway and to Rotary International to immunize children against polio somewhere in the world.
8:33 Steve Bartlett: Before I let you go, is there anything you’d like to add?
8:34 Bruce Templeton: Just pause and take the time with your family. Turn off the blackberry and the iPhone. Make cookies, visit a senior, laugh and giggle. And thank the Supreme Being of your choice.
8:35 Steve Bartlett: Thanks Bruce for coming in. Hope you enjoy the launch and everything else the book brings.