My name is Corine Hyman. I'm the author of Why We Give Gifts at Christmas Time.
I work as a clinical psychologist full-time in Baltimore, MD. But afterhours, I enjoy gardening, cooking, and dancing. While I have no biological children, I have had the privileges of helping raise four children through foster care and a host of nieces, nephews and other little people. Among the little people, I am know as Aunt Cor.
Where do you get your ideas from?
The idea for Why We Gifts at Christmas Time came from my childhood.As a young child I was forever asking questions. Naturally some of the questions I would always have around Christmas was “why are we doing this?” “Why are we giving gifts to each other if it Jesus birthday.” Of course, as I grew I began to ask deeper questions such as “are we honoring God by doing this, does the Bible endorse Christmas?” I found that most adults struggled to answers my questions. At one point, I almost stopped celebrating Christmas. I began to feel the Holy Spirit speaking to me about Christmas. The first time He/The Holy Spirit convicted me. He reminded me that Christmas was a time where the world looks to Him and because of that I shouldn’t look down on Christmas. The second time, I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me that I need to writer book that explained the biblical reasons for why we give gifts at Christmas time. So my inspiration was the Holy Spirit and unanswered childhood questions.
How long did it take to complete the process of writing a book?
This book actually took close to ten years to write believe it or not. I believe that one of the reasons it took so long is because God had to work some things out in me. I am use to God telling me something and going full speed ahead. In the past, I have been guilty of forgetting to wait on Him. It took me 10 years to write this book because I had to surrender my plans and vision for this book to God. In the process He has blessed it and the end results are something only He could have done. God recently reminded me of my initial vision for this book. It is vastly different from the final product.
What is the age range of the book?
The book is geared towards children 3 to 8 years old but my slogan is “Why We Give is for people from 3 to 103.” I say this for many reasons; first several adults have read the book and fell in love with it. The way the books answered the question of why we give gifts at Christmas time was appropriate for them and opened up their understand using different Bible verses. Also, the book is designed to not only be a teaching tool but a discussion guide with young children. It contains over 10 scriptures about giving and reasons to give.
How do I go about discussing this book with my child?
Well what I suggest that you read the book through with your child once, maybe as a bed time story. However, read the book several more time and talk about each concept in the book. One of the concepts in the book is about giving to those who have less than you by practicing hospitality. Each concept that is present is the book has a bible verse with it. The Bible verse that goes with this concept is
Romans 12:13 Share with God’s people who need help. Practice hospitality.
So I would suggest that you and your child look this verse up in the Bible together. Then talk about how the character in the book is showing hospitality. Talk about how as a family or individual you can practice hospitality. Maybe help your child go through their toys or clothes and decided who they can donate it them too.
What do you hope people will get out of reading this book?
My heart’s desire is that people will walk away from the book with the ideal or understanding that there is no better way that we can honor God then by giving; that there are many reasons why we give gifts at throughout the year and that Jesus loves when we give.
Is this book just for Christmas?
No, this book is really about giving year round and why as Christians we should give.
What has been most surprising about this book or process?
Two things have really surprised me about this process. First, I love see and hearing about children’s reaction to the book. Most walk away saying what can I give this year and God loves when I give to others. Children have also really identified with the characters in the book. The illustrator, Julie Bryant and myself were very aware of the children who would be reading this book and we wanted them to be able to identify with the character in the book. Because of that the character are diverse and children really pick up on that. They may say hey Evelyn - who is the main character in the book, has beads in her hair like me. Or I have a class mate named Christopher.
The other thing that has surprised me is how much God has revealed about me and Himself through this process. It is easy to say your server Jehovah-Jireh but it is another thing to experience Jehovah-Jireh provision in your life. What I mean by this is that God has done so much with this book that only He could do. From big things like helping me find my wonderful illustrator Julie Bryant who lives out in CA, to providing the finances I need to publish this book.
Have you written other books? If so, what are the titles?
I currently have one other book published. My Journey with Jesus Christ. My Journey with Jesus Christ is a personalized devotional. It is designed to help your child grow in his/her relationship with God while helping him/her understand some key principles of the Christian faith. This book contact 10 lessons and include space for you to writer your child’s name throughout the book.
Do you prefer to read ebooks, paperback, or hardback?
None of the above, lol. I actually prefer audio books. As a child, I loved having people read to me. Audio books remind me of these childhood memories. When I cannot find a book that I really want to read as an audio book, I prefer paperbacks.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on the first book in a series that combines my training as a clinical psychologist and Christian faith. The first book is tentatively titled Godly Feelings. Godly Feelings will be for parents, teachers and professional who often wonder how to react to the variety of emotions expressed by children. It will provide children with an entertaining and constructive way to learn to accept and appropriately express their emotions based on the Bible. Godly Feelings also helps to stimulate discussion and interaction between children and the adults who care for them. Look for in the summer of 2014
How do you market your book?
One way I am marketing Why We Give Gifts at Christmas Times is by providing churches with free copies of the book. My goal is to giveaway 100 copies of the book between now and Christmas. You can request a copy for your church by filling out a form here. http://whywegive.weebly.com/churches.html
Do you write a blog? If so where can we find it at?
I currently have two blogs. www.teachingchristschildren.com – here I blog about different Christian products. Each week, I usually have one giveaway.
www.booksbycorine.com is where I blog about my publishing journey.
Where can readers find your books?
You can find my books on Amazon, as well as though my Etsy site. http://www.etsy.com/shop/TCCproducts