In 1995 I visited my son Bruce Robert in San Francisco. He was there studying computer animation at the San Francisco State Multimedia Center, which was brand new then. Much to my surprise, I learned that he had been commissioned to illustrate twenty-four book covers for a company called Pioneer Books.
The series of books dealt with all sorts of fascinating information about the television series Star Trek. Bruce was well into his fifth cover illustration when Mom and Dad got their first peek. This was our introduction to three- dimensional art created on a computer.
As I looked at his work, I was struck with the thought that children would like the vibrant worlds Bruce was creating. I mentioned this to Bruce and he said if I had a manuscript he could illustrate, he’d like to try it.
I went home to my studio and began to shift through my Idea Box. My Idea Box is in my studio and it’s full of bits and pieces of information I have collected over the years, anything that would lead to an idea.
While looking through the box, I ran across a piece of paper I had scribbled a note on when Bruce was four years old in 1977. It said that Bruce’s favorite birthday present was the Moon Base Alpha Spaceship 1999. I recalled that Don and Bruce had played with the spaceship almost all Christmas day. Bruce preferred it to all his other toys. As I tucked Bruce into sleep that Christmas night with his Moon Base under his arm, he asked in a rather concerned voice, “Mom, if I lived on the moon, would Santa Clause come there too?”
Sitting in my studio, years later, reading that note, the idea for the book began to grow. Hmmm, I thought, “What would happen when families colonize distant planets and it’s Christmas? How could Santa Clause fly in outer space? Other questions followed: What were the most fun parts of sharing Christmas with a child? And why is gift giving and receiving important to children? After many months of work the germ of an idea became a complete story. I presented the first draft to Bruce, and you know the rest of the story.