I hope Elvis fans everywhere have much to be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving from ElvisBlog
I hope Elvis fans everywhere have much to be thankful for.
Even if you are just reading ElvisBlog for the first time, I’m sure you recognized them as Santa Claus and Elvis Presley. However, if you’ve been a reader for the past two years, then you know them as Santa Man and Big E, the characters in my rock & roll Christmas fantasy.
Why do they have different names? In my story, Big E is how Elvis introduced himself to Santa when he first arrived at the North Pole. Santa Man is simply a playful nickname that Big E gave Santa once they became good friends.
OK, so what is the strange-looking thing they are flying around in? Again, first-time visitors to this blog might say: “Looks like a gold Caddy convertible with runners instead of wheels and some kind of red propulsion flame coming out the back. Long-time blog readers know this is Big E’s jet sled. It was specially made for him by Santa’s elves, and it plays a significant part in their teaming up to save Christmas in my book BIG E and the SANTA MAN.
This sorry-looking drawing was the jet sled image on the first printing two years ago. I traced the lines of a 1959 Cadillac and drew the runners. I was trying to keep the costs down because graphic artists are expensive. I did have to pay for her to add flames and sky background and to cut and paste Santa and Big E into the jet sled.
I knew it was pretty amateurish, so I put it on the back cover. I spent the real money getting the designer to make a professional-looking front cover. Then, last year, I saw this picture.
I was like “Wow,” that’s the kind of runners I want on Big E’s jet sled. More to the point, they would be the kind of sharp, stylish accessories Elvis would want on a prized vehicle. I had made a little money on book sales, so I forked out some of it to have the designer put them on my so-so drawing.
The shiny metal runners look so much better, and the red flames were an improvement, so this image went on the back cover last year. Still, I wasn’t really happy with it. Then I found this picture on the internet:
I sent the picture to the graphic artist an asked, “Can you change it to gold, and replace the wheels with runners, and put Santa and Big E in it?” She said, “Sure, but it will take some time and cost you some real money.” I swallowed hard and said, “Yes, do it, but be gentle with your bill.” What she produced was outstanding, so it was time for a new cover.
The title font is the same as on the first printing, and two weeks ago I explained about the change in the tag line.
Coming up with a book cover is a learning experience. Several folks suggested that because there are two title characters, they should both be on the cover. This was not the case on the first printing, and I could see their point.
Some observers said the first cover was too busy, too much stuff. I could see that, too. But, another thing surprised me. Half of the folks I asked had no idea what the building was. This was in spite of the presence of Santa in the title, the North Pole nearby, and the word Claus over the front door. One non-Elvis fan even asked, “Is it Graceland?" Give me a break.
As I mentioned two weeks ago, the tag line in the red ornament didn’t give any clue what the story was about. So, once I had the new jet sled picture, it was time for a complete front cover redesign. I’m really happy with it.
And you will be happy, too, if you get a copy of this book. It is available on Amazon.com. Click here to go to the book’s page where you can get it for $7.99 or the Kindle eBook for $2.99.
There is also one thing I failed to mention in the first two Christmas season promotional pitches. Although I wrote the book to appeal to Elvis fans, it can be enjoyed by adolescent or young adult readers. The story is squeaky clean. I want to get Graceland to buy my book and make it into a one hour animated Christmas special, which would be watched by all ages. Plus my chances with Graceland will be enhanced if Big E is portrayed as straight-arrow kind of guy. We all know he used some saucy language in real life, but not in my story.
The phenomenon of Elvis’ continued popularity is because new generations of fans keep coming along. Where do they get this inclination from? Mostly their parents or even their grandparents.
So, if you have a young family member who doesn’t know about Elvis like you do, give them my nifty Christmas fantasy. Once they’ve read BIG E and the SANTA MAN, they will like this Big E guy, and you’ll have an opening to tell them all about Elvis.
But don’t forget to get a copy for yourself or copies to give to others. The record for books purchased by one person to give to others is eleven. Like I’ve said before, this is the perfect Christmas present for all Elvis fans. So, how about clicking on this Amazon link and getting a copy?
Yes, that could be quite a dream… Elvis goes up to the North Pole, and Santa welcomes him to live in the castle with him and Mama Claus and the elves. But there could be more to this fantasy.
Suppose there’s a diabolical villain hovering above the North Pole in a space station, intent on ruining Christmas.
What if he has invented a device that would enable him to do just that? And when he puts his plot into action on Christmas Eve, he forces Santa to dump all the presents over the side of the sleigh. If that wasn’t bad enough, Santa’s sleigh crashes during the frantic attempt to land back at the North Pole.
At this point, the dream is more like a nightmare about Christmas being ruined.
But, that’s where Elvis jumps into action. Big E, as he is now known to the North Pole family, emerges as a dynamic, resourceful foe for the villain. Do you remember how young Elvis was enamored with Captain Marvell Jr, and fantasized about doing all that kind of hero stuff? Now as an adult, he gets his chance, and he is up for the challenge. Not even Captain Marvell Jr got to save Christmas. But Elvis does in my book…
Don’t get the idea that Santa is just along for the ride while the confrontations play out. Rest assured that Santa comes through with a few clever tricks up his sleeve, too. He may be jolly old fellow, but he has inner strength to draw on when needed.
Yes, teamwork between Santa and Big E is the key to saving Christmas. This story follows the best traditions of what are known as buddie movies. Elvis never made a buddie movie, so this is as close as you’re ever going to get. You will just love Santa and Elvis teaming up to save Christmas. You just will -- if you buy this book.
You will notice this cover design is different than the one I posted the last two years during the book’s promotion on ElvisBlog. Gone is the subtitle:
I really liked this at first because it was such an accurate description of the story. In fact, if Amazon.com had a genre called Rock & Roll Christmas Fantasy, my book would be the biggest seller. Because there has never been another book billing itself as that.
But gradually I began to think a better subtitle would help potential readers understand what the two title characters do in the book. What I needed was a short, concise line, so nothing could be better than:
There is also a big change in the image on the cover of BIG E and the SANTA MAN. I will talk about this in the next promotional post here on ElvisBlog. Between now and Christmas, I will be discussing my book several times. But I’ll keep the regular posts coming as well.
For now, let me give you a quick pitch. You regularly read my blog and like it. If you read my book, you will like it, too. Most important, you like Elvis, and this is a nifty story about him doing brave heroic deeds to save Christmas. Dozens of Elvis fans have read this book and said great things about it in emails and reviews. I am confident you will feel the same way.
The price is just $7.99 on Amazon.com. Get the book for yourself or have somebody give it to you as a present.
So, why not click here now and order BIG E and the SANTA MAN on Amazon.com? Or, you can get the eBook for your Kindle at just $2.99. A bargain, either way.
Thank you, thankyouverymuch.
The past two Auctions at Graceland have been loaded with Elvis rings. The one on January 7 (during the celebration of Elvis’ birthday) had five rings, and the one on March 4 (during the opening celebration for Elvis Presley’s Memphis) had six. And one ring at first appeared to have been sold at both auctions, but a closer look revealed they are examples of Elvis purchasing multiples of the same or similar rings from his favorite jeweler, Lowell Hays. First, here are the rings sold in January.
In the last two two auctions I’ve followed this year, eleven rings owned by Elvis have come up for sale. We will probably never know exactly how many he had over the years, but with this post, ElvisBlog will have covered over sixty-five in the Elvis’ Fabulous Rings series.
The first eight rings here were offered at the Julien’s Rock Icons Auction in May 2016.
In the first five parts of this series, ElvisBlog has featured over 50 rings Elvis owned. He sure did love rings, didn’t he? The January 7, 2016 Auction at Graceland had a few more, so let’s take a look.
The previous four articles in this series required a lot of legwork. I would find one or two rings at different auctions or websites, and over time would have enough to fill a post. This time, I’m lucky. The recently completed Auction at Graceland had eight fabulous Elvis rings, and six beat the estimates.
I don’t know how many rings Elvis owned in his lifetime, but ElvisBlog has reported on 33 of them so far in the first three parts of this series. Here are nine more.
Horse Head/Horseshoe Ring;
Diamond Cluster Ring:
In March 2011, ElvisBlog presented a pictorial essay showing thirteen Elvis-owned rings that had sold at auction in the previous five years. A few more Elvis’ rings have changed hands in auctions since then, but various websites have provided photos of other rings he owned, most including significant historical or price information. So, let’s take a look at ten more of Elvis’ fabulous rings.
Diamond and Opal Ring:
The next time you look at concert photos of Elvis in his jumpsuits, check out his fingers. You will note that he usually has three or four rings on each hand. Elvis must have really loved rings, but he was also very generous with them and gave many away. Because of that, quite a few have ultimately ended up at rock and roll memorabilia auctions. During the past three years alone, thirteen Elvis rings have been offered at ten different auctions.
Diamond Owl Ring: