Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ask Me a Question!

 
Ever wanted to ask me a question about Christmas entertainment-- or being a Christmas entertainment writer? ever wondered how Christmas on TV has changed over the decades? curious about my research methods? want to know what the hardest part of my job is? how I got started? my future book plans? what's the number one Christmas movie/special I'm asked to comment on? why I create a Christmas in July blogathon each year? how I choose which program to review on my blog? what books I read? or even why Christmas entertainment? Maybe you have a better question than these.  Let me know in the comments below and I'll respond.

I've been meaning to do this for quite a while--now seems like the perfect time.  I realize not everyone has a chance to meet me at a book signing, speaking engagement, or convention.  Often when I am asked these sort of questions by journalists or on the radio, I'm edited down or I don't have the opportunity to go into much detail.  So now is your chance--ask me about my experiences and I'll do my best.

If your question requires a long response, I'll create a blog post for it.  I might even combine several questions and responses into one blog post.  We'll see.  It sort of depends on your questions.  So ask away.




15 comments:

  1. Hi Joanna - Great idea for a topic.

    Has anyone ever shared with you the creative process to come up with a Christmas special, and how to differentiate it from others? Obviously the characters are crucial, but the story, look, style, etc. of the final product must make it stand out against so many.

    And, I hope to have you back on my radio show later this year (and I won't edit you out, I promise!).

    Jim
    Bloomington, IN

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    1. Thanks for your question Jim. I would love to do your radio show again. And, you can edit me all you want! (I didn't mean to disparage any interviewers if that's what I did. I just meant that there are inevitable time constraints. In this format, I want to encourage people to ask complex questions that I may not be able to answer in a brief interview situation.) Back to your question--about creating Christmas entertainment. That's a good question! Along the way, I have met a couple of people who do write for television. Let me ask them your question and see if I can get a response from them. Thanks for your question!

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  2. Hi
    Love your books Joanna!

    How does USA Christmas TV compare to Brish TV?

    What are your favourites and your absolute worst?

    Debra
    Hull, England

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    1. Hi Debra! 2 very good questions. Thanks for asking! I'll respond to both soon in a blog post. Okay?

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  3. Hi Joanna,
    Q1 - Is there a particular decade that you think had the most entertaining Christmas offerings?
    Q2 - It sounds like you've met some fun and interesting classic TV stars through the years. Is there anyone who stands out in your memory and why?
    Thanks!

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    1. Thanks for your questions Dana! I'll post the answers soon :)

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  4. What do you find is the best method for tracking down Christmas episodes and specials from rare and particularly old shows?

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    1. Another good question! Thanks for asking it Hugh.

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  5. Hi Joanna,

    Do you feel that TV specials have lost their holiday feel the last few years. Most holiday fans have fond memories of the music specials like Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers every year on TV. As of late we have had Blake Sheldons comedy skits or more over produced specials. Have the major TV networks lost touch on the heartwarming part of the holidays?

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    1. My answer is complicated--I'm glad you asked it here. This format is a good way to talk about complexities like this. Give me a couple days--you'll be reading my response soon. Thanks Drew.

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  6. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Shermy laments: "Every Christmas it's the same: I always end up playing a shepherd."
    In "Christmas Is," Benji asks "Why do I always have to play a stupid Shepherd?"
    I think the idea of a kid getting stuck as the shepherd every year predates Peanuts. I vaguely recall some kid making the same complaint in a B&W movie I saw years ago, although I cannot recall what it was.
    Any idea where this cultural riff comes from? Is it lost in the mists of time?

    Also, decades after Lemon v. Kurtzman, Christmas entertainment still imagines that our public schools can put on Christmas pageants complete with nativity. Witness Edith Ann's Christmas (Just Say Noel) or the Boondock's Christmas episode. Isn't it odd how strong the notion of a Christmas pageant persists, even though most of us have never actually been to one?

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  7. Hi Joanna.....love your books, love your blogs, loved your "Christmas Carol" seminar and getting to meet you a couple of years ago at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Festival. Hope you will be able to make it again sometime with a new seminar!

    How much contact do you have with the nostalgia channels? I would love to see them all do blocks of holiday programming or ALL holiday programming throughout the holiday season, or at least through the month of december. We have access to ME-tv, GET-tv, Cozi, LAFF tv, RETRO tv and i know there are more. How come they dont get in on the holiday festivities and bring back old holiday variety shows, music specials, sitcoms, tv movie specials, cartoons that are NEVER shown anymore?
    It seems like there is a wealth of nostalgic holiday programming that should be available to be shown during the holiday season. Make it happen please!

    maryam :)

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  8. I enjoy current Christmas decor/traditions programming...NYC windows, White House, Disneyland, etc. Is there a place where could watch for schedule info for these types of programs?

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    1. There isn't an easy answer, I'm afraid. Your best bet is to wade through the hundreds of listings of holiday programming on websites like TVGuide.com. I can short cut the search a little: I recommend looking on the website for HGTV network--I know they create original programming each year for annual White House Christmas decorations. ABC airs each year a sequence of reality competition shows called CHRISTMAS LIGHT FIGHT in which families compete by decorating their homes. And, the Travel Channel airs holiday programming on Disney resort parks and other popular holiday destinations. You may be able to go to your favorite TV networks' individual websites and search their holiday listings for the best results. Good luck. Let me know if that advice turns out fruitful for you :)

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  9. I enjoy current Christmas decor/traditions programming...NYC windows, White House, Disneyland, etc. Is there a place where could watch for schedule info for these types of programs?

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