William Joyce Interviews Nicholas St. North Before he was Santa, Nicholas St. North led an exciting life full of daring adventures. William Joyce interviews the future Mr. Claus about his past, the other Guardians, and what he thinks of the cast of colorful characters that live at the North Pole.
William Joyce: When you were younger, where did you think you'd end up?
Nicholas St. North: Well, they didn't have Las Vegas when I was a kid. Or Disney World, so those just weren't an option. I'm kidding. KIDDING. But the North Pole? Never saw myself there.
Joyce: How do you think you came across in my telling of your story?
Nick St. North: Much better than I expected, to be honest, and since I'm Santa Claus I am, you know, I'm always honest. Your portrayal of me is you know, balanced. You got the good me and the ... wild me. I'm certainly jolly and you caught that. And the temper thing ... you didn't shy away from that. And the bravery and the fun. The fun me. I liked that. Because I'm, you know, fun. FUN! A fun guy.
Joyce: Could you tell us a little about the Guardians of Childhood?
Nick St. North: Great group. The best. Really. So glad to be a member. Sandman, Man in the Moon, Tooth Fairy, the Egg guy, that Frost kid ... just terrific. We all have our own thing, but we work together very, very well. Fighting the Boogeyman, Pitch is his real name. Not many people know that. But, yeah, I think we do a lotta good work together.
Joyce: Which Guardian would you choose to stand beside you in the thick of battle?
Nick St. North: Oh ... now. That's, that's, you know ... They are all, ALL great in their own way. All so talented. Geniuses! I mean it! Even, you know, the egg guy.
Joyce:What do you think makes you such a great Guardian?
Nick St. North: Oh, that's ... No ... I can't ... you're so kind ... Look, I just try to be the best Santa I can be. Firm. Friendly, but fair. That's sort of the motto.
Joyce: If you had a chance to change one thing in your past, would you? What would it be?
Nick St. North: You know, I ... Can we just not go there?
Joyce: If you could learn one bug or animal language, what would it be?
Nick St. North: Gosh. I know almost all of them. That's how I get a lot of my info on the naughty or nice thing. Pets are usually very reliable for that. I speak fluent hamster, which is good, because hamsters, they know EVERYTHING. I even speak leech. Which isn't much help really. There are some Irish accents I have trouble with. I love how they sound, but I need subtitles if it's a movie. And the Jersey Shore kids. Can't understand a word.
Joyce: How are the elves to work with?
Nick St. North: Well, we are all old, old friends. We've known each other since day one. But, honestly, I wish they were a little taller.
Joyce: Taller, you say?
Nick St. North: Yes. They get stepped on A LOT. Especially by the Yeti. It gets messy.
Joyce: Yeti? You mean Abominable Snowmen?
Nick St. North: "Abominable" is not the preferred designation. As native Himalayans, they prefer "Yeti" or Abominable Snowperson.
Joyce: So you have Abominable Snowpersons working at the North Pole?
Nick St. North: Oh yes! They actually do most of the toy development and construction. Which I am still, like, amazed by. I mean their fingers are huge, HUGE. Big as bean bag chairs. But they can do detail work! All the little stuff--eyes on dolls, you name it. They're also awesome warriors, super tidy and excellent at baking. Their cookies? Outta control and Low Cal.
Joyce: What about the elves? They don’t do toys?
Nick St. North: No, no, no, no. That's a huge misconception. The elves just play with the toys as sort of market testing ... to see if they're, you know, fun. Otherwise they're just sort of custodial ... sweeping, mopping. Oh! And they do party decorations and caroling. 20,000 elves singing 'Oh, Christmas Tree'? I get teary just talking about it.
Joyce: What do you think would have happened to you if you weren't chosen to be a Guardian?
Nick St. North: Definitely not retail or politics. They're too, too, I don't know ... pushy. I've always liked gardening. Landscape architect? Or social work? Or maybe directing. Features only. No TV.
Joyce: How would you most like to be remembered?
Nick St. North: Probably the whole Christmas Day thing. And my work with reindeer. Proud of that. And the kids. Yeah. My work with the kids, that's the biggie.
"William Joyce's magnificently creative illustrations, rendered in charcoal, graphite, and digital media have an old world feel that extends the text. In the world of fantasy, this book rises above the rest."--"Library Media Connection, "March/April 2012
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