The First Christmas Carol – Interview & Giveaway

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 | 14 comments

The First Christmas Carol – Interview & Giveaway

My guest today is Marianne Jordan, author of the book I wish I had written, The First Christmas Carol: A Miser, A Manger, A Miracle. I know you will enjoy getting to know Marianne as much as I have. This is one book your Christmas library cannot be without!

Comment on the interview and use the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page by 12/11 to enter to win a signed copy of The First Christmas Carol: A Miser, A Manger, A Miracle. 

Fabulous Fridays

Marianne, I loved The First Christmas Carol! How did you come up with the idea of combining the biblical story of Christ’s birth with Dicken’s A Christmas Carol?

I wrote The First Christmas Carol as a play in 1999. I was the director of a youth drama team and I was trying to find a Christmas play for them. I couldn’t. They’d all been done or they just didn’t fit. I had 30 some kids to find a part for. So, I locked myself in the Holiday Inn Express and brain stormed with myself for 2 days. I walked out with The First Christmas Carol. Now, it was much different from the book… remember the 30 kids? Ebenezer was married with two daughters, Aaron owned a bed and breakfast across the street, and Gabriel was the only angel.  But it got great reviews and we had to add an extra performance. After that people kept suggesting I turn it into a book. I messed with it, put it away. Messed with it, put it away. I didn’t sit down to take it seriously until I went to a writer’s conference in Dallas.


What is your target audience?

TFCC isn’t a child’s book. I don’t sugar coat anything. Though it’s a work of fiction, I tried to keep the Biblical aspects A Miser, A Manger, and A Miracleaccurate. The stable was a cave. Mary was nine months pregnant. The sanitation and living conditions for the poor were disgusting, and the Romans and church leaders were corrupt. The slaughter of the innocents is tragic. And the crucifixion of Jesus was abhorring. I think probably nine or ten years old and up to read alone. Younger, and I think an adult should read it with them.


Tell us something about yourself and how you started writing.

I’m a southern girl. Born in Tennessee, grew up in VA, and have lived in SC and now NC. We’ve lived here a long time and I don’t see us moving again. I was in broadcasting until our daughter was born. I married my radio partner, Bill Jordan, and we have one daughter and a 7 year old grandson. I love to cook, the outdoors, travel and history. I enjoy movies, and of course reading.

I never thought I’d be a writer. Never crossed my mind. But I love to tell stories. I write plays. I made up stories for kids I’d baby sit. It wasn’t my life’s dream. Now I wouldn’t dream of doing anything else. I think the Lord just waited until He knew I could handle the responsibility.


What is one thing you recommend to writers who are starting out and wondering if they should try to connect with readers beyond “Here’s my book, buy it, and review?”

You absolutely have to connect with your readers on a personal level. At least I do. If they don’t think I care about them, then why should they care what I write? I try to remember that money and time are tight for most people. I don’t want them to waste either. I want them to know I have a personal relationship with Christ, and I treasure my family and friends. I won’t write about several subjects, and I want my readers to know that. I want them to feel secure about what they will and won’t find in my books. I want them to trust me. I want them to feel good about endorsing me.


What was the greatest problem/challenge you faced in writing this book?

Sticking with it! Not giving up. I went through a period of where I hated the story. It had nagged at me for 12 years. It wouldn’t leave me alone. But once I made up my mind that I was going to really do it, when I pledged to Bill, Jessica and God that I’d commit to it, I fell in love all over again. I loved writing each character. They’re all different. Each has his or her own fears. They’re all in situations that they feel helpless to escape. They’re all experiencing a crisis of faith. As for Ebenezer, there’s a bit of him in all of us. We’ve all experienced love, loss, and loneliness. I’d listen to friends or talk to people going through various trials and they helped create Ebenezer. I didn’t want him to be a clone of all the “Scrooge” characters across the years. I wanted him to be more than just greedy. That’s one reason you won’t find the word Scrooge in the book.

What would you like to tell potential readers about your book?

Please remember it’s fiction. I’ve had a few people try to say I’m passing some things off as fact. I absolutely am not. I don’t know if Mary cried while in labor. But Mary did deliver a baby! I don’t know that Christ’s right eye was swollen shut. But I know he was beaten. I did my homework. Lots of it. The Biblical parts are as accurate as I could make them.  As I said earlier, I truly believe you will find yourself in the book. You will be reading and it will dawn on you that you’ve done, felt, or said the same thing.


This book is such an obvious outgrowth of your love for the Lord, what new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now? 

Patience. I’ve had some issues that have required a lot of patience, and that’s not my strong suit. At all. I want answers now! Acceptance is another. I have to remind myself that I can’t control everything. I have to let go. Bill and I have our own version of the Serenity Prayer. “Lord, help me accept the people I cannot change. Change the one I can. And the wisdom to know it’s me.”

Can you tell us something that your readers might find surprising about you?

I used to sing. Everyone thought I’d major in music. But my real dream was to be the next Carol Burnett.


Can you tell us something about your next writing project?

Another work of fiction. It’s about a watch that’s passed down through three generations of women. I’m editing it now. I’m also working on a non-fiction that I’ve been trying to write for three years. It’s hard for me. Writing in first person is difficult. It sounds like I think I know what I’m talking about! 🙂 Then I’ve got a series of children’s stories that could either be combined in one book or as a set. They need quite a bit of polishing but I like them.


Please share the first page of your book with us.


If only he werent dead.

Standing in the entrance to the inn, Ebenezer watched the chaos in the square. The crowd scattered in every direction as the Roman soldiers on horseback stampeded through the market. To avoid being trampled, some people tried to shove by the innkeeper seeking cover, but Ebenezer didn’t budge.
“They don’t pass through this door unless they’re prepared to pay!” he sneered.
Ebenezer began to laugh, but immediately doubled over in a coughing fit that rattled his insides. The dust kicked up by the horses irritated his eyes and coated his throat, making it difficult to catch his breath. His eyes burned with salty tears. He hacked up milky phlegm and spit it on the ground. Finally, he stopped wheezing and wiped his face with the back of his hand.


Resting his shoulder against the doorpost, he said softly, “Oh, Jacob, how you would have loved this. Look at them all. Hundreds lining up to register, and each needing a place to eat and sleep.Well, come, come, you weary souls, for I have room and will gladly give you rest.”A contemptuous smile parted his wiry beard.“Gladly, that is, after I deplete you of everything in your purse. Provided Caesar leaves you anything!”


Ebenezer was right. His former business partner would have loved the delightful sounds of potential profit as tired, anxious travelers filtered into Bethlehem. Loved it as much as he. Ebenezer scoffed.

If he weren’t dead.


About the author:

MarianneJordanAuthorHeadshot copy (1)Award winning, best-selling author, playwright, and public speaker, Marianne Jordan graduated from Radford University and began a career in radio, teaming up with partner, and now husband of thirty-three years, Bill Jordan. She was the first Director of  Development for SW Virginia Public Radio and is the co-founder of the popular Blogtalk Radio Program, Christian Devotions Speak Up!

Her writing career is varied, including plays, newspaper articles, marketing copy and children’s stories. The First Christmas Carol, her debut novel came out in 2013.

Marianne and Bill reside in North Carolina.


How can readers find you on the Internet?

Website coming soon:

Facebook Author Page:

Pinterest: Marianne Jordan


Twitter:  Twitter@MJordanTFCC

Other:  Email: or

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. Love author interviews and this is no exception. How cool. Thank you for sharing. Would love a copy of this book.

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Robin!

  2. Wonderful interview. Would love to win a copy of the book.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Ann! I hope to see you back again. It is a book well worth reading!

    • Thank you Ann. You can find me at

  3. I havent read this yet but is sounds like an Awesome book. I love the interview. It gives us readers a chance to get to know the author better. I bet it is hard to write in a first person point of view. Thank You

    • So nice to hear from you, Sonya! Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll visit again sometime!

  4. I appreciate everyone’s kind words. Norma Gail will be joining me on my website that will be going up very soon. So please check in to read her thoughts.

    My author page is

    Thank you again, everyone!

  5. I always watch this movie each year, BUT I’d love to read your story with the Biblical aspect.. The thoughts of what could have happened are stories I enjoy to ponder.. I hope you write more of these 🙂
    dkstevensne AT outlook DOTCom

    • I hope she writes more too! I love this book!

  6. I love the interview, what a wonderful way to make us readers feel like we get to know the authors.#LandofMyDreams

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! I try to do one a week, so I hope you’ll come back.

    • What an interesting interview this was. I enjoyed reading an excerpt from The First Christmas Carol.The idea of combining the biblical story of Christ’s birth with Dicken’s A Christmas Carol is a very interesting concept that I would like to read more of.

      • Thanks for your comment, Deanne! I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I hope you realize the giveaway ended Thursday, December 11th. It may be one you want to order before Christmas! It has already become one of my favorites! I hope you’ll be back again. I have giveaways almost every week.

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