EAST ALTON — Each author has his or her own style.
For Greater Alton native Lisa Unverzagt, she says her flair is a mixture of Dr. Seuss and Eric Carlisle. Her first Christmas book, “Christmas Tree Flop,” is aimed at children ages 3 to 6 and tells a sweet tale of a Christmas tree who never gave up on the Christmas spirit, despite being passed over again and again when it comes to finding a home.
“He has the idea to put lights on himself, and they still won’t stop,” Unverzagt said. “So he put ornaments on, and then candy canes. Finally he realized he was missing the star, and when he put his star on, everyone stopped to see him. It was the magic of Christmas.”
For Unverzagt, her tale sums up her own feelings about the spirit of Christmas.
“Christmas is my favorite holiday,” she said. “I just love the magic of it all, and that’s what the book is about, the magic of Christmas. It’s about not giving up.”
Once the author, who both wrote and illustrated the book, picked up her pen, she found she could not put it down.
Unverzagt said she has always wanted to live out one of her dreams in becoming a published author.
“I had a health scare this past year, and my husband, Joe, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease,” she said. “Between those two things, I was afraid I wouldn’t have the opportunity to live out one of my dreams. So I took that opportunity while I was taking some time off work to write my first published book, and then my second.”
Unverzagt also has written a Halloween book for children, “The Not-So-Scary Jack-o-Lantern.”
The hard work has paid off. “Christmas Tree Flop” reached the top 80 newest sellers on Amazon.com within six days of publication.
Unverzagt is working on a series, “The Adventures of Nigel,” featuring the family dog, Nigel, a 4-month-old English mastiff.
“It’s about the curiosity of a puppy and the new things he’ll encounter,” she said. “It is closely related to children growing up; all of the things they will witness and overcoming their fears.”
The author says her writing reflects the couple’s focus on children and animals.
“Writing for a child is not about business or the money; it’s about encouraging them to read, about having an imagination,” she said. “It’s all about the kids, and making an impression on them.”
Future plans include a “Big Book of Thanks” published in time for next Thanksgiving, with input from area children on what they consider to be blessings in their lives.
“Christmas Tree Flop” is available at Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million and on Amazon.com.