Gifts My Books Have Brought Me

I have a friend who back-engineered the Great Pyramid and wrote a book about his findings. He wrote a second book about advanced engineering in ancient Egypt. Scientists did a double take when he reported space-age tolerances in the monuments. That means some stone is polished so that the surface is all the same smoothness to within 2/10,000th of an inch. That’s way smaller than one human hair. This is Christopher Dunn ( He told me recently that the biggest gift his books have given him is not the trips to Egypt he’s led, not the many radio and TV interviews, but his new job consulting at a cutting-edge company envisioning the future.

My latest novel, The Star Family, is bringing me a great gift this Saturday. I’m returning home and signing in Old Salem during Candle Tea. Old Salem is now a living museum, but was one of the three original settlements of my ancestors in North Carolina in the 1700s. Candle Tea draws many of visitors to watch people in period costumes made beeswax candles and trim them with red crepe paper to catch the drops of wax when they’re lit during the Candlelight Love Feasts on Christmas Eve.

All during my childhood and adolescence, I would walk the cobbled streets of Old Salem to enjoy the peace and symmetry of the buildings, to look through the antique glass windows at the slight distortions, to visit my grandparents and older ancestors in God’s Acre where now my parents rest. I felt rooted there, truly at home. In my twenties, I taught meditation in a white house at the bottom of Old Salem, weaving spiritual teachings of my past and present together.

Christmas Eve found my mother and me in the choir singing for the love feasts, enjoying the smell of beeswax, Moravian coffee and buns. Then we went home. As a child, me clutching my candle, still in my velvet dress and black patent leather shoes, I ate Moravian ginger cookies and my parents’ pleaded for me to go to bed now, so Santa could come.

On Saturday, I bring my Christmas mystery back to its origins. It’s an offering of love and appreciation.

What’s the greatest gift your writing has brought you?


Author: Theresa Crater

Award-winning author Theresa Crater brings ancient temples, lost civilizations and secret societies back to life in her visionary fiction. In The Star Family, a Gothic mansion holds a secret spiritual group and a 400-year-old ritual that must be completed to save the day. The shadow government search for ancient Atlantean weapons in the fabled Hall of Records in Under the Stone Paw and fight to control ancient crystals sunk beneath the sea in Beneath the Hallowed Hill. Other novels include School of Hard Knocks and God in a Box, both exploring women in historical context. Her short stories explore ancient myth brought into the present day. The most recent include “The Judgment of Osiris” and “Bringing the Waters.” Theresa has also published poetry and a baker’s dozen of literary criticism. Currently, she teaches meditation, as well as creative writing and British lit.

10 thoughts on “Gifts My Books Have Brought Me”

  1. I think the best gift books have brought to me is together time with my kids. I read the entire Harry Potter series to my daughter, and most of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series to my son. And even now that they are perfectly capable of reading to themselves, they still like reading aloud with Mom. 🙂


    1. That’s nice, Mary. I remember Stephen and I listening to our nephew read that series to his two sons. Stephen and I just curled up next to them all to listen, too.


  2. The best gift my book brought me was realizing how supported and loved I was by those around me. Self publishing my first novel this year was a revelation. Relatives, friends, co-workers and acquaintances not only bought my book and read it, they tweeted it, Liked it on Facebook, told their friends about it, wrote positive reviews that got other readers interested in it, contacted bookstores and magazines on my behalf, and gave me the fiercely positive feedback my fragile ego needed if a reader posted a negative review. People I hadn’t seen in months or even years came out of the woodwork to lend their support, and the joy this brought me was incredible.


  3. Theresa, this post has such a warmth to it. I loved reading it! My writing has brought me many new friends and acquaintances, and reading sends me to lovely new worlds on a regular basis. My daughter began writing last year in fourth grade, really writing, and she’s showing a wonderful creativity. I love that we’re starting to share more aspects of reading and writing.


    1. Thanks for the note. I just got back from North Carolina. I’ve been on a bit of a book tour. I love that your daughter is writing so early! What a role model she has.


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