Let’s Make A Child’s Dream Come True Today!

Alfie The Elf’s story begins all the way back in 2012, while I was in the middle of writing my most ambitious book; “A Pocketful of Sunshine.” (Fingers crossed, one day it will be released.) It was around Christmas and my brother and his family were visiting and my nephew – Nathan (four, then) had a head full of questions about Christmas. Santa Claus, how he got his gifts.

Alfie The Elf Shaiju Mathew
Meet the gang of Alfie

As I answered his curiosity, a story spun in my head about the magic of Christmas. I wanted to tell a story about hope, about spreading joy, about magic, about wishes coming true, a story that was set in a magical land, a story that would bring all the magical creatures to life and then suddenly I had a character coming to life and that was Alfie.

To me, Christmas has always been special, it was all about waiting for gifts and spending time with family, eating yummy Christmas goodies and going to church to sing carols and this time felt magical to me and I wanted this feeling to be translated into my book.

As impossible as it may sound, I wrote about Alfie in nine days straight and like Alfie and the other characters in the story, I went through an emotional roller coaster; mainly to get this story out to the world. Almost all the publishers I approached had the same response about this book: “It’s too Enid Blyton-ish, we are looking for something that is more J K Rowling.” Some publishers who showed interest asked me to don a western penname. And by the end, my literary agent, too, gave up hope, raised her hands up in surrender and wished me luck with Alfie.

Alfie The Elf, Shaiju Mathew
Book Cover

Determined to bring Alfie and his friends to the world, I reached out to the public and asked for their opinion, I shared a few of the chapters with about a hundred people of varying age group (8 years to 65 years) and the response I got was overwhelming; they loved the story, they loved the spirit of Christmas and innocence Alfie and his friends brought with the story.

This motivated me to self-publish my book that was so dear to me and now you hold in your hands.

During all those self-doubting days, there were a few wonderful people who were my support system and stood by me through thick and thin. This book would be incomplete if I go on without mentioning them.

The two people without whom Alfie would not have been possible and to whom I am indebted for life: Anusha Jha Rohom, my book editor who after reading Alfie The Elf, was kind enough to come on board with zero expectations and molded my story beautifully. Secondly, Vikram Nandwani, my childhood friend, and illustrator who brought every character to life and came up with the beautiful book cover.

Apart from that, I would love to thank my friends and family especially my parents who always taught my brother and me to never lose hope and to always pursue our dreams how much ever they seem to be impossible.

And last, but never the least, my nephews and niece – Nathan, Jeremiah, and Kiara – the little kids with big ideas; I hope I made you proud.

Dream A Dream, Shaiju Mathew, Alfie The Elf
Inside Cover of Alfie

Now coming to the question of ‘How Can You Make A Child’s Dream Come True?’ By buying a copy of Alfie The Elf, you will be able to do that, how? I have tied up with Dream A Dream Organization who is backing Alfie to fulfill the dreams of many less privileged kids. Every book sold will help a child’s dream come true as 40% of the profits are going to this cause. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and order your copy from any of the leading online bookstores where you can find the paperback as well as an E-Book version. Also, don’t forget to send me your feedback on mattshai@gmail.com

Please order your copies from the following links;

Paperback edition in India: Amazon.in,Flipkart, PayTM, Shopclues, Infibeam, Notion Press etc.

Paperback edition abroad: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, BarnesandNoble,

Ebook Edition: Kindle, Google Play, KoBo, Dailyhunt, iBooks, Rockstand

What Would I Like To Be Remembered For?

Have you ever thought of leaving a mark in the world? After such a long time, I saw something that really touched and intrigued me – Seagrams 100 Pipers‘ commercial. This made me introspect about what I should be remembered for? The inner voice echoed the sentiments conveyed in the commercial viz. ‘Be Remembered For Good’. The goodness you bring out in others, the goodness you want to spread through your writing, the smiles you can spread on the faces of others with your stories and characters. That motivated me to give wings to my new character Alfie (from my upcoming novel – Alfie The Elf) who is a 14-year-old midget and is one of the closest characters I have given life to.

sea

To give you a heads up about the book and character of Alfie, let me tell you he does not have a great life. He is an orphan and he is a midget due to which he gets ridiculed and taunted every day by everyone around him, and after few failed attempts to increase his height, he writes to Santa to fulfill his wish. When his wish is not fulfilled by Santa on a Christmas Day, he goes out in search of Santa along with his two friends Bullet – a pug and Pedro – an Owl to demand a reason for not fulfilling his wish. On his journey, he meets a lot many mythical creatures like the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, a Snowman and an evil wizard hell-bent on becoming the master of the Universe. Through his innocence and lovely demeanor he is able to spread joy to everyone he meets in the journey.

Source: blog.celoxis.com
Source: blog.celoxis.com

It made me think if Alfie as a character brings joy to so many characters he meets in my story, why not extend that to real life kids too who are like him – orphan and underprivileged. Therefore, I decided to come up with a Trust named – Alfie For Kids where I will be donating the entire proceeds from the sale of Alfie series which could be used for the benefit of educating and upkeep of underprivileged kids.

When I look back and see, great authors like Enid Blyton, Jane Austin or near home Ruskin Bond and R K Narayan. These great legends are remembered for their characters viz. The Famous Five kids, Rusty, Swami, Elizabeth Bennet or Mr. Darcy, etc. Like them and every other author and storyteller in this world, even I want to be remembered for my stories and characters. However, now I want to go beyond and do something for the world. Something that my character Alfie and his friends in the story believes in doing. So this Christmas season when my new book gets released and Alfie comes knocking at your door, welcome him to your life and give him your love and appreciate him for the cause he stands for. As, with every sale of the book, he will get more power and magic to fulfill the wishes of any underprivileged kid in this world. This will not only help Alfie and the kids but will also give me a reason to smile as somewhere in time, I might be remembered for the good cause I was associated with through my character Alfie.

PS: Let me share the video that inspired me to ‘Be Remembered For Good’