Meet Joseph Woodley!
📚Title of Book
The Great Christmas Heist
Q: Tell our readers something about the author.
Joe Woodley's life has been an extraordinary adventure. He is blessed to have a wonderful family and friends who have loved and supported him through the various stages of life. His faith and family have been his foundation. Joe has been a published author and public speaker for over fifteen years, writing books for adults and children. Through several of his organizations, he has worked with schools, community groups, churches, corporations, and other organizations promoting character education, literacy, leadership development, and education. His passion is people and helping them fulfill their God-given purpose is his mission.
Q: How and when did Joe's journey start as a writer?
When Joe was in the eleventh grade, his high school English teacher, Mr. Valenti, was the first person outside the family to encourage him to pursue writing as a career. It would be another twelve years before Joe began to work on the project that would become his first published book. By that point, he had accumulated a broad array of experiences that shaped his worldview and perspective on life, love, faith, family, and community.
Q: When did Joe write his first story? Is it published or not?
The first story Joe wrote was when he was small. Joe was very shy at the time and writing was a great outlet to express his thoughts and feelings. He did not publish the story, but he gained a love for writing that has been with him his entire life.
Q: Tell the readers something more about Joe's books.
Joe is a purpose-driven person and everything he writes is purpose-driven. The purpose of his writing is always to share ideas, thoughts, and concepts that will encourage readers to pursue the God-given greatness that lies inside them, to see the best in others, and to seek the best for others. All of his books present common themes that include the importance of developing good character, integrity, and the development of trustworthiness. Most of Joe's books are written for adults. But these themes are most impactful when shared with children during the most vital stages of their development. Some people would call this an old-fashioned way of thinking. Joe Woodley would assert that some old-fashioned themes are foundational to developing great children who can become great adults. Those themes and values never go out of style. He hopes that his books can help people successfully navigate their own journeys in life, starting with our children.
Q: Why did Joe choose kids as your readers for this book? Is there any specific reason?
Joe was a single dad for many years. One of his favorite things to do with his son when he was a little guy was to read with him. He tried to find books that his son would be interested in and that he would find challenging. He also found books that had good wholesome messages. He believes that reading is one of the greatest tools a parent can provide their children. Joe was always an animated reader with his son. He always made up some of the silliest faces and voices when we read together. Although many of the books he has written are for adults, he never forgot the joy those moments gave him. Writing books for kids gives Joe the opportunity to share that experience with moms and other dads. It is a privilege to write books that parents feel comfortable reading to their children. They get to make funny faces and create silly voices as they read. Joe's son still talks about those experiences. He believes books like The Great Christmas Heist will give you that opportunity too.
Q: How did these stories and characters come to mind?
The Great Christmas Heist is a passion project of Joe Woodley. He wrote the story around ten years ago and it feels more relevant now than when he first wrote it. He wanted to write something that reminded him of the children's books and movies that he read as a child. Books written by Dr. Suess, Roald Dahl, J.M. Barrie, Rudyard Kipling, L. Frank Baum and many others took him on adventures that transported him to new worlds that stretched his imagination and expanded the promise of possibilities of the world he lived in. There were always great messages interwoven in these books that kids could carry with them in their own exploration of life and the world around them. Thomas and Clair, the two main characters in The Great Christmas Heist, as well as the poetic style of writing and the artwork honors those stories in a nostalgic sort of way while presenting a message that is current to the society many families live in today. Children are growing up in a world that is far more cynical, anxious, and self-absorbed. Thomas and Clair reflect that world early in the story but take a journey on Christmas Eve that helps them see the beauty around them. This is a fun-filled, humorous story that will feel timeless for the whole family.