Thanks for being here. I'm Miranda Vaughn, author and illustrator of The Tomte Cake. One question I get a lot is how I came up with the idea for The Tomte Cake. 

One evening around Christmas of 2020, a friend and I were talking about our favorite holiday traditions. Gingerbread house decorating made my list, but with some drawbacks. They tasted terrible, the portions were huge, they were frustrating to keep assembled, the packaging is wasteful. The list of cons was long but I still loved our tradition. "Why doesn't someone invent a gingerbread house baking pan?" I asked. "There could even be a cute kids story to go along with it to bring some new life to the activity...", as everyone in the room was nodding their heads in agreement, the wheels began turning in my head. 

The idea for the story came to me two weeks later, all at once one night in a hotel room in Redmond, OR. I excitedly shared the idea with my family and jotted down the words as they came to me in the back of my daughter's unicorn coloring book with a purple crayon, the only writing materials I had at the time. The whole story was written in about an hour and I would spend the next year illustrating it. I fumbled my way through supply chain sourcing to get my ideas from my head and into something tangible in my hands. It took two years and a lot of determination to bring this idea to life and I'm so grateful to those of you who will be sharing it with your kids. My hope is that this book, this activity, this tradition - becomes a source of joy and beautiful memories for every family it reaches. Thank you for being a part of the magic with us. 

xo Miranda