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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Alumnus celebrates the holiday season with debut book

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“Elf E. Ramone” stands behind a plate of cookies and a glass of milk. The children’s book tells the story of the elf who started the Christmas Eve tradition of leaving cookies and milk for Santa.

Jonah Fujikawa and Alexander Hiers set out to write “Elf E. Ramone,” to reveal the importance of love and joy through the story of the elf behind the Christmas Eve tradition of leaving milk and cookies out for Santa.
“We believe that’s what ‘Elf E. Ramone’ is for,” Fujikawa, a performance and production alumnus, said. “It’s for families to reconnect … for kids to still have that spirit of happiness and peace knowing even though it seems like a rough time, it is going to be okay eventually.”
“Elf E. Ramone,” is a children’s book apart of Trustfall Collaborations, an entertainment company co-founded by Fujikawa and Hiers that seeks to include, empower and inspire people through its projects.
Originally established as Trustfall Productions in 2014, Fujikawa and Hiers set out to create films, short films and music videos. In 2020 they decided to expand their company by trying out a variety of entertainment ranging from books to comedy sketches. Over the years the company has become a space for people to connect and become inspired.
“Elf E. Ramone” originally stemmed as a script Hiers was pitching to various studios before someone brought up the idea of turning it into a children’s book.
“I love the holidays so much to a ridiculous level,” Hiers said. “[Everyday] I would add whipped cream to my coffee [and] some cinnamon. Every time I passed my coworkers they were like, ‘That smells so good. What is that?’ I always joked [that] I’m an elf … spying on what humans like and smell for Christmas. I’m the elf pheromone.”
One of the most important aspects of the book is its representation and inclusivity, as it is a collection of voices from different cultures and backgrounds. Hiers, born in Guatemala, and Fujikawa, a Japanese American, combined their two voices to create this multicultural and multiethnic book.
Fujikawa graduated from Texas State in 2019 after transferring from a community college in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He took what he learned as a theater student and applied it to the film and photo aspect of the book.
The book was brought to life after Fujikawa and Hiers collaborated with Elise Isabella, Eagan Tilghman and Damion Square, working together across several cities including Austin, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New Zealand. Working throughout the pandemic meant a lot of video calls wherever and whenever they could make it work.
“Working with Alexander and Jonah is just a dream,” Isabella said. “We couldn’t have done it without the bond, the trust and the respect that we all have for each other.”
With the book, Hiers wanted to emphasize the significance of giving back to the community by donating to specific organizations based on the project. Part of the proceeds from the book will go to various charities such as Hip 2B Square, a foundation dedicated to helping young children created by Square, an NFL veteran, and his wife. Some of the other charities include Feeding America and others based in New Zealand and Guatemala.
“The dream is to be able to give back with all of these things that we do, but also [to have] that memory and tradition for the kiddos,” Hiers said.
The book’s team also seeks to positively impact and uplift people during difficult times through storytelling.
“Storytelling has always been about uplifting people or touching people’s hearts and bringing things to life inside of them that is inside of us,” Isabella said. “[It is] helping people feel that they can express [themselves] whether that is creating their own projects or whether that is these stories bring something to them that makes them feel better or more okay about being in the world.”
With “Elf E. Ramone” out for children and families to enjoy, Fujikawa said he hopes readers can see the importance of spreading love, peace and joy to the world.
“Even if one child bought it and enjoyed it and experienced the magic, [because] this is about love at the end of the day, for me, that would be the greatest gift for ‘Elf E. Ramone,’” Fujikawa said.
To learn more about “Elf E. Ramone”, visit the Trustfall Collaborations website.

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  • Jonah Fujikawa and Alexander Hiers read their new book, “Elf E. Ramone.”

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