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Sean Coons Author Interview

Firefly: Let There Be Light follows a young firefly who performs a daredevil stunt and has it go horribly wrong. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

One of the many reasons I love writing fiction is that, once a character is established in my mind, the character takes the story from there. Of course, I plan parts of the plot, and the characters comply, but often, they act in my imagination and I just write it all down, especially when it comes to dialogue. In the case of the inciting incident of the story, I knew that it was protagonist Flash’s reckless nature that should be the cause of the shakeup of his (and his friend’s) world. And from there, I just thought, what would a wily firefly do when he’s out on an errand for his father? I won’t spoil the story with the details, but the Flash in my imagination was eager to be especially irresponsible in his pursuit of thrills and to impress his friends. Also, one of my favorite books is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in which a boy and his friend travel far from their home. I thought it would be interesting to do the opposite in Fireflytake the characters far away and then follow them on their adventure home. 

Flash thinks he knows it all but quickly learns there is much about life he doesn’t know. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

If Flash was a human, he’d be a twelve or thirteen-year-old boy, and that is the time of life when boys and girls start thinking more like an adult than like a child. When we’re that age, we start to “feel” that we understand life, and our knowledge of life is indeed growing rapidly at that time, but it turns out that we all still have much to learnespecially when it comes to self-restraint and responsibility. Flash is that characterhe thinks he’s ready to take on the world. He can fly. He can emit flight. He is, in fact, quite clever. But a cocky firefly, much like an over-confident human, will find that the world is a little more complicated, and less forgiving, than he expected.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I think there is a tendency today to downplay courage as a virtue because that quality is often found in people who are like Flashthose who are unafraid to speak their mind, those who are risk-taking adventurers whose behavior sometimes crosses over into recklessness. This story proposes the idea that courage is indeed a virtue, and people should not abandon their courageous spirit to rid themselves of their risk-taking or reckless natureinstead, they should learn to harness their power, use their boldness responsibly, and be courageous, not in reckless abandon but to serve and help others in need. The overarching theme of the book is that the deepest love is not an emotional reaction that gives a person a sense of excitement, but it is sacrificial service of others—our family, friends, and community.

Will this novel be the start of a series or are you working on a different story?

I wrote Firefly: Let There Be Light to be a standalone story, but also to be an origin story for Flash and his band of misfits. I do plan to use this origin story as a launching point for a more episodic series called The Misadventures of Flash and the Misfits. These will be shorter books with a feel similar to episodes of a TV show, as opposed to the more feature film-feel of Firefly: Let There Be Light. Each book will have Flash and his friends encountering a mystery or challenge in Temple Hollow and using their unusual collection of talents (and quirks) to comically approach the problem. Book 1 is underway with a seven book series being the ultimate plan.

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After a daredevil stunt goes horribly wrong, firefly Flash will need more than his wit and cocky attitude to fix the mess he’s made of his life.

Firefly Flash just gained the ability to illuminate and fly, and it’s gone to his head. He flits around his hometown of Temple Hollow avoiding work and finding mischief.

When his latest daredevil stunt spirals out of control, he lands himself and his two friends far from home in a dangerous desert in Texas. Meanwhile, Temple Hollow is captured by a goon-squad of tyrannical dragonflies—and that’s Flash’s fault, too.

After a mysterious encounter in the desert, Flash inspires a ragtag band of Misfits to join him on his mission to return home. The Misfits encounter trouble at every turn, yet these challenges are nothing compared to the epic battle awaiting them back in Temple Hollow.

Packed with comedy, action, and insights for children of all ages, this middle grade adventure is the perfect chapter book for independent, family, and classroom reading.

Read Firefly today—and see the Light!
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