The Dragon in The Closet, Dragon’s Journey follows a dragon as he sets off on an adventure to defeat his family’s curse; along the way there is danger and mysteries to solve. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The first issue of The Dragon in the Closet, The Curse is about a cursed little boy who is constantly attacked by monsters. His Nana is a witch who comes to his rescue. I wrote it during a dark time with my daughter who suffers from suicidal ideation. She was so bad they were recommending she be hospitalized but we couldn’t afford it and our insurance covered almost nothing. The character, his Nana, is what I wish I was. Someone who could see the monsters and had the tools to protect their child.
In the second issue, the dragon, who can see through time and is kept in the family closet to predict monster attacks, finally breaks free of his prison. This issue is a natural progression of the story as Orin, the boy and dragon travel north facing monsters on their own with his Nana there with him.
What were some of the trials that you felt were important to highlight the character’s development?
My goal is to show Dragon as he enters the real world for the first time, While he could always see what the world is like because of his psychic gifts, in this book he not only sees the sky with his own eyes, he flies through it. Navigating the world vs watching from a distance are two very different things and he makes mistakes like when Orin gets attacked by Cave imps.
This is also an important part of the story for Orin as he is away from his Nana and counting on someone else to protect him, feed him and keep him safe. In upcoming stories he needs to learn to keep himself safe, but he’s getting there in stages.
When you first sat down to write this story, did you know where you were going, or did the twists come as you were writing?
The twists have come as I am writing. I write a few issues ahead of the drawing of this book. I work from an outline so I know where it’s going. I create a few pages at a time and post on the webcomic every Saturday.
Will there be an Issue #4 to continue Dragon’s journey, if so when will it be available?
Yes, Issue #4 is in progress now and will be out late next year. At the beginning of 2023 I will also release the first graphic novel for this series that compiles 1,2, 3 and some chapters of 4. In the meantime you can follow the story on the webcomic at TheDragonintheCloset.thecomicseries.com.
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Twelve-year old Jodie Jackson lives with her father above their boatshed in Serpentine Bay in Sydney. Jodie and her best friend Sarah are targeted at school by a bully. Jodie stands up to her but Sarah suffers from anxiety because of it. Jodie suggests that Sarah tell her parents about her worries.
Jodie misses her mother who has died the year before especially as there is a Mother/Daughter lunch at school. She works at her grandmother’s spiritual shop to earn money for an excursion and invites her grandmother to the lunch.
Jodie sails her little boat around the harbour, exploring islands and bush areas and goes to Crater Cove, where there are old shacks from the depression era that she wants to sketch for art class.
She discovers a homeless girl hiding there and learns that the girl is a vet student studying at university on a scholarship but with nowhere to live.
Jodie sees smoke in the sky and hears the news report about a fire near Crater Cove and worries about the girl. Jodie is unable to contact her father or her grandmother, so she takes her father’s runabout, even though she is unqualified.
Jodie tries to land but the smoke is too thick to see. Her motor dies and she drifts closer and closer to the rocks but the water police appear and start to tow her boat back to safety.
As they tow her away Jodie notices Serena waving for help from the shore and the water police rescue her. They take both girls back to Jodie’s house and her father is very relieved at seeing her, but also cross that she took out the runabout. Serena is invited to stay at Jodie’s house until they sort out her accommodation.
The next day Jodie’s grandmother falls and fractures her ankle and goes to hospital and Jodie is afraid she won’t be able to come to the Mother/Daughter lunch.
Jodie finds that she is missing thirty dollars when she goes to school to pay for the excursion. She confronts Serena who admits that she took it to buy some medicine for an infected cut from an oyster shell. She was planning to replace it later.
Jodie is angry but when she sees Serena’s infected leg, she understands.
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From the country of Portugal comes a fresh new take on the genre of middle-grade fantasy. In the days of the Templars, heroes bravely sacrifice everything to seal away a deadly threat. But the forces of evil are not so easily extinguished. The insidious force remains, seeking to one day overthrow all that is good in the world.
Sofia Gama, a Portuguese schoolgirl in the modern day, soon learns that she is a part of this mysterious world of magic and mystery and will have her own part to play in saving the world from utter annihilation. However, when the truth of her story comes forward too quickly, Sofia must harness the strength within her spirit to do what is right and protect those she loves.
Translated from its original Portuguese, Sofia’s story is a fantasy adventure that thinks outside the box. A tale is woven over a thousand years of world events, the interplay of the fantastic and historical meld together perfectly. The historical information was, in most respects, correct. However, as this book was originally in another language, there are a few interestingly translated words throughout. Additionally, I was nearly a quarter of the way through the book before Sofia’s part of the story truly began.
Once the book takes off, it is a nonstop rollercoaster of an adventure. Sofia and her best friends Eduardo, Joana, and Filipe face dangerous magic, evil henchmen, and despicable bullies. The descriptions of the Portuguese coast and school life, something an American audience seldom gets to see, were the best moments of this story. Add that to the unique perspective of a magical world where there is no separation between the sacred and the secular, and you get an incredible adventure that’s as out of the box as it gets. From hardcore single dad Miguel to the spunky Joana, the characters in this narrative are as vibrant and memorable as the colors of the rainbow.
A tale of faith, family, and friendship, Sofia Gama and the Templar’s Prophecy by Isabel Ricardo is a thrilling young adult fantasy novel. This in-depth book is perfect for avid readers who crave something new and great for ages 12 and up due to fantasy violence, fatalities, and mild language. An original take on an established genre, Sofia’s story is packed full of surprises and suspense in a truly unforgettable story.
Pages: 417 | ISBN : 1949868605
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Silent Journey is an emotionally-charged young adult novel that follows a young deaf teen named Scott Schoeder. Scott is an accomplished gymnast with the support of his father, whom he communicates with using American Sign Language. One day when his father leaves for a prolonged business trip Scott is left to live with relatives that he does not feel attached to. He becomes a bit of a loner and seeks comfort in new friendships. One of those friendships is with a dog that he develops a close bond with. Scott learns of a family secret that involves his father and uncle and sets out to help them reconcile.
I was swept away by this charming story. Scott is a compelling character with surprising depth. Readers will easily be able to empathize with him. He’s the main reason I came back to this book again and again. Author Carl Watson deftly takes readers into the mind of a troubled young man. His struggles will resonate with readers as he is so much more than just some deaf kid, and in this way the novel shows readers that we are so much more than what we see. The reader is able to feel Scott’s loneliness, his communication difficulties, the friendships he forms, and his intense desire to help. All of this is easily conveyed through sharp writing.
This is a delightful childhood adventure story with colorful characters and a engaging storyline. Readers will be laughing one moment and fighting back tears the next. I really enjoyed the ebb and flow of this novel and how freely the emotions flowed. The story explores the challenges that life throws at us while also showing the joy of childhood. Readers will love the sketch art pieces that are scattered throughout the book. They’re sharp and add a bit of flair to the story although I wish they were colored.
Silent Journey is a book I would have loved to have read in middle school. This is a sentimental but fun story that explores family issues and childhood drama in interesting ways. A charming novel I won’t soon forget.
Pages: 142 | ASIN: B08C9DRFPQ
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James’ Ragtag Adventure in Questworld follows a group of five pals who find themselves stuck in a magical realm. They awaken the Goblin Queen and her army of goblins during an adventure gone wrong! Now they’ll need to find backup to battle her wicked majesty. Along the journey, they’ll come across fascinating and mystical creatures. Some good, some bad… Are they going to be able to defeat the queen? What is the origin of this mysterious land, and how did they get there? This adventure will have you on the edge of your seat. Follow James and his group of friends as they navigate the exciting world of Questland!
This adventurous book will have readers hooked from the very first sentence. One of the highlights of this story is the solid character development. This novel has a prototypical group of friends. M. Doyle has included the sassy one, the strong one, the brainy one, the shy one, and the leader. These familiar character types and themes will appeal to middle-grade readers as they can relate to the characters’ personalities and feel comfortable with the storyline.
M. Doyle has done an excellent job with pacing in this novel. There are pauses throughout, and it gives readers the feeling that they are sitting alongside the gang, resting and getting to know them better. The moments of rest come as a welcome break from the captivating and suspenseful action that the characters encounter in Questland. It seems like they discover new creatures and monsters at every corner and are constantly in danger.
James’s Ragtag Adventures in Questworld: Return of the Goblin Queen is a thrilling fantasy adventure novel for middle-grade children. This exciting novel takes place in a video game and is a great way to introduce reluctant readers to the fantasy genre and help them become avid readers.
Pages: 103 | ASIN : B093Z64K41
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, childrens action and adventure, childrens books, childrens fantasy, childrens horror, Childrens science fiction, ebook, goodreads, James' Ragtag Adventure in Questworld, kids books, kindle, kobo, literature, M. Doyle, magic, middle grade, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, sword and sorcery, teen, writer, writing
Young Davy Crockett: The Wild Frontier with Dinosaurs follows a young hunter that must find out what is happening to the missing hunters. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
A bunch of years ago, my mentor, Jonathan Maberry, sent me a message basically challenging me to write a middle grade horror book. This is something totally out of my genre. I normally write in epic fantasy, horror, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. I was like…write something for kids? I don’t write for kids! Yet, at the same time, I’m not one to back down from a challenge.
I like history. So, I brainstormed historical figures. Who could I write about in their younger years? The answer came quick. After some research (I love research), I found my character: Young Davy Crockett.
How much research did you need to do for this book?
I did a lot of reading about Davy. Turns out he had a lot of adventures in his youth, so I was not stretching the facts. Most kids back then had to learn skills and put them to use in the towns and on the farms. Davy was a hard worker and being such a popular American historical figure, it was easy to find information about him.
What has helped or hindered you most when writing a book?
I had to remind myself…over and over…that I was writing for MG. I had to tone things down. Remember the language. And remember that, although brave and a skilled outdoorsman at a young age, Davy had to speak to adults like a kid. Not on par with them.
This was hard for me at times.
When my editor first read the book, she told me it read like YA writing. I tried my best to fix it to a MG style. Since then, I have had readers and reviewers come back saying it is MG and others saying it is YA. I’m proud of it regardless of which age range it lands more prominently in.
I found that trying to imagine the book as a cartoon helped. Like an 80’s cartoon. Remember the ABC WEEKEND SPECIALS? It was a series that featured a different kid’s books each week. I tried to paint it as one of those episodes back then. 🙂
Has writing and publishing so many books changed the way you see yourself?
I guess I look at myself as the grizzled old veteran now. I fought hard. I’ve had amazing victories and terrible losses. But I keep at it. My motto is: Write Makes Might! It means a lot of things to different people. Basically, to me, it means writing brings you strength. It can be helpful and cathartic. Do it for yourself above all others.
I have written nine books. Most of which are around 100,000 words or more. I am working on book ten and I recall, with great clarity, when I was on my first book and would see people on their tenth. I remember thinking, wow, I will never finish ten books.
Well, guess what? It turns out I will.
At one point or another, every book I have written has been, or is, published. But it was a struggle. It’s a battlefield out there. I have had deals with shady publishers, I have had publishers print and sell my books only to suddenly stop paying me. I have had books get published multiple times by different publishers. I have had an agent. I have had movie deals sent my way and offers to write TV shows. I have been nominated for huge awards and won smaller ones. It spins my head when I think about it all.
A wise man once said, “Life is like a hurricane…” This is very true for authors and artists. 🙂
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A Star Upon a Dream follows a discouraged young girl who tries to discover what her dream job is and finds renewed confidence from her father. What was the inspiration for your story?
The inspiration behind the story is connected with my own personal story. Children are like sponges; they soak up everything. The people they are surrounded with can make or break that child. Having strong adult figures in a child’s life really is powerful. I have a supportive family along with great teachers and coaches. Without them, I would have given up for sure.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
There were several themes I wanted to incorporate into this book. The most critical themes included school life and bullying because I know there are many other people out there that could probably relate to this story. I wanted to make wrestling present in this story because it was a big part of my own story. Wrestling is a great sport to correlate with real life situations. In wrestling, we can get taken down but you can always fight and get back up. This is the same concept we can apply to our own life. Sometimes, we get taken down in life but we have to fight and stand back up.
What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?
Failure is something we all face in life. Failure does not define you. It’s how you deal with failure that makes you successful.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I have another book in the development stage. My current focus is this book because it is my first book and the message is very important to me. If things work out then I hope to have it completed by 2024.
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Davy Crockett is a young boy in 1798 growing up in Tennessee with his family. He and his brothers are in the middle of a hunt when they learn a hunter in town has gone missing while hunting. Davy and his brothers take it upon themselves to find out what happened and come face to face with something prehistoric for the first time. When Davy’s brother William is injured, it is up to Davy and an unlikely accomplice to find the dangerous “horned turtle monster”. Readers will be catapulted right into the action from the start.
Young Davy Crockett: The Wild Frontier with Dinosaurs is a fast-paced book with a unique and exciting spin-off of the traditional Davy Crockett storyline. This captivating book is the first in the History vs. Pre-history Series by author Kevin James Breaux. The writing style is perfect for younger adult readers that want a lot of action that starts from the first page and carries through the whole book. Breaux has taken the traditional character of Davy Crockett and gave him a new adventure to entice a new generation of readers. The author takes the readers on an unforgettable adventure blending prehistoric times with the days of the wild frontier.
Readers will find Davy to be a brave and fearless character that is capable of battling the unknown and solving the mystery of the missing hunters. Breaux effortlessly weaves an engaging story based on fact, fiction, science, and history. The author leaves readers eagerly looking forward to book two to discover what happens next.
Young Davy Crockett: The Wild Frontier with Dinosaurs is a riveting novel for middle-grade students and younger teens that have a passion for history and dinosaurs. Add in the exciting action and adventures that come with the frontier expansion, and readers will have a thrilling coming-of-age young adult novel that will keep them on edge till the end.
Pages: 138 | ASIN : B09S4QK5KZ
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