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Totally Out Of My Genre

Kevin James Breaux Author Interview

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. 🙂

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

When young Davy Crockett returns home after a long absence, he finds that many of his town’s hunters have gone missing. Being a skilled hunter himself, Davy knows that the only time hunters disappear is when they are being hunted by something more skilled than them. Making it his responsibility to find out what’s happening, Davy searches the local forests, but what he discovers is something he has never encountered before: dinosaurs.

In YOUNG DAVY CROCKETT: THE WILD FRONTIER WITH DINOSAURS, a nearly fourteen-year-old Davy Crockett is tested by his angry and often drunk father, his brothers, the wilds, and some mysterious goings-on. Somehow, prehistoric beasts are appearing in the forests of Holston Valley, threatening Davy’s family and his way of life. Curious to a fault, Davy seeks answers and attempts to hunt them…a creature no hunter has ever faced before.

A Big Part Of My Own Story

Kendall T. Newell Author Interview

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.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Do you have dreams? Like the stars, we are very similar but unique at the same time. We all twinkle with a light that shines in our own special way. That shine is the power that fuels our dreams and aspirations in life. Doubting and telling others that they are not good enough only diminish a person’s light. Eventually, that light will lose its shine, blacking out into the void, like the star never existed. We should be uplifting to one another and making one another shine brighter than ever before. We all may have different dreams, but we all share the same sky!
Follow Meleah Rowland, a third grade student whose dream is to become a zoologist someday. She quickly learns how it feels to be doubted, thus diminishing the light of this young girl. She learns a very important lesson from her father, Charles Rowland, through the story of his own past to becoming the shining star he is today.

We Must Activate Our Imaginations

Todd Mitchell
Todd Mitchell Author Interview

The Namer of Spirits follows a young girl with the ability to shape what things become as she embarks on a perilous adventure to save her village. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Although the book is a steampunk eco-fantasy that takes place in a fictional world, it was actually inspired by real-world reports on Amazon rainforest destruction done by Lulu Garcia Novarro for NPR. In addition, research into the ways large forests like the Amazon actually create their own weather, pulling in a “river in the sky,” also informed the book. To solve some of the significant environmental and social problems we face, I believe we must activate our imaginations, which is why I wanted to explore real-world issues through a fantastical adventure in this book.

Ash Narro is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Part of what makes Ash unique is how she understands the power of naming. She’s someone who’s able to listen deeply to things that most people overlook or ignore. In doing so, she’s able to hear the true names of things. This shapes not only how she deals with other people, but how she deals with the natural world. And yet, even while she’s more aware than most of the other villagers in the story, she’s also still a child with a relatively innocent view of the world. At times, her innocence allows her to do things that other, more cynical characters, wouldn’t dare try. At other times, her innocence causes her to make some big mistakes.

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

One of the main themes the book explores is the power of language to shape how we see the world, and how we think and act. On the one hand, it’s about the importance of developing one’s voice to speak truth to power, as this is what Ash ultimately learns to do. But the book also explores how language can be used to get good people to do bad things, as the Shadow Namer uses his voice to persuade villagers to act in destructive ways—reflecting how propaganda often works in our own world.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book is for writers, artists, and creators who know what’s it’s like to struggle with the challenges of creative living. It’s called Breakthrough: How to Overcome Doubt, Fear, and Resistance to Be Your Ultimate Creative Self, and it just came out with Owl Hollow Press this month! If you’re a writer or creator who’s interested in enhancing your relationship with creativity while enjoying the creative process (and life) more, I hope you’ll check it out. https://www.amazon.com/Breakthrough-Overcome-Resistance-Ultimate-Creative/dp/1945654880/

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

In the frontier village of Last Hope, people dismiss twelve-year-old Ash Narro as a flighty child who claims to hear the true names of things. But when enraged forest spirits attack, Ash shows that the names she hears have power.

After taming a destructive forest spirit, Ash teams up with Fen, a wild forest boy, and embarks on an unusual journey to save her village. In this steampunk eco-fantasy, the perils of deforestation and the power of friendship are explored through a fantastical adventure involving giant mistcats, tempestuous forest spirits, a supernatural puppy, and a girl with a special gift for shaping what things become.

The Treasure of Peril Island

The Treasure of Peril Island: An adventure novel for teens by [C.W. James]

The Treasure of Peril Island by C.W. James is a thrilling tale of pirates and treasure. A young man named Jack, meets an old man who claims to be Black Juan Gaskara, the famous pirate who disappeared nearly 80 years ago. Jack, and his wealthy friend Hector, decode a message written by Gaskara while he was in a fugue state. On the run from murderous pirates, Jack leaves behind the girl he loves and embarks on a riveting adventure with Hector to find the mysterious island and treasure. They soon discover that gold is not the only secret Peril Island is hiding.

This exciting adventure story reminded me a little of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson as I began reading it. The essence of adventure and sense of intrigue is imbued in this thrilling story right from the beginning.

The characters are intriguing and easy to picture as they are detailed and well described, but I found Jack to be a sharp and particularly compelling character. Although the writer used some creative spelling during the dialogue to let the reader know which characters spoke with accents, the practice was not so frequent as to be overwhelming.

This is an enthralling pirate adventure story that I think would be great for young adult audiences, as the action comes quickly and rarely lets up, so readers will surely be engaged with this story. But this is also a good story for middle grade readers as well, as there is violence in the book but the blood thirsty pirates are not as ruthless or cutthroat as they might be in a novel geared towards adults. This lends this novel an enchanting Pirates of the Caribbean feel while still feeling unique.

The Treasure of Peril Island is a swashbuckling fantasy that is consistently entertaining. If you’re a reader looking for a quintessential pirate adventure story, then you’ll have plenty enjoy in C.W. James well crafted novel.

Pages: 175 | ASIN: B095PW7VHL

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