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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. 🙂

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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.
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