First I wanted to give a quick thanks to Bonnie Watson for asking me to participate in this blog hop. She’s a fellow fantasy author and an amazing artist. Her work is definitely worth checking out; you can see some of her work in progress at https://wisdomnovels.wordpress.com/
What inspired me to be a writer:
I’d love to say that I was a life-long reader, but that would be a complete lie. Truth be told, I didn’t really like to read until college. I was somehow coerced into a “book-club” (visualize me doing air-quotes for additional emphasis) my junior year of college where the reading was G.K. Chesterton’s Everlasting Man. It was a life-changing experience. As I’m writing this I realized that I never thanked the guy who invited me. Thanks David! While the book club itself primarily consisted of us trying to figure out the genius who was G.K. Chesterton, it propelled me into the world of literary discovery. It created in me a intellectual confidence for which I was severely lacking. Now, I was no intellectual nincompoop, but I wasn’t confident enough to mold that intellect into applicable wisdom, and then express this wisdom in an articulate matter. But in holding this book of Chesterton’s in my hands, reading, struggling, and eventually UNDERSTANDING his puzzling prose as well as discussing it, this created in me a sense of “standing on the shoulders” of this literary giant. I immediately, and to this day, gobble up every Chesterton book I find. On finding an old copy of The Man Who was Thursday a few months after this book club ended, my love of fiction commenced. Without this simple invitation to a book club, I wouldn’t be as thoughtful, introspective and contemplative as I am today; and there’s no doubt that without this event in my life, I would not be an author. So, there are many reasons why I write, but one of the most poignant is that I want to inspire in my readers that sense of awe, wonder, and eventually confidence that G.K. Chesterton developed in me.
But enough about my background, I’ve written a fantasy entitled Magnus Kir (simply pronounced KER) for middle grade students via Ambassador International. Here’s a little synopsis below, but if interested you can read much more, including the first chapter and book trailer at www.magnuskir.com
For those who’ve already read the book, I’d like to share with you the time before Magnus Kir, but to do that we have to go to another era, and even to another place= the present. Well, it’s a few years beyond today, but close enough. I hope you enjoy the first (unprofessionally edited) tidbit, where you’ll meet Dale and his son Allister:
“Just like our two minute drill Allister; get it done!”
Allister stuck his head out of his room and screamed over the presidential address blaring out of the radio in the living room, “Ok Dad! But why right now?”
There was no response.
Allister thought he was prepared, but the emergency backpack he’d packed months before seemed so small and empty now. He looked up from the pack and quickly scanned the room. He absorbed what he was leaving behind; his bed, posters, and the life of a fifteen year-old American, or at least, what used to be called America. Knowing he was almost out of time, he grabbed whatever he could carry. As a starting receiver on his school’s JV football team, he instinctively reached for his football, and after second thoughts he dropped it to the floor. He slipped his pocketknife in his front pocket, grabbed his camouflaged duffle full of hunting gear from his closet and reached under his bed for his memory box. For some reason, it wasn’t the pictures and letters from his mother that made him reach for this simple plastic container, it was the assortment of throwing stars that he’d collected as a middle-school kid. Like every other boy he dreamed of intense battles with those stars flying from his hands, but he never thought that one day he might use them in a real life situation, until this moment.
His father’s thunderous voice sent a shudder down Allister’s spine, “Let’s go son!” Allister put his hunting bag over his shoulder, stuffed the memory box in his backpack, and grabbed his blue and grey letterman’s jacket and tossed it over his shoulder as he walked out of his bedroom.
Dale Swift, Allister’s father, was a rugged, back-woods North Carolinian. It was well known in those parts that Dale’s father was an infamous booze runner in the early days of stock car racing. That’s where he got his love of cars and grew to be a seasoned mechanic. No, it wasn’t a rich-man’s life by any means, but Dale was able to pay their bills and stored up enough gold bullion and food to take care of the two of them in case things got worse; and so they had.
Allister and his father stepped out of the house; Dale firmly shut the door. He put his key in the deadbolt and hesitated; he froze as if he’d heard something.
“What is it dad?” Allister stared at his father.
Allister pulled his weapons bag off his shoulder, “Should I get out a gun?” His father quietly shook his head in response.
Dale finally removed the key, put it in his pocket and started walking to his pickup truck. Allister shrugged and followed as his dad put his large pack along with all of the other items in the truck’s bed. As Allister loaded his backpack and hunting bag in the cab of the truck, he noticed that his father had removed a handkerchief from his weathered jeans pocket and wiped his eyes. After Allister sat down and strapped in, his father sat and stared at the steering wheel and took a deep breath. Dale uttered in his southern drawl while he put the keys in the ignition, “I was thinkin’ of the first day I unlocked that door, with your mother in my arms.”
“Oh,” Allister sighed.
Dale revealed a broken smile, “She always thought I was crazy; planning to bug out.”
Thanks guys for reading! I’ll post the full chapter when I get finished with the prequel!
Next Author to Post on August 4, 2014
Jessica Grey: www.authorjessicagrey.com
Check her stuff out!