I discovered my love of writing, I think, at a very early age. In my view, writers are born with a pen in their hand, or maybe today, it's a keyboard. I feel like I've spent most of my life writing ideas down and playing with different ideas and having characters come to life in my head and telling me the stories they want me to tell on their behalf. As a writer, I don't think people really choose, in other words set out, to be a writer. It's something that they just have inside of them, and they really have no choice but to write the things down in their head. It's this imagination that just never really stops giving birth to new ideas.
My favorite books growing up were really anything that I could get my hands on. I grew up in a house full of boys, so there were a lot of western novels. My mom loved to read romance novels, so I think I read any romance novel that she had. But the kind of books that I loved to read were always the ones involving magic and fantasy, so the Lord of the Rings trilogy, by far, was one of the most memorable series that I read as a child.
Tell me a little bit about the series you have coming out.
So these characters start off with a lot of questions. Like a lot of 12 and 13-year-old kids, they don't really know who they're going to be when they grow up. They don't really know what kind of person they're going to be, and they make all kinds of mistakes. And I think that's one of my favorite parts about the characters journeys in my books. The characters are allowed to be kids. They make mistakes. They don't always do the right thing, but they're able to overcome their mistakes, overcome the challenges that face them. At the end of the day, hopefully good rules the day and they're able to become and evolve into the kind of people that are going to make the right choices and be the brave characters that we want to be. But, we don't get there right off the bat. It takes them a little while and a few left and right turns before they actually figure out who it is they are and what kind of person they want to be.
When an author sets out to write a children's book their number one goal is to get a child excited about reading. I think that's what I want them to take away from this book is that reading can be fun, and books are a source of adventure and magic and should be able to transport them into a whole other world than the one they're living in. I want when kids pick up my book to be excited about reading it, to not feel that reading is a chore, but that reading is an invitation to adventure. An invitation to a whole other world, which they can explore and uncover on their own and then hopefully leave it, wanting to read more.
There's been this explosion in mobile interactive entertainment that has really changed the focus on how people engage in literacy and reading in general. I'm partnering with Artifact Technologies to create a digital experience that is immersive and challenging and that will help players come into the world of the Legends of Orkney in an interactive digital platform.In the game, players can do everything from collecting cards and rare cards, as well as rune stones. They can capture creatures, and they can even cast spells, which is probably the most fun part. In their quest, what they are trying to do is close this stone fire portal that bridges the gap between our world, Earth, and this magical realm of Orkney, where the game is set.
I see an opportunity to use the interactive platforms to engage people in reading, as opposed to detracting from reading. As a literacy champion and an author, my challenge is to create and deliver stories in a variety of formats that will challenge and trigger peoples imaginations and hopefully convince them to sit down long enough to read a book cover to cover.