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Today, we're taking over your Sunday as we welcome the Walden Pond Press blog tour celebrating the forthcoming release of a new Children's Fiction title you won't want to miss. With appeal for boys and girls, it promises a rip roaring adventure with thievery, silver-tongued villains, and one boy who has a choice to make that will shape his tomorrows to come. Don't believe me? Read on....
John David Anderson
Walden Pond Press
About the book...
The Dungeoneers is an action-packed, funny, and heartbreaking middle grade fantasy-adventure from the author of the acclaimed Sidekicked and Minion, John David Anderson.
The world is not a fair place, and Colm Candorly knows it. While his parents and eight sisters seem content living on a lowly cobbler's earnings, Colm can't help but feel that everyone has the right to a more comfortable life. It's just a question of how far you're willing to go to get it.
In an effort to help make ends meet, Colm uses his natural gift for pickpocketing to pilfer a pile of gold from the richer residents of town, but his actions place him at the mercy of a mysterious man named Finn Argos, a gilded-toothed, smooth-tongued rogue who gives Colm a choice: he can be punished for his thievery, or he can become a member of Thwodin's Legions, a guild of dungeoneers who take what they want and live as they will. Colm soon finds himself part of a family of warriors, mages, and hunters, learning to work together in a quest to survive and, perhaps, to find a bit of treasure along the way.
Sounds good, right?
I thought so too...HOWEVER, my schedule did not allow it to be read in time for this tour (stay tuned for that in the coming weeks). Bummer...but only just. In lieu of a review, I got the chance to interview the author! *fist pump* Ready to check out what he had to say about this, that, and the other? Ready, set, READ!
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: John David Anderson
1) Though I'm certain you're asked this A LOT, I never tire of hearing/reading the answer. How did the idea behind THE DUNGEONEERS come to you?
I’m not sure there really was this one kernel of an idea behind The Dungeoneers. Not at first. There was just this kid wanting to help out his hamstrung family with their money problems so he resorts to less-than-legal means of doing so. At the start I knew I had Colm and Finn, and that Finn was going to introduce Colm to a whole new world, but the more Finn talked inside my head, the more I realized that he was part of a community, a family that Colm would be eager to join, a group that could put his talents to use. Then it exploded, and all the tropes and conventions of fantasy literature and games and movies sat before me like a thousand blocks, ready to be stacked and toppled and played with. Very quickly the other members of Colm’s party appeared, and their relationship (and his relationship with Finn) really drove the whole rest of the novel.
2) If hard pressed, with whom in the story do you identify with the most and why?
I identify with them all. Cop out answer, I know, but there are aspects of each of them that appeal to me and are probably derived from my own passions and insecurities. Colm’s love for his family. Lena’s need to be the best. Serene’s reticence and compassion. Quinn’s frustration and love of sweets. I think I identify most with this desire in the book to be a part of something. To feel like your actions have some kind of lasting impact and to know that you’ve put your talents—the thing that makes you unique—to good use. I think that’s something each character in the novel struggles with. I think it’s something I still struggle with as a writer. And a human being.
3) What is your favorite part about the writing process...and on the flip side, your least favorite?
Favorite part is always the beginning. The blank screen. Tabula Rosa. I know some writers find it intimidating, but the blank screen is flippin’ awesome. Think of the possibilities! It could be anything! And then it starts and you’re like, “Oh yeah. This is fantastic! This is the greatest thing I’ve ever written! Contact the Newbery committee!” The beginning is great because you are meeting your characters for the first time, and the sense of discovery pervades everything. Plus it’s as close as I ever get to feeling omnipotent. “I am Dave Anderson—creator of worlds! Watch as I fashion you in my image, oh fledgling protagonist. Ha ha! See how I heap problem after problem on top of you! Let me describe your hair and throw you in a dungeon!”
Then comes the middle, which is the worst part. Because by the time I get to the middle, I pretty much have an idea of what I want the end to look like…I just don’t have the slightest clue how I’m going to get there. “Not so omnipotent now, are you little man?” my characters tease. “Wish you’d maybe had an outline or something now, don’t ya?” Middles are tough because I am driven by character first, then theme, then plot. Plots are tricky because most readers and editors require that they make some sense.
So usually I just skip ahead and write the ending. Then I eat a whole lot of chocolate. That usually clears things up.
4) A few quick pro quo questions if you please. First answer that comes to mind..
a) favorite color: Midnight blueb) favorite flavor: Cinnamon. No, pizza. Is pizza a flavor? Go with cinnamon.c) favorite reading nook: Honestly anywhere. I can read anywhere. Car. Toilet. Hanging upside down. But sometimes in a pool of sunlight on the carpet is really great.d) name one author whose work you'd pick up without question...Vonnegut. I own everything he wrote. If we are talking current—Michael Chabon. Love that guy.e) advice to aspiring authors in our reading audience...We are at an interesting moment in culture, I think: It has never been easier to find an audience—the number of avenues for sharing your work with the world are endless. But I also think it’s still a tremendous challenge to find your audience, the ones who really dig you. Take advantage of any opportunity you have to write and to share your work with others. Expect some roadblocks, but never be discouraged to the point of quitting. If you work at it long enough, study the craft, read constantly, and believe you have something worthwhile to share, you will find someone worth sharing it with. Also, marry someone with a good job.
About the author...
John David Anderson is the author of Sidekicked and Minion. A dedicated root beer connoisseur in his spare time, he lives with his wife, two kids, and perpetually whiny cat in Indianapolis.
Special thanks to Danielle and the whole team at Walden Pond Press for making this tour possible AND to author John David Anderson for taking the time to satisfy my curiosity with the fabulous interview. (THANKS!) For more information on THIS TOUR, the title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above. Remember, this title hits bookstore and virtual shelves JUNE 23, 2015, so be on the lookout for it or get yours pre-ordered now!
There is ANOTHER option though if you wish to pursue it..can you say CONTEST?
Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a SIGNED finished HARDBACK of this very title! Your welcome. ^-^
Open to US residents only, no PO Boxes please.
Until next time....happy reading!