Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Blog Tour: The Adventures of Fawn by Al E. Boy #interview

Children's Books 
Date(s) Published: 
Book 1: September 21, 2014
Book 2: July 4, 2015
Book 3: August 18, 2016

     The Adventures of Fawn is a ‘coming of age’ series chronicling the exploits of the precocious, young daughter of legendary reindeer, Comet and Vixen. The year is 1849, and all three tales happen in the months leading up to….but ending just before Christmas. A deadly North Pole blizzard; a fierce, hungry arctic wolf;  a scheming sea captain capturing animals to take to a New York City zoo; an evil former elf princess out to destroy the pendulum that enables Santa and company to live for hundreds of years; the trials and tribulations young Kristoff Kringle faced before he became the icon of Christmas; and a conniving stranger with a magic stone determined to steal Santa’s reindeer team …all of this and more await the young reindeer and her companions.

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What is the hardest part of writing your books?

     While I’m certain it’s different for every author, for me….writing three books has been a learning experience. I suppose the old adage: ‘Nothing is written in stone.” holds especially true for me.
     A number of times…I have liked a certain wording…or passage….only to have to eventually discard it, or revise it…in order to make the overall scene, dialogue, or chapter better or more coherent.
     That…and the job of editing and editing, and re-writing and re-writing. I’ve learned the best method (for me at least) is to write something…and let it sit for a few months before trying to edit it. By doing so…I read what is actually ‘written’ on the page…rather than what I’m assuming is there….just because the story is so stuck in my head already. Much too often…I didn’t read what was on the page…but rather what I thought was on the page.
     Developing characters who were decidedly unique from one another…and engaging for the reader was an interesting process. In the beginning, I had to decide what each one was like…and try to stick to it/bear it in mind. But as I progressed into the other books…I ‘knew’ the characters and that, in itself, made the stories flow quite nicely.

     Also…I’m not that great an artist…but I ‘know’ what my characters look like. Doing illustrations is always time-consuming…and I’m quite often disappointed with my work. I want something a little less ‘Disney-looking’ and a little more akin to the illustrations one would find in books from the 19th century. I suppose I’ve compromised with something ‘in-between’.

     On the other side of that coin…the easiest part is the writing itself. I usually sit down at the keyboard and let the story tell itself. Many times I’ve found myself writing 20 or 30 pages without missing a beat. I’ll sit back in my chair and think: “Wow! That was interesting…I wasn’t expecting that to happen!” With each book, the story I thought I was going to write…and the story that eventually appeared on the pages turned out to be distinctly different.

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

     Believe it or not…I don’t even have an Ipod. I have an extensive collection of Cds (perhaps 800 or more), and prefer listening to them at home on a good sound system. When I’m ‘out and about’…I can easily play sounds ‘in my head’…without the need for a device.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
     In the beginning, I asked some family and close friends. But…they were usually too nice about things. “It’s nice!”; or, “It’s really cute!”; or, “I like it!” were the things I heard. But I wanted candid, uncompromisingly honest critiques! So…I got lucky, and found some colleagues who could give me the feedback which I needed.

What book are you reading now?

     At present, I’ve pulled out an old copy of Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, and I’m re-reading it.

How did you start your writing career?

     I’ve been a department store/shopping mall Santa since Christmas 1976. Over the decades, I’ve developed quite a repertoire of stories to answer children’s queries about Santa, the North Pole, his elves, reindeer, the Toy Shop, Christmas candies, et al. An idea came to me one day about a young reindeer, I wrote a short story…and thought that was that. But…it was succeeded about a half year later by a second much longer story. At first I thought I had two stories on my hands…but then I decided to combine them…and things took off from there. A small bit of chapter 2 and part of chapter 4 in ‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls were the original short story.

     I’m toying with the idea of writing a fourth installment for The Adventures of Fawn. The first three books carry the reader from late September 1849 through to mid-December…about two weeks before Christmas.

     A voice in my head keeps asking, “What happened then?”

     Through almost 40 years as a Santa Claus, Al E. Boy developed quite a repertoire of tales to explain and answer the many questions children ask about Santa, the North Pole, his reindeer, and his friends, the elves.
     It was this collection of tales which prompted him to begin writing The Adventures of Fawn. Through the young daughter of legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen, he's been able to weave an exciting, colorful, imaginative world which will delight readers of all ages!
     Mr. Boy not only hopes you enjoy these tales, but make reading them part of your Christmas traditions, as well.

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