Today, it's our great pleasure to help A. E. Howard celebrate the launch of her new novel Flight Of Blue.
A cursed traffic light. A rip in the fabric of the world. A possum sorcerer injured on a quest for revenge.
Kai and Ellie embark on a journey to return the sorcerer to his home. Entangled in events that could destroy the world, Kai must choose whether to accept the role he was born to play, but isn’t sure he wants.
As part of her book launch, Anna wants to share a peek into her book. Following are the stops along the way:
Part 1: The Idea: A Cursed Light and a Possum Sorcerer hosted by Heidi Daniels
Part 2: The Characters: Talking animals, silent animals, and humans too, Oh My! Hosted by Sweet Banana Ink
Part 2: The Characters: Talking animals, silent animals, and humans too, Oh My!
Kai was created out of a desire to write this story for my son. My son was only seven months old when I started writing this, and so clearly it will be a few years before I can even read it to him aloud, but writing it for him gave me a purpose other than "publishing it" (which is a fine purpose too, um… obviously ). That motivation helped me finish the story and also just have fun with it, I think because I was writing it for someone, instead of worrying about what a wider audience was going to think about it.
So my main character is a boy because I wrote it for my son. But I love the strengths that come out when men and women, or in this case, boys and girls, work together, so Ellie came on the scene with her sock monsters and button-filled backpack. Even though the story lives in Kai's head and is seen through his eyes, in some ways, she's my favorite character, but then that's a little selfish, because I think I see a lot of myself in her. But she isn't me at twelve, rather, she's an embodiment of my memory of being twelve, plus some characteristics from some of my favorite teens and pre-teens. For instance, if you read her interview on my site, you discover that her favorite band is the Beatles, something she has in common with my god-daughters' older sister, who I sort of adopted as a god-daughter even though she technically has another godmother. (Shhh! don't tell!)
My husband brought his boxer, Otto, into the marriage, and I looked a bit askance at first at the “step-dog.” But Otto soon wormed his way into my heart with his wiggles, his deep brown eyes, and his chocolate brown ears, some of the softest doggie ears ever, and before I knew it, I was a dog person. He's a very talkative dog, with a variety of vocalizations, and he's extremely empathetic, so it wasn't hard to envision Sebastian, who, incidentally, was named for a favorite cat who was hit by a car a few years ago. (Don't tell Seb he was named for a cat though, I'm not sure how he'd feel about that).
Someone asked me what the hardest character was to write, and as much as I love him, Seb was actually the hardest because it was hard writing a character who doesn't use words. But in the end, it was definitely worth the struggle to record all of his reactions throughout the scenes.
And then of course, there's Reginald, who I adore. As I mentioned in part one, the idea of an Opossum sorcerer came about simply because that's the animal most often killed along our roads where I live. But as I did some digging into real Opossums, and also spent some time hanging with Reginald and his folk, I fell in love with the hairy little marsupials in all of their self-sufficient grandeur, overly dressy apparel, and very wordy speech patterns. It was hard for me to remember to not use contractions when recording their dialogue, but since Reginald has to have his paw in everything, he read my drafts, and threatened to throw his lodestone at me if I didn't fix any instances where I'd slipped up. So you could say that was motivation to get it right.
As an added book launch perk, use the widget below for a chance to win a free copy of Flight of Blue and other goodies.