Welcome to the 2013 version of Three Times A Charm. I love meeting new authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry and sharing their careers with you.
Author, Stuart R. West, is visiting with us. Stuart, tell us about yourself, please.
I’m Stuart R. West, author of the new YA book, Tex, The Witch Boy. I live in Kansas, which is a curse and a blessing. It’s a curse, well, because it’s Kansas. It’s a blessing because Kansas is ripe with story ideas and oddities. I intend on setting most of my forthcoming books in Kansas because you’re supposed to write about what you know. And you don’t want to read about my hum-drum tenure in corporate America! I was a graphic and production artist for twenty-some years with a label manufacturing company. Boring!
I’m married to a wonderful professor of pharmacy at a local university and have a beautiful daughter, now in college, who has just now decided to unleash her inner bad girl. Sigh. What’s a parent to do?
Thank goodness I can’t advise you on that. If my daughter is releasing her inner bad girl at college, I’m not hearing about it (she just called, says she’s not J).
Tell us about your book.
Tex, The Witch Boy is a YA thriller, suspense, comedic, dramatic, lightly paranormal, romance tale about anti-bullying. It’s important to me to spread the word about bullying and I hope to reach those who need it most: teenagers. This book was designed to appeal to both males (I believe they’re not represented enough) and females. All of the bullying incidents detailed in the book happened either to me or a friend of mine in high school. Other modern details were garnered from my daughter’s recently finished tour of duty.
I’m gonna’ let my blurb chat about the basic plot: Being in high school sucks. Just ask Richard “Tex” McKenna, a Kansas sophomore. Dealing with bullying, burgeoning love, the loss of parents, and dodgeball is bad enough. To top it off, he's just found out he's a witch! Oh, and fellow students are being murdered. The suspicious eyes of local law enforcement are looking right at Tex and his loyal group of friends. And so are the killer’s. Will Tex's new-found skills prove helpful? Or cause even more problems?
Tex, The Witch Boy is the first of a trilogy, all of which have been written and all deal with current hot topic issues and social problems teens go through these days. There’s a spin-off as well about a secret character introduced in the second book. Can’t tell you about her yet or I’d have to kill all of you. Kidding! (Or…am I? Sure, I’m kidding! Or…). Anyway, Muse-It-Up Publishing has just released the first of the trilogy.
It sounds great and I love the cover. Tex is very compelling.
Now for the threes. Help us know you a little better by answering your top three choices to the following questions:
- Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without.
I’d say the top three tools in writing I can’t live without would have to start with the support of my loving wife and daughter. Couldn’t do it without ‘em! They’ve been constantly supportive and encouraging (Um, although they might be a little outraged to find out I called them “tools!” We’ll just keep that tidbit between us.).
Next, is my writing sofa! I already wore out one leather sofa. Where I sat while writing has sunken in, specially formulated to fit my posterior.
Finally? Coffee! Lots and lots of coffee!
- Top 3 pieces of advice for kids these days.
I love this question! Most importantly, I’d tell kids who are bullied to find an adult at your school who you trust and let them know about it. Do NOT be afraid of “ratting” bullies out. It’s not worth “hall cred.” Really, it’s not.
I’d also love to tell them to be themselves. Don’t worry about the “popular people.” They’ll be happier if they find their own way instead of following.
Finally, drink lots of school and stay in milk (or…something like that!).
(I added the bolding to Stuart’s answer, because it is great and important advice)
- Top 3 authors.
I’m gonna’ kinda’ cheat here. I wouldn’t say they’re my favorite three authors, but they were certainly the most influential on my first book. If you tossed Stephen King, Harper Lee and Joss Whedon in a room together, Tex, The Witch Boy’s sorta’ might come outta’ their unholy collaboration. Now, of course I’m kidding. No way I’m as good as any of these giants. But I’m trying. And they’re all very awesome in very different ways.
Stuart, where can our readers go to keep up with you and your writing?
Buy The Witch Boy on MuseItUp: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=580&category_id=175&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1&vmcchk=1&Itemid=1
Find out more about Stuart:
Thanks for charming us on this week’s Three Times A Charm, Stuart. I hope you don’t end up in the doghouse over the ‘tool’ comment – ha ha. Best of luck with your writing!