Have you always enjoyed writing?
No. I spent much of my career in engineering and marketing where I was writing manuals and ad copy. No fun at all, but necessary. I never thought I would write willingly, but fiction is different—it’s fun.
What writing are you most proud of?
My first book, The Boy Who Flew With Eagles. Even though it is a novelette, it was my first real book. I had written and published short stories, but this was the first story that I used an editor and an illustrator. And it has chapters! I was stunned and amazed that I could write and publish a book. It hasn’t sold many copies, but it’s my favorite.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
I’m proud that I have been able to try so many different endeavors in my lifetime and halfway succeed at them. Writing is my latest and I started it when I was sixty-five. Now five years later, I’m beginning to see a bit of success in book sales. If selling a large number of books is considered being successful as an author, I have a long way to go, but I’m proud of the fact that I’m able to write, edit, design, and publish books. Sometimes, I hold up a book and I’m stunned to see that the author is me.
What books did you love growing up?
The Count Of Monte Cristo What boy wouldn’t love the adventure and revenge of the Count.
Sea Gold by John Blaine. My favorite of the Rick Brant Science Adventure Series. I loved the interaction between the two boys—one a budding scientist and the other an ex-marine tough guy. These books have greatly influenced my writing.
And all the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift books.
Who is your favorite author?
Since I’m a children’s book writer, I’ll choose fellow kid’s authors and it’s tough choice. For picture books, it’s Nancy Kelly Allen, author of Barreling Over Niagara. Middle Grade is Marcia Thornton Jones, author of Rat Fink. And YA is Melina Marchetta, author of Jellicoe Road.
Explosions, sabotage, caves, deadly warnings and a dangerous red-haired man.
Imagine The Hardy Boys meet Tom Sawyer. Add a layer of teen angst and excitement plus a mysterious group trying to stop a new dam while stirring up racial tensions.
That’s STEPS INTO DARKNESS, the next book in the Shakertown Adventure Series by Ben Woodard.
Fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace again makes plans to escape the small town in the 1923 Kentucky countryside. The town that won’t let him forget his past, when a horrific event changes his mind. He teams with his cousin Will and young FBI agent Rick Sweeney to try to solve a perplexing mystery. Attempts on the boys’ lives and a bewildering list of suspects keep them on edge and confused. An old man gives them a clue that leads to a false accusation and embarrassment until they discover the real villain, and then wish they hadn’t.
STEPS INTO DARKNESS is a fun, page-turning thriller with a hint of romance that delivers adventure and mystery while exploring the fears of a teen living with a frightful memory.
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Genre - YA/Mystery
Rating – PG - 13
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