I LOVE middle grade books, but don’t get to read them as much as I’d like. Today I’m featuring an interview with the author of the MG book, Between–Daniel Frost.
by Daniel Frost
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Young Chance N. Counter thought her life was nothing more than a series of meaningless, random events. But when she finds some crinkly yellow pages from an old book, with the same drawing of a shadowy door in each one, this all suddenly changes. Pages in hand, and armed with only a flashlight, Chance finds one of the shadowy portals and steps into the place between night and day… it is the place where nightmares and fairytales and creatures that go bump in the night were created. It is the place of lore and legend and dreams, and the place where the Shadow King reigns supreme.But to leave, Chance, along with a new ally (who happens to be a talking fox) must summon all of her courage and use all of her wit to travel through this bizarre world and find her way home.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Actually by trade I’m an aerospace engineer and got into writing when my company started sending me all over the world… funny thing that those airplanes can’t seem to break anywhere near home. In my spare time I like wind surfing, surfing, mountain biking, skiing, sailing/boating, video games, reading, painting/drawing, archery, scuba diving… and I’m sure plenty of other things that keep my pocket book empty. I think my favorite thing though is tormenting my daughter 🙂
2. What made you want to become a writer?
I enjoy disappearing into the world I have created. It’s fun to create places and people and tie them together into something that only can exist in your mind. I really like writing in fantasy because I can just make this stuff up. Everyday my life is about numbers and facts. In aerospace designs are finite and tested to the nth degree. In fantasy all you need is just the tiniest bit of plausibility and that’s usually enough to make it work.
3. Who or what gives you inspiration?
That would come from reading and watching movies. My daughter also gives me some great ideas… it’s amazing just how imaginative children can be.
4. Tell us about Between.
The story is about young Chance N. Counter and how she feels her life was nothing more than a series of meaningless, random events. But when she finds some crinkly yellow pages from an old book, with the same drawing of a shadowy door in each one, this all suddenly changes. With the pages of the book in hand, and armed with only a flashlight, Chance finds one of the shadowy portals and steps into the place between night and day… it is the place where nightmares and fairytales and creatures that go bump in the night were created. It is the place of lore and legend and dreams, and the place where the Shadow King reigns supreme. But to leave, Chance, along with a new ally (who happens to be a talking fox) must summon all of her courage and use all of her wit to travel through this bizarre world and find her way home
5. What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
I don’t like the fact that it sometimes takes so long to get the whole story from the brain to the paper, and how difficult it can be to translate your thoughts into something tangible. …Does the reader understand what I’m trying to say is always one of my biggest fears.
6. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?
Nothing really. I’ve tried music, but I tend to get distracted easily… especially by shiny things. Seriously though, I can’t think of anything special that I do. Just finding the time, sitting down and putting my thoughts down on paper is about all I really need.
7. What are some of your favorite books?
Can’t say that too easily. I like about everything. Right now I’m into the Hunger Games and that dystopian world kind of thing. But I love to read some the YA and Middle Grade books at the same level as Between. The Ranger’s Apprentice, Tolkien, H. Potter and the Spooks Apprentice are just few that have made impressions on me. I just finished the Skinny Executioner which turned out to be pretty darn good. To be honest, lately I’ve found myself reading what my 10 year old daughter is reading… nice escape books without too much violence. All fantasy, and thrillers.
8. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Funny one there. Actually my dog is very friendly and thinks that everyone should love him… he’s actually just like Dug the dog in the Pixar UP movie. Anyway I was working on a book idea when he decided to meet some neighbors. They happen to have a dog whose name is Chance, and I thought what a great name. The whole ‘chance encounter’ idea kind of played well into the theme of the book that was rolling around in my head… hence Chance N. Counter got her name. I like to think Chance is actually a bit like my daughter as well… a little brave, clever, and gets into trouble way too easily.
9. What, if anything, are you working on right now?
I’m not currently writing anything at the moment. I’m trying my hand in digital art and freelancing some book covers. I’ve got a few good ideas knocking around for a second book in the Between world, but nothing has yet taken hold. I have three other books out so for the moment I’m a bit tapped out.
10. Why do you love writing?
It’s just a great escape from reality. You just can’t control the world around you, but in your own universe anything is possible and I don’t even have to explain how or why… just as long as there is a little bit of plausibility anything’s game.
About the Author
Douglas M. Paul is an Aerospace Engineer, the author of the One Wizard Place series of fantasy/SF novels, and through his wife’s collaboration a new paranormal/fantasy titled Between (under pen name Daniel Frost). Doug Paul grew up in the Florida Keys, pursued engineering in college, and later obtained a graduate degree in Aerospace Engineering. Throughout college, Doug maintained a passion for science fiction and fantasy.
His fourth novel, Between, released in 2011 takes a slightly different turn into the paranormal. In this title a young girl named Chance N. Counter steps through a shadowy portal and into the place between night and day… it is the place where nightmares and fairytales and creatures that go bump in the night were created. It’s the place of lore and legend and dreams, and the place where the Shadow King reigns supreme.
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/between-daniel-frost/1100071666?ean=9780984123339
One commenter will win an ebook copy of Between! Tell me why you love middle grade books, or what your fave MG has been.