Today we are chatting with Michael D. Beil, author of
The Swallowtail Legacy 1: Wreck at Ada’s Reef!
Read on for more about Michael, his book and giveaway!
Meet Michael D. Beil!
In a time not long after the fifth extinction event, Edgar Award-nominated author Michael D. Beil came of age on the shores of Pymatuning Lake, where the ducks walk on the fish. (Look it up. Seriously.) He is the author of the Red Blazer Girls series, Summer at Forsaken Lake, Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits, and Agents of the Glass: A New Recruit. For reasons that can’t be disclosed until September 28, 2041, he now lives somewhere in Portugal with his wife and their two white cats, Bruno and Maisie. He still gets carsick if he has to ride in the back seat for long and feels a little guilty that he doesn’t keep a journal. For more on the author and his books, visit him online atMichaelDBeil.com [michaeldbeil.com].
Meet The Swallowtail Legacy: Wreck at Ada’s Reef!
Punctuated with transcripts, letters, maps, black-and-white illustrations and more, The Swallowtail Legacy: Wreck at Ada’s Reef is a vibrant contemporary mystery with a classic feel exploring righting past wrongs, redefining family, and finding yourself.
Twelve-year-old Lark Heron-Finch is steeling herself to spend the summer on Swallowtail Island off the shores of Lake Erie. It’s the first time that she and her sister will have seen the old house since their mom passed away. And while her stepfather and his boys are okay, the island’s always been full of happy memories–and now everything is different.
When Nadine, a close family friend, tells Lark about a tragic boat accident that happened off the coast many years before, Lark’s enthralled with the story. Nadine’s working on a book about Dinah Purdy, Swallowtails’s oldest resident who had a connection to the crash, and she’s sure that the accident was not as it appeared. Impressed by Lark’s keen eye, she hires her as her research assistant for the summer.
And then Lark discovers something amazing. Something that could change Dinah’s life. Something linked to the crash and even to her own family’s history with Swallowtail. But there are others on the island who would do anything to keep the truth buried in the watery depths of the past.
A compelling and complex mystery with a classic feel, Wreck at Ada’s Reef is perfect for fans of The Parker Inheritance, Holes, The Westing Game, and anyone looking for a satisfying puzzle that stretches across decades.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What’s up next for you?
The first draft of the second Swallowtail Legacy book is done, but there’s still lots of work to be done before it’s ready for publishing! And no, it doesn’t have a title yet! After that . . . I’d love to return to Swallowtail Island with Lark and her family. I’m hoping that lots of people buy the first one!
YABC: What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?
Even though I taught English for twenty years and love nothing more than a book jam-packed with themes and symbolism and all that English teacher stuff, what I really want for the kids who read my book is the same thing I wanted when I was that age: to be entertained! One thing I learned as a teacher was that if kids aren’t interested in the characters and the story, they’re not going to keep reading. If I can sneak in a little life lesson, that’s great, but only if it serves the story and the characters. It seems to me that there are quite a few books where the idea for the Great Life Lesson came first, and the characters and plot exist only to help get it across. In my experience, kids are fine with a bit of a lesson, but don’t want to be hit over the head with it!
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
For better or for worse, I remember—vividly—what it was like to be a kid. I may not remember what I had for lunch today, but I can tell you exactly how I felt when I caught that first fly ball in Little League, and losing the third grade spelling bee to Marty Daniels, and the thrill of taking the tiller of the family sailboat for the first time. But it’s not unique to me; I’m pretty sure that most children’s book authors have this power, and use it every time they sit down to write.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Anything connected to rescuing and adopting dogs. There are SO MANY wonderful dogs in shelters—puppies, old dogs, purebreds, mutts. When I’m king, no one will be allowed to buy a puppy until those shelters are empty.
YABC: What advice do you have for new writers?
Nothing earthshakingly original. To me, it’s simple: Read as much as you can. Different genres, different time periods, long, short, good, bad—read it all. It will help you find your own voice. My first (unpublished) novel was an ill-fated attempt to imitate John Irving. It took me a while, but eventually I found the voice I had been looking for.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Only to thank you for giving me the chance to talk about the book! I’m really excited about it, and can’t wait to hear from some readers!
The Swallowtail Legacy: Wreck at Ada’s Reef
Author: Michael D. Beil
Publisher: Pixel + Ink
Publish Date: February 15th, 2022
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*