Author Chat with John Peragine (Max and the Spice Thieves), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US/Can Only)
Today we're excited to chat with John Peragine
Read on for more about John, his book, plus a giveaway!
Meet John Peragine!
John Peragine is an author of over fourteen books. The Secrets of the Twilight Djinn series was written as a bedtime story for his son Max to cope with medical issues he was facing as a little boy. John is a full-time ghostwriter who lives with his son, wife, and a menagerie of animals on his vineyard overlooking the Mississippi River.
Meet Max and the Spice Thieves!
When his mother goes missing, Max Daybreaker's world is turned upside down. Luckily, a crew of Spice Pirates, led by the mysterious Captain Cinn, help Max on his dangerous mission across the three seas.
Along the way, an unlikely alliance aids in his search—a teenage warrior queen, a three-eyed seer, and an assassin spy.
Their journey takes them through treacherous lands while facing shapeshifting bears, an ancient witch, harpies, and the nightmarish Djinn, who will stop at nothing to enslave the world.
With every new challenge, Max unlocks the secrets of his unsettling past. Powers awaken within, forcing him to question everything he knows.
Is Max who he thinks he is? Only time and destiny will tell…
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
When my son was little, he was sick a lot, and we had to spend a lot of time in hospitals. To help him deal with what was going on and to pass the time, I began writing a story in which he was the hero. The issues he was battling with in real life became his magical powers in the story. At the end of every day, I would read him another episode of the story.
He eventually got better, and about a year later, when I was picking him up from school, he asked me where his book was? He had promised all his classmates a signed copy. So, not to be embarrassed by a seven-year-old, I started making the story into a book.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
That has got to be Captain Cornelius Cinn. If I were a pirate, I would want to be Captain Cinn. He is witty, great with one-liners, fearless, and beloved by all that meet him. He has a big heart and doesn't take himself too seriously. As a bonus, he is an excellent cook!
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came first. It was initially The Enchanted Boy, and then it was The Most Interesting Boy in the World. Once it was decided this would be book one in the series Secrets of the Twilight Djinn, the names of the three books came much more straightforward.
YABC: Do you have a favorite writing snack?
Anything crispy and salty. Currently, it is those fried cheese chips. I can finish a whole bag without blinking. They come in all flavors of cheese!
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what's the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
I had written several non-fiction books, articles for magazines and newspapers and even ghostwrote a ton of books. None of that prepared me for writing a genre fiction book. I had the bones of the book, but it lacked some aspects of YA. I had to add characters, change the language, alter scenes mostly to make them YA friendly, and set the book up for the rest of the series. The multiple edits were a bit painful but were totally worth the time and effort. I had to sit and grind it out. There were no shortcuts.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The original cover is nothing like the current cover. It just didn't capture the magic and adventure of the book. So we hired a different graphic artist. I love the color and elements of the story with the map in the background. My favorite feature is the flash in the middle. The more I look at it, the more amazed that it really looks like a light coming from the title. We have grabbed Chris O'Brien, the cover artist, to do the rest of the series.
YABC: What's on your TBR pile?
Right now, it's A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, Lovecraft County by Matt Ruff, and Battle Ground by Jim Butcher. I think I have a type.
YABC: What's up next for you?
I am almost finished with book two of the series: Max and the Isle of Sanctus. I hope to have that out by the fall. Then there is a new series I've been working on- Urban Fantasy- the Working Title is- The Incredible Mr. Cheevers. What I can say is that it involves a sentient cat and an awkward gypsy girl.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Mesha, Mesha, Mesha. She was a character introduced in the first book, and now she is taking a more significant role in the second. I am trying to nail down who (or even what) she is and her true motivations for helping the protagonist. There are few surprises for the readers, but boy, was she giving me a hard time!
YABC: What advice would you give to new writers?
I knew I wanted to be a writer as a kid and spent hours in the library. We didn't have all the distractions we have now, and the library was my sanctuary. I read everything I could, and then I wanted to create my own worlds. It only took another almost forty years to have to courage to do just that. Don't wait- just write. When I was younger, there weren't all the options for publishing that there are now. Take advantage of this golden time of writing.
Get out of your own way, and allow the book to be what the book needs to be. Stop listening to the critics and believe in yourself and your work. You will know when it's ready, but don't rush it. Do the work. Get as many eyes on it as you can. Defend your feelings about the cover and the content. Your name is on the cover, no one else's, so be brave and make your stand. I can't wait to read what you create!
Max and the Spice Thieves
Author: John Peragine
Release Date: April 20th, 2021
Publisher: Crumblebee Books
Three winners will receive a signed copy of Max and the Spice Thieves (John Peragine) ~ (US/Can Only)
Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.
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The cover is fantastic and will attract your young readers to what sounds like a really adventurous read. Best wishes.