This week, I’m excited to introduce a brand new author. Glenn Haggarty and I met through an online critique group when we were both starting out writing middle grade fiction. I owe a part of my successful publishing to his critiques, and I was certain his story would be published one day. RUN was released earlier this month, and if you know of any tweens (ages 10-14), consider putting this book in their hands. It has a lot of good messages for boys and girls. But for now, let’s talk with Glenn and have him tell us about the book.
Glenn, what led you down the path to creative writing?
I’ve always loved reading and would often find myself daydreaming about a book and then taking it on a tangent. But I never considered writing. I didn’t think I was good enough for that, and between family, my business and ministry I didn’t have the time—writing was out of the question. But Glaucoma changed all of that. Suddenly I had lots of time but had to figure out—really find grace to navigate a new situation. I began telling stories to my children . . .
Always a great place to start. What inspires you when you write?
Several things: Reading books that I really like by other authors—C.S. Lewis has had a big impact on me—but there are so many great books out there, I’d leave too many out if I started listing current authors! No phone and no to do lists. Exercise—I often get some great ideas and insights as a ride my stationary bike. And prayer—definitely.
Describe your writing “den.”
I need a quiet comfortable place to write, and am blessed with an in home office, with my adaptive equipment I needed a little space. I also have a sturdy chair and large screen raised to eye level (I’m tall) and that helps me avoid a wicked crick in my spine.
What is your current work in progress?
Working title, Hyde. This is a fun adventure set in Boca Raton Florida which is by the way my first non fictitious setting. I’ve researched the Spanish Gold Fleet of 1715 that was destroyed by a hurricane leaving the wrecks of 12 ships scattered from the Florida Keys to the Sebastian Inlet on Florida’s east coast. Two of the ships are unaccounted for . . . So we have modern day pirates, a couple of nosey oceanographers, and of course some fun loving teens who are yet again in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Tell us about yourself.
Complications of glaucoma forced me out of the business world. Following a year of adaptive training through Vision Loss Resources I entered Bethel Seminary and graduated with a M.Div. degree in 2005. Now, I combine my love for God’s word with my passion for compelling fiction. I love my family, my wife, Linda of 37 years, my six children and six grandchildren. And I am also blessed to have both parents still with us, seven wonderful siblings, twenty-two awesome nieces and nephews—and too many cousins to count.
What is your favorite writing fuel, food and beverage?
I love great coffee, strong, and dark roast but with cream and sugar. Our Keurig makes a fast fix, but if I’m desperate, a shot of espresso and hot chocolate in a cup of skim milk. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are of course the best writing fuel food.
Run is the story of a thirteen-year-old boy from a Christian home trying to find his way. Wanting to hang with the cool crowd caused Tyler to make some bad choices that mushroomed into a huge mess. A family relocation gave him the opportunity to start over, but he’s not a fast learner . . . Everything seems stacked against him, including a nasty run-in with some very bad men. But Tyler still wants to do things his way. Slowly he begins to trust in God again, and things begin to change. And it’s a good thing, because he’ll need God to make it through what lies ahead in this intense action thriller.
How’d you get your idea for Run?
Abandoned houses in the woods have always fascinated me. Such mystery! My imagination just runs wild, especially when I remember those times I was brave enough to poke around in the ruins. This was the germ for the story.
So Run’s target audience is mainly boys age 10 to 14?
Yes and no. It’s true that the protagonist and most of the secondary characters are boys, but I’ve received a number of rave reactions from tween and teen girls as well. In book two of the series, one of the girls from Run, Audrey, is a main character. And both women and men enjoy RUN, it brings a certain nostalgia I think.
How did you come up with the title for RUN?
I suppose most book titles go through a metamorphose, that was definitely true with Run. It started as “Dark Forest,” then, “The Plumber” and finally “RUN.” I was influenced by some other single word titles on the market, but I’d say the final inspiration just came to me. One of those God moments I think.
Run is the first book in your Intense Series. Tell us about the series.
Here is my description: Whether in his small town, in the wilderness, or in the tropics on vacation, danger stalks thirteen-year-old Tyler Higgins like mosquitoes after exposed skin. Don’t miss the prequel,Escape, Book Two, Chase and Book Three, Hyde, in the Intense Series, which combine teen issues like friendship, bullying, drug abuse, parental divorce and first crushes with heart pounding adventure and suspense. Join Tyler as he applies faith to life and goes nose to nose against the dark side of society.
When do you expect the next book to be released?
The prequel, ESCAPE is in what I hope is the final round of editing, and I expect it to be released in ebook version wihin the next 30 to 60 days. It is a novella, and will be offered for free to my special readers. Book 2, CHASE, is tentatively scheduled for January 2016.
How kids can find healthy friendships?
J. Kessler used to say “if you want a friend, be a friend.”
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves” (Philip 2:3 NLT).
This is the “lesson” Tyler learns throughout the book—his character arc.
How can parents help their kids find healthy friendships?
Connect to good church youth and children’s groups. If they don’t have one at your church, find one that does. Get involved with the programs. Create opportunities for your children to meet like minded kids and with similar interests. Other ideas are, Home School groups, athletic, music, drama, and other social organizations for kids.
BTW, if you’re on Goodreads, enter the drawing for one of 25 print copies to be given away. (USA only) Click RUN to enter.