Monday, August 10, 2015

Motivate Kids to Read and Write!

with Guest Brock Eastman

I hated reading. I really didn’t enjoy writing, and my grades reflected it. I wasn’t exactly the prospect for becoming an author. Why did I need to read anyway when I had Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega Genesis? There was always a new Sonic game and a more enhanced Dr. Robotnik to beat. I’d sit for hours in my blue video rocker chair glued to that black controller, connected to my character through a five foot black chord.

Occasionally I’d venture outside with my friends, but that addictive little blue hedgehog always called me back. I remember one of my friends trying to get me to read Louis Lamoure, I think I made it halfway through a chapter. I’d skim the required reading books, and the grades on my book reports would prove it. In High School, my streak of ‘not reading’ continued and my writing reflected the minimum page or word count required to get a B or C.

It wasn’t until college that I read a book because I wanted to. The series I chose is the oft hated, but mostly beloved Harry Potter series. Now some of you reading this are already averting your eyes, and that’s okay; that’s your choice, like reading the books was mine. But let me tell you something the series did for me and many other kids like me; it got me excited about reading. We could debate the magic of the Harry Potter world as good, bad, etc. but the real magic about the books was the creative world that drew young readers in. My imagination was opened and the characters felt like friends. In fact, it inspired me to become a writer, which I now am. Before I talk about the writing thing, let’s take a bit of a tangent first.

Now why did I decide to pick this series up? Well I met this beautiful girl, and we challenged each other to see who could finish the entire book series first. The only title not out was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The only reason I was able to catch up to her was because we both had to wait for the release of the final book. So when it finally came out, we sat in a Borders bookstore (sadly they went the way of the dodo bird) and waited for the midnight release.

The next few days were devoted to reading as much as possible and I am proud to say I won. Now it is debated if my winning was completely above board or not and here is why. Early on in our competition, we went to a friend’s house for a nice home cooked Italian dinner. As we ate, I excused myself from the dinner table to use the restroom. As I passed my girlfriend’s purse I slipped out her copy of The Half Blood Prince and took it with me. Then I proceeded to read it for the next half hour, needless to say my absence in the restroom for so long, was causing everyone else some concern, but no one checked and I made quite a bit of ground on my reading. Now with that confession over, you can judge if I won or not. But I did indeed win in the long run, because the girl married me!

So Harry Potter inspired me to read and it also inspired me to write, but the writing thing is twofold. One I thought how cool would it be to create my very own world, or at least my very own characters. And two I want to write a book series that is a bit more ethical than Harry Potter. You see my real beef with the Harry Potter series is not the magic, because, sorry to burst your bubble, but magic isn’t real. My opposition to the series is the lack of an honorable hero. You see, though Harry appears to be a great hero, he sort of got there through a whole lot of lying, disobedience, and arrogance at times. To tell kids that Harry is a hero, when he overcame evil by committing many wrongs of his own, seems wrong. Sure little Billy, steal that candy bar as long as in the end you overcome a great trial. NO! WRONG!

I wanted to give readers characters they could really look up to, characters they could learn from and trust. Something else I wanted to do, specifically for The Quest for Truth, was provide a story without unnecessary death. This wasn’t in reflection of Harry Potter, but of many series for kids and young adults, and not just in the secular marketplace. How often do our kids read of a sword slicing through someone, or a gun fight? We probably wouldn’t let them watch it on TV, so why would we let them read it in a book?

So with the desire to provide authentic moralistic heroes and a storyline without unnecessary death, I began writing The Quest for Truth. And though this kid who hated reading and writing, hadn’t read anything until he was in college, and hadn’t written anything larger than a few thousand word research paper, wrote a 100,000 word manuscript with no prospect of getting it published. After all I was a college student in the middle of the cornfields of Illinois getting a degree in Marketing. It wasn’t until later that God opened up some pretty amazing doors.

The fact is God has His plans for us. Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) says; ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’

So what are you waiting for? You just read this nearly 1000 word article; go read some books. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to write some of your own!

As a thank you for taking time to read this article I wanted to offer a giveaway for a copy of Taken and Risk, the first two books in The Quest for Truth series. [Please let us know in the comments that you'd like to be entered. Winners will be announced in the Weekend Edition.] You can find the next two books of the series, Unleash and Tangle, online or at your local bookstore.

Also at this time Taken (book 1) is available for FREE on Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks. And the latest release, Tangle (book 4) is at a special price of $2.99 on Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks. So grab your copy now.

Brock Eastman

The Wikk kids have been separated on their quest to find humanity's home planet. Reunited with his parents, Mason makes new friends and clashes with old enemies on board the sinister Übel ship, the Black Ranger. Meanwhile, Oliver, Tiffany, and Austin race to rescue their friend Ashley from a toxic moon—and find themselves in more trouble than they'd bargained for.

Newly added from Brock who said: "This is how a kids' author takes their morning perk up…"


Missy Tippens said...

Welcome, Brock! We're glad to have you with us today.

For any late visitors, I've got some decaff coffee or tea for you. :)

Meghan Carver said...

Good morning, Brock! I just sent your free book to my 15yo's kindle. Thank you! I haven't read the Harry Potter series, so thank you for your analysis of its shortcomings. I've heard many voice a problem with the magic but never the lack of ethics. Keep up the good work! We definitely need good quality stories for our youth.

Thanks, Missy, for the coffee, but I think I''ll wait until morning. Judging by the late hour, I'll probably need the caffeine later. :-)

Missy Tippens said...

Meghan, I actually ended up having a late night root beer float! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Brock!!!! I'm a Closet Geek who loves fantasy and realm-building and dystopia but I'm stuck in a romance writer's body!!!! HELP!!!!!! :)

This sounds so fun! I love the moral aptitude aspect... and I'm not a Harry fan (one of the few who thought "Great kid's book!" and never read another one) but I loved the writing and Harry's choices didn't bother me at all. The kid had been kept in a closet for so long! He was a late bloomer on the conscience trail!

Anyway, these books look fascinating, and I'm so glad you're with us today! And congrats on marrying the girl. :) My romance loving side is happy about that.


Cindy W. said...

Good morning Brock! Thank you for your post. I have heard pros and cons about the Harry Potter books but if it brought a young man into the world or reading and writing then that is a good thing.

Your books sound like fun.

Have a blessed day!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Brock, welcome! This is so exciting. What a niche you are filling. So needed. The last time it was filled for this age group was the 80's with Frank Peretti. My non reader boys read all of his books.

So excited about your series!!!

Jackie said...

Good morning, Brock! Welcome to Seekerville. Thanks for sharing about your journey and thanks for writing great books that boys (and girls) will want to read.

Missy Tippens said...

The morning coffee and hot tea is now brewing. With caffeine this time. :)

Do any of you write young adult or kids' books? I told Brock I thought we might have a few who did or who had thought of doing so.

Missy Tippens said...

And I'm with Ruthy. I love that you got the girl--even if you did maybe cheat a little on the competition. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Cindy and Jackie, I'm glad you dropped by!

Vince said...

Hi Brock:


A young guy writer on Seekerville!
I don't think that has ever happened.
You're not a shapeshifter are you? : )

When I was in college, "The Lord of the Rings," was our "Harry Potter." Have you been influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien? And if you've read Tolkien, how did you take the ethics of that work?

Also, "The Hunger Games" is a rewrite of the myth of "The myth of Theseus". Is your series also based on a classical myth?

YA can mean so many things. What age group are you writing for? I've read that half the readers of YA are adults. What age are your primary characters?

Your covers are outstanding. Each tells a story like few covers ever do.

I know these are a lot of questions but I have no idea whence comes another author such as yourself.


P.S. I'm reading "Taken" now so please put me in the drawing for "Risk".

Brock Eastman said...

Thanks for grabbing a copy and please tell all your friends as well. As for Harry Potter, what you heard about the magic side, was all I heard about growing up. And caffeine is always a great thing.

Brock Eastman said...

Yes and don't get me wrong. My wife and I enjoyed the Harry Potter series, they sit on our shelf this very moment, and someday when my kiddos are old enough we will begin reading them aloud. I'm just ready to help them answer the ethical question along the way. I believe reading to kids is a hugely important aspect of parenting.

Brock Eastman said...

I agree. Harry Potter motivated me. More often then not those who have a negative outlook on the series haven't even read it. Thanks.

Brock Eastman said...

So not to toot a horn, but an eighth grade teacher called me the Frank Peretti for this generation and I wear that as a badge of honor. I love the Cooper Kid series. I hope you'll grab a free copy of Taken.

Brock Eastman said...

Thank you, what a pleasure to be here.

Brock Eastman said...

My coffee is going too!

Brock Eastman said...

And she has forgiven me, but she and I still remain competitive.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi BROCK, Thanks for joining us today in Seekerville. As VINCE said, a young male is a rare and fun treat for all of us romance writers. It is always refreshing to get a male point of view added to the mix. smile

I so wish you had been around when I was teaching junior high reading. It was so difficult to find good clean books for the boys. Our district insisted on G - rated books for the students and you can imagine how difficult that was to find any. So congrats on the success of your series and thanks again for sharing with us today.

kaybee said...

"Harry" never claimed to be Christian, and we need to take that into account and enjoy or ignore the books for what they are. "Twilight" got a lot of teens to read, and those kids aren't exactly role models either. It's like TV. If you watch something dicey with your kid and discuss it, they may look at it through different eyes. And if you read alongside them, assuming you have a child to read with, you can discuss ethical questions in a Christian context. Scarlett O'Hara was hardly a role model either.
My daughters' generation devoured "The Baby-Sitters' Club." Which is not timeless literature going down through the ages, but it got them to read.
And reading begets reading. There's a wonderful series of books for middle readers, the "Magic" stories by Edward Eager, that were popular in the 1950s and still available online. One of them, "Knight's Castle," took four children on a journey through a toy castle that came alive at night and they went on an adventure with the characters from "Ivanhoe." My younger daughter read "Knight's Castle" in third grade and it inspired her to read the real "Ivanhoe." In.Third.Grade. NEVER underestimate the power of a book to do anything.
Brock, may God bless you, we need more Christian writers for teens, you are going to have a wonderful career. Please enter me in drawing.
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...

SANDRA, I'm so glad your district insisted on wholesome books. It's different today and if you say anything someone is going to scream "Censorship!"

Jeanne T said...

I loved reading this post. And my boys read and LOVED Taken. As a former teacher, I've found that when a child (most often boys) find a book or a series that ignites their passion for reading, it can unlock a life-long love of reading. I'm just sorry that didn't happen for you until college. But, now you're a reader and a successful writer. What a great story. :)

Please enter me into the drawing for your books. My boys would love to have them. :)

Mary Connealy said...

Brock, I bought Taken and I'm going to tell my daughter to get it, too. She's a huge fantasy fan and always looking for a new author.
I love that you've made your hero honorable. I can't wait to read it.
I love your journey from video games to writer, too.
I'm a big Harry Potter fan, too.

Kav said...

Oh Kaybee, I love Edward Eager books!!!!! Loved Knight's Castle and Half Magic and all the rest. Only seven that I know of. Was so thrilled when they reissued them a few years ago. I bought them for my school library. Nothing like a timeless children's classic. Blissful sigh.

Love Harry Potter -- warts an all. Such an incredible tale of good and evil and, honestly, I don't mind a flawed character. Much more realistic. Also opens great possibilities for discussion and I love a good book talk.

I'm also a YA fan so excited to hear about your series.

Mary Connealy said...

PS I always saw Harry Potter as a great battle of good against evil. It never bothered me with the magic because, as Brock mentioned, Magic isn't real.

And the other thing it always compared to in my mind is Tom Sawyer. These kids, Tom and Huck and Becky vs Harry and Ron and Hermione, always into mischief, always getting more trouble than they bargained for, always avoiding adults so they are only back ground in the story.

Missy Tippens said...

Kathy B, you made some good points! I think it can be great to read books with the kids so you can discuss the actions of the characters.

I've got you entered!

Missy Tippens said...

Jeanne T, science fiction did that for my son when he was in middle school--specifically Ender's Game that a man at the bookstore recommended to him. Now he's a voracious reader!!

Missy Tippens said...

Mary, your comment reminded me that my son, the big reader now, was a huge video gamer. Of course, that didn't stop when he got into reading. He began splitting his time. LOL

Missy Tippens said...

Kav, flawed characters don't bother me either, as long as they grow and change.

But I guess here's where I have to admit I've never read the Harry Potter books! My kids have and have begged me to read along with them, but it seemed I always had another book going. I did love the movies, though!

I look forward to reading Brock's books! I'm a big YA reader.

Julie Lessman said...

Who needs caffeine with Brock Eastman in the house???

WOW ... I felt adrenaline pumping through my veins like high-octane coffee while reading this blog, so I can only imagine how your books read, Brock, but I guess I'm going to find out since I just downloaded Taken. Thank you!!

WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, BROCK!! As a diehard Peretti fan of the 80s, I'm thrilled to see books like yours available for young people (and old) to enjoy. With all the garbage out there for kids to read, we definitely need more books like yours, so thanks for filling the gap in a wonderful way.

Who needs coffee after this? Not me!!


Missy Tippens said...

Sandra, I didn't remember that you taught middle school! What fun!

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Julie! You can have some of my decaff from earlier. :)

Janet Dean said...

Brock, Welcome to Seekerville! Fun to see books changed your life--not just giving you a career but also a wife. :-) Now you're a writer who creates characters kids can identify with and look up to. Go you!

You're smart to read aloud to your kids. I was a teacher, then substitute taught for a few years. Upon occasion a teacher left instructions to read to her class after lunch, the perfect transition from recess to classwork. The kids really got into the story.

Can you share some of the doors God opened?


Missy Tippens said...

Janet, I always loved reading to my kids each night. And when I was a substitute elementary school teacher, I loved reading to the kids. They got into it so much!

Janet Dean said...

Brock, sometimes males are slower to appreciate books. My dh read magazines when we first married, then later biographies, which he still enjoys, but once he started reading fiction, he no longer nods off over an open book. YA books are giving boys a jump start or so I hope.


Myra Johnson said...

Welcome, Brock! Your novels sound like something my middle-school-age grandson might enjoy! He also loves writing his own crazy-wild stories, which makes this author/grandmother very proud indeed. The more we can encourage reading, creativity, and imaginative thinking in the younger generation, the better!

Janet Dean said...

Missy, When our girls were little, I made up stories with animals I named after them. They'd grin and giggle. Who doesn't love to be the heroine of a story? I'm guessing kids identify with the YA heroes, the reason its important to have stories like Brock's.

Do you enjoy audio books as much as I do?


Brock Eastman said...

@Vince thanks for having me. I've read all but the final book in Lord of the Rings. And perhaps I missed things, but if a character was on the wrong path they were often corrected and might fail to accomplish their goal without corrective action. Those who followed the wrong path found themselves with undesirable consequences.

My series is not based on anything. It's my imagination collecting ideas from my lifetime of experiences, movies, books, and somehow formulating them all into a story. When God created us He gave us an amazing mind.

I actually have series for all ages of kids:
Sages of Darkness: 14 and Up
The Quest for Truth: 8 to 14
The Imagination Station: 6 to 9
Hippopolis: preschool

I try to keep as busy as possible. Someday I hope to write or co-write an adult novel, but for my stage in life kids' fiction makes the most sense.

The covers were done by Brandon Dorman, check out his site. He's done amazing work for many other well known series: Fablehaven, Goosebumps, and most recently Land of Stories.

Also since you're reading Taken now, you may want to grab a copy of Tangle (Book 4) it's only $2.99 for the moment.

Brock Eastman said...

@Sandra thanks for having me. Yes G rated was one of my focus for the series, and not just because of Harry Potter. I joke when I speak at school, that I cant even watch a good show on television, for fear a CSI commercial will pop on while my kids are in the room. We take death for entertainment so often these days, that if people took a moment to ponder what actually happens when someones dies, they might stop from flashing it on every commercial. It's sad how little entertainment values life. None of that exists in my book, because I believe you can entertain and have action without death. After you've read the series, let me know if you think I've accomplished that. I would love to get feedback.

Connie Queen said...

I enjoyed reading your journey as an unlikely author. I too never read that much growing up.I'd rather be outside doing something than laying in bed like my sisters reading books. BORING!

When I was about 30 my husband brought home a book for me read. I don't read those. But I picked up it, read it, and was hooked.

I tried Harry Potter but just couldn't get into it. LOL.
I love that you take out the unnecessary junk in your stories. That's one of my biggest complaints of movies/books for kids now days. They're not for kids.

I'd love to be entered in your giveaway. I think my boys would love your books.

Brock Eastman said...

@Kaybee I agree with you. You're right Harry never claimed to be a Christian and as far as I know, neither has J.K. Rowling. And so I agree with you, and when I finally got to college and read the series I loved the books and plan to read them with my kids as well. It's disappointing how some simply wrote off Harry Potter because of what they heard about it. I think the best way to know if a series if right for your family is for the parent to read it first and determine if it fits. Unique at the time, well written, and fun characters, Harry Potter was influential in my wanting to write. Only mean to say that we should think about the series we vault upward for our kids, what is it we want them to learn, and what morals and ethics do we want to teach. The key to me is being intentional.

Onto Twilight, I never read the books, not because of what was contained, but because well I'm not the target audience and after a few chapters in I was well bored/ However I have watched all the movies and enjoyed the stories. In fact they were the reason I wrote Sages of Darkness: HowlSage.

I'm a daddy of Four and my 5 year old is already reading at a second grade level. I'm a bit proud of that, but I believe it's because my wife and I are intentional about reading together.

Brock Eastman said...

@Jeanne T YEAH! Thanks. Have they had a chance to read the other books in the series? What were there thoughts? I love hearing from readers.

Brock Eastman said...

@Mary Connealy thank you so much. I hope you all enjoy it! And while my characters are honorable, they do indeed have flaw and you see how they must work through those early on. :) Thank you.

Brock Eastman said...

@Kav thanks! Now that you've both recommended Edward Eager I have added him to my Amazon wishlist :) an't wait to hear your thoughts on the books.

Brock Eastman said...

@Julie Lessman WOW! Honored. I hope you do indeed. I've had more than a few angry kids, because they get so caught up into the action, and then are waiting for the next book. AHHHH. I can't write fast enough. And Julie if you read Taken and you feel the same way as you do about the blog post, please shoot me an endorsement to TheQuestforTruthBooks (a) gmail (dot) com.

Brock Eastman said...

@Julie Lessman would mind me sharing this comment on my facebook?

Brock Eastman said...

@Janet Dean, well this is probably another whole story about God's amazing plan. Maybe Missy will let me return. :)

Brock Eastman said...

@Myra Johnson I sure hope he does enjoy them. And that is wonderful, so my five year old is always coming up with stories. I make tons of notes so someday we can work on some of them together!

Brock Eastman said...

@Janet I love audio books because I can listen to a story while doing manual type work; yard work, finishing our basemenet, the dishes, cleaning the house, etc.

Brock Eastman said...

@Connie thank you. And grab Taken for free while you can!!

Missy Tippens said...

Janet, I've done a few audio books. I used to listen to them while on the treadmill. But I'm way more visual than auditory. I tend to get distracted when someone is reading something to me--especially when my daughter is reading math homework problems!

Missy Tippens said...

Myra, that's so cool that your grandson writes stories! I've always tried to get my middle son (the only reader of my three kids) to write stories. But he's never shown an interest. I think he doesn't want to take time away from reading. LOL Of course, he's in college studying physics now so not much time for either. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Connie Q. that's a good point. So many YA books are written "up" to appeal to older kids and adults.

Brock, I do love that you don't include all the death. I think kids get desensitized from the violence on TV and in books and video games.

Missy Tippens said...

Yes, Brock, we'll be sure to have you back!

Debby Giusti said...

Brock, you've brought a lot of buzz! to Seekerville! Enjoyed your backstory...and the covers and blurb for your books. Plus, you provided a touch of romance. What's not to love!!!

I'm downloading TAKEN for myself and alerting my daughter to get a copy for my middle school grand.

Unlocking a child's love of books is a huge talent. Seems you have the right mix to keep kids turning the pages. Congrats on your success.

So glad Missy invited you to be with us today! It's hot in Georgia so I've brought iced tea with lemon and chicken salad sandwiches for a light lunch. Enjoy!

DebH said...

hi Brock
very cool story about how you went from "books? *meh*" to YA author. very cool.

I'm a lover of YA books even though I'm way, way beyond YA. One of the "newer" series I've collected is John Flanagan's Ranger Apprentice series. Good series, but a good bit of the death factor. I've not thought deeply about death in literature, but I like your take on it and look forward to reading your books and then passing them along to my five year old (who only reads at K level, but then, I haven't been really good at sitting with him of late with his favorite books). I've downloaded Taken and Tangle - would love to be in the draw for Risk.

I liked the Harry Potter books because they were well written. No real desire to re-visit them and haven't read the last book yet (not sure why...). I also liked them because they got kids hooked on reading.

I've toyed with the idea of writing YA because I like world building, but I'm sort of still figuring out what I'm going to be when I grow up *heh* (after 25+ years as a graphic artist/animator). I enjoyed your visit to Seekerville and hope to "see" you here again in the future. Hopefully I'll be able to say my little guy is reading your books all by himself by then.

Myra Johnson said...

I am a huge, huge, HUGE fan of Tolkien and the hobbit stories! Since first being introduced to the books while in high school, I've since read all four novels (The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy) at least three or four times over my lifetime. I still have my original paperback copies from the 1960s, now VERY fragile and yellowed with age. And we own all the Peter Jackson DVDs and watch them again and again. Just finished another round last week!

Jennifer Smith said...

Brock, I've heard about these books on ads while listening to Adventures in Odyssey, but I haven't had the pleasure of reading one yet! I'd love to be entered in the drawing. I have a three-year-old boy who loves me to read to him, and I'm hoping that love for reading stays with him as he grows up. I'm glad you were able to find a series that inspired you to read -- and write. :)

Jeri Hoag said...

Brock, you gave me hope for my 13 year old son. He is exactly the way you were as a kid. He likes books only if I read to him and I still read to him at night. I do struggle to find the appropriate books and so far he has only like the Percy Jackson series. I'm hoping he might like yours and I will feel better about the books too. Thanks again for this post.

Jeri Hoag
Buena Park, CA

Brock Eastman said...

@Debby Giusti I try to entertain, motivate, and I drink a lot of coffee!! Yes romance is really always a good thing, there is even a string in The Quest for Truth between two characters, as well as a lot of pointing at the parents past stories. :)

Brock Eastman said...

@DebH AWESOME! And your little guy will. My four year old hasn't take on the same love as her older sister yet. Thanks for the encouragement and I can't wait to hear what you think about the series. The last book, well it was harder for me to get through than the others, some of it felt a bit convenient. :)

Brock Eastman said...

@Myra Johnson I was totally watching the 3 Hobbit movies the other day. I have since converted my DVDs to Digital via VUDU. It's great, now I can watch them on any of my devices anywhere and it was only like a $1 to do it and it's legal.

Brock Eastman said...

@Jennifer Smith yes the series is co-published with Focus on the Family and I worked at Focus on the Family for 7 6 years on Adventures in Odyssey.

Janet Dean said...

Missy, I love to listen to audio books in the car when my dh and I are on a long trip, but finding something we both want to hear is the trick. :-)


Brock Eastman said...

@Jeri Hoag GREAT! That's what I want to do. I think when I was younger I was a bit intimidated by the size of the books to be honest, I didn't have a lot of confidence in my ability. Once I got going the world was wide open to me. And yes I have read Percy Jackson, great series, well written. Though I think all the extensions to the series might be screaming CASH COW. Though that's a bit with all the series and movies of late, final book in: Hunger Games, Divergent, Harry Potter all being split into two movies, and the Hobbit into three. SAY WHAT?

Janet Dean said...

Brock, I'm sure we all would love to see God's promise of Jeremiah 29:11 wearing your skin.


Jeanne T said...

Missy—My oldest wants to read Ender's Game. I didn't encourage it when he was younger, but now that he's heading into seventh grade, I'm thinking he might be ready for the content.

BROCK—they haven't read the rest, but my oldest has been saying he wants to get the other books. So . . . I imagine we'll be making a trip to the bookstore soon. :) He's excited to know there are FOUR books now. :) I showed him your picture on this post this morning, and he liked putting a face to the name on the cover. ;)

Brock Eastman said...

@Jeanne T best time to start the series, just one book left and I'm starting writing it now!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, Brock,

Goodness, I'm honored that you're honored, so we have a mutual honored society going on here, it seems! ;)

Share away! Meant every single word.

Will let you know what I think after I read it, okay?

And, Missy, I'm already sucking down cups of my own decaf today, but soooooo sluggish today, I'm thinking of going for the real thing shortly. Or rereading Brock's blog ... ;)


Myra Johnson said...

Brock, we hold out for the extended editions after every Hobbit movie so we can get all the special features. We enjoy watching the behind-the-scenes and how-it-was-made documentaries almost as much at the actual movies!

Now I'm getting excited about the next Star Wars installments!

Missy Tippens said...

Deb H, that's fun that your son is reading. It does seem harder to get the boys to do so. I just so happened that my daughter isn't a big reader, although she reads a little in the summers. Time to kick it in gear, though, now that she's going off to college!

Missy Tippens said...

Jennifer, it's great that your 3 year old loves you to read to him! Bed time reading was always my favorite time of the day. Although sometimes I'd start falling asleep, especially if I was letting one of them do the reading! LOL

Missy Tippens said...

Jeri, like I said, i think my son really took off with his reading at about that age when someone recommended Ender's Game. So you never know! Once they find something that really clicks, then I think they get hooked. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Brock, thanks for the info on VUDU!

Missy Tippens said...

Jeanne, unfortunately I can't give an age recommendation since I haven't read it. I probably should have vetted it before my son read it! LOL

Kathryn Barker said...

Monday, Monday so good to me...(Anyone remember The Mamas & the Papas?)

What a fantastic journey Brock! So delighted you shared. I'm sure you are encouraging many parents today!

Thanks also for the Free offer of Taken...I, too, downloaded and can't wait to read it!

Wishing all of you a tea-lightful day!!

Pam Hillman said...

Brock, it's great to have you in Seekerville. Welcome!

I laughed about the "toed" coffee cup. Oh well, I shouldn't laugh. I used to have one that had one with cowboys and horses lassoed top and bottom with ceramic "rope", so if I can proudly declare my genre, you can too! :)

And creating our own story-world, our own characters, being in CHARGE (mostly, until the characters break out and go wild) of everything that goes on. Maybe THAT's the draw to writing.

We're just bossy. Right, Ruthy?

Barbara Scott said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Brock!

I have a confession to make. I tried reading Harry Potter. I really did. But it just didn't hold my interest. I finally gave up after the first several chapters. Not that I don't like fantasy or science fiction. When I was younger I read the Dragon Riders series, and I was a Dune fanatic.These days, I'm all about historical romance.

Hope TAKEN sells a gazillion copies!

Myra Johnson said...

Barbara, I read the first Harry Potter book to see what the hype was all about, but wasn't really interested in reading the rest. However, I've seen all the movies (mostly because our grandsons were really into them for a while) and actually enjoyed them.

The Artist Librarian said...

Brock, thanks for sharing your story. It reminds me of my sister, who disliked reading until she discovered Nancy Drew books in 4th grade. I am absolutely convinced the reason why I do well in school is because I never lost the love of reading. My mother is a reader and never limited how much fiction I could read. As a future librarian, that's one thing I really want to provide for kids (and adults) --a place for them to nurture that love of reading.

Christian Juvenile fiction is one area I'm not quite familiar with. It seems like fantasy is kind of a large portion of it, but was it hard to publish your novel? What seems to be the trends in Christian J-fic?

Re: Ender's Game

I just finished the novel last month for my YA Literature class. I was a bit surprised at some of the language that supposed 6 year olds were using, but in a middle school, I'm guessing you might hear similar? No F-bombs that I can recall but stuff like "rhymes with witch." However, it was an intriguing novel that wrestles with concepts and ideas that gets the reader thinking (e.g. ideas on war, morality, technology, militaristic training, psychology of child soldiers, etc.)

I really like encouraging parents to read what their children are reading and discuss it together and if so, I would consider letting my hypothetical 7th grade son read it. You know your child best, so if you have the time to read it, you can gauge for yourself --sometimes you can do that based on reviews, but reviewers can often take things out of context. I also believe the novel has been on middle (and high) school reading lists, though the author never originally intended the novel to be YA/young adult. =)

The Artist Librarian said...

Oops, please enter me in the drawing as well. ;-)

Missy Tippens said...

Kathryn, I'm glad you dropped by!

Missy Tippens said...

Pam, you'll have to share that mug sometime. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Barbara, once I got bitten by the romance bug, I haven't looked back. :)

Missy Tippens said...

A.L., thanks for your input as a future librarian! I'm jealous of that YA lit class!! I would love that. In fact, I think I would enjoy being a perpetual student. I love online classes.

Chill N said...

Hi Brock! Thanks for the inspiring, reassuring, and entertaining post. So glad to find out about what you're writing. Honorable flawed heroes. May their numbers grow.

Thanks for the free download (and thanks for making it available on iBooks -- competition is a good thing, ya know?).

Best wishes for your writing.

Nancy C

Mary Connealy said...

Love the creepy coffee cup, Brock!

My favorite coffee cup says:

Keep Clam

Sadly it took me a few days to get the joke.

I need an editor for every moment of my life.

Missy Tippens said...

Glad you stopped by, Nancy!

Mary, you got me on that one. I almost made fun of you for messing up.

Duh. I'm a little slow today. LOL

Sarah Claucherty said...

Mary C, I love your coffee cup! I need a writerly mug someday...I keep seeing different ones online and loving them LOL

Missy Tippens said...

Sarah, I'd love a fun, new mug, too. For now, I'm loving my Life Is Good ones. They're so nice and heavy, like old diner coffee cups.

Janet Ferguson said...

Good for you, Brock! As a former high school librarian, I loved finding the right book to help a teen fall in love with reading. I was so happy, too, when I'd find a great, clean story! Loved reading Stephen Lawhead, Heather Burch, Bryan Davis, Melanie Dickerson, Donita K. Paul, and so many more while on that quest! Blessings as you write!

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

Brock I just loved your story. I have a lot of friends who fell in love with reading because of the same series. How awesome for you that it engaged your desire to write and won you a fabulous wife!

Now that mug...THAT is killer!

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

This is so fun!! (Especially that mug...)

Welcome to Seekerville!

Sorry to be late to the party but WTG on the "why" you write what you do.
Yes to creating worlds/stories where REAL Truth is evident.
Please enter me in the drawing. Looking forward to reading your books, Brock.
Thank you for writing them.

And congrats on getting the girl. That's always important in a good story, no?!

Kelly Bridgewater said...

Brock, you're blog post inspired me. I have an eighth grader who hates to read. Getting him to read for school is like pulling teeth. As an avid reader who reads six books a week, I don't understand this. But I will keep praying for him to learn to grow and find something that will spark his interest in reading. He loves the Harry Potter movies, but I can't get him to read the book. I even tried the contest with him to see if he could read all the Harry Potter books before me. I told him I would start AFTER he finished The Order of the Phoenix. No go!

I would live to win the first two books in your series and pass them onto my son. God bless!

Deanna Stevens said...

Love the cup,, what a fun way to start a day!
Your books sound like something my grandson would enjoy! & I think maybe his dad too :)

Sierra Faith said...

I love that mug!

I would love to be entered in the giveaway! Thanks for the chance :)

Danielle Hull said...

We'd love to win these! I'm always looking for good books that are safe for the whole family!

Missy Tippens said...

Janet, Kelly Blackwell and KC, glad you dropped by! Deanne, Sierra and Danielle, same for you!

Kelly Bridgewater, I hope your son learns to love reading like you do. :)