You might not be aware of this, but I live amongst a house full of privateers. My young lads often sail imaginary seas on a hunt for swashbucklers. A time or two, I’ve had to carry a pile of laundry the long way around to the couch in order to avoid being pierced by dueling swords. It’s often a raucous home I live in, but yo-ho-ho! It’s the Mommy’s life for me.
These adventuresome young minds love a good yarn, they do, so I’m always on the lookout. And as Hurricane Sandy/Arctic current/Western snow storm all bear down on us at once, we’ll be looking for new tales to share by the light of the hurricane lamp. (Seriously. It’s a secret favorite thing of ours I’m letting you in on. Read-alouds are best by the light of the slow-burning wick).
This week, I’m particularly looking forward to Eddie Jones’s book, The Dead Man’s Hand, Book One in the Caden Chronicles. First of all, the book is family friendly. Second, I know Eddie’s heart for Truth. Third, I know he’s willing to toss topics out there which lead to great conversation. And finally, he’s a guy. There’s adventure in this tale, I’ll bet my parrot.
Since we haven’t read the book yet, I can’t give a review. But I do want you to have the opportunity to hear from Eddie Jones himself about the book, about his writing, and about his heart. Without further ado, let me welcome him.
Thanks for sharing today, Eddie!
Tell us about your upcoming release, Dead Man’s Hand, with Zondervan.
First, it’s a fun, fast read aimed for middle school boys, but we’re also getting nice reviews on Goodreads from teachers and mothers. But my aim is to give boys a book they can enjoy, one that taps into today’s fascination with the occult. This is the first book in the Caden Chronicles series, and each story involves one element of the supernatural. Book one explores the concept of ghosts, spirits and what happens to our souls when we die.
Zonderkidz is a Christian publisher, so the paranormal aspect is surprising.
I added the paranormal aspect because I want parents and youth to struggle with eternal questions. We’ve created such a culture of blood-letting through books and movies involving vampires, zombies and survival contests, that the reality of death doesn’t carry the sting it once did. In high school my youngest son lost several friends to driving accidents. When another friend recently died, we asked how he felt and he replied, “I’m numb to it.” I fear that’s what we’re doing with our youth: desensitizing them to the horrors of death. In Dead Man’sHand, Nick and his family discuss spirits and ghosts and the afterlife because I think it’s important for teens to wrestle with these questions before they’re tossed from a car and found dead on a slab of wet pavement.
Hm. I know understanding mortality and realizing we are created as eternal beings impacts how we live. Sounds like a great discussion starter. We’ll keep our Bible close by as we delve in. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write devotions. Don’t focus on the praise, book sales and reviews. Forget about trying to find an agent and editor. Once you’re successful, they’ll find you. Explore the wounds in your life and minister to others through your writing. If God allowed you to be hurt, you can speak to that with authority. The rest of us cannot. Ask yourself where your passions lie. I love surfing. If I could do anything, be anywhere, I’d be in a hut on a beach surfing a point break alone. I love playing and hate work. This is reflected in the types of books I write. I love pulling for the underdog, this comes out in the ministry God gave me. Only you can write the stories God dropped in your lap and if you do not, they will die.
Where can we find out more about you?
Please come find me on www.Eddiejones.org
Eddie is a North Carolina-based writer and Acquisition Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He is a three-time winner of the Delaware Writers Conference and his Middle Grade / Tween novel, The Curse of Captain LaFoote, won the 2012 Moonbeam Award in the Pre-Teen Fiction/Fantasy category and 2011 Selah Award in Young Adult fiction. He co-writes the He Said, She Said devotions, available at ChristianDevotions.us.