Addicted to YA discussion

370 views
Author Features > May 2018 Author Feature: J.G. McKenney

Comments Showing 1-50 of 101 (101 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3

message 1: by Nikki, Eragon Bookslayer (new)

Nikki Sojkowski (NikkiSoj) | 1491 comments Mod
Hello Addicted to YA!

Our May guest for Addicted to YA’s author feature is J.G. McKenney! Let’s have a warm Addicted to YA welcome for him here on this thread!!


Author Bio: J.G. (John) McKenney is a writer and teacher. For his first novel, EON'S DOOR, he received the 2012 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award, and was also a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award.


Book Series Name: The Book Knights




Book Description: From the award winning author of EON'S DOOR comes an Arthurian tale like no other.

When her parents are condemned to death by Morgan Fay for the crime of reading, Arti Penderhagen becomes a fugitive. Hunted by Mordred, the sadistic police captain who recites poetry to enhance his physical strength, Arti escapes to the Isle of Avalon, a sanctuary for outlaws. There she meets an old librarian named Merl who tells her about the Grail Tome, an ancient book in Morgan Fay's possession that can alter the course of history. Can Arti steal the book in time to save her family?

THE BOOK KNIGHTS is a fantasy adventure in which knights wield words as weapons, librarians are wizards, and books can change the future.




Q&A

Do you have a Guilty Pleasure book?
No.

What is your favorite quote?
“If you're going through hell, keep going.”
- Winston Churchill

What is your favorite movie and why?
The Fellowship of the Ring. I'm amazed at how well Peter Jackson captured the wonder of Tolkien's Middle Earth. It swept me away.

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
Fantasy...and fantasy.

Which authors inspire you?
Tolkien, Orwell, Kay, Rothfuss, Pullman, and so many others.

What is the best part about being an author?
Having a reader enjoy exploring a world you've created.

Give us an insight into your main character. What do they do that is so special?
She realizes what kind of world she wants to live in--and makes it happen.

What was the hardest thing about writing your last book?
Giving it the time it deserved.




Catch up with J.G. McKenney and find out more info at the Links below!

Amazon Link| Goodreads Link | Author Website



**GIVEAWAY**

J.G. and Addicted to YA are hosting a paperback giveaway for 3 copies of The Book Knights (open to U.S., Canada, and the U.K.)

To enter all you have to do is be a member of our group and have participated in this author feature post, here is the link to:

Our Rafflecopter giveaway



message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy | 4 comments This book sounds amazing!!


message 3: by Chase (new)

Chase | 14 comments J. G.

How did you get started writing? And do you write every day as so many learn how to write blogs suggest aspiring writers do?


message 4: by Upasna (new)

Upasna (bassiupasna) | 1 comments What would you suggest to someone who loves to read and some day aspires of penning down their own world?


message 5: by Kaya (new)

Kaya | 65 comments What inspired the Arthurian retelling? And how did you balance your own ideas with the original story?


message 6: by Silver (new)

Silver (Silverbookworm) | 2 comments Do you prefer Dragons or Phoenixes?


message 7: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Hi Chase,

I was teaching high school English, and I really enjoyed sharing my love of books with students. I thought I'd try writing my own and quickly realised how difficult a task that was. But I stuck it out and completed my first novel, EON'S DOOR. I actually had a few of my grade nine students read an early draft and write book reports, telling them it was by a local author who wanted feedback. Luckily, they really enjoyed it. Then I told them that I wrote it and they were shocked! It was a moment I'll always remember.

I have a full-time job, so I find it hard to write every day. I used to feel guilty that I wasn't writing enough, but I've come to understand that you can only do what you can do; you just have to stay with it and finish the job. Having said that, I constantly think about my work in progress and make copious notes (ideas, dialogue, plot twists, etc.) that I can refer to when I sit down at the computer.


message 8: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Upasna wrote: "What would you suggest to someone who loves to read and some day aspires of penning down their own world?"

I say do it! Just start with a scene, and don't fret over where it's going or how good it seems. Writing is a craft; you're going to suck at it when you start. Write the parts of your story that excite you and then think of a way to piece things together into a bigger story. Think about where you want to take the reader and go for it. Writing a book can be overwhelming. If you can master a sentence, then a paragraph, then a page, you're on your way. If you like what you've written, someone else will.

And read. A lot! Great authors are your professors, their books are your classrooms.


message 9: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Kaya wrote: "What inspired the Arthurian retelling? And how did you balance your own ideas with the original story?"

I started with the idea that books are our greatest treasure, our Holy Grail, and I wondered what would happen if someone tried to steal the power of words from us. I saw parallels with the Arthur legends, so I started to build on that. Balancing the ideas was difficult but fun. It allowed me to be really creative, and I enjoyed it immensely.


message 10: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 1 comments J.G.

That’s so cool that you got to experience that feedback from your students! Did you always know that writing was something that you wanted to actively pursue?


message 11: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Lindsay wrote: "J.G.

That’s so cool that you got to experience that feedback from your students! Did you always know that writing was something that you wanted to actively pursue?"


Yes, deep down I guess I knew I was a writer. When I was in grade 5, I wrote a Peanuts-like comic series and I continued to write adventure stories and school scripts from then on.
It wasn't until I was well into my teaching career that I actually took the leap and started writing a book. I was in my 40s! Which goes to show that we are all different; there are no rules. I hate it when I hear someone claim that to be a writer you must start by a certain age. As long as you have a passion for it and you are dedicated to honing your craft, you can start any time.


message 12: by Kate (new)

Kate | 4 comments Do you find that the feedback from students is useful or can it be confusing as students can often have multiple and varied opinions?


message 13: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Kate wrote: "Do you find that the feedback from students is useful or can it be confusing as students can often have multiple and varied opinions?"

I think students are just like everyone else; older readers' opinions seem to vary just as much, in my experience. One only needs to read reviews here on Goodreads to see how one person's view of a book can be the exact opposite of another. Having said that, students may be more susceptible to peer pressure, not wanting to oppose the views of others for fear of being judged. But I still think young people have an honesty that is refreshing.


message 14: by Teri (new)

Teri | 44 comments Beautiful cover - perfect for the storyline!


message 15: by Ana (new)

Ana (Anasbest) I’ve never read the book what is it about?


message 16: by Mariam (new)

Mariam (falloutmariam) | 1 comments Definitely going to read this - sounds really interesting!


message 17: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Teri wrote: "Beautiful cover - perfect for the storyline!"

Thanks, Teri. Ivan Zanchetta did the cover. He's very talented. I'm really happy with it.


message 18: by J.G. (last edited May 01, 2018 10:34AM) (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Ana wrote: "I’ve never read the book what is it about?"

It's a re-telling of the King Arthur legend, but with a young female protagonist in a dystopian society.
The description is above.


message 19: by J.G. (last edited May 01, 2018 10:34AM) (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Mariam wrote: "Definitely going to read this - sounds really interesting!"

I hope you like it, Mariam. I'm giving away three paperback copies. Good luck!


message 20: by Oliver (new)

Oliver | 10 comments This book looks so cool, I can't wait to read it!


message 21: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Silver wrote: "Do you prefer Dragons or Phoenixes?"

Sorry, I missed this question. To be honest, I haven't put a lot of thought into it. Both appeal to me, literally and symbolically.


message 22: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Bell | 1 comments Such an interesting spin on an old tale, it sounds amazing! Is it going to be a series? Oh, how I love a good King Arthur tale!


message 23: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Amy wrote: "This book sounds amazing!!"

Thanks, Amy. I hope you give it a try and it doesn't disappoint.


empirestatebookshelf Is it harder to write a story that is a retelling or a story that isn’t? I love retellings so I’ll have to check this one out!


message 25: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Nicole wrote: "Such an interesting spin on an old tale, it sounds amazing! Is it going to be a series? Oh, how I love a good King Arthur tale!"

It has series potential, and I've done some preliminary work on a second book in the series. The epilogue will give you a sense of where the story might go (no spoilers!).


message 26: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments empirestatebookshelf wrote: "Is it harder to write a story that is a retelling or a story that isn’t? I love retellings so I’ll have to check this one out!"

I think it is and it isn't. It's harder because you have some restrictions in order to make the story truly a retelling. But it also gives you a framework from which to build your story and reach out. I tried to make my book original in its spin (if that makes sense), a story that will be identifiable, but also surprise and work on its own merits.


message 27: by Susan (new)

Susan (jazzescrapper) | 225 comments I can't wait to read your book! I have only in the last year or so been introduced to fantasy and I can't believe I never thought I would like to read things that were unrealistic but thanks to my daughter I found out how wrong I was.

My question is for my daughter. She wrote a partial book for her senior project in 2008 and her English teacher loved her story and the concept and even went on to write her and tell her she needed to have her book published (which she has never done) This teacher also said she would never write that to a student if she didn't think the student and the book didn't have potential.
What type of advice would you give my daughter to get her to finish the story and see if she could get her book published? We have talked about it many times and she wants to one day finish and send out her book but she doesn't know where to begin to send it and to whom she should send it too. Any advice I could give her would be so appreciated. Thank you


message 28: by Laura (new)

Laura Holt | 48 comments Ooo, I love Arthurian Lore, and this one sounds super cool!


message 29: by Violet H. (new)

Violet H. (FireBlack_Shadow) | 446 comments This sounds very very interesting. :) Dying to read this amazing book!!!


message 30: by J.G. (last edited May 01, 2018 10:51AM) (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Susan wrote: "I can't wait to read your book! I have only in the last year or so been introduced to fantasy and I can't believe I never thought I would like to read things that were unrealistic but thanks to my ..."

I think it's great your daughter loves writing and has shown so much talent! Getting a book out into the world is a pretty involved process, but I'll touch on the key steps.

My first piece of advice is for her to finish writing the book (most people don't finish writing what they started). When she thinks she's done, she should be able to honestly say to herself that it is nearing the quality and completeness she's seen in other books that she's read and enjoyed. At this point, she'll need to share it with others who will give her constructive criticism that will help point out weaknesses and provide suggestions for improvement. We call these beta readers, and they must be chosen carefully. The worst thing that can happen to an emerging writer is to have her work attacked by critics who don't have her best interests at heart. At the same time, beta readers must be knowledgeable. Forums like AbsoluteWrite have beta readers offering their services for free. But again, they must be chosen carefully.

Once the beta readers have read the book and your daughter has addressed common concerns and improved the manuscript, acquiring the services of a qualified editor is imperative. An editor can look at the overall story and quality of writing, and provide feedback, or she can provide very detailed notes on every page of the manuscript. The more work the editor is asked to do, the more it will cost. It is worth every penny. I've used the services of Mary Kole and been happy with her work. There are other fine editors out there.

After reviewing the editor's notes and doing more revisions, your daughter will have to decide how she wants to publish her book. She can self-publish, using services like KDP Amazon (Kindle ebooks) and CreateSpace (paperbacks). This route means she'll have to have the book free of errors. If she wants to pursue traditional publishing, she'll need to acquire an agent, something that can be as hard as writing the book! This approach requires querying agents who represent the kind of book your daughter has written, describing what the story's about. There is an art to writing a query letter, and you can get help from (and hire) people who are good at this.

I'll stop there. You can find a lot of information on line about self-publishing and traditional publishing. I know this all sounds daunting, and it is, but if your daughter really wants to write books, she'll find her way. I wish her the best of luck!


message 31: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Laura wrote: "Ooo, I love Arthurian Lore, and this one sounds super cool!"

Thanks, Laura. Lovers of Arthurian legend have really enjoyed it. I hope you do, too.


message 32: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Janvi wrote: "This sounds very very interesting. :) Dying to read this amazing book!!!"

Thanks, Janvi. I hope it meets your expectations.


message 33: by Mandie (new)

Mandie | 2 comments This book sounds amazing! Do you write any other genres?


message 34: by Chevron (new)

Chevron | 8 comments This definitely sounds interesting.


message 35: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Mandie wrote: "This book sounds amazing! Do you write any other genres?"

I've only written YA fantasy, so far. In the future I may take a stab at literary fiction, another genre I'm drawn to.


message 36: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Chevron wrote: "This definitely sounds interesting."

Thanks, Chevron. I hope you'll give it try.


message 37: by Aqsa (new)

Aqsa (Her_747) | 3 comments Beautiful Cover and Amazing Description! Sounds great!!


message 38: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Aqsa wrote: "Beautiful Cover and Amazing Description! Sounds great!!"

Thanks, Aqsa.


message 39: by Faith (new)

Faith (BookSelf ~ You Are What You Read) (faithm99) This sounds totally awesome and very unique!


message 40: by Susan (new)

Susan (jazzescrapper) | 225 comments Thank you so much for your help and I am linking this page to her now so she can read all you just told me. What great information and I really appreciate your feedback.


message 41: by Aqsa (new)

Aqsa (Her_747) | 3 comments J.G. wrote: "Aqsa wrote: "Beautiful Cover and Amazing Description! Sounds great!!"

Thanks, Aqsa."


I am gonna give the giveaway a try!


message 42: by Aaliyah (new)

Aaliyah (AQueen) The book sounds awesome. I'm gonna give a try


message 43: by Charlon (new)

Charlon (campcrafter05) | 1 comments This book soumds great. I cant wait to read it.


message 44: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Faith wrote: "This sounds totally awesome and very unique!"

Thanks, Faith. I really tried to make this spin different than what's already out there and something that can be enjoyed by young and old readers alike.


message 45: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Susan wrote: "Thank you so much for your help and I am linking this page to her now so she can read all you just told me. What great information and I really appreciate your feedback."

I'm glad to help. One thing you learn as a writer is you need to share in the wealth of knowledge others have. I made some mistakes along the way, but they were far fewer because of the help I received from others.


message 46: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Aqsa wrote: "J.G. wrote: "Aqsa wrote: "Beautiful Cover and Amazing Description! Sounds great!!"

Thanks, Aqsa."

I am gonna give the giveaway a try!"


Good luck!


message 47: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Aaliyah wrote: "The book sounds awesome. I'm gonna give a try"

Thanks, Aaliyah, I hope you like it.


message 48: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Charlon wrote: "This book soumds great. I cant wait to read it."

I'm glad it interests you, Charlon. Looking forward to your thoughts on the story.


message 49: by Ana (new)

Ana (Anasbest) J.G. wrote: "Charlon wrote: "This book soumds great. I cant wait to read it."

I'm glad it interests you, Charlon. Looking forward to your thoughts on the story."

What is this book about? I’m sorry for asking I should of not joined the club if I did not know what this book is about!


message 50: by J.G. (new)

J.G. McKenney (JGMcKenney) | 53 comments Ana wrote: "J.G. wrote: "Charlon wrote: "This book soumds great. I cant wait to read it."

I'm glad it interests you, Charlon. Looking forward to your thoughts on the story."
What is this book about? I’m sorry..."


It's an Arthurian retelling. A short description of the book is at the beginning of this discussion. You can find out more at my website, www.jgmckenney.com


« previous 1 3
back to top