What is The Roadie about? The Roadie is a YA action & adventure book that follows university student Ezra James and his friends on the road trip of a lifetime as they follow a mystical treasure map. Along the way, they must overcome daring challenges and take perilous risks. What are they willing to sacrifice to have it all?
What inspired this story? I have always loved travelling, adventure and more specifically road trips! While I was living in French Polynesia I decided to finally start writing my debut novel The Roadie drawing upon these experiences. I also drew upon themes of friendship, young love, escapism and determination to convey a feel-good message to any reader.
Tell us a little about you, who is Ethan J. Kearl? I am a 22-year-old Canadian just finishing up my Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and hope to attend law school in Fall 2024. My hobbies include anything related to sports/fitness, reading and writing.
How can we read The Roadie? The Roadie is available worldwide through Amazon on Paperback and Kindle.
What is Outcasts about? Outcasts is a Young Adult fantasy novel about four enhanced teens who try to discover their origins. Lest people think, “Oh, another Fantastic Four ripoff”… not so! It’s more of an examination of the why as opposed to the how. And while there’s no shortage of action, it also focuses mainly on the individual relationships within the group. We have the MC, Mitch Kessler, who transforms to a gargoyle only when he’s angry. (He learns to control his transformation process later on in the story). He has a relationship with Callie, who’s a gender switcher, and she’s confused as to which gender she’ll end up as. Neil is a rock-man… ’nuff said. And Mitch’s best friend, Joe, is a spinning top. He can run and spin at high speeds, making him very effective as a crime fighter.
The plot concerns the Outcasts uniting under the US government’s aegis, breaking up- most of the the public doesn’t trust them, while some elements are indifferent to them- and then uniting again is when, ostensibly, a black-ops group, tries to kill them. Along the way, Mitch re-examines his relationship with Callie, decides he wants to stay with her, and he also tries to help his friends realize who they are. There is a HFN ending… and a sequel.
What inspired this story? I wanted to get away from the usual punch-’em-up teen type of superhero novels. I’ve done those in the past and liked writing them, but I wanted to approach this novel from the perspective that our MC and his friends don’t like their powers or want them, and that they’re shunned by society for being what they are. For the record, I’m straight and married, but I have a lot of LGBTQI friends who are discriminated against simply because they are LGBTQI- no other reason. Discrimination in any form, religious/racial/orientation, is just plain wrong. I don’t push that as an agenda in the novel, but it comes out quite clearly. I don’t believe in spouting polemics. That’s a sure way to turn any reader off. But if they can identify with the characters, in this case Callie, they’ll get a better picture of how reality is.
Tell us a little about you, who is J.S. Frankel? I was born in Toronto, Canada, long ago, and in my mid-twenties, I moved to Japan to work as an ESL teacher. Eventually, I fell in love with my wife, Akiko, and we got married many moons ago. We have two sons, and perhaps that’s helped to shape my writing and my outlook on life. I divide my waking hours teaching ESL and writing, and writing, while not a full-time gig, takes up a lot of time. The rest is for my family, movies, and food! Oh, and I love music videos… they provide great inspiration for my books!
How can we read Outcasts? The book is available on Amazon. Oh, and you can also check out my novels as ExtasyBooks (links below).
What is your book about? Rise of the Sidekicks is about a group of kids with superpowers and their fight against a nefarious villain trying to take over their city. At the start of the story, the kids are training to become sidekicks for the city’s elite group of superheroes, the Guardians, but when mysterious circumstances lure the famed heroes out of the city, a new threat emerges. A villainous man calling himself the Hero Smasher declares war on all supers, taking Nexus City hostage with his mind control abilities and an army of robots. With the Guardians out of the picture and time quickly running out, it’s up to a group of super-powered sixth graders to rise up and find the courage within to take on a super villain before their city is lost forever.
What inspired this story? My family watches a lot of Marvel movies, so unsurprisingly superhero themes work their way into my writing. But in most superhero movies and books, the main hero (usually an adult) is the one that defeats the story’s villain. My idea for this book came about when I was thinking what if the main superheroes were somehow out of the picture and it was up to the sidekicks to save the day instead. I also pictured the sidekicks as kids, still coming into their powers and counting on the adults to stop the bad guys. The idea grew from there and I wrote it as a middle grade level book for my son, who the main story character is inspired by — Ethan Parker (Ethan, my son’s first name and Parker, the last name of his favorite superhero).
Tell us a little about you, who is Charity Tober? As it is with many authors, I can list writing, reading, and an unhealthy love of coffee as some of my most defining qualities. Watching movies, doing puzzles, and visiting theme parks with my family (central Florida has no shortage of those!) are other ways I like to pass my time. And cats, I love cats, just ask my husband! Rise of the Sidekicks is my first middle grade novel and I’m working on several more, to be released later this year and next.
How can we read Rise of the Sidekicks? Rise of the Sidekicks is available on Amazon (eBook, Paperback, and through Kindle Unlimited).
What is your book about? Heart of Stone is about teenager Samantha Abraham, a picked on outcast at school who falls in love with a strange new foreign exchange student named Joshua. He’s great at hockey, gorgeous, and might just be a golem. Together with her equally unpopular best friend Duckie, they navigate the social hierarchy, dodge the mean girls, and try to uncover the truth about Joshua’s origins. The book is a little bit Sixteen Candles and a dash of Young Frankenstein with some paranormal/horror elements.
What inspired this story? I wanted to write an 80’s inspired teenage horror story that was both current and offbeat. Initially I was trying to write the most out there version of the Twilight style YA trend, taking the logical progression of Dracula -> Werewolf -> Frankenstein. I thought, those kind of stories usually have fairly shell-like characters designed for the reader to imagine themselves in the role, so what’s more shell-like than a golem? I wanted this to be a parody, but loose enough that it can still work in a serious way. The series builds as it progresses into more comedic areas, easing in more appearances from the crazy cop Frank Malone, who appeared in my movie The Killing Death, which Heart of Stone is set in the same universe.
Tell us a little about you, who is I. D. Russell? I’m a bit of a jack of all trades kind of guy. Film buff, martial artist, Dad, indie filmmaker, author, gamer, retro pro-wrestling enthusiast, reader, collector, and YouTuber. I can’t sit still and I’m always either working on another book (I’ve got 25 more written in various stages of editing), writing a screenplay (lots on the go that will hopefully be up on screen in the future), reading five or more books at once, training in BJJ or Hapkido… you get the idea. I’m an 80’s child and that’s where my sensibilities come in terms of action movies, horror movies, comedies, etc. Everything I make blends a bit of what I came up with, like The Monster Squad, Police Academy, The Naked Gun, Bruce Lee movies, video games, and schlocky pulp books. Eventually I hope someone notices.
How can we read Heart of Stone? Heart of Stone is Book 1 of the “High School Hell” series. You can find the whole series on Amazon: