Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes the UK's Kurt Chambers, author of the middle grade fantasy series Truth Teller.
First, a bit about Kurt:
I am a husband, father of three and grandfather of another three so far. I live in England, not too far from London, in the county of Hertfordshire. I lead a double life. During the day I work as a carpenter, but in the evening I transform into an author and all it entails. I write middle grade fantasy novels that I like to think can be enjoyed by anyone aged eight to eighty. I was never a confident reader when I was a youngster. I struggled with some of the classic fantasy stories and wondered why authors couldn't write similar stories that were easier to read, for people like me. When I grew up, I decided I should write one myself. That is how my Truth Teller fantasy series started out all those years ago when I was a child.
Why did you pick to write books for MG?
There are lots of reasons why I write middle grade. I could talk about it all day. From a child's perspective, anything is possible. That is such a great resource for a writer to tap into. Anything! Imagine that. That alone is an inspiration for any author. When you sit down with young children and get into a conversation with them, it's the funniest thing in the world. Their perspective on life puts us adults to shame. You soon realize they have a craving for a world filled with magic and awe. As a writer, how could I not want to take advantage of that and create something that will be truly appreciated and believed?
What types of books do you like to read?
I love fantasy. Terry Brooks is one of my favorite authors. He is a master in the art of storytelling. I have read most of what he has written. My favorite series I've read recently is an old classic, The Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean M. Auel. I fell in love with her characters. I'm finding it hard to find more books that I enjoyed as much as these stories.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
I have had many hobbies over the years: playing in bands and building rockets and a giant telescope, just to mention a few. I once wrote a blog post about this for anyone who is interested in seeing for themselves.
These days all my spare time is spent on my books. There is so much involved in writing and publishing a book as an indie author, it's a wonder anyone has the time to write at all. You have to be the author, the editor, the publisher and the marketing manager. I was none of these when I started out, so it has been a long journey to get this far. An amazing journey, I hasten to add.
Tell us about Truth Teller and how the story came to be.
I worked quite a few years with children as a volunteer, helping to run the local Brownie pack as an official member of UK Girl Guiding. Anyone who works with kids will know what an inspiration they are. They inspired me to want to write children's books, so one day I just sat down and started writing. I did this for a couple of years, and after some advice from a friend of mine, I joined a novel workshop. That was my first contact with the writing community. I met the most amazing people I have ever met in my life, who took me under their wings and started to teach me and asked for nothing in return. It was a life-changing experience.
Here's a peek at Truth Teller:
Discovered alone in a far away forest, Charlotte embarks on a journey encountering heart-stopping dangers and real life monsters, but a far greater threat shadows her every move. Even the strength and skill of her new companions cannot protect her against a ruthless druid assassin.
But in this realm, Charlotte is not the vulnerable little girl she thought she was.
Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.
I have written four complete books in total. Three books in my Truth Teller series: Truth Teller, The Wrath of Siren, and Favian's Law. Book one and two are published, and book three is currently with my proofreader in its first round of edits. I also wrote a stand-alone sci-fi/fantasy novel called Unknown Reality which is also with my proofreader awaiting edits. I am planning to publish both titles this year if all goes well, along with the compilation edition of my Truth Teller trilogy in one book.
What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
Yes, I am currently working on a novel titled The World in Johnny's Back Garden. I started writing this story many years ago, and it has changed many times since my original idea. I wanted to give children an alternative view of all living things. I eventually wrote a plot that I was happy with and started to write the novel. I have the first chapter up as a short story on my site.
What advice do you have for other authors?
First and foremost, never give up! That is the best advice to start with. There have been so many times I wanted to throw in the towel, you wouldn't believe. But I didn't. And I'm so glad I didn't. Only another writer can understand just how hard it is. My second piece of advice would be, join a novel workshop or critique group and learn your craft as a writer to be as good as you can be. You will need to grow a thick skin. Here is a list I made of all the best network sites for writers.
Anything else you want readers to know?
My first book, Truth Teller, is now free to download as an ebook from Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.
Where can readers find you and your books?
You can connect with me at:
Author’s Web page
Barnes & Noble