Saturday, August 24, 2013


Author Interview with J.C. Whyte! 

A strange little creature enters the lives of three tough guys at Higgins Elementary. And from that point on, pranks come back like boomerangs, smacking the bullies right in their fifth grade butts!

Sully, the leader of the gang, is the only one who can see this creature, which he names Karmack. Sully learns that the creature’s job is to balance all the bad pranks the bullies have pulled over the years. Karmack warns that if this fails, “dreadful, awful doom” awaits them all.

Sully soon realizes that he must save not only himself but his friends, who have no idea why they keep getting boomeranged by Karmack!
 
 I am honored to introduce the Author of  Karmack, J.C.Whyte!  Thank you for being here J.C. let's jump right in..
 

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR BOOK. 
Karmack is the story of three tough guys notorious for pulling pranks at Higgins Elementary. But things begin to change when a strange little creature enters their lives. From that point on, their pranks start coming back like boomerangs, smacking them right in their 5th grade butts!

The leader of the bullies – Sully – is the only one who can see this creature, which he names Karmack. The creature tells Sully that its job is to balance all the bad karma the boys have amassed over the years. But if Karmack fails, the boys will suffer "dreadful, awful doom". As an example of such doom, Karmack reminds Sully of that neighbor kid who shot at crows with his BB gun – one day he crashed his bike into a pigeon coop and emerged as the Abominable Snowman of bird poop! Worse yet, his trigger finger had been crushed by a falling perch. That kind of doom.
Sully soon realizes he must save not only himself but his gang from this doom, even though his friends have no idea why their pranks keep boomeranging. Of course, calamity and hilarity follow. But in the end, Sully and the guys learn a valuable lesson about the consequences of being a bully, and what it takes to be a true leader.

 
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER? 
I discovered a love for writing while I was still in elementary school. Back then of course, I wrote only children’s stories. But as a grownup, I had to face the harsh reality that such writing seldom pays the bills. So I got my degrees in Journalism and Communications, and turned to Public Relations, where for many years I focused my creative energies in feature writing.   
 
Then after marriage, kids, several more degrees and occupations (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), I entered law school. While there, I became a columnist for the student newsletter and one of my humorous articles was even published in The National Jurist.
 
After graduating and passing the Bar, I realized within a few short years that creative writing was still what made my heart sing. So now, as a grandma, I’ve returned to writing for children. And with the publication of Karmack, I’ve truly come full circle, back to where my writing journey began.
 
 
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Getting published! I was fortunate to find such a good publisher for Karmack, but since Muse It Up is a small publishing house, I’ve got to do my own marketing. I’m finding that’s tough too!

 
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I’m putting the finishing touches on a novel for adults, and hoping to find it a good publishing home soon. I’ve written other children’s and YA novels, but those have been scrapped. I’ve heard from other writers that their first attempts also aren’t even worth mentioning.
 
If Karmack sells well, I hope to publish a sequel which I’ve already started. It will bring back not only the creature but Sully and his pals. But this time, they’re all in middle school, where the bully stakes are much higher!
 
 
DO YOU EVR SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?  IF SO, HOW DO YOU GET PAST IT? 
I’ve never really had a problem with writer’s block, just laziness. Some days I find a million and one reasons to avoid writing. But when I finally start, it’s like a magic spell has been cast over me and I lose all track of time. It’s a great feeling!

 
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE TO WRITE?
I just write on my computer in my home office. I have a sweet little office with a window where I can look out at the world. (And that’s a good thing when you lose all track of time!)

 
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
That’s easy: travel! Now that my husband is semi-retired, we plan to begin hitting that old bucket list and start seeing the world.

 
DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK(S) PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
Yes. Muse It Up Publishing is a really professional operation, providing editing and cover design. But what makes this house stand out is that the author gets input all along the way.
 
 
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
No. But my main character, Sully, is based on a boy I knew in elementary school. He was a real character, always getting into trouble. Yet he had clear leadership qualities which just needed some direction. That’s where my inspiration came from.

 
DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?
Somewhat. There’s just so much competition out there. I tried unsuccessfully to get an agent for my books, but it seems they’re all looking for that blockbuster series. I don’t write that type of book.

 
DID YOU EVER THINK OF QUITTING?
Never. When you get the kind of high I get from writing, you never consider quitting.

 
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Just write. Every day. You’ll get better with every word you write.
 
 
And now for the speed round of questions...
J.C.'s “BLONDE” BASICS:

FAVORITE FOOD?  Mashed potatoes. I could eat them until they came out of my pores.
FAVORITE MOVIE? Casablanca. Can’t go wrong with that classic.
FAVORITE BOOK? East of Eden by John Steinbeck, a giant of an author
FAVORITE AUTHOR?  Either John Steinbeck or Ken Follett (another giant).

 
A HUGE heartfelt thank you to J.C. for sharing some insights on herself and her book Karmack!   

Here's where you can get a copy:

Muse It Up Publishing-- https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=670&category_id=69&manufacturer_id=304&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1



AND here's an extra treat!  An excerpt from the book:


Through front yards, backyards, and down the main road, the pursuers continued to chase the squealer into town. Sully, Breeze, and Gonzo (also known as Curtis Sullenburg, Matthew Brezinski, and Carlos Gonzalez) were the toughest dudes in fifth grade. Everyone knew these three were definitely trouble. And the worst was Sully, their leader.

The old Statewide Bank building lay just ahead, on the corner of Main Street and Railroad Avenue. And that was where the squealer ran out of gas.

Sully immediately pinned him to the ground, right there at the corner. Lying in the snow, the squealer looked petrified. Sully laughed and let go of the boy—just knowing he scared the living daylights out of the kid was enough for Sully. But not Gonzo—he dropped his backpack on the left side of the squealer’s face. “That’s for making us chase you,” he said.

Sully let out a loud “Hah!”

Then the boys heard a rumble. It came from above them—from the pitched roof of the bank. Sully looked up in time to see a bundle of snow drop from the roof. It fell downward, toward Gonzo, who was still hovering over the squealer.

“Hey, look out,” Sully shouted, but not in time. Gonzo did look up, just as the pile of snow hit his face. The squealer managed to squirm out of the way and take off down the road. Breeze began to dig out his friend.

But Sully was frozen to his spot, still gazing at the roof of the bank. Because he saw something up there—a small figure no bigger than a two-year-old. And was it… laughing?

Sully knew it couldn’t be a child. Not with that long, fat nose. Definitely not a child.

Was it just his imagination? Or maybe…a reflection…from ice on the roof? After giving his eyes a good rub, Sully changed his view of the roof by walking around the corner. And there—there was that little guy, laughing again! The creature in the funny green outfit saw Sully too. Then came a flash of light as it darted to the other side of the roof, beyond Sully’s vision.

“Breeze…did you…see that?” Sully wanted to know.

“Yeah, Gonzo got dumped on. Lucky break for the squealer.”

“No, I mean…ah, forget it.” Sully knew he’d seen someone. Yet…

Never the shy one, Sully next ran into the bank to question the first teller he saw. “Is some guy up on the roof?”

“What?”

“You got some guy shoveling snow off the roof? My friend, he got dumped on.”

“Uh, not that I’m aware of.” The female teller turned around and asked the branch manager the same question. Then she returned to Sully. “No one’s on the roof. What’s the problem?”

“I saw…somebody…up there."

The manager came to the counter. “There’s no one up there, son. Some snow must’ve fallen from the roof. Is your friend all right?”

“Yeah, I guess. But I coulda sworn I saw someone up there.”

The teller smiled. “Probably just glare from the sun. Nice to have some sun today, isn’t it?”

But Sully only shrugged and walked out of the bank.

The guys were waiting for him outside. Gonzo was dusty with snow. And he was cradling the left side of his face. It was red and starting to swell.

“What’s going on?” asked Breeze.

“That’s what I wanna know.” Sully frowned as he committed the creature’s face to his memory. Anyone crossing Sully usually lived to regret it.

That is…until now.
 
 
 

1 comment:

  1. Nice interview, and sounds like a neat book!

    ReplyDelete