Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Interview with children's author Carey Fessler

Children’s writer Jeff Bolinger, aka Carey Fessler, joins me today to chat about his new middle-grade historical suspense book, Foiled.

Welcome, Jeff. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in a military family and moved around more often than a gypsy. My favorite smell is green, favorite flavor is mist, and favorite day of the week is Funday. I wonder if fish wish they could wink and trees wish they could walk. I think it’s bizarre that your belly button harbors more bacteria than there are birds in Borneo. I believe biographies are boring and think it’s fun to speak in silly-sounding sentences with wacky words that start with the same letters. I live in the city of rain and thunder in the land Down Under, which is home to koalas, kangaroos, and kookaburras—a kingfisher. Finally, I believe in exercising your imagination and secretly staying up past your bedtime.

Please tell us about your current release.
Foiled is a Middle Grade pacey, page-turning novel set in 1947, featuring the famed Roswell UFO crash incident near Roswell, New Mexico.

The title Foiled has three meanings:
1.    Foil: noun- referring to the ‘magic foil,’ (piece of thin metal sheet) in the story, which is a piece of alien technology from the crash site of a UFO. On the front cover, you can spot the girl holding it in her hand. ;)
2.    Foil: noun- The two MCs contrast each other and so emphasize and enhance the qualities of the other.
3.    Foil: verb- prevent (antagonists) from succeeding.
What inspired you to write this book?
The idea for the book came after seeing three photographs of a UFO near Roswell, New Mexico that my brother in-law had showed me. As an author I didn’t care if the photos were real or not. I just asked myself, “What happens if … in 1947, two Roswell kids obtain a piece of alien technology and become fugitives?” And that was the seed for the story.

Excerpt from Foiled:
“You’re the first real Indian I ever met,” Billy said. “I was kind of hoping you lived in a tepee.”
“My goat ate it.”
“Where’s your goat?”
“I ate him.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’ve just finished the last book in my sea-island adventure trilogy:
Shanghaied: Escape from the Blackwolf
Shipwrecked: Dragon Island
Sea Raiders

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The first time I came out of the closet and told someone other than my wife.

Do you write full-time? Yes.
If so, what's your work day like? Up at dawn, walk the dog, eat breakie, and write until noon. Walk the dog, eat lunch, re-write/revise the previous day’s work until 3pm. Walk the dog, do errands, housework and make supper. Rinse and repeat.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I listen to music while I write, either Classical or New Age.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? An oceanographer so I took scuba diving lessons in college and then joined the Navy and served in nuclear submarines, so I came close.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
  1. I use the pen name Carey Fessler to honor the two people who encouraged me to read as a kid—my grandparents: My G’ma’s maiden name is Carey and my G’pa’s last name is Fessler … Carey Fessler worked perfectly.

  1. Adults are constantly telling children what they can and can’t do.
I set out to write a story about an eleven year old stumbling over endless physical and mental pits, picking herself up, and pushing herself on to discover for herself what she can do. I also wanted to ask, “Would an eleven-year-old stop at the established limits set by the grown-up world to save her friend and family, or would she break those limits?”

  1. I’m hoping to turn kids onto reading by sparking their imagination. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is intelligence having fun.”

Thanks for being here today, Jeff.

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