I'm happy to welcome J.G. McKenney to my blog for an author interview! His book, Eon's Door was actually just recently reviewed by me and I absolutely adored it. Definitely one of my favorite Fantasy books so far.
Lucky for you, he's brought along a giveaway of said book just for you!
1) Eon's Door has deep roots into being surrounded by nature. Is that what you set out to write, or did it come organically once you started writing?
An interesting choice of words, since Eon is a tree. And, yes, I intended to write a book in which Nature was a key element. I wanted the characters to have a special connection to the natural world, to be tied to it in a very fundamental way. I did this through the creation of three clans, each possessing a specific affinity to the environment (the animals, the plants, and water). It was a way of contrasting how humanity has severed its ties with the natural world and the repercussions of that disconnection. It sounds philosophical and preachy, but I don’t think it comes across as such in the book. The story is a fantasy adventure first, but the message is there to be found if you look for it.
2) I read in your bio that you have taught every grade! What is it about working with youth that you enjoy?
Almost every grade. I’ve taught everything but Kindergarten, and grades four and five. The best thing about working with young people is they keep you feeling young and in a permanent state of intellectual discovery. You are given the great privilege and pleasure of witnessing those Aha! moments with them. There’s nothing better than seeing their faces light up when they experience something that changes the way they see the world, or gives them an insight they hadn’t had before. This is especially true with literature. Many of my most treasured moments as a teacher came when students found something in a book that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.
By the way, if there are any grade 7, 8, or 9 Language Arts/English teachers reading this, I’ve created a free novel study for Eon’s Door that can be downloaded from my website. I think your students would really enjoy the unit.
3) If you could take a vacation in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
It would have to be Tolkien’s Middle-earth. There are so many places in that world that I want to see. I’d love to visit Lothlorien. In fact, my wife and I gave our home that name and we have a carved sign in our great room with a quotation from The Lord of the Rings. Are we nerds, or what?
4) Do you have a favorite book that has transcended the years from childhood to now?
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are two that spring to mind. But, rather than a specific book, I’d say the kind of story I love has stayed with me since I was a kid. I love stepping into new worlds, discovering what waits for me there. That’s why I love fantasy so much. In every case, there’s that incredibly powerful moment when the character leaves home. It’s an archetype for growing up, accepting what life has to offer—good and bad. The main characters in Eon’s Door experience it, and we get to go along for the ride.
5) What would you like to say to potential readers of Eon's Door?
If you or your kids enjoy fantasy and are looking for something different, give this book a try; I think it will be time well spent. As Eon says, “Hmmm…You will feel a strange sensation, but do not fear it. You’ll be passing between the worlds. The other awaits you.”
And now, for a giveaway!
Up for grabs is a paperback copy of Eon's Door, just for you! A HUGE thank you goes out to J.G. McKenney!
To enter, please be in the U.S. or Canada or have a mailing address therein.
Then, FILL OUT THIS FORM.