Books, Blogs, and Bits
is proud to present:
Aaron is a children’s book author who has had a love of storytelling since childhood. In his Amazon.com author bio, he writes:
“…no matter what a particular day holds, I want to be a little more heroic when the sun sets.”
I love the quote and what a great lesson to teach the little ones.
Without further adieu, here is Mr. A.R. Marshall.
BB&B: I loved Story Keeping: The Night I Became a Hero. It’s a quick, fun read for both kids and adults. What made you decide to write this story in the children’s genre?
A.R.: Great question. I’m really just a big kid at heart, so the genre is a perfect fit. I also think children’s books are a great way to wrestle with big ideas – like courage, or fear. They provide a safe context for experiencing light suspense, humor, relational conflict, etc. I know for our kids, children’s books often catalyze great conversations about stuff that matters.
BB&B: The story is engrossing and got me immediately thinking about some of my favorites like Neverending Story and of course the music vid from A-ha, Take on me. I have to ask – were either of these an inspiration? If not, what was your inspiration?
A.R.: Thanks! I don’t think either of those was an influence, but I did love the Neverending story as a kid. As a kid, I loved choose-your-own-adventure books, and I think the Story Keeping Series plays around with that idea. I hope the nostalgia resonates with adult readers. I also love Lewis’ Narnia books, so moving characters in and out of other story-worlds feels familiar.
BB&B: You managed to successfully pull off combining first person perspective and third person narrative, did you find it difficult to switch between two different story-telling techniques?
A.R.: Thanks, I did. When I started sketching The Night I Became A Hero, our oldest son was gobbling 1st person, journal-styled stories like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, or Diary of a Sixth Grade Ninja. At the same time, our daughter was devouring Magic Treehouse Books. I enjoyed drafting the 1st person opening, but as the story took on its own life, I realized the “in-book” sections would need to be read by grandpa. I enjoyed tackling the challenge – and it proved more difficult to facilitate in the audio version than text.
BB&B: What do your kiddos think about the Story Keepers? Do they give you ideas for the next adventure?
A.R.: The kids love it, and they are my first beta-readers. They don’t offer enough criticism, but they let me know what’s working – is this scene scary? Is that scene funny – I just have to watch them read, ask good questions, and make adjustments. I am always pestering them for lists of things they want to read about, and they are always pestering me to finish the next book.
BB&B: What’s next for Riles, Sissie, Finn, and Grandpa?
A.R.: Great question. In their second adventure, The Night We Met A Dragon, the kids visit a medieval kingdom to unravel a mystery. Along the way, they learn more about Story Keeping, grandpa, and their parents. In adventures three and four (both slated for release this year) the kids dive into more nostalgia – helping an archeologist protect an Egyptian tomb and then battling sea sickness as scallywags on the most dangerous pirate ship to ever sail the seven seas.
BB&B: Do you have any tips for moms and dads on how they can encourage their kids to read?
A.R.: I guess read? At our house, reading is contagious. The more we read, the more they see us reading. The more we read to our kids, the more they want to read on their own. Our biggest challenge is carving time to read regularly with our kids – life has so many distractions, especially at this stage of family life, being intentional as a parent is exhausting.
BB&B: Thank you so much for spending time with Books, Blogs, and Bits. Any last words for your fans?
A.R.: Of course, thanks for inviting me. I am so grateful to my readers. Thanks for picking up the books, and for sharing in the adventures. If you ever have any questions, please reach out. I love connecting with readers. If you haven’t already, jump on my website and collect your free audiobook at www.armarshall.com
Thank you Aaron!
Be sure to check out Aaron’s website and stay up to date on the Story Keeping adventures. Click here to visit.