Good morning everyone, today Gerry Sammon tells us about his work and his journey as an author.
–When and why did you start writing?
I have been writing fiction for a long time, but I have always been too busy to have my work published. That was my excuse, anyway. Numerous stories have been written and stored away. I recently found some of them and now realise why I never even tried to have them published. They just weren’t good enough. My YA fantasy adventure, Wolf Boy, broke the mould. I wrote it very quickly while awaiting publication of an adult-age thriller I have written. Wolf By was written on a whim, and I am so glad I did it. It was quickly taken up by a publisher based in the USA, Black Rose Writing, and it is widely available in book stores there, as well as online.
-What inspired you to write for teenagers and YA?
I have a number of links with schools that are keen to promote YA fiction in their libraries, and it just occurred to me that school-age students would be the ideal audience for my books. Wolf Boy is also loosely based on a nightmare my eldest daughter used to have when she was a child – the wolf in the wardrobe. I just expanded on that idea to create Wolf Boy, which has, by the way, no connection with werewolves, as the title may erroneously suggest, but instead concerns a world populated by intelligent, talking wolves.
-Have you created a special character? Can you introduce this character to us?
Connor Meredith is the main protagonist, along with his school friend Evey and the school bully Bill, who accidentally follows Connor and Evey on to the shining path that leads them to the world of the wolf people. Connor is an interesting character. He suffered serious trauma after the mysterious death and disappearance of his father, causing his mother to take him for treatment by a clinical psychologist. But Connor has a secret. The death of his father has struck him blind, but he has an amazing ability to ‘see’ with his mind. No-one knows of his blindness. His special insight, however, means he has visions of battling armies under his bed, armies of creatures against wolf warriors. And he has a nightly vision of a growling, slavering, fearsome wolf in his wardrobe. This is the start of their adventure in Lupusopolis, the city of the wolves, and the battle they have with hideous forest creatures, led by an evil human man called Peragrim. Their transport to this land of wonder becomes instead a battle for survival.
-Which of your books did you enjoy writing most and why?
Wolf Boy has been by far the most successful and has received praise from various sources, including in newspapers and in reviews posted on Amazon. My other book, The Royle Deception, is currently on the hunt for a new publisher.
-For what age group would you recommend your books?
I always promote Wolf Boy for being suitable for ages 10-14, but in reality I believe any age from 10 upwards would be ideal
-A review from a reader that made your day…
Aaron Lawler reviewed Wolf Boy brilliantly, comparing me to a ‘darkly shaded CS Lewis, which actually did make my day. Some other quotes from Lawler’s review include:
‘Chapter after Chapter, Wolf Boy hurdles you through a spectral strangeness, spicy encounters, mystic Kipling-like dialogues, and undulating currents of hellish fiends’
‘Medieval battle blended with a modern boy wonder’
‘The characters intrigue, the action keeps on turning pages, and the fantasy world is so lavishly painted that you do not simply read Sammon’s words, you transform into them’
‘Sammon’s British background creates a fun and quaint curiousness that reminded me of a darkly shaded C.S. Lewis’
‘Recommend for the adventurous and enigmatic’
-Is there a particular author that has inspired you on your journey as a writer?
The aforesaid CS Lewis has been an influence, as has JRR Tolkein, but I have to confess probably my biggest influence is the work of the late Iain M Banks and his unique style of SF / fantasy
-What can we expect from you in 2018?
For 2018 my first priority is to find a new publisher for my adult-age thriller The Royle Deception (my current publisher has gone into voluntary liquidation). I also have a sequel planned for The Royle Deception once it is back on track, and I have plans for a Science Fiction novel, which is a new departure for me. There is also the prospect of a Wolf Boy sequel. Wolf Boy will be touring the book fairs of the USA this year, appearing at the Chicago Tribune-sponsored Printers Row festival in June, and the Brooklyn book festival in September.