Friday, 11 November 2011

Author Post: Kevin Turner on The Magi

Today I'd like to welcome Kevin Turner to my blog.  When Kevin first asked me to review The Magi, he also told me a little background on why he wrote it.  I was totally bowled over with what he told me and so I asked Kevin if he'd like to share his story with you.

About the Author

Kevin M. Turner

Kevin M. Turner is the author of The Magi, a fantasy/adventure novel written for young adult readers.  He attended Point Loma Nazarene University and majored in Philosophy and Theology.

Turner later studied education and has been teaching English to middle school students since 2004. The Magi was originally written to give his students a fun book to read. He is also a professor at Point Loma teaching Philosophy of Education to teacher and administrative candidates. He currently lives in California with his wife and daughter. The Magi, the first book in a five-book series.  

Now I'll hand you over to Kevin so he can tell you himself how he came about writing The Magi.
First of all, I want to thank Karen for the opportunity to share a little about the process I took when writing The Magi. I continue to be thankful for the interest and willingness of the reading community to share my work.

If I could go back in time and relive a portion of my life, my early teens would probably be last on my list, right next to the time I was chased by a wild horse in an enclosed area with no adult supervision. Even then, I might take the horse again. Those years are tough! Not only have I lived through my early teens, I now teach kids going through theirs. I guess a part of me sympathizes with the puberty stricken, but I continue to have the hope that I can do something to help that time pass by more smoothly.

After working with middle school students for eight years, though, I became frustrated. Being an English teacher, part of my job is to make sure students are reading. I consider my kids lucky because part of my school’s reading program is letting kids pick out books that they want to read and giving them credit for doing so. However, even with this freedom, they weren’t reading. I would spend hours in the library with each student asking them what they wanted to read, but the same response followed: “There’s nothing good to read.” Which, of course, isn’t true. That was code for “I don’t know what’s out there to read.”

So I had a solution after listening to this war cry over and over. I gave each student a survey and asked them five questions, each question giving me information on what the perfect book would be. I hoped that it would help me find an entertaining book for each unique student. However, what I thought was going to be an eclectic mass of requests ended up being much more universal as I saw the same requests popping up. They wanted to read about a world that was incredible but believable. They wanted a page-turner (who doesn’t?). They wanted characters that felt a breadth of emotion during the story. They wanted adventure. They wanted mystery. They wanted action. Having written for fun my entire life, I suddenly began to think that I could write this unwritten story they asked for.

Using the rules that my students unknowingly guided me with, I began to write this book. After a year of planning and writing and editing, I had finished The Magi, a story about a young boy that goes through an emotional roller coaster. A story about a world that is set in our own, yet is incredible, and in some ways unbelievably believable. A story that has mystery, adventure, and…oh yes…lots of action. I had no other motive than to write a story that was a fun read. What started out as a small solution for a few students ended up much bigger than I anticipated. I only hope that this small endeavor, writing a young adult book, can help ease the early teen years for some. Or at least make it higher on the list than being chased by a horse!
I think that is the most awesome reason to write a book I've ever heard!  Thank you for sharing that with us Kevin.

I reviewed The Magi earlier in the week and you can find my review here.  There is also an international giveaway on that post - a copy of The Magi for each reader that comments before midnight on Sunday 13th November!

If you've missed the giveaway, you can buy the book at:

1 comment:

Hannah said...

What a great reason to write a book! Really interesting guest post, thanks for sharing. :)
Once Upon A Time