Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Blog Tour Interview - Anzard by Christopher Conroy

Christopher Conroy
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 154
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Book Description:
Author Christopher Conroy has just released a book for kids aged 8-12 called ANZARD. Teachers, parents, producers...take note!  This appealing and well-written book would give Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) reason to worry.  As a matter of fact if you mixed in one part Harry Potter, with one part Pinocchio then added a generous helping of Alice in Wonderland…you’d get Anzard! 

ANZARD tells the story of how a young boy named Justin Cavell learns to listen to that voice inside him and trust his instincts.  He also learns how his dreams and wishes can come true:  Justin becomes more aware of himself and his potential to turn his dreams and wishes into reality. 

One dark and stormy night, as Justin is anxiously awaiting the return of his parents and praying for their safe return from a long overdue plane trip, he is visited by Poofy, a tiny, magical pixie who comes from the faraway planet, Spiritainia.  Justin is escorted to this wonderful world of Spiritainia by the Anzard pixie, Poofy.  Aside from Poofy, Justin is joined by his own Tribe of Truth – that include such memorable characters as Regal the Eagle, Turner the Turtle, Chumpah the Chipmunk and Billy the Goat – define Justin’s inner voice and help him in his quest of self-discovery.

Justin also learns to resolve conflict, which arrives in the form of an evil witch named Nosefeen, and captures Poofy as Poofy is guiding Justin to the Path of Possibilities. Through these adventures, Justin grows stronger and develops self-esteem, enabling him to return to Earth, find his parents, and guide them home safely.

ANZARD opens up a world of rewards for kids who learn to develop and trust their inner voice. The book helps them to become more aware and enlightened.

The ANZARD book cover is beautifully illustrated by Peter Green Design of Glendale, California who also designs for film companies, sporting teams and many other businesses including DreamWorks, McDonald’s, The Walt Disney Company, LEGOLAND, The NBA, HBO, FOX Kids Networks, and the “Game of Thrones” fantasy drama television series, to name a few.

“A timeless, yet very modern story of a young boy’s journey to a magical new world, filled with enchanting characters and thrilling adventure.  You owe yourself a trip to Spiritania.”
            -           Victoria Lucas, Producer

“My nephew loved ANZARD so much I had to see what got him so excited.  After the first chapter I was hooked.  I normally don’t read this kind of fiction (fantasy) but the storyline was compelling enough to make me locate the author’s website and post this review. 
Can’t wait to read Mr. Conroy’s next novel!”
            -           D. Butler, Amazon Post

Justin’s story can even appeal to adults.  Says Mr. Conroy, “I want my readers to come away happier, more aware and enlightened…as a child I was aware of many things but I constantly invalidated that awareness.  I shouldn’t have.  Those gifts are precious.  Our inner awareness should be nurtured and cultivated, especially by parents and the child who has those gifts.  Maybe some part of Anzard will awaken those powers.”

Buy Links:

Author Interview

Tell us a bit about your writing background. How did you get started writing for teens?
I have to admit I wasn’t the greatest student, especially when it came to Science, but I always loved to write as long as I can remember.  I just love it. I don’t know the ‘why’ of what brought me into this wonderful writing world; I just knew I couldn’t stop writing.

I believe one thing that cultivates the ability to write is the ability to read.  Reading develops your imagination and imagination is where great stories come from.

Fortunately, my family wasn’t rich in any financial way but rich in love.  We could afford used books and that was my passport to travel and adventure.  I had a most magical childhood through the wonderful books I read. 

Words and communication mean so much to me.  I like to go through bookstores to find old dictionaries to find the original definition of words that usual make much more sense than more contemporary dictionaries.  You’d be amazed at how much our words and language have been changed.

I don’t necessarily write for teens or any age group.  I just write the story and the story dictates the demographic. 

Writers always need to be subordinate to the story and not try to force it to fit somewhere that’s popular.  It’s kind of like a surfer on a wave … he or she rides it wherever it’s going.

Who/what were your earliest influences?
My earliest influences were my Mother and Father.  They loved each other and loved to read.  As I look back, I realize they were pure magic.  I was blessed.

As far as writer’s go I especially loved two particular writers … John Steinbeck and Jack London.  It wasn’t what they wrote that mattered, it was how well written the subject was.

They both knew how to communicate and without that ability writing goes nowhere.  So kids, love your teachers.  They’re giving you gifts everyday in class.

Did you face any early challenges to finding success in writing?
I wrote screenplays for a while but without an agent, and they were hard to get, it was hard to get one sold.  The good thing about writing screenplays though was it helped me refine the ability to structure a story.  And without proper structure the house will collapse.

What are your favourite books as a reader? What qualities in them appeal to you?
My mother filled our garage with endless amounts of used books and recently I found one amazing book doing research called, “A CHILD’ HISTORY OF THE WORLD” by V.M. Hillyer/Head Master of the Calvert School of Baltimore.

I learned more about history from that book than any course I took in college … amazing, absolutely amazing.

In the opening PREFACE, Mr. Hillyer wrote:
“To give the child some idea of what has gone on in the world before he arrived.  To extend his or her horizon, beyond their view, and open up the vista down the ages past.”

That I believe is a beautiful goal for children’s education.

After that I went to a major book store to buy more copies of this book and found out they didn’t even carry it or any other book about the History of the World for children.  Shocking.

I finally had to go on-line to a book company called Abe Books to get a copy.

What do you do outside your writing life?
I love to hike in the mountains and I love to read.   I also like to be with family and take as many relatives as I can to dinner on special occasions.

Whenever possible I love to go sailing.  My father loved the sea, I learned to sail at an early age in the Sea Scouts and I’ve never got over the peace and serenity of sailing.  It’s great for clearing and refreshing your mind.

What encouragement helped you along the way?
I really trust and believe in myself but besides my Mother and Father I have to say men of God and Religion have encouraged me throughout my life.  I never forget that support.

What advice do you have for beginning writers?
The most advice I have for beginning writers is WRITE FROM THE HEART.  Don’t try to be trendy or listen to what others tell you what will sell.

As a matter of fact NEVER use WHAT YOU THINK WILL SELL, as your guide, as your writing will fail with that shallow motivation.

Only listen to your OWN INSTINCTS and HEART.

Realize you’re special and what you say means something.  You are a jewel on display by this magical Universe of ours and don’t let anyone tell you any different.  That’s an order!

What's up next for your fans?
My plans are to write another children’s book on a different subject and from there I hope to do a film based on a romantic comedy story I wrote about a loving family.

What is your biggest compliment?
My biggest compliment came from a fellow employee who once described me as a little dog who bites into your pants and won’t let go no matter how hard you kick.

I asked him what did mean by that and he answered, …” You just never give up Christopher, you just won’t quit or let go once you decide to do something!”

So my biggest compliment was actually an insult but to me it was my biggest compliment and I still won’t let go!

Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans and readers?
I’d like to tell my fans and readers that I love them and this Universe loves them.  I thank them for reading Anzard.

I also want to tell them to trust themselves and their magical gifts that they were given the day they were born.

We all have great treasures inside if we’d only listen.  Trust yourself, spread your wings and fly out of the nest of fear.

You’re special and nothing can change that.

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads

About the Author
Author Christopher Conroy currently lives in Los Angeles, California, but was born in Ireland and raised in Canada.  He grew up in a large family consisting of seven children, and a mother and father who by his own description were “loving, moral, fun and pure magic.”  Conroy says he was heavily influenced by John Steinbeck growing up, and also likes Jack London and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but that the “main influence for ANZARD came from that magical place in my mind where I write.”

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the fun interview. I'm reading Anzard right now. My son wanted to read it too, so we are reading it out loud, taking turns with each chapter. Having such fun:)