Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Exclusive interview with Casey Sean Harmon

Kerry and I (Kelly) just read a great middle-school age fantasy book by Casey Sean Harmon – The Everafter Chronicles: Reign of the Night Creatures. I loved the book so much I had to contact the author to find out more about this wonderful book.

Kelly - What inspired you to write this book? Why a book for middle-school age?
Casey - I needed something to take my mind off of some of the things that I was dealing with at the time, and so I turned to writing. I decided to write a book for middle-school aged children because I felt like the genre allowed me to really push the boundaries separating fantasy from reality. In other words, I felt better equipped to let my imagination run wild.
Kelly - The first being the children meet is a griffin. What made you decide to use a griffin?

Casey - I tried to think up a creature that could legitimately be both mighty and kind at the same time. Not to mention I really like griffins. :)
Kelly - I really like your unique take on some of the other beings, such as the phoenix. Did you find some of those traits in your research?
Casey - I pretty much tossed the rules out the window with this book. I didn't really care what Greek mythology had to say about these creatures, I wanted to make up my own characteristics. For instance, according to myth the phoenix is capable of re-birthing after death. This didn't make sense to me, so I did away with that idea in this book. Another example is the idea that the cyclops is a great big ogre of a creature, wreaking havoc everywhere he goes. I decided to portray a different side of the cyclops. 
Kelly - I felt like this book was meant to teach a lesson. Was that intended or did it just turn out that way?
Casey - It was intentional. The reader won't understand the full message until the final book. I don't want to give anything away...
Kelly - Did you base any of the characters on real people? Can you tell us who?
Casey - James, who is one of the lead characters, was based after myself. Charlotte, James's younger sister, was based loosely after my wife. There is a little bit of my mom in Susan, the youngest of the lead characters, and a little bit of my dad in Apollo the griffin. The rest of the characters are based off of various people I have known throughout my life. 
Kelly - What was your favorite book as a young child and do you think it influences what you like to read and/or write now?
Casey - I had three favorite books growing up: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells and The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter. And yes, they greatly influenced who I am today and the things that I like.
Kelly - If you could become any of your characters, which one would you like to be? Why?
Casey - Apollo the griffin, because he has the respect of everyone who meets him. Also, because he can fly!
Kelly - If you could have lunch with any author, who would you choose? Why?
Casey - This is a great question! I would have to say Brandon Mull, the author of the Fablehaven series. I greatly admire his work, and I think that he and I have a lot in common

Kelly - Thank you for taking the time to chat with me. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
Casey -  Thanks, and I'm honored that you have rated my book 5 stars! 

Yes. a rare five stars!
Here is my review:
The Everafter Chronicles: Reign of the Night Creatures, by Casey Sean Harmon is a wonderful tale of a magical land and three siblings who end up there in the middle of the fight between the dark and the light. It is a very uplifting story as they face their fears and use their unique strengths to . . . (oops! Almost spoiled the ending!) There are Pirates, a Griffin, Phoenixes, and the family dog. Or not? (ooo, almost gave another spoiler!)
If your children ever liked the Magic Tree House books as young kids, they will love this book. The language is simple enough for tweens, but the story is engrossing enough and so well written that adults will love it, too. I am already looking forward to the next adventure.
You can find the Everafter Chronicles on Amazon

1 comment: