Welcome to the first stop for this week on the book tour for The Serpent’s Ring by H.D. Bolton. Pleease help me welcome the author as we discuss Writing for a Younger Audience.
Writing for a Younger Audience
The Serpent’s Ring was written in third-person limited point of view. Which basically means the story was told from a third person who had knowledge of one character — only one character’s thoughts, feelings, and biases were experienced. I never questioned having the story told from the perspective of Evan Jones, a 14-year-old boy. The funny thing was, although I’m a female and not in my early teenage years, I had little difficulty hearing Evan’s voice loud and clear. Perhaps my having taught high school for eight years or having two children of my own helped me to summon a younger voice.
Evan had a ton of rather advanced information thrown at him in a short period of time. I needed to pass this knowledge on to the reader without it feeling as though he were reading from a research paper. This was when I ran into trouble. I struggled while writing the few scenes where Evan (and the reader) needed to learn something more complex. At first, I wrote a prologue, but I wasn’t happy with dumping in information that way. So, I zeroed in on what was important and offered it in small doses throughout multiple chapters.
My goal was to sweep the reader away from his world and bring him along for the adventure. Learning something new shouldn’t feel like work, nor should today’s younger reader be underestimated. If done correctly, there is no need to “dumb down” the plot or simplify words. When someone tells me he thought The Serpent’s Ring was easy to read, I know I succeeded in my storytelling.
Today is ‘Family Fun Day’ for the Jones family. 14-year-old Evan is not looking forward to another day of being drug around by his parents to visit some boring museum. This Fun Day involves a trip to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in southeast Michigan. While on a tour, Evan thinks he sees a monkey crawling around the top of one of the buildings currently closed for renovation. Once the tour has ended, he sneaks back for another look and discovers an amazing lab of botanist Dr. Irving, who went missing while out doing research. In the lab, Evan discovers the Serpent Ring just as his sister Claire comes looking for him. They both try the Ring on their arms before heading out of the house to return to their parents. Once they step outside, they immediately notice that things have changed. They sky is orange, the ground is covered in a pale blue mist, and nothing is as it should be. Before they have time to do anything else, a large bird swoops in and steal the Serpent Ring.
At this point, the siblings meet Dunkle, the imp who had been guardian of the Serpent Ring while it was on Earth. He explains that they have been transported to the Sagass, Land of the Gods and the bird is a soldier of Aegir, the Norse sea god. Aegir plans to use the ring to cause Jormundgand, the world serpent, to release his tail, which will cause Terra (Earth) to be flooded and destroyed. With the use of the new powers of telekinesis and transmogrification, which they gained upon entering Sagaas, Evan and Claire must travel to Asgard and prevent Aegir from using the Serpent’s Ring.
This was a fun, easy read, packed with adventures. Evan and Claire meet many new and strange people and creatures on their journey; imps, giants, dragons, draugur, heroes, mermen and -maids, and even some of the gods. I enjoyed the interesting and unique ways they used their new-found powers to solve problems.While Evan seems to struggle to keep up with the events, his sister is much more laid back and willing to go with the flow. The characters, and therefore the readers, are mostly given just enough information to continue on and constantly hurried along. This keeps the action moving from one adventure to the next fairly quickly with little down time in between. This is great for some younger readers, who might become bored by long internal monologues or lengthy descriptions of what each cup or tree or section of the road might look like. My son loves to read, but struggles to find books that keep him entertained. I certainly plan to add The Serpent’s Ring to his reading list.
Author on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6150459.H_B_Bolton
You can find the book on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15769991-the-serpent-s-ring
Purchase Links for The Serpent’s Ring:
Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/The-Serpents-Ring-Relics-Mysticus/dp/1478332573/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347573815&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Serpent%27s+Ring
Amazon Kindle book: http://www.amazon.com/Serpents-Ring-Relics-Mysticus-ebook/dp/B008OOXUVU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1347573815&sr=8-2&keywords=The+Serpent%27s+Ring
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-serpents-ring-hb-bolton/1112328213?ean=9781478332572
The schedule for the week is:
10/1- Lisa’s World of Books with a Review and Guest Post
10/2- Beauty and the Bookshelf with an Interview
10/3- The Flyleaf Review with a Review and Giveaway
Love. Pray. Read. with a Review
10/4- The Book Monsters with an Author Interview and a Giveaway
Imaginary Reads with a Review and Guest Post
10/5 Lizzy’s Dark Fiction with Review, Guest Post and Giveaway