Author Highlight: Daniel Harvell
Author Highlight featuring author Daniel Harvell!
Check out my interview with Daniel along with my review.
Wishing Will is what I would refer to as a book for boys. Why this book and how did you come up with the title?
Once I’d decided that my book was going to be a story about wishes, I brainstormed all of the stories, creatures and items associated with wish-granting. I remember saying the words “wishing well” out loud during my research, and it immediately hit me – WISHING WILL! It was a fun play on words, which I always love. The lead character’s name was immediately switched to Will, and I’ve never regretted that change.
The characters in this book are funny and interesting. Were they made up or are they similar to people you may know?
The first rule of writing is write what you know. So several of the characters have a trait or two that’s representative of either me or someone I know. Will is me in several ways, though we’re overall very different. Will’s grandmother was inspired by a neighbor of mine when I lived in Milwaukee – she was the source of many good-natured laughs.
What inspired you to write this story?
I get inspired from all sorts of things – other books, movies, real life situations and people, etc. For WISHING WILL, I watched the first Harry Potter movie, then read the books, and knew I had to create my own magical young adult world too. WW is nothing like HP, but it served as a source of inspiration.
How long did it take you to get this idea to where it is now?
A couple of years, actually. Originally, the story was about a boy who would develop a new superhuman ability each night at the stroke of midnight. But why? I eventually tied his powers into the magical world of wishes, but that world evolved over the course of several months. I still have all of the notes from my first plot outline – most of the characters’ names changed, some characters were completely removed, and the plot grew and shrank more than once. Professional feedback helped immensely in shaping the book into a solid and entertaining story.
What will kids love most about your book(s)?
The zany sense of humor is the obvious answer, but I think at least subconsciously, kids are going to love that they can relate to Will’s desire to fit in.
Tell us about your cover art.
Christoph Michaud of 7Reed Design created the cover. We talked back and forth a lot about it and, together, came up with a pretty rocking piece of art. He’s an incredible talent. I have a poster-sized copy of the cover on my wall, and it never fails to get compliments.
How do you promote kids and reading?
On a whim, I decided to reach out to the middle school principals in my area and offer to donate a copy of the book and make classroom visits to talk about being a writer. I was a little surprised by how many were so interested. I’ve dropped off dozens of books and have classroom/library visits on my calendar!
Tell us about your website?
My website is fairly simple, but I do post a blog there once a week. Sometimes I’ll have insider secrets about the book for readers, and other times I’ll have marketing or self-publishing tips for fellow authors.
Will you be doing any book tours?
At the moment, none other than my local school classroom tours.
What are your thoughts on the new technology for reading a book? Like most people, I don’t like change. But e-books got me. I’m also very environmentally aware, so I think it’s the responsible direction for us to head into.
What advice do you have for parents on getting their kids reading?
Reading should be a family affair. Read together. It helps if that starts at a very young age, but it’s not too late to start if your child is in the Wishing Will age range (9 to 13). Gauge the child’s interest and pick out books together that both parents and child approve of.
What will parents and teachers love most about your book(s)?
Although it doesn’t come out and just smack you across the head, there’s a powerful lesson in the book that parents do love – you have to live your wish in order to see it come true. You can’t just close your eyes and hope for the best – you’ve got to work to make a difference.
What's your next project?
I’ve been simultaneously plotting out the sequels to both The Survivors and Wishing Will. I’ll be writing both over the course of the next few months and hope to have both ready in early 2015.
Author: Daniel Harvell with Benjamin Lund
Illustrations: 7Reed Design
Will Cricket is your average chubby kid that deals with school bullies, teasing from some of the popular kids in school, and a sister who is embarrassed by the situations he seems to get himself into. But, Will has a secret weapon. He knows how to make a wish come true. While surfing the net one day he discovered a site that talked about a wishing legend that is tied to a specific date and time. On November 11th at either 11:11a.m. or 11:11 p.m., a person could make a wish and it would come true.
Will puts his new found knowledge to the test during the lunch hour right before he's about to be hit by his nemesis Diego Rouleau. It worked. Time stood still, but not without consequence. Some very strange characters appeared and are now a regular part of Will's everyday life. These magical beings are from Sky Castle Network Enterprises better known as SCENE. They practice wishcraft and have arrived to make Will's wish come true. Unfortunately for Will there are a few stipulations and a ton of rules and Will has to earn his wish.
Will has been granted new powers, Mizms, so that he can grant wishes for others. He has to actually help someone who genuinely needs their wish granted. Like most stories there is always that evil element lurking in the shadows. A really bad genie by the name of Moloch wants to enslave humanity. Will has to adjust to his new life and friends, grant wishes but be careful not to break the rules or his world and theirs could be in danger and on top of that his grandmother has been kidnapped by Moloch. Just making a wish has become an effort to save two worlds. Can Will succeed? You'll have to read the story to see.
Author Daniel Harvell has created a fun middle grade read boys can sink their teeth into. Wishing Will offers hilarious characters, adventure, magic and an unsuspecting hero. This quick read is very visual and detailed without be boring. Parents and teachers can use this tool to open up dialogue regarding family, school and even bullies. The story-line is well structured and pulls the reader right in.
To learn more about Daniel Harvell and his writing visit The Neophyte Writer. Don't forget to visit Daniel's website and connect with him on other social media outlets.
Author of Wishing Will and The Survivors
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