Monday, June 20, 2011
Deanna Klingel's "Avery's Battlefield"
Title: Avery's Battlefield
Publisher: Journey Forth, the young reader imprint of BJU Press.
Cover blurb: Avery and his dog, Gunner, have a good life in Kanawha Valley-a loving family, a prosperous farm, and a warm community of friends. But when the long unrest between the North and South ignites into war, Avery's peaceful world is shattered. His father, brother, and uncle leave home, each drawn away by the war. Soon Avery and Gunner must begin a dangerous journey that will take them across the paths of people on both sides of the struggle. What can a simple farm boy bring to the war effort? A true heart, a healing hand, and a large supply of courage and faith. Avery discovers that his battlefield is in the clinics and hospitals, where the anger and pain continue long after the fighting ends. Avery's Battlefield is the story of a boy, a dog, and their search for peace in the first years of the Civil War.
1) How did this story come to you?
Avery told me his story. It was in my mind and heart before I put it to paper.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
The journey to publication was almost as long as Avery's journey across Virginia. Avery and Gunner started out with an agency in London who loved the story and we worked hard together on it. They took it to the Bologna Children's Book fair and a couple of major New York publishers were interested in it, one was interested in film rights. We worked on everything they asked and made all the changes they requested. Then the agents delivered it finished to their specs, and were as disappointed as I when, in the end, neither took it. I was thrilled when a year later Journey Forth said they'd be interested in seeing the manuscript, and they took it.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Three things that might surprise people about me are 1) my family: I've been married 49 years and we have 7 kids and 11 grands. 2) I dance with my dog and run a dog park. 3) Anyone who visits my house would be surprised to learn that I love to garden because there isn't any evidence of that.
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
What's next for me is book two of Avery and Gunner, Avery's Crossroad, which will be out in September, and Bread Upon the Water, coming out between Thanksgiving and Christmas from Rafka Press. Bread is a true story of a modern adventure hero, a boy who escaped Vietnam as a boat person to pursue his calling to the priesthood. I have a YA novel finished, Cracks in the Ice, a story of a destroyed Olympic dream. That manuscript is looking for a home, and the one I'm finishing up Waiting With Elmer, kind of an unusual quirky one that's been a lot of fun to create.
5) Parting comments?
I'm keeping busy and love it. I'm traveling a lot with Avery and Gunner, especially to the sesquicentennial events in Virginia, meeting lots of folks, signing a lot of books, and having fun. I even wear a reenactment costume of a nurse, a character in my book.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I have a website, http://www.booksbydeanna.com/. The last page tells where I'll be going, and there's a comment place for friends to write. I also have email firstname.lastname@example.org and I'm on facebook. I frequently blog with other writers. If you google my name you can find those. I'd love to hear from readers.