Frequently asked questions
1. Who are your books for?
I write and illustrate fantasy adventure chapter books aimed at kids anywhere from six and up. It seems to me that most of my readers are 6-11 years old, but I receive lots of correspondence from readers of all ages. My most popular books are The Chronicles of Kendra Kandlestar, which you can explore in detail at the Kendra Kandlestar website.
I have also illustrated books for picture books authors. These books are generally aimed at younger kids, from newborns to five years old.
2. Where do you get your ideas?
I am inspired by mythology and world folklore. Since I was a small boy, I have always been fascinated by the tales and mysteries of the ancient world. Now, as an adult, one of my greatest joys is to travel to ancient sites around the world. Some of the places I have visited include the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, Stonehenge in England, Chitzeniza in Mexico, the Mayan ruins of Tikal in Guatemala, the Great Wall of China, Ayutthaya in Thailand, the Alhambra palace complex in Spain, and of course many other temples, castles, and extravagant examples of architecture in Europe and Asia. Such visits help connect me to the magic of the worlds I create.
3. Will your books ever be made into movies?
I’m a writer and illustrator, so I concentrate on telling my stories through books. However, I do think some of my books, such as The Chronicles of Kendra Kandlestar, would be interesting movies. However, if any of my books are ever made into movies, it won’t be by me.
4. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. In fact, I wrote my first book when I was five or six years old. Most of my stories that I wrote as a kid were similar to the books I write now, filled with magic, monsters, and mystery.
5. Do you visit schools?
Yes, I love to visit schools and tell children about my books and how I came to be an author and illustrator. Just visit the School Visits page for more information.
6. Do you have study guides for teachers?
Yes, I have free teacher guides for The Chronicles of Kendra Kandlestar. You can download them by visiting the Kendra Kandlestar website. If you have any additional questions, send me an e-mail and I’ll answer as soon as possible!
7. Where can I buy your books?
Most of my books are available at retailers in Canada and the US, or through Amazon. For The Chronicles of Kendra Kandlestar, please visit the Kendra Kandlestar website for helpful purchasing links. I also offer book sales directly from me as part of an author visit to a school. For more information about booking me at your school and arranging a direct book sale, send me an e-mail.
8. Have your books won any awards?
Happily, yes! The Box of Whispers is currently nominated for the Chocolate Lily Award. The Box of Whispers, The Door to Unger, and The Crack in Kazah have won the Mom’s Choice Award®. The Box of Whispers was also recommended in 2007 by the Canadian Toy Testing Council. The Door to Unger was an award-winning finalist for the National Best Book Awards. The Shard from Greeve was picked as one of 2010's best books for kids and teens by the Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC). The Crack in Kazah won the Reader View's Reviewer's Choice Award, the Mom's Choice Award, and was picked as one of 2012's best books for kids and teens by the CCBC.
9. Which do you like better, writing or illustrating?
Honestly, it depends on the day and what mood I’m in. I really love to do both, but sometimes I feel frustrated with one or the other and need to take a break.
10. What are you working on right now?
I am now working diligently on the fifth installment in the Kendra Kandlestar series, which will be called Kendra Kandlestar and the Search for Arazeen. It will be released in 2014. You can get the latest updates by visiting my blog.