Yesterday I posted the book review for “The phantom Pilot” by Ms.Ann Swann. As I have mentioned, I loved her characterization and Ms.Swann has kindly agreed to do a guest post.
To know more about her characters and a “SNEAK PEAK” into her next book “The Phantom Student” read on….
Thank you for inviting me to write a post for your blog. I also want to say how much I appreciate the honest review of The Phantom Pilot. It is very difficult to be objective about one’s own work, especially a first novel (or novella).
The character of Stevie-girl is based on myself as a child. I was the tomboy with the braid, and I had more “guy” friends than “girl” friends. Just like Stevie, I grew up in a small town with redbrick streets (though I did change the name of the town to protect the innocent). My friends and I rode our bikes everywhere. There really was a music store on the square, and a drugstore named the Dal Paso. I remember as a child how fascinated I was with the tall ceilings and huge ceiling fans. Naturally, I gave Stevie a lot of the qualities I only wish I’d possessed. I was never brave. I did love to read, though. And research things. I loved reading my history textbook in class, and I was often deep in the past when the teacher called on me to answer a question.
As for Jase, he is a combination of some of my earliest boyfriends. One was tall and sandy-haired; another was dark and played the drums. Both of them were great guys, so I put their best traits into Jase. Then I added the other things I most admired, the honesty, the altruism, even the vulnerability. I wanted the kids to be human, imperfect, but I still wanted them to be likable. In truth, I also stole some of their characteristics from students I’ve taught over the years. Which brings me to The Phantom Student, Book Two in The Phantom Series. It will be released around Halloween of this year.
In this book, a true novel length, this time, a new student moves to Crossroads. His name is Derol Pavey, and he has something called Tourette Syndrome. Again, he is based upon a combination of students I’ve had the privilege of knowing. I taught a couple of different kids with Tourette’s and Asberger’s over the years, and I have, unfortunately, witnessed many acts of teasing and bullying because of their differences. That’s where the idea for both Derol and the theme of school-bullying arose. Well, that and the strange looking little phantom in the bathroom mirror, heh heh.
As for the supernatural aspect of the books (there will be a third tale which I am working on at present), this simply stems from the fact that as a teacher, I noticed that ghost stories and gross-humor books were some of the most worn-out books in our school library, aside from non-fiction, that is. Certain kids do love their non-fiction, just like Stevie-girl. So that’s where I am right now, working on Book Three, The Phantom of Crybaby Bridge. I’m having so much fun with these characters; I hope the readers enjoy them, too.
About the Author:
Ann is the author of numerous short stories, but this is her debut novella. She loves writing, reading, movies, dogs, cats, kids, and her handsome hubby, Dude. Oh, and jalapenos! She also likes all kinds of music, especially singer/songwriters like Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Zac Brown, Kenny Chesney, Melissa Etheridge, the list goes on . . .
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