Today I have another guest post by my good friend, Kandi J Wyatt, and a cover reveal for her newest book, An Unexpected Exploit. This is a sequel to An Unexpected Escapade (which I posted about only a few short months ago) and is a fun adventure along the lines of “Harry and the Hendersons meets The Neverending Story.” Get it? 😉 Read on to learn more about the book and about the story behind the story from Kandi. And the author is having a special giveaway for those who preorder!
Blurb: Protect a mythical realm or his family?
Sixteen-year-old Franklin follows a Sasquatch through a portal to the realm of Shinwano and discovers a world full of mythical creatures he never expected to actually exist. Upon returning to Myrtle Beach, Oregon, he vows to protect the land, not realizing how difficult it will be to keep his promise, especially when a poacher, a NSA agent, and his friends are interested in the portal—and all for different reasons.
When the poacher threatens his family, Franklin must reconsider his vow to protect this new world to keep his family safe. The consequences of his decision reach further than just a rift in the space-time continuum.
Can Franklin live up to the trust placed on him and save this new world from an even greater danger?
Cover Designer: Amalia Chitulescu
Take a screenshot of your order, then fill out this form and choose your free gift (mobile phone wallpaper)!
Realm Makers and the Making of An Unexpected Exploit
Last April a facebook thread in Fellowship of Fantasy’s author group became very active when one member asked if attending Realm Makers was worth the expenditure. I watched as every single active member of the group piped in that Realm Makers was the best conference a fantasy writer could attend. My shy little voice asked the question, “What is Realm Makers?” only to discover that they were correct. Realm Makers is a group of fantasy and science fiction writers of faith. From that interaction came one of the best decisions I ever made.
Realm Makers offers critique groups, ability to place published books into their bookstore, and a writers conference like none I’d ever attended before. At age forty-eight I found my people. I made friends that are still friends a year later. I described it to my teen son as church camp for writers. I’d always wanted a critique group, but my schedule as a teacher never allowed me to attend a local group. When I joined Realm Makers, I was able to have a virtual critique group. We have a facebook page and a shared google drive where we’re able to post our writing and receive feedback. The best part of Realm Makers was that I was able to meet those critique partners in person at the conference last summer!
One unexpected windfall of attending the Realm Makers writers conference was An Unexpected Exploit. I had the idea for the book, but so many things were added to the book thanks to the conference. As I sat down in August last year, I wrote the book in the course of a couple of weeks thanks to dedicated time with writing sprints through Realm Makers. I can list specific aspects of the book which would not have been there if it wouldn’t have been for the conference.
The biggest contribution came about due to a mentoring appointment with Carla Hoch from FightWrite. In a fifteen minute session she showed me how to use the bo staff, what Franklin calls a bhala. She also discussed what happens if someone hits their head. From our brainstorming session, I walked away with how to defend against a gun with a bhala, as well as the just ending for Jack Collins, the poacher.
As I wrote An Unexpected Exploit, I was surprised to see how my beliefs came through. Some may say it’s not enough, and others may say it’s too much. I tried not to preach, but the sanraksaka’s belief system came through loud and clear as soon as I asked if they believed in a creator. The courage to stick with what came from that question was thanks to Tosca Lee telling us to protect our book babies and allow them to walk before sharing them with the world.
Finally, the theme of reaching beyond yourself to achieve your goals was a byproduct of Wayne Thomas Batson’s workshop. He shared how to make a theme work. When I sat down to write An Unexpected Exploit, I didn’t expect to have a strong theme, but when my editor finished her first round with the book, she praised how the phrase, “Reach to the core”, stood out. I smiled and thanked Wayne Thomas Batson.
This year I returned to Realm Makers and saw my friends again, listened to the workshops which met me again where I was, and this time bought Carla’s book so I can have her valuable advice on hand for all my writing from here on out. I’m not sure what book will be written because of this summer, but I do know I still can hear Wayne Thomas Batson’s voice telling me to get off social media, that I’m ‘stealing time’, or that each writing session should be a time of worship.
Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that’s her own five or the hundreds of students she’s been lucky to teach. When Kandi’s not spinning words to create stories, she’s using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.