Hi everyone, today’s special guest is a children’s author whose book ‘The Colour Red’ stole both my grandsons hearts. Join me and find out what makes this beautifully illustrated book so special and as a treat to my readers, there is a link to a free ebook of Stephan’s new story in the series, entitled: ‘The Colour Blue’.
Stephan’s Genre is: Children’s Fairytales
Stephan’s Website: http://www.lossdeplott.com
Stephan’s Bio …
Living in South East Kent, Stephan gave up a career in corporate HR to write and illustrate. Loss De Plott & The Book of Dreams is the first of his fairy tales for children featuring the beguiling Loss De Plott. When not drinking copious amounts of coffee and beavering at the keyboard his favourite past time is yomping across the downs with his dog and as far away from a mobile phone as he can possibly get.
Book Blurb …
Some tales were meant to be read at Christmas, but The Colour Red is a children’s Christmas tale for everyday of the year.
Never let the magic of Christmas fade as they enter the magical world of Loss De Plott. One of the most exciting and endearing characters your child will ever meet!
The colour of magic is brought to life for children everywhere in The Colour Red. Not at all like the colour purple or even blue but a colour which brings dreams to life. All within a book of dreams given to Loss by a man in a very strange hat!
“Now promise me Loss,” her grandmother said, “you will never draw anything in the colour red. And whatever you draw must come from your dreams, where the things that you see are not what they seem!”
Wonderful Stuff! ‘The Colour Red’ really is a fabulous story – Now let’s learn a little more about Stephan, the author …
Q Where did the idea for ‘Loss De Plott, The Colour Red’ come from?
Now that is a story! People often think I am pulling their leg when I tell it, but everything started with a peculiar incident in Strassburg some 12 years ago. I tell it in full in my blog though the short version is an angry gypsy and a prediction! It really is quite long so I have taken the easy way out and simply added a link! http://stephanjmyers.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/kylie-minogue-loss-dead-mans-curse.html
Q I have to say I truly think your book cover to ‘The Colour Red’ is very appealing. Its simplicity with its subtle water colours makes the whole picture look pleasant and your characters appear warm and friendly. Who, if anyone, helped you to design the cover and all your characters?
I design the covers myself, but creating the character of Loss and her fellow adventurers has very much been a team effort as I work closely with the brilliant Nicholas Smith. We didn’t want to follow mainstream illustration, choosing instead to combine watercolours and digital art. It takes a lot of work, but you develop characters with more depth that appeals to readers of all ages. I can tell you that the characters have been through some very strange transitions before they arrive in print and if it wasn’t for Nick’s endless reserve of patience they might have turned out quite differently!
Q Of all the genre’s you could have chosen, what made writing a children’s book so appealing?
The first book I wrote was simply entitled Loss De Plott which is a fable for ‘grown ups’ and I was intending to release the sequel ‘Whisperers In The Dark’ this year, but the children’s books are absolutely essential in moving the tale of Loss along. I firmly believe that the greatest loss as we grow older is the slow dissolution of our dreams. Putting them aside in the pursuit of what often becomes ‘the daily grind’ writing and illustrating Loss is my way of keeping those dreams alive, of ensuring the ‘Magic Never Fades’.
Q I thought the way the story was written in rhythm was a brilliant idea and because of this my two grandsons really enjoyed reading it. Was this story always going to be in rhythm or did something happen to make you sit down and write it this way?
Your readers may think me a little unhinged but I do believe it is the rhythm of words that ultimately find resonance with a reader. Authors often talk about finding their voice, that unique signature which makes a particular writers work so distinctive. I never think about rhyming, the words simply pop into my head and I write them down as they are meant to be. It’s a little pretentious but I describe it as writing from the heart. It may never make me rich but it certainly makes me happy and why would anyone choose a pursuit that doesn’t?
Q Is there an actual meaning to your book, or a message you’re trying to get across to your young readers?
Absolutely. Every book about Loss links together to create an epic tale. Although you can read them individually they all link together with hidden clues and messages leading to something far bigger. This will become clear with the release of ‘Shadows In The Dark’. In the children’s books each of the characters that Loss meets is a younger version of a character she meets in Loss De Plott, the grown up fable. My hope is that in writing them, readers will find the books infinitely intriguing as they try to unravel the meaning and clues within.
Q Who, if anyone, influenced your writing when you first started out?
This is the easiest question for me to answer and in short it was a gentleman called ‘Harry Hawden’. My very last English teacher, to whom I dedicated my first book and one who left an indelible influence on my choice of books and the words that I write. He was one of those rare remarkable individuals who could read a book and transport you to another place with the timbre of his voice, but beyond that he had a passion for reading that was infectious. The longer answer would be to include the authors I have come to love. You can certainly see their influences in the books I write, but I will leave it up to your readers to see if they see them too.
Q What is the next stage of your writing career? Are there more books like ‘The Colour Red’ in the pipeline?
Loss De Plott & The Colour Blue (a Halloween tale) was released in July and The Colour Gold is due for release in January 2014 with The Colour Silver slated for a May day release. In between I am really excited about the release of ‘The Prayer’ on December 1st 2013 and the release of ‘Shadows In The Dark’ which is the first in a series of novels for young adults featuring Loss and which begins to fill in the back story to Loss De Plott & The Golden Scroll. Loss is a mystery to be solved with every book containing clues to something truly amazing. It is only by reading each one that the answers will be revealed. With the release of ‘Shadows In The Dark’ readers and fans of Loss are going to realise that what they have been reading is much, much more than just a book!
Q I noticed you have received some amazing reviews on Amazon for your book and that must be so exciting? Tell me, apart from 5 star reviews, what else gives you a buzz?
I’ve had a very active life. There have been highs and lows, regrets and opportunities missed, but all those pale beside the sheer joy of creating books which are genuinely enjoyed. Writing and drawing really are the only buzz I need.
Q For anyone out there who is thinking about becoming a children’s author what advice would you give?
Be courageous. Writing is the most revealing of pursuits in that to write what you really want, you must bare your soul and be prepared for the knocks that come with doing so. Beyond that, the only other advice I would give is never compromise. The book and possibly the illustrations you create will be your legacy, leave a great impression!
Q Where do you see yourself in five years time?
If I told you I can’t see past today you might think me short sighted, but my philosophy on life and its vagrancies are well reflected in Loss De Plott in that I believe change is the only constant and wherever we think we will be is simply an aspiration. If I could wave the proverbial magic wand I would love for Loss to reach a truly global readership and all the books currently sitting in my top drawer to be in print. I also hope to be queuing outside a book store waiting for the latest release from a certain Lynette Creswell!
‘The Colour Blue’ – The 2nd book in the series – A Children’s Halloween Tale with Witches, Lanterns, Broomsticks & Spells.
Reviews of ‘The Colour Blue’
“Stephan J Myers has a gift for making music out of words. Like all of Myers’ work, this is a deeply moving story, yet on the surface it appears but a child’s winter fairytale. Look deeper, however, and you’ll find valuable lessons on every page. You can’t go wrong with this delightful book.”
“A captivating and truly thought provoking read. It brings innocence and wild imagination together, page by page, wrapped in wonderful illustrative treats.”
“A wonderfully engaging tale that carries you along to a melody all of its own.”
Readers can get a free kindle/ePub copy of The Colour Blue today, just follow the link provided: http://www.lossdeplott.com/free-copies-of-the-colour-blue/4575680238
Amazon UK Links for ‘The Colour Red’:
Amazon US Link for ‘The Colour Red’:
The link where readers can get a free kindle/ePub copy of The Colour Blue:
Thank you for joining me here today Stephan, I have thoroughly enjoyed our session together. I also wish you well with all your Loss De Plott books and I’m positive children everywhere will simply love your colourful series of remarkable tales.