In the meantime, I thought I would share with you the story behind The Ifs, my middle grade fantasy novel. Currently, there are three in the series (The Ifs, The Ifs Return, and Undead Ifs), and the first book will soon be available as an audiobook.
I started writing this series about 6 years ago. I wanted my boys to have a story they could call their own where they got to be the heroes. I knew they were going to be middle grade books, and I wanted them to be filled with action and adventure, along with a little danger.
At the time, my boys were much younger than their counterparts in the book, and I had a lot of fun imagining how they would behave when they were finally that age. I guessed some of their traits correctly, but I was off the mark on others. But it’s not a big deal. These are fiction stories, so I used my imagination.
I think the best part about writing these stories was how the boys reacted when I read them to them. I think they were able to imagine exactly what was happening and put themselves in the characters’ shoes. There was a relationship there that they might not feel with other stories—which totally makes sense if the story is about them!
My oldest enjoys these stories so much he shared them with his classmates. He asked one night if he could take The Ifs to school, and I told him sure. The next day, he told me that the kids had the choice of three books for the teacher to read out loud, and they picked The Ifs.
At parent-teacher conferences, the teacher told me that my oldest would often interject side notes into the story—behind the scenes stuff—while she read. She said he really enjoyed having insider knowledge, and it kept the other students interested.
It makes me swell with pride to know that my boys are proud of these books. I put a lot of work and love into them, and I’m glad they enjoy reading them and having others read them. That’s the true goal of an author: to impact the reader.