We are thrilled to start off our author interview series with Joseph Bruchac!
He is the author of more than 120 books for children and adults. The best selling Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children and others of his “Keepers” series, with its remarkable integration of science and folklore, continue to receive critical acclaim and to be used in classrooms throughout the country.
Question 1: What is your favorite letter of the alphabet and why?
Probably B, just B-cuz. But it also is the first letter of my last name, my favorite animal (Bear with me), the color of the earth and, to be honest, the faces of most of humanity–brown.
Question 2: How do you know when you are on the heels of your next really good story?
Is it that I can hear it breathing just around the corner and its tracks in the snow are still fresh? Seriously, though, the implied metaphor in that flip response is that a story is not just words or ideas, but a living thing, a presence that makes itself felt in my life and wakes me up at night asking me to tell it.
Question 3 What do you want readers to know about your latest book?
There are a bunch of things I want my readers to know about KILLER OF ENEMIES, starting with how it feels to hold your own copy in your hands or place it on your personal bookshelf. I also, quite seriously, want people to know that although it’s a book about an imagined future (that I hope never becomes a reality) it’s also about this time we’re in, where many trends might end up with us living some of the worst aspects of a future deeply divided between those who have power and those who are virtually powerless. Yet I also want them to know it’s a book that is neither pessimistic nor hopeless and that I mean it to be a testament to the human spirit, to the enduring nature of Native American cultures, and the courage of young people, whether female or male.
Question 4: What made you decide to write a dystopian YA adventure — Killer of Enemies?
I’ve been reading speculative fiction and loving it since I was in fourth grade. And this is not the first SF piece I’ve written or had published that features Native American protagonists. When this idea came to me, urged into existence by my editor Stacy Whitman who assured me that it might indeed find a place with Tu Books, it was really something I’d been thinking about for a long time and I went for it wholeheartedly.
Question 5: What’s next?
There’s always something next when it comes to the ideas I would love to turn into books. Matter of fact, I have several books underway at present and due out in the near future, including a picture book called THE HUNTER’S PROMISE, an historical novel about the Red River War of 1874 when the tribal nations of the souther plains tried (without success) to drive out the buffalo hunters called BROTHERS OF THE BUFFALO and a new collection of my recent poems entitled FOUR DIRECTIONS.
But what I am most excited about and deeply immersed in, is the writing of a sequel to KILLER OF ENEMIES entitled TRAIL OF THE DEAD. Five chapters done thus far in my first draft!
Oh, and though it is not next, having already been completed, I should mention my novella ROSE EAGLE. It’s a slight prequel to KILLER OF ENEMIES, taking place in that same post-Cloud setting. It’s only available as a digital download, though. Also from Tu Books and available from Amazon as a Kindle Edition.
Here’s are some links to bloggers excited about Joseph Bruchac’s books:Notable Native American Children’s Author: Joseph Bruchac
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