by Grant and Gary Reed
After ninety years of warring, exploring, and saving the realm, brothers Yarl and Fonn, must take up the title of Master again. If they don’t, someone else will surely steal all the fame, glory, and fertile women. How will they ever train new apprentices, save the kingdom, and still find time to fit in that extra order of chicken wings? Make no mistake, the old Masters have a lot to pass on and only a short timeframe to do it.
Will young Garrett flourish as an apprentice Sworvei? Can his partner Azilda master the ‘Nesting Nightingale’? And who in hell invited the ogres?
Join this rag-tag group of ‘Protectors of the Realm’ to see if they can pull off the biggest upset of the Continental Games, by saving young King Renli from the clutches of the evil First General.
“His name is James Lacie. Once he was one of the top alchemists in Cassadia. He was highly sought after for his many time-saving inventions and numerous elixirs. At any given time his shop carried wart remover, air fresheners, love potions, and something closer to that which you seek.”
Miss Mia turned back to her mirror and dabbed at her rosy cheeks again, humming to herself. Milo reached to his belt and produced a small leather bag. Opening the pouch he emptied it into the palm of his left hand. A pair of opal earrings spilled forth. “Closer to that which I seek, you say?” he inquired.
“Yes, a chemical fruit that when eaten would unknowingly render the eater susceptible to suggestion. A great party favourite a few years back. The unsuspecting victim would eat the fruit and was then told to cluck like a chicken or act like a coconut. Its effects would sometimes last the duration of a good party.”
“Yes, the gag would be much funnier if the victim was unsuspecting,” mused Milo. “Tell me, where can I find this James Lacie’s shop?”
“He no longer has one,” replied Mia. “It had something to do with a potion mix up. The king’s cousin ended up falling in love with a sheep, as I recall. The royal family was not impressed, and you know how the Chronicle can be when it gets its hands on what it deems to be a front page story. Ruined the man’s career, or so I’m told. Anyway Mr. Lacie has been on the lam ever since.”
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Gary Reed, co-author of Funny Fruit.
Hi Gary, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Well I’m a forty year old virgin. No wait that was the last movie I watched. Actually I’m only 39 and I have been writing for 20 years. I have a B.sc. I don’t use. I drive a Subaru (with a turbo), which I do use. I am happily married to my high school sweety. We have two beautiful daughters. I refuse to grow up, hence the useless B.sc. When not writing, I am an avid outdoorsman and photographer. I would rather not mention what hockey team I root for because they suck. Go leafs!
What were you like at school?
In school I was a good student. I read a lot. I was quiet. I was a twin. I was poor. How do you think school went? But who’s laughing now. All that reading paid off. I drive a Subaru and my wife is a doctor!!!
Were you good at English?
As good as you could be without crossing that line to becoming teacher’s pet. I didn’t need that on my plate. Besides, Grant had that title. Being a twin and really sucking in gym class wasn’t enough?
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
My ambitions are simple. Feed my fans with the best stories, ideas, jokes and adventures I can. If I think it’s funny, then I have accomplished my goal. I hope others will have a chuckle too!
Which writers inspire you?
George R R Martin, David Gemmell, R. A. Salvator. As a kid I collected Dragonlance and Forgotton Realms books. I still have them. Those were my first inspirations.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Garrett sees the world as an unbroken soul. He is an optimistic character with a driving sense of justice. His naivety is what sells him and gives us a chuckle. He is honest to the core. He also has the knack of making some really quirky friends!
What are you working on at the minute?
I have ideas for doing the third book in the Vellian Heroes series, but I am also working on a photography book. I have switched gears over the years, and while Grant focused on continuing the Vellian series’, Photography took over most of my spare time. You can check out some of my award winning pics here:
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Well I’m thinking we should cast Yarl and Fonn. I have a couple of actors in mind, but we have to sign them quick and get this shoot done. They’re not getting any younger. Ian Mckellen would make a great Fonn and we’ll see if Michael Gambon is available for Yarl. Yes, I would think about John Cleese as an understudy, but he would need to drop that horrible fake accent.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I was younger and sitting at work. Avoiding work. Let’s say I found myself in a secluded office with a locked door a computer and four hours until quitting time…
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I like to write in the morning. Ideas are fresh, the house is quiet. I set a daily goal and when I reach that goal whether it’s a set number of pages, an idea or even a chapter, I break and that’s it. I never force myself to write.
Where do your ideas come from?
The people I know are my inspiration. We all have those wacky characters in our lives that can inspire funny. Most of the time they don’t even know they are funny and that is what makes it so.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Both. Sometimes I am following a plot and a great idea strikes me. You have to follow the great ideas. No plot outline should ever constrict you from adding something funny. I always end up where I have planned. I may just take a detour to get there.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
The writing was the easy part. It’s all of the marketing that’s hard!
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.
I don’t read as much as when I was a kid, but I still enjoy a good George R R martin or a Patrick Rothfuss.
For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Paperback. I don’t own a single ebook. I collect paper/hard backs. It’s a sickness.
What book are you reading at present?
Chris Hadfield’s An Astonaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.
Tell us about the covers and how they came about.
The covers have changed a few times and have always come from our own artwork. Either photography or illustrations.
Who designed your book covers?
Did I mention I also have a graphic design diploma that I don’t use…well, now that the covers are done, I don’t use it!
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Yes. When you give the books away you are growing the fan base. Not everyone who downloads it will like it. But for those that do, it’s a great way to be invited to enjoy the series.
How do you relax?
I enjoy outdoor activities. I hike daily and am an avid nature photographer.
What is your favorite movie?
So many favorites. One of the most influential was the Princess Bride. As a kid it, was the greatest movie ever. As an adult it’s still one of the greatest adventure movies ever.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
You can check out www.grantreed.ca (I made him pay for the site, so he got to name it…*sigh*)
Any final words?
Yes. Read the book. Laugh. Then drop us an email and let us know what you thought. Thank you very much for allowing me to showcase our work.
Thank you for spending time answering questions and letting us get to know you, Gary.
Grant Reed has a background in business management, computer programming, and computer networking. He would much rather be out fishing though, so he spends his time writing and exploring the lakes in his back yard of Canada. He lives in Lively Ontario, Canada with his wife Robin, and their two children Aidan and Megan.
Gary Reed, his wife Kerry and their two children, Hannah and Kailey also live in Lively Ontario, Canada. And yes, he spends his time exploring the countryside too. Photography, fishing, and playing with his girls are amongst his interests.
Buy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JZO675Y
Grant and Gary Reed will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.