Hello Friends! Today, I welcome fellow author, Karl Fields. I’m delighted to have him join us today for an interview. You can also read a blurb about his book The Odd Squad, and an short excerpt.
As an added benefit, Karl has some goodies for a lucky commenter:
One commenter from each stop will win a box of “Pinks,” which are pink fortune cookies that Ander, the main character has a fondness for. One $25 Amazon gift card will be given to a random commenter at the end of the tour.
(I know you’ll all want to give a comment at the end of this post to enter the drawing!)
Now, onto our interview with Karl:
How did you arrive at the idea for your book?
I think it’s common for writers to ask themselves a lot of “what if” questions. A couple years ago, I read a newspaper article about the approach a local middle school was taking toward bullying, which involved things like assemblies, counseling, zero tolerance policies, etc. One of the students quoted said he didn’t think it would work and the best way to address the problem was for the kids to come up with solutions. That got me thinking and eventually I asked myself, “what if there was a group of kids who took it upon themselves to even the score for those who’d been bullied?”
How did you come up with the title?
Titles are one of really fun parts of writing for me. Sometimes they come easier than others, and The Odd Job Squad started out as something else (I’ve since forgotten what it was). I’m a big James Bond fan and I was watching one of those Bond movie marathons on TV when “Goldfinger” came on. The villain’s muscle man is a guy who goes by the name “Odd Job.” In my story, the characters refer to their club as a business and every time they take on an assignment they call it a job, so almost as soon as Odd Job came onscreen, the title popped into my head.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since high school, though that stuff is really awful and no one besides me will ever see it. At one time, I wanted to be a screenwriter but I came to my senses about five years ago and decided what I really wanted to do was write novels.
Is writing your career? Or do you have a duo career at this point?
I’m not a full-time writer…yet. Currently, I have the dreaded day job, which can make it difficult to find time to write, but I hope to transition to writing as a career in the next year or so.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you as an author so far?
Last year I got an email from a girl who’d read The Odd Job Squad and she was just gushing about Shooter, the main girl character. She said she liked that Shooter was tough but fair and that she related to what Shooter goes through. That was really cool, especially since that’s the sort of thing I had in mind when I was writing that character.
What’s the most difficult thing that’s happened to you as an author so far?
I’m probably just fortunate, but I feel like most of experiences as a writer have been good ones. The thing that’s most difficult is being discovered. There are so many great books out there, and readers only have so many hours in a day, so getting noticed is a chore.
What are your current projects?
I’m in the middle of the second book in my Mom Con series, which is for adults. Think of it as “Ocean’s 11” with a group of single mothers. I’m also planning a series for teens that’s a takeoff on The Three Musketeers, a comic book series, and I also have to work in the sequel to The Odd Job Squad. In other words, not much. J
What do you see in your near future?
A new computer! My existing one is about eight years old and definitely making its last lap.
What quirky thing would you like your readers to know about you?
I collect USB drives, the weirder the better. My most recent addition is one shaped like a Taco Bell hot sauce packet
What would you like written as your epithet?
He told great stories.
Tell us about The Odd Job Squad:
When he’s not struggling with algebra, thirteen-year-old Ander Cartwright is the leader of an anonymous revenge club that operates within the walls of Marina Middle School. Got a beef with a classmate? Shoot Ander’s crew an email and, if your case if legit, they’ll deliver some retribution on your behalf.
It’s not easy to right wrongs and stay under the radar at the same time. That’s why Ander developed three simple rules designed to keep him and his friends from blowing their cover.
But when Ander spots the opportunity to settle an old score of his own, he ignores his own rules, setting off a chain of events that threatens to blow his cover, and it’ll take all the butt-kicking, detention-dodging skill he can muster to keep a lid on his secret.
You can find Karl at his website: www.karlfields.com
Click to buy his book at the following outlets:
Here’s an excerpt from The Odd Squad:
Christian and I swung the double doors open, upping the volume as voices – someone calling “foul” and someone else disagreeing, both at the top of their lungs – bounced off the walls. A handful of guys were shooting around at the basket closest to us, but at the far end, six others were locked up in their usual after-school game of three-on-three, and right in the middle of it was the target: one Greg Bilski.
Here’s the main thing you need to know about Greg: calling him a 49ers fan is like saying those Victoria’s Secret models are kind of pretty. He knew the name of every player the ‘Niners had drafted for the last ten years. He could analyze their playoff chances better than the guys on ESPN. The guy even blew off his own birthday party to watch a ‘Niners game – a preseason game.
On the day of the Drive Thru, he’d been running his mouth since homeroom about his new, officially licensed 49ers jersey, complete with his name on the back. Everybody had heard about it by the end of school. There was no way that thing would ever come in contact with sweat – his or anyone else’s.
The second we entered the gym, I spotted the jersey, neatly folded and resting on the bottom row of bleachers at the far end of the court. I’d taken a couple steps towards it when I realized Christian wasn’t with me. “Ready to do this?” I asked. He licked his lips, nodded and we started down the sideline. “Did Shooter look okay to you?”
Friends, take a moment to leave a comment and be entered into the drawing! Not to mention, I always love to hear what you have to say.
And as always, thanks for stopping by,