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Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: Will Summerhouse, author of Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer

I'm thrilled to have Will Summerhouse here today to talk about his middle-grade adventure, Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer! You have the chance to win a copy too...

Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer
(book #1)
by Will Summerhouse
Shake-a-Leg Press

Eleven-year-old Orion lives with his stodgy grandfather in eastern Maine, where nothing exciting ever happens. But then a series of strange events draws him into the mystery of a lost explorer, and Orion is swept up in a whirlwind of adventure that takes him to the top of the world. To survive he must outwit a scheming treasure hunter, team up with a gang of flimps, and take on a tyrant with an anger management problem. Can Orion solve the mystery and get back home alive? And just what are flimps, anyway?

Orion Poe is about to find out. Join him as he laughs, cries, bluffs, and shoots his way to the heart of one of the greatest mysteries in the history of exploration. Along the way he discovers that the world is far bigger—and stranger—than he ever imagined.

What three words best describe Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer?


Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer a try?

If the first two lines of Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer don’t convince reluctant readers to try the book, I don’t know what will:

“If you read what Mr. Lumpkin wrote in the newspaper about my adventure at the top of the world, you only got half the story. I don’t know why but he left out the best parts, like how I got chased all over the place, and shot at, and knocked out, and almost eaten—twice.”

Grab a copy of Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer and answer the following:

favorite chapter?

Chapter One (“The Man with the Purple Nose”), because this is when Orion’s ho-hum, ordinary life is turned upside down by the sudden and unexpected arrival of a mysterious stranger.

favorite page?

The last one, because it gives you that wonderful, satisfying, “wow” kind of feeling you always get when you reach the end of a good book.

favorite setting/place?

The lair of the King of the Flimps. Why? Because—well, I can’t tell you why, or I’ll spoil the story for you!

most fun chapter or page to write?

Chapter 30 (“What Happened in Lower Slag Lane”), because what happened there is so hard to believe it just boggles the mind!

flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentence teaser:

“The next thing I knew I was out the door and running for the cove. It was almost dark now, and the fog had reached the base of the lighthouse and was beginning to rise around it. Well, what with the darkness, and the fog, and the scare that Collins had put into me about ‘the Terror’ and all, I suddenly got a bad case of the jitters, and as I plunged into the woods I couldn’t shake the feeling that something awful was about to happen.”

What inspired Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer? How did the story come to be?

As a boy I loved reading adventure stories, especially ones that featured characters who discover lost worlds. But many of the best ones, like Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, and Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, were written for adults, and today they would feel outdated to most readers. I wrote Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer because I wanted young readers to experience all the thrills and perils of a classic, old-school adventure story, without the old-school style of writing that often gets in the way.

Do you have an absolute favorite character to write and explore in Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer? What do you love about him or her? Did any of your characters end up surprising you?

My absolute favorite character in Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer is without a doubt Peerless Jones. Peerless is a sly, sneaky, dishonest, shameless, two-faced, conceited, lying, scheming, cigar-smoking, treasure-hunting rogue who’s always throwing obstacles in Orion’s path. He’s the kind of character you love to hate. He continually surprised me, because before I created him I never knew anybody could be so low-down and underhanded.

Your character Orion embarks on a great exploration adventure...if you could explore any place from any time period, where/when would you go?

I’d go back to the 17th century, which was known as the Golden Age of Exploration. Much of the world was yet unexplored by Europeans, and there were still many blank places on the world’s maps.

What’s next for Orion? Can you tell us anything about the sequel to Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer?

Orion recently set off on an expedition to the Amazon jungle to search for Colonel Percy Fawcett, who vanished without a trace in 1925 while looking for a legendary lost city (really!). If Orion makes it out of the jungle alive—and that’s a big ‘if’—I promised I’d help him write a book about his adventure there. So keep an eye out for Orion Poe and the Lost World, due out in 2015.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a published author? The hardest or most surprising aspect?

The most rewarding thing about writing a book is knowing that countless people are journeying into a whole new world made up entirely out of your own imagination. The hardest part is writing the book!

Fill in the blanks:

I’m really awesome at running away from hungry bearwolves.

I’m really embarrassed to admit that I like peanut butter-and-cheese sandwiches.

The last great book I read was Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?

It would look like an iceberg and be made out of vanilla cake, with vanilla frosting and a sprinkling of white sugar on top. I’d call it the “Polar Express”.

Will Summerhouse is an award-winning author who has lived, worked, and traveled all over the world. Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer, Will’s debut novel, earned 5-star reviews from Foreword Clarion and IndieReader, and recently won first place in a national book competition. Publishers Weekly called it “a rousing story filled with action and tense moments,” while Kirkus hailed it as “a wild, imaginative adventure.”
Will is currently hard at work on his second book, Orion Poe and the Lost World, to be released in 2015.

Win an autographed first edition paperback copy of 
Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer!
Will has generously offered up 2 signed copies for two winners.
-US/CAN only
-2 winners will each get 1 book
-ends 6/7 at 11:59 pm ET
-must be 13+
-winners will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
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jennifer.essad said...

I'm anxious to read "Orion Poe", I love the storyline and the illustrations. I think this is going to make young readers want more and make them laugh as they're reading it

anne s. said...

This fun mystery sounds amazing. Would love for the chance to win this and pass it along to iur two middle schoolers.

Judy said...

This really looks like a good mystery book for my younger grandkids. Thanks for the giveaway.