Today, I’m featuring Maggie Lyons, author of the hilarious Vin and the Dorky Duet. If you loved Diary of a Wimpy Kid, you’ll love this. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of her novel.
Maggie, I just loved both of yur novels Vin and the Dorky Duet and Dewi and the Seeds of Doom. I give them both an enthusiastic 5-stars. I laughed so hard reading them. Where on earth did you get the ideas for these novels?
Suzanne, your enthusiasm is really heartwarming. I’m so glad the books brought you a few laughs. That was the intention for all readers, young and not so young.
The basic ideas for both books came from my interests and experience. After settling on the storyline and main themes, ideas just popped up. Some came from outer space; others came from continuously asking myself what-if questions (What if he did that? What if she said that? What would my pet dragon have done if . . .? ) and by just letting the characters take over (Wait! Wait! I can’t get it all down!). Both books are geared toward reluctant readers, which dictated the narrative’s fast pace, short chapters that end in cliff hangers, descriptive brevity, humor, single point of view, single plot, and so on.
So tell us what they’re about.
Vin and the Dorky Duet hatched from my love of music and challenges. I was trained as a classical pianist and my love of music has never diminished. The main character, Vin, is a seventh-grade trumpet player. His devious sister, Meg, sets him a challenge, which he reluctantly sets out to meet, with all the concomitant surprises, disasters, and ultimate benefits that any quester can expect to confront.
Not to give too much away: the only way Vin can avoid playing Meg’s duet for trumpet and piano at the student concert is to find a replacement trumpet player. It just so happens that Meg has one in mind, Brad Stewart, a hunk she wants to meet. Vin can only approach Brad through his nerdy brother, Eyeballs. Meg persuades Vin to take on the mission by promising him an autographed David Beckham soccer jersey if he can ultimately introduce her to Brad. Vin comes up with a game plan for Operation BS, as he calls it, but things don’t quite work out as he expects . . . Well, that’s life, isn’t it?
Dewi and the Seeds of Doom is my small contribution to putting Wales on the global map. Most people know a few things about Scotland and Ireland, but far fewer folks know much about the other Celtic country in the British trio. Dewi is a Welsh dragon, the red dragon, or y ddraig goch, as he’s called in Welsh. The red dragon is a symbol of national pride (he gallops across the Welsh national flag), so Dewi can’t go around toasting everything in sight. He has to do good deeds, and since he’s young, he’s got to have fun doing them. All of that gave me the perfect excuse to write a lighthearted, rambunctious romp around the countryside in a historically dubious Wales. When Dewi is clobbered by a falling rat, the nosy Welsh dragon snoops his way into a challenging predicament. Helped by a toad with a passion for chemical wart cures, Dewi discovers that a megalomaniac baron is secretly breeding mutant corn at an unfriendly castle. To thwart the genetically modified-corn baron’s sickening plan, he must use moxie and firepower in a series of catastrophe-skirting capers. Adults may want to read the book to very young children who have only just begun to read.
What age groups are they aimed at?
Dewi and the Seeds of Doom is for kids aged six through ten or eleven. Vin and the Dorky Duet is for kids aged seven through twelve.
Where can we buy them?
Most bookstores can order them, including online stores such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, MuseItUp Publishing’s bookstore, and Halo Publishing International’s bookstore. MuseItUp lists other online stores where books are available.
Vin and the Dorky Duet—online sales
E-Book available at:
Amazon e-books/Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008AK7ALE
MuseItUp Publishing: http://tinyurl.com/8fzkj5k
Paperback available at:
Dewi and the Seeds of Doom—online sales
E-book available at:
MuseItUp Publishing: http://tinyurl.com/dx2qpve
Paperback available at:
Maggie, I know kids will love this book, especially boys. I personally shout out your books every time I do an author visit in schools. I think it’ll go viral!
Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment to win one of these roll-around-on-the-floor-laughing books. Be sure to follow the comments so we can notify you.