Today is an interview of the irrepressible Tom Maxton. Watch out, folks, he might just prank you!
1. Introduce yourself to our readers. What should we know about you?
Hey, everybody, I'm Tom Maxton. (flexes arm muscle) The best darned running back at Landry High. Tell you what, you come on out, take me on, name the sport – I'll run you into the ground. (kicks feet onto table, shoes just this side of disreputable. Grins) So, you want to know about me.
Let's see. (grin gets wickeder) There is what I did last Halloween, with the plastic pumpkins and some condoms. Man, that was a blast. Charles and Lacey tried to arrest me for disrespecting them, but you know … they couldn't make any of the charges stick. Who would have thunk that disrespect wasn't a crime? (snickers.)
They were the real criminals, you know. (jumps to feet, paces back and forth) What they did to us. I don't hate people usually, but I make an exception for them. (shakes head, turns to stare at a wall) I didn't even do a graduation prank. I wanted to, but it wouldn't have seemed right. And now (glances at olive green flightsuit) well, let's just say the Air Force doesn't go much for pranks.
2. What do you think about the author? Tell us everything. We want to know.
Great author you have here. You have to know that. She works hard, even kept some of my (coughs, grins) nastier pranks out of the limelight. Of course, that whole classroom scene – I would have done it differently. Who wanted to be in there? The real action was out in the huddle we had in the hallway – where Michael, Sam, Billy, and I worked our butts off to stop that. But overall, nice job. Very nice.
3. What are your feelings about this story?
That it didn't have to happen, not the way it did. Everyone knew what a loser Aaron Smalley was, how he always beat on his wife. Us kids, we tried to take care of him, tried to make everyone see what a loser he was, but the adults (eye roll) didn't listen. We lost some good people that day, some great friends, and it didn't have to happen.
4. How do you feel about being a character in this book?
Couldn't leave me out, could she – the writer. I'm the comic. (Laughs) The water balloon fight, the whole thing about those bigots trying to run Lukas' parents out of town, my great stories. Of course, no one knew about those classes I took at Tech for two years, just so I could get into the flight engineer program. Well, sort of. I still have to finish my bachelor's degree, but I do that at night, while I'm in training. Boy, will everyone in Landry be surprised when I have that degree and am flying in those cool jets soon. (finger over lips) Don't tell anyone that. I want to surprise them.
5. What do you see in your future? (No spoilers please!)
Be a jet jockey – a fighter pilot. Coolest job on earth. It's just you and the aircraft. No one will stop me. And I'll be the best there is. Count on it.
6. Is there another Take Chances in the future? Will you be part of it?
Be cool to see, but I don't think that's happening. What happened then, it was all of us together. We're apart now, even my girl. I sure do miss Lydie, but she's coming to visit soon. Again. This time, we'll all be able to get off the base for some decent food.
7. Say a movie producer comes knocking. What actor/actress would you want to play you and why?
Oh, heck yeah! This will totally make a great movie. Who do I want to tell my little green men story? Easy! Taylor Lautner. Man, he was totally amazing in the Twilight movies. Great movies there. The girls get all weepy. Gives a guy a chance to get them up close. (winks)
Julie Bond grew up in Europe as a military brat. She found her very first permanent home in Landry, GA as a teen going into high school. Almost four years later, she's having pre-graduation jitters and flashing back to an incident of school violence she experienced in Europe. She attempts to convince herself that it can never happen again, but continually finds herself flashing back to that day no matter how hard she tries.
The people around her present any number of problems for Julie, and she's hard put to keep from drowning under all the issues. Then Michael--a cool guy she's had a crush on for the last three years—returns from traveling the US as a photographer, and Julie now has one more thing to distract her as she prepares to leave high school. One thing she firmly believes in: no one will ever invade her classroom with violence again.
Once again, the impossible happens. Once again, she's in a classroom with a madman holding a gun. Once again, she must survive.
His dad died when his jeep rolled over a buried mine in Afghanistan. Anna, his mom, married Aaron Smalley a month before I arrived. He is a drunk and the biggest loser in the universe.
"What's the problem?" I ask.
"AWP," Hugh says in such a low voice that I have a hard time hearing him. "Mr. Thompson stopped me before I went into Spanish. He knew, Julie. Mr. Thompson knew I didn't write the last paper. I have to redo it tonight or I'll fail." He raises his head, the devastated look on his face making me feel his pain. "How can I do it now? I know what I want to write, but Aaron will … will … you know what he'll do."
"Aaron won't get home until almost five," I say. "Tom will drop you off before three-thirty. You have plenty of time to write a paper about your dreams before the jerk shows up."
"You're right." Hugh smiles. "Thanks, Julie. You're the best friend I have, besides Lukas, Heather, and Tom." His expression turns serious. "And Michael. I sure wish he was still around."
Boy, can he say that again. Oh, how I wish Michael Taylor still lived in Landry.
KC Sprayberry started writing young, with a diary followed by an interest in English. Her first experience with publication came when she placed third in a Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge contest while in the Air Force, but her dedication to writing came after she had her youngest child, now a in his senior year of high school.
Her family lives in Northwest Georgia where she spends her days creating stories about life in the south, and far beyond. More than a dozen of her short stories have appeared in several magazines. Five anthologies feature other short stories, and her young adult novel Softly Say Goodbye, released in 2012. During 2013, more young adult stories have been released: The Ghost Catcher, Who Am I?, Family Curse … Times Two, and Amazon Best Seller, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates.
You can find her on the web here:
Stick around for the full tour. Why? On September 26 through September 29, 2013, you can pick up my other YA coming of age books, Softly Say Goodbye and Who Am I? free on Amazon:
Thank you April Erwin of Projecting A for hosting me today. Tomorrow you find the next Teaser Tour on Renee Entress Renee Entress's Blog.
You're welcome, KC! Thanks for stopping by and sharing so much fun stuff with us today. Good luck on your tour. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from you soon! - April