Interview with Local Author, Linda Phelps

Interview with Local Author, Linda Phelps

When did you first realize you wanted
to write a book?
The thought to write a book occurred
to me about 10 years ago. Many of the
stories I share in the book have been
family favorites re-told around the dinner
table again and again. The decision to
actually WRITE the book came about last
summer, while Dave and I were camping
at my favorite spot by the ocean. I love
teaching kids so the years I spent working
with local youth at our Creative STEAM
LEGO® Center really touched my heart
and meant a lot to me. As I write, I am
picturing those sweet faces and how they
might enjoy these stories too.

What is your book about?
The story follows Johnny and his younger
brother, Drummer Boy as they grow and
explore their new world with their friends
Shred, Tucker, Boomer, and LuLu Belle
and others. The Band has a chance to
perform at the High School’s Battle of
the Bands. This is scary for them since
Drummer Boy is still in Elementary
School and the other Bandmates have
just started seventh grade at the Middle
School.


You mention Johnny’s anxiety in the
book description. How does the story
address such a serious subject?
Kids carry around emotions too, except
they don’t always have the right tools to
process or express them in healthy
ways. In this story, Johnny is gripped by
shyness and anxiety due to his parent’s
divorce. He desperately needs braces
for his crooked front teeth. Mom can’t
afford them yet, so Johnny must carry on
using his breathing and positive self-talk.
Composing music becomes Johnny’s
solace. He and his brother, Drummer Boy
create the perfect, innovative space to
express their talents in Mom’s laundry
room which quickly gets renamed, the
Band Room. I feel like these stories
could be helpful for both boys and girls.
LuLu Belle, who is a strong supporting
character, will eventually have her own
book. She is brave, creative and full of
life. LuLu believes in herself and her
friends. She provides a beautiful example
of self-love, which I think young girls
need more of these days. My hope is
that the Adventures of the Johnny Pocket
Band Book Series inspires kids to not
only read more, but to reach for their
dreams even when they seem scary.

The book is set in Chico and we see an
illustration of Mount Lassen, tell us
more about that!
The story begins with the family moving
from the beautiful, mountain town of
Chester to the larger, city of Chico,
California in the early 2000s after Mom
and Dad divorce. My favorite illustration
for this book is the portrait of Mt. Lassen
because it is such a special place. In
Book 2, the Brothers visit their Dad over
vacation, so readers can count on more
exciting adventures into the wilds of the
Chester/Lake Almanor nature.

What is the hardest thing about writing
in your opinion?
Probably the self-discipline required to
schedule daily writing time. It’s much
easier to go shopping or flip on a TV
show. So setting a goal with a due date,
then breaking it down into a daily method
of operation is my challenge.

How hard was it to sit down and
actually start writing something?
Once I made the decision to write the
book, it was a really fun learning process.
The hard part was choosing which topics
to cover since there are so many sweet
memories to choose from.

How long did it take you to write this
book?
It took ten months to write and illustrate
this book. I’m hoping the next installment
will flow a little faster now that I have a
better idea of the process.

Will there be a sequel to the Band’s
Adventure?
Absolutely! My plan is to have a series of
at least four action-packed books in this
series. In Book 2, Drummer Boy will face
a bully and Johnny will find the courage
to talk to the girl he likes. At the same
time, the Band will prepare for their next
show.

Where can we pick up a copy of your
book?
The website is JohnnyPocket.net or
go directly to Amazon to find both
Kindle and Paperback. An Audiobook
is in the works as well, complete with
fun sound effects that I think kids will
enjoy. Readers can join our newsletter
and follow us on Facebook. I will
keep everyone posted about any of the
upcoming fun.

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