Ask the Author: Kevin Craig
What would you like readers to know about you?
I’ve been writing steady for the last 17 years or so, after giving creative interests up for a couple of decades. I’m the author of six novels (Summer on Fire, Sebastian’s Poet, The Reasons, Burn Baby Burn Baby, Half Dead & Fully Broken, and Pride Must Be A Place). My 7th novel comes out on October 6th. It’s my 5th Young Adult novel. My 2nd and 3rd release were both adult novels with child narrators. I’m currently focusing on Queer YA voices. I’ve also had a dozen plays produced and I love writing short stories and memoir. I’m a parent and a grandparent…and both roles are among the greatest blessings I’ve had the opportunity to experience. My significant other (Michael) and I have been doing a lot of travelling during the past few years, exploring the world while we’re still able to. In the past few years, we’ve explored Spain, Portugal, China, India, Nepal, and some of the States together, to name a few of our favourites. We were supposed to spend this past month in Paris, but it was not to be. I was looking forward to showing him all of my favourite Paris places…but it will have to wait. Writing-wise, I’m working on books eight through ten right now…coming to the first-draft finish line on all three. I’m excited to see how these ones turn out!
What is your book about for those who haven’t read it?
I pitched is as a more diverse Breakfast Club meets the Camino de Santiago. It’s the story of six teens who have all committed crimes that could land them in juvenile detention. They’re each given a Get Out Of Jail Free card with The Walk program. They can escape all consequences if they walk a portion of the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. Whether they’ve chosen it, or it was chosen for them by their parents, they all arrive in Madrid as strangers and make their way to the starting point in Ponferrada, Spain. There’s Diego, Shania, Manny, Troy, Greg and Claire, and their two court appointed counsellors. The diverse teens are thrown together for the journey of their lives…200km across the mountainous Galica region of Spain.
What has been your inspiration for writing it?
I first heard about the Camino in 2010. A friend of mine–Sue Kenney–walked it herself and then set up a twice yearly walk where she takes a group of pilgrims on a short pilgrimage of the last portion of the route. She’s since become known as Camino Sue. I walked with her in 2014. I had just gone through a healing journey and wanted to cap it off with a long walk in the mountains. AND…I already had a vague idea that I wanted to write a story about troubled teens walking the Camino to gain their freedom. So I walked the route with the characters percolating in my head…and the story kind of blossomed out there on the path. Two years later, I sat down to write it. It was out and on the page in two weeks, but it percolated for those two years.
What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write?
I think my favourite scene is perhaps the one where the group go out into the night with a French man they met along the way early in their journey. They all stand under the bowl of stars that make up the Milky Way as they share a ritual to celebrate the life of one of the teen’s grandmothers. It was an emotional scene to write and I hope it’s also an emotional one to read.
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
So many! From an early age it was Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl…in that order. But sometimes we learn things about our heroes that are hard to stomach. I took the love of words and writing from them, but I’ve since left them behind. I love Naguib Mahfouz, Bohumil Hrabal, Richard Wagamese, Raziel Reid, Anne Rice, Michael Chabon, Jason Reynolds, Natalie Goldberg, Caleb Roehig, W. Somerset Maugham. Lately, I’ve been loving Adib Khorram, Tom Ryan, Becky Albertalli, Julian Winters, Adam Silvera, Adam Sass, Danika Stone. I could go on forever. Someone always comes along to make me want to continue to be a better writer. The young writers out there today are killing it. They’re all so inspiring to me, someone who left writing for quite some time and recently came back to it. They all motivate me to try harder.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
Read a book. Read all the books. Get a real feel for how a story is told by reading many stories. And keep a notebook around to jot down your own story ideas. When it’s time to tell your story, just put everything you have into it. You learn so much by consuming stories. It gives you a foundation from which to move forward with your own stories.
My Amazon Page where all my titles can be found: https://www.amazon.com/Kevin-Craig/e/B005AO83T6
The Camino Club will be available most places books are sold.