Today in my continuing effort to feature fellow debut authors, I am pleased to welcome Skila Brown, whose book in verse is literally hot off the press as of March 25th! Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing (within the U.S. only) for a copy of this lovely book and I’ll put your name in again for every social media you tell me you contacted.
Here’s the jacket copy:
Set in 1981 Guatemala, a lyrical debut novel tells the powerful tale of a boy who must decide what it means to be a man during a time of war.
Carlos knows that when the soldiers arrive with warnings about the Communist rebels, it is time to be a man and defend the village, keep everyone safe. But Mama tells him not yet—he’s still her quiet moonfaced boy. The soldiers laugh at the villagers, and before they move on, a neighbor is found dangling from a tree, a sign on his neck: Communist.
Mama tells Carlos to run and hide, then try to find her. . . . Numb and alone, he must join a band of guerillas as they trek to the top of the mountain where Carlos’s abuela lives. Will he be in time, and brave enough, to warn them about the soldiers? What will he do then? A novel in verse inspired by actual events during Guatemala’s civil war, Caminar is the moving story of a boy who loses nearly everything before discovering who he really is.
Who is your protagonist?
Carlos is a young boy who’s in that awkward place of being too old to be treated like a child and too young to be allowed to be anything else. He’s a strong kid, full of resilience and kindness. He’s in a hurry to grow up, but not prepared for how fast he must do so, when his village is attacked and he’s left alive but alone.
What are you working on next?
I just finished revising another novel in verse – this one is YA. I don’t think I’ll say much about it except—there is cannibalism!
Where are you from?
I grew up in Kentucky and Tennessee, but I’ve also lived in North Carolina and in various parts of Indiana. One summer I lived in Mexico. And two years ago, we moved to Guatemala for half a year. All beautiful places!
When do you write best?
I write best when I’m by the ocean, surrounded by writer friends, tea and chocolate. And no kids. But since that doesn’t happen often enough, I make do, writing anytime I can. (Which is basically until I hear one of my sons pounding on another one. And even then, sometimes I just yell loudly for them to stop and I keep writing.)
I think the best answer to this question is really a poem, “I Write in the Laundromat” by Marcy Sheiner, and since you’re a poet, Linda, I’m going to share a link to it here: http://libraryland.tumblr.com/post/4702436496/i-write-in-the-laundromat-by-marcy-sheiner
Why did you decide to write about your book topic?
When I learned about what was happening in Guatemala in the 1980s, what most people would consider to be genocide, I was heartbroken. Especially when I did a little digging and found out the U.S. had supplied weaponry and training to the soldiers in charge. Sometimes it feels like we don’t have a lot of power to do anything about the things that disappoint us. But seeing an injustice and telling others about it is a start. And what better way to do that than through a story.
Thanks, Linda, for having me visit your blog!
Skila Brown holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives with her family in Indiana. You can order her book through the following links:
Hey READERS, I would love to hear from you.
Is your MIND FULL of old thoughts or new?