Mikey Brooks is a small child masquerading as adult. On occasion you’ll find him dancing the funky chicken, singing like a banshee, and pretending to have never grown up. He is the author/illustrator of several books including BEAN’S DRAGONS, the ABC ADVENTURES series, and author of the middle-grade fantasy-adventure novel, THE DREAM KEEPER. He spends most of his time playing with his daughters and working as a freelance illustrator. Mikey has a BS degree in Creative Writing from Utah State University. He is also one of the hosts of the Authors’ Think Tank Podcast.
Loser—the most frightening word to ever be uttered in junior high school. Even the coolest kids are afraid of being associated with it. 14-year-old Parker Bennett is no exception. He can’t even be himself around his friends for fear they might not accept who he really is. When circumstances force him to team up with Kaelyn Clarke, the biggest loser in the ninth grade, Parker has to decide what is more important; protecting his social status or saving the world. Nightmare named Fyren has taken over the gateway to the realm of Dreams, with the intention of controlling mortals, and it falls on Parker, Kaelyn, and Gladamyr – the Dream Keeper – to stop him. They learn being called a loser is no longer a fear, when compared to the terror of real nightmares.
“This really is a cracking novel. Action-packed and spellbinding!”—Cas Peace, author of The Artisans of Albia series.
Deirdra: When did you first know you wanted to be an author? When did you write your first book?
Mikey: I have always been a storyteller. We lived on a farm in a very rural town in southern Missouri. Our nearest neighbor was about a mile away and the house was surrounded by thick woods. A lot of stories came from those woods. Stories of ghosts, fairies, and goblins. I started actually putting words to paper when I was 13. I finished my first full length book when I was 19. I thought it was the next bestseller. In reality it was terrible. But hey, we all start somewhere and I only had one direction to go: up.
Deirdra: What is your writing and educational background?
Mikey: I received my BS degree in Creative Writing from Utah State University. Although I had fantastic mentors I sometimes think the experience dampened my creative side. School has a way of getting creative thinkers to think not so creatively—something that took me several years to overcome. I do like people to know that I did put forth some effort. Education is important.
Deirdra: What books have most influenced your life?
Mikey: I absolutely loved books that were about far off lands filled with magic and adventure. I devoured the Oz books and loved Narnia. Really it was anything that helped me believe there was something wonderful hidden in our world. Hey helped me to look for the fantastic in the most mundane. A wardrobe is never just a wardrobe after reading C.S. Lewis.
Deirdra: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
My dream is to have kids like my books. There is no greater satisfaction than having someone tell you how much they loved your work. I have a drawer that I keep positive comments in. When I get discouraged I open up that drawer and remind myself why I do this in the first place. One of my favorites is a note from a six-year-old girl named Mattie. She wrote it herself in big, blue crayon letters. How cool is that? To have a child take the time to express how much they liked something is the best realization ever.
Deirdra: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?
Mikey: Spend an afternoon with a child and you can go practically anywhere, a jungle, the moon, under the sea, even Oz. I try to make time every day to daydream and live life in the imagination of my girls. They are the foundation of my ideas. Sometimes I find the same theme coming up again and again. When that happens I know that is something worth telling.
Deirdra: What do you hope readers will get from your books?
Mikey: My goal in writing each of my books is the desire to bring a little bit of magic to the reader. As an author/illustrator I am always trying to find was to tell a story with either art or words. My hope is that kids will find something they like in both and it will help them to develop a love of literature and art. Plus, I want them to have fun.
Deirdra: Can you tell us a little about your book, THE DREAM KEEPER?
Mikey: Of course! It’s a middle-grade action-adventure novel with a toe in both the real world and the fantastic. When an evil shifter takes over the gateway to the realm of Dreams, it falls to 14-year-olds Parker and Kaelyn to stop him. Their only hope lies with Gladamyr, the Dream Keeper, but can they trust a Nightmare to save their world?
This book is inspired by the classic tales that I loved when I was a kid, The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. It’s filled with suspense, action, and of course nightmares.
Thanks so much, Mikey. By the way, I absolutely love your book cover!
You can find out more about Mikey and his books at http://www.insidemikeysworld.com/ or visit his Amazon author page at: http://www.amazon.com/Mikey-Brooks/e/B00B8ICZ4W on Goodreads at: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6583458.Mikey_Brooks on Facebook at: http://facebook.com/writtenbymikeybrooks on Twitter as @writtenbymikey or check out his blog at http://writtenbymikey.blogspot.com/. You can also email Mikey at: insidemikeysworld(at)gmail.com.
Paperback Create Space: https://www.createspace.com/4260677