Tuesday, May 19, 2015

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with 'Anzard' Christopher Conroy

Author Christopher Conroy currently lives in Los Angeles, California, but was born in Ireland and raised in Canada.  He grew up in a large family consisting of seven children, and a mother and father who by his own description were “loving, moral, fun and pure magic.”  Conroy says he was heavily influenced by John Steinbeck growing up, and also likes Jack London and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but that the “main influence for ANZARD came from that magical place in my mind where I write.”  

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About the Book:

Author Christopher Conroy has just released a book for kids aged 8-12 called ANZARD. Teachers, parents, producers...take note!  This appealing and well-written book would give Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) reason to worry.  As a matter of fact if you mixed in one part Harry Potter, with one part Pinocchio then added a generous helping of Alice in Wonderland…you’d get Anzard! 

ANZARD tells the story of how a young boy named Justin Cavell learns to listen to that voice inside him and trust his instincts.  He also learns how his dreams and wishes can come true:  Justin becomes more aware of himself and his potential to turn his dreams and wishes into reality. 

One dark and stormy night, as Justin is anxiously awaiting the return of his parents and praying for their safe return from a long overdue plane trip, he is visited by Poofy, a tiny, magical pixie who comes from the faraway planet, Spiritainia.  Justin is escorted to this wonderful world of Spiritainia by the Anzard pixie, Poofy.  Aside from Poofy, Justin is joined by his own Tribe of Truth – that include such memorable characters as Regal the Eagle, Turner the Turtle, Chumpah the Chipmunk and Billy the Goat – define Justin’s inner voice and help him in his quest of self-discovery.

Justin also learns to resolve conflict, which arrives in the form of an evil witch named Nosefeen, and captures Poofy as Poofy is guiding Justin to the Path of Possibilities. Through these adventures, Justin grows stronger and develops self-esteem, enabling him to return to Earth, find his parents, and guide them home safely.

ANZARD opens up a world of rewards for kids who learn to develop and trust their inner voice. The book helps them to become more aware and enlightened. 

The ANZARD book cover is beautifully illustrated by Peter Green Design of Glendale, California who also designs for film companies, sporting teams and many other businesses including DreamWorks, McDonald’s, The Walt Disney Company, LEGOLAND, The NBA, HBO, FOX Kids Networks, and the “Game of Thrones” fantasy drama television series, to name a few.

“A timeless, yet very modern story of a young boy’s journey to a magical new world, filled with enchanting characters and thrilling adventure.  You owe yourself a trip to Spiritania.”
            -           Victoria Lucas, Producer

“My nephew loved ANZARD so much I had to see what got him so excited.  After the first chapter I was hooked.  I normally don’t read this kind of fiction (fantasy) but the storyline was compelling enough to make me locate the author’s website and post this review. 
Can’t wait to read Mr. Conroy’s next novel!”
            -           D. Butler, Amazon Post

Justin’s story can even appeal to adults.  Says Mr. Conroy, “I want my readers to come away happier, more aware and enlightened…as a child I was aware of many things but I constantly invalidated that awareness.  I shouldn’t have.  Those gifts are precious.  Our inner awareness should be nurtured and cultivated, especially by parents and the child who has those gifts.  Maybe some part of Anzard will awaken those powers.”

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Thank you for joining us at the book club, Christopher.  Can we begin by having you tell us why writing for children is a passion for you and how you got started writing for children?

Christopher: There are two main components to a finished novel … the novel itself and the writer.  For me the novel is the energy source and for me, when writing, the novel comes through me and in some way not by me … it’s just out there and I found it.  The writer is just a messenger of great fortune.  Creativity is all around us if we would just listen.

It all started in my own childhood as a passion for writing that never has left me.  I trust my instincts to find the path to follow when I write and I trust my instincts to allow the story to come to me.  I’m fortunate to be able to communicate those stories in a way others can enjoy.

Anzard had no other choice but to be a children’s book … I just followed orders …J.  Once I have the idea, I structure the outline and then I start down the road of creativity and allow it to come to me even more.

Can you tell us a little about your main character, Justin Cavell?

Christopher: Justin Cavell is your normal, fun-loving, curious boy who has a great love for his family and his cat Cadbury.  He is also a very, brave boy who is willing to confront the unknown in order to find his lost parents.  Justin is a composite of three of my nephews.  They are wonderful guys who all have special traits and that helped me find our Justin Cavell.

Can you tell us about your supporting characters?

Christopher: There are two main supporting characters besides our main character Justin.
One character, from a far away planet called Spiritainia, is called Poofy who is part Angel and part Wizard.  Poofy represents the good in people.  Poofy comes to Earth to teach Justin to listen to his instincts and become more aware than he ever imagined.
The other character is the evil witch Nosefeen from a dangerous castle in an evil land far away.  Witch Nosefeen represents the meanness that exists in the world.  She does her best to stop ‘goodness’ from spreading.

Where is your book set and why did you choose that setting?

Christopher: My book starts in the Pacific Northwest amongst lakes, mountains and pine trees.  The story evolves into magical worlds out there in this universe of ours.
I chose the Pacific Northwest because it’s an area I love that reminds me of Canada where I was raised.  I chose the magical worlds because that’s where my imagination, and the story of Anzard, took me.

They say all fiction books have at least one pivotal point when the reader can’t put the book down.  What’s one of Anzard’s pivotal points?

Christopher: In the second chapter we arrive on a star/planet called Spiritainia where a young boy, Justin Cavell’s, prayers are being answered by a cute, teeny, pixie called Poofy.  I have heard from readers that from that point in the book it doesn’t get put down.  And from that point ... magic happens.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans?

Christopher: I wrote Anzard to share the adventure and fun of a good story that they would enjoy.

I also allowed a message to permeate my words.  And that message to my readers and fans is that each and every one of you is very special.

I want you all to know that this universe gives everyone of us unique and special gifts that you must allow yourself to find. 

Listen to you inner voice (your own Poofy) and let your gifts and instincts come to the surface for you to use for your own creativity and confidence.

I also want to say … I love you all!!!  Christopher Conroy.

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