In the summer between my second and third grade years I lived in a rural part of Massachusetts. Our home sat on two acres with a small pond near the back of the property. There was a large tree near the edge of the pond and three ducks liked to hang out in the shade of the tree, waddling back into water when it suited them. This tree was where I spend most of my warm summer days.
One day in early June, I took a coil of rope from the green shed that was a catch-all for everything that was rarely used, climbed the tree, and used the rope to weave a chair between the branches. Every day I would make a lunch, grab my book of the week, and spend the afternoon in the branches of the tree reading and enjoying the movement the branches made when kissed by the breeze.
Yes, I was that kid. The odd, quirky one that who had no real physical ability, but kept his nose in a book at every opportunity.
When I started writing The Accidental World, I wanted Ethan Scott to be just an average 14-year old boy in the world he calls home. He is awkwardly tall, not overly pleasing to the eye, and very much an introvert. Ethan has no real interest in athletic endeavors, but he possesses an insatiable desire to learn. And in his accidental world, learning and strategy are what will define his future.
I’m often asked about the genre of the story and I give the same answer just because I don’t like the little boxes that we are asked to live within. I describe The Accidental World as an action/adventure story where heroism is not defined by brute strength or magical powers, but by character, love and sacrifice. The literary purists will probably cringe at that description as a defining genre…and I am happily content with that.
It probably all stems from that summer when I changed the rules about what a reading room was, and enjoyed adventures from a chair in the tree.