Conor and the Crossworlds fantasy teen book series

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We are lucky today to have a Guest Post from Kevin Gerard, the author of the Conan and the Crossworlds series of books for teens and tweens. The third book in the series, Surviving an Altered World, is slated for December.

From Kevin Gerard:
I always wanted to write but never found the courage. I took one creative writing course in college and wrote the first twenty pages of Conor’s story. The class loved it. The teacher encouraged me to write more of it.

Fifteen years I met a martial arts instructor who wrote a conditioning book for Tae Kwon Do. I asked him how he found the discipline to write an entire book. I took home what he told me and failed, but something about what he said sparked another idea. I decided I would write one double-spaced page every day. For the next five years I wrote constantly. It started out as one page; eventually it became five pages a day. I’ve never moved beyond that amount, but I’ve written every single day. Two things happen when you do that; you get into a habit and your writing gets better very quickly.

I wrote the Conor and the Crossworlds story for a variety of reasons. First and foremost concerns Purugama the magical cougar. This particular creature has lived in my mind for more than forty years. When I was a boy I laid in bed at night and imagined a great beast exactly like Purugama floating down and landing by my bedroom window. After getting dressed, I stepped through the window and climbed aboard the mighty cougar and was transformed into a powerful warrior. Off we’d fly toward our thrilling adventures. Amazingly, I kept that vision in my mind for decades until I finally wrote the first novel.

I never intended for Conor’s story to go beyond one book. A tragic event caused me to continue the story and create the characters for Book Two. The Lord of the Champions, Maya, was a realcat. He belonged to a close friend. An extraordinary cat, Maya befriended me . He was extremely proud, he had a right to be; he was a magnificent creature. One day his mistress called our home with terrible news, Maya had been attacked by a rampaging pack of pit bulls. They ripped him to pieces in his own front yard. I cried openly on the telephone. I told our friend I was going to make him immortal. I knew then he would become the Lord of the Champions. It fit perfectly, an alley cat in charge of the great wild cats the creators had chosen to be protectors of the Crossworlds.

This is how Therion, Eha, Ajur and Surmitang sprang into existence. If there was to be a force of Champions, they would have to be like no other group of saviors anywhere. Oversized, with the gifts of speech and magic, all of the Champions have distinct personalities.

The amazing aspect of this series, from an author’s viewpoint, is the trust I gave to the story and to the characters. When I began writing the third and fourth books, I honestly had no idea what would happen, where the story would go, and what would be the final outcome of each novel. As an author, I am extremely organic, and I like it that way. I think if a writer plans too much, it takes away from the spontaneity of the story. Some of the best passages from the Conor and the Crossworlds series occurred when I allowed myself to “go where the characters wanted to go.” I followed and found amazing plot twists around every corner.

I wrote these books for teens because I know they appreciate great stories, and because I wanted to give them something I believe they want very badly. I won’t explain exactly what that is, you’ll have to read the books to get the full impact, but I will say that the world is becoming increasingly complicated. Teens have so much thrown at them in just a few short years. I think the important ideas are being pushed into the background, and young folks are dying for direction. I also wanted to give teens a good hero and heroine. Conor and Janine are quite complex, but they are also what I think teens would want to emulate.

The last thing I’ll say is that I wanted to write a fun story. I watched a biography about George Lucas once. He created the Star Wars series, and the commentator said, “George Lucas made it fun to go to the movies again.” I hope someday that someone says, “Kevin Gerard made it fun for teens to read again.”

Visit Kevin’s website where you can download a free Conor and the Crossworlds ebook and keep tabs on the upcoming release of Surviving an Altered World which is due out in December
Excerpt from book one
Excerpt from book two
Excerpt from book three

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  1. Thanks for the suggestion. I am always looking for good books that my kids might enjoy.

  2. Kevin,

    I think you are so right about teenagers needing a sense of direction and a strong sense of ethics which the hero/villan roles demonstrates. I have 3 sons so I know from experience that it really is a very challenging world out there for them and any subliminal moral guidance they can get the better. Fortunatley my boys are addicted to Star Wars so maybe they won’t turn out too bad even if they have penchant for silly costumes!

  3. It was interesting to read about Kevin’s journey to become a great author, during which he continuously made efforts. Writing about five pages daily for five years is not an easy task. But the result was fantastic for all to see and enjoy.

    Thank you for sharing about the experience and also about the forthcoming series, which i’m sure, everybody will love to read.

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