This week we are featuring Celtic Run, a middle grade novel by Sean Vogel and published by MB Publishing. I am always game for a book that writes about adventure and treasure hunting and this one is sure to satisfy those interested in” action-adventure” books. You feel like you are on the journey with Jake and enjoying the beautiful scenery of Ireland, where the story takes place. I had a chance to speak to Sean this week about his middle-grade book that recently won a Dan Poynter’s Global Ebook Award!
Tell us how the idea for Celtic Run came about.
As a kid, some of my favorite stories featured ordinary kids who found themselves in extraordinarily harrowing situations, where all they had were their wits and each other to survive. Growing up, I decided that someday I would write a series starring a gadget-oriented boy who, despite his own faults, would be able to lead his friends on adventures. In my mind, the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland was the perfect choice for the story’s setting. The wild action of the Irish coastline and the green rolling hills—full of mystery, beauty, and danger—became essential elements. Then, in researching the area, I discovered some facts about the Spanish Armada, which prompted the main storyline: a treasure hunt.
How long did it take you to write the story?
That is a very difficult question to answer. I have drafts that date back as far as 2004. However, for a couple of years, I was working on other projects and novels. For instance, I wrote a romance novel, but when my wife reminded me that I’m not romantic, I realized I should have stayed with my true passion, juvenile fiction. I really became serious about Celtic Run in late 2009 and formally submitted my draft to MB Publishing in June 2011.
Who is your favorite character in the story?
Writing scenes for Zach, with his sarcastic attitude, was a lot of fun. The little zingers he shoots at the others make me laugh each time I read them. Maggie and Julie, two strong-willed girls who don’t put up with the boys’ shenanigans, provide a great writing challenge as I balance their sweetness with confidence and strength. Jake, however, has to be my overall favorite. As the hero, his private thoughts, hopes, and fears are always in view, and one can’t help but root for him.
Any new books in the works?
Yes! I am very pleased to be under contract with MB Publishing for Chicago Bound, the second in the Jake McGreevy series. In the sequel, Jake travels to Chicago and quickly becomes entangled in a mystery about a missing 100-year-old masterpiece from the art world. The energy of Chicago during the winter holiday season fuels Jake, Julie, and some new friends as they unravel the clues.
You can read more about Sean and his upcoming novel Chicago Bound here: http://www.seanvogel.com/
To purchase Celtic Run go here: http://mbpublishing.com/product/celtic-run/