Today, I’d like to welcome A.R. Marshall – educator, world traveler, fellow Californian, and author of the exciting new Story Keeping series.
Q. Welcome! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.
A. I fell in love with storytelling as a kid.
My parents wove incredible tales at bedtime and around campfires. I think I caught my mother’s passion for writing pretty early. In time, I was weaving similar stories for my wife, and now our three kids.
The Story Keeping series really tries to capture that bedtime story excitement – the kids tuck into their bunks to hear grandpa read, and the story literally comes to life as they help the hero navigate conflict – from inside and outside the pages. Grandpa serves as a guide and mentor to these young heroes, teaching them the art of story keeping. The twists and turns will, as grandpa says, “Put goose bumps on your arms and tickle the hair in your ears.”
It’s a joy to finally put these stories to paper.
I’ve spent more time in school than I’d like to admit, and along the way I met some incredible folks. A few standout teachers really tricked me into thinking I could do anything – Mrs. Orona (4th), Mrs. Avery (11th), and Dr. Joliff (undergrad) – and taught me the fundamentals for writing success.
On a personal level, pushing through graduate degrees in Philosophy (MA) and Education (PhD) taught me a lot about persistence. I actually penned the first “Story Keeping” manuscript as a creative exercise – to clear my head so I could finish data analysis and interpretation chapters for my PhD dissertation. And, it worked!
Q. Interesting! Can you tell us something about your greatest success?
A. In 2010, my wife and I boarded a plane to Edinburgh with a few bags, a two-year-old, and a nine-month old to start a PhD in Education – the adventure of our lifetime. We traded our cookie cutter suburban life for 500sqft of government housing in the heart of the city – with views of Arthur’s seat and the Queen’s Palace.
We learned a lot about living simply and paying attention to what we value. The move changed us forever – a story of struggle, isolation, hope, adventure, and ultimately transformation.
Q. What have you found to be most challenging, in terms of writing?
A. Writing takes time, and as our family grows – and grows up – finding that time becomes increasingly difficult. Between tennis, basketball, baseball, water polo, scouts, and AWANAs, we spend a lot of time in our 2002 MDX. Sometimes, I find myself outlining new books in the car, but writing scenes requires a different level of focus. Carving focused writing time means getting up early or staying up late – and usually involves loads of caffeine.
Story Keeping: The Night I Became A Hero
A chapter book for kids.
The StoryKeeping Series is “Magic Treehouse” meets “The Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja.”
What is Story Keeping?
Jumping in and out of stories to save happy endings? Just another night for superhero, “story keeping” siblings Riles, Sissie, and Finn.
Learn how it all started in this series opener!
Everything changed the night grandpa read that first magical book to Riles, Sissie, and little Finn. Space Spy Drift Elwick needed saving – and our heroes were ready to help…
Well, almost ready…
Actually, they had no idea what was happening.
Can they figure things out before it’s too late?
*Book 1 in the Story Keeping series
*Recommended for kids 6-11 years
Q. The book looks great! What plans do you have for the future?
A. Right now, I’m pretty excited about the “Story Keeping” series. Early feedback has been very positive. Books 2 and 3 are slated for release in March and April respectively, and Book 4 is already outlined.
Alongside the “Story Keeping” series, I’ve been inking a parenting book.
Presumptuous, right? I think so too.
Don’t fret – I’m not pretending to have all the answers. It’s a lighthearted [comedic] look at preparing for fatherhood – filled with dad hacks for surviving from conception through the toddler years, a few “super dad” stories, and innumerable “dad fails” from survivors like me.
I’m almost through the first trimester. We’re expecting to deliver in about 28 weeks.
Q. I love it. Where can people keep up with you and buy your books?
Please snag a free audio copy of the first Story Keeping book [The Night I Became A Hero] and the accompanying parent guide at www.armarshall.com/storykeeping.
Find out more about the series at this Amazon purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5XQS1M/
Thanks for spending time with us today in Rosco’s Reading Room. And don’t be a stranger – go get that free audiobook!