Expected to release in September, Kestrel's Midnight Song will be one of the newest members in the Christian fantasy genre. Its creator is, likewise, a brand new author.
I had the honor of being able to interview Jacob Parker. Enjoy the story of the Yodeling Dwarf:
What first inspired you to write Kestrel's Midnight Song?
I've always had an overactive imagination. And I've always loved reading. By 4th grade I had combined these passions and decided I would be a novelist. Not when I grew up... then and there. Several failed attempts and 2 years later, I gave up. My stories, though filled with action, wandered aimlessly over the course of tens of thousands of words until my characters had adventured into a rut I couldn't get them out of. Then, in seventh grade, I wrote a short story for a school assignment. My teacher sought me out at lunch time, and told me how impressed she was and said, "If you wrote a book, I would buy it." That might not seem very significant, but it reignited my desire to write a novel. So that summer, somewhere around my 15th birthday, I started. The original inspiration was a picture of rolling green hills against a blue sky. I imagined a shepherd journeying across those hills, and thus began The Shepherd, later retitled Kestrel's Midnight Song. This time, I wrote out an outline beforehand, and though it hardly resembles the story that has finally emerged, it helped keep me focused.
How long did it take to complete the book?
I wrote it mostly over the course of two summers, and some in my spare time during the school year, for a total of two and a half years.
Tell us the story of your publication. How did it come about?
My plan for attaining publication should never have worked, but it did. I started a blog, and my intent was to comment on the blogs of publishing professionals and authors, hoping they would click on my name and follow it to my blog, where I'd posted the first chapter of my story. Then, they would read my chapter, fall in love with it, and email me a request for the full thing. One of the blogs I commented on was Scott Appleton's. He followed my link back, read the first chapter and was "most intrigued." So he sent me an invitation to submit my manuscript for publication consideration under Flaming Pen Press... roughly two weeks after I'd started my blog. Please note that, in reality, it doesn't work like that. Publishing professionals and authors are too strapped for time to follow links. (usually) The author has to go out on a limb and make the initial inquiry. However, a blog with a strong following can be a very beneficial thing to put in a query letter.
Do you have any plans to write future books?
Yes, definitely. Kestrel's Midnight Song started as a standalone novel. But now it's a prequel. I'm very excited to begin the series ahead.
Tell us how you came to know Christ as Savior.
I grew up going to Church. But I honestly never fully understood what it was all about until years of Church attendance had passed. I thought of Jesus as God who came down to teach. His death didn't make sense until I was in seventh grade. In a conversation with my grandpa, it all clicked. The rest is... the future!
What do you hope readers will take away with them after reading Kestrel's Midnight Song?
The best I can hope for on a consistent basis is that it was a riveting story that pulled the reader into an engaging world for a time. But I think the most rewarding reaction would be that they were changed for the better. Kestrel's Midnight Song has definite Christian themes, and if even one person emails me stating that the book aided them in their walk with Christ, that would make all the struggles and trials of writing and publishing a book worth it, instantly.
To find out more about Jacob Parker and Kestrel's Midnight Song, visit http://yodelingdwarf.blogspot.com/
Post Tenebras Lux!