Ty and Marcus Mitchell are average middle school brothers growing up north of Chicago until one night when they’re hurtled through an inter-dimensional gateway to a parallel world defined by its multiple moons and planet-wide apocalypse. As they struggle to figure out where they are and how to get home, the boys encounter refugees of “the last day” from the distant city of Atlantis and a mysterious girl called Bellana, the sole survivor and resident of the devastated city of Spartanica.
Ty and Marcus soon learn they only have seven days to get home. But before they can leave, they must battle through long-extinct predators, track down the elusive Professor Otherblood, and rescue a new friend from certain death. Is all of this insanity just Ty’s overactive imagination or are the brothers truly on the brink of being stranded on the brutal wasteland known as Spartanica
Thank you, Mr.Powers Molinar
What is the biggest challenge when you write stories for young readers?
The biggest challenge writing for young readers is to find that razor-thin balance between action, character development, and plot intrigue to keep them not only interested, but engrossed in your story. Young readers don’t have the longest attention spans but they yearn to be entertained. If you spend too long on dialogue, you lose them. Run haphazardly from one action scene to the next and they’ll get lost. Build a plot without engaging characters or enough action and they’ll be snoozing by page thirty. Young readers can actually be the most difficult to please, but when your story hits the mark, they absolutely love you for it!
How detailed should be a fantasy world and how important it is to be credible?
Fantasy and sci-fi are about taking readers to new, fascinating places of which they’ve never even dreamed before. Authors have to provide enough relevant detail to paint a vivid picture in the reader’s mind. At the same time, over-detailing mildly relevant or irrelevant details make a story drag. It’s all about finding that proper balance. Beta readers are a huge help with this.
Credibility in young adult fantasy is tantamount. Even though stories in the genre are often fantastical, they still have to be at least mildly plausible. Kids hunger to understand how and why something happened and get frustrated if a story just flat out loses its believability.
You love to play video games – how important is the visual for your stories?
Painting a picture for the reader is an absolute must, especially in fantasy and sci-fi where you’re trying to put the reader’s imagination into overdrive. If the reader can’t see it, they won’t buy into your story.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the alternative point of view?
The advantages are numerous, but it’s a challenge. Each character has to have his/her own, unquestionably distinct and unique voice. The author can’t just allegedly switch point of view and let the voice stay the same. In Spartanica, I wanted readers to really get to know Ty, Marcus, and Bellana. They only way I felt that could happen is if each of those characters had their own opportunity to speak directly to the reader. In book two of The Survivors of Sapertys series (Spartanica is book one), additional characters will take the lead from time to time and we’ll find out a bunch of amazing stuff we never could have imagined!
The only disadvantage I’ve seen is that readers can become confused about which character is speaking from chapter to chapter, which is why Spartanica has the current narrator identified at the beginning of each chapter and in the header of each page.
What is the title significance and what saying defines the essence of Spartanica?
I’m not ready to expose the title significance as it’s an integral part of the story that’ll be unveiled in either book two or three of The Survivors of Sapertys series, so stay tuned because it’ll blow your mind!
Regarding a saying that defines the essence of Spartanica… “Be exceptional.” The kids in Spartanica are mostly average until they’re forced into extraordinary circumstances, under which they have to do and be more than they ever imagined they could. At its core, Spartanica is about digging deep inside to find the strength to not only survive, but “Be exceptional.”
About the author:
Powers Molinar grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago and earned engineering and business degrees at the University of Iowa. While he works as a process engineer and project manager during the day, his passion is writing science fiction. His first novel, Spartanica, is the culmination of several year’s of part-time effort mostly late at night and on weekends when he wasn’t enjoying time with his wife and kids, all of whom were big helpers getting Spartanica written.
Powers believes every kid has the potential to become exceptional. In addition to being a blast to read, he truly hopes his books spark kids’ imaginations and inspire them to read more and maybe even become writers. Being a solid reader is a foundational piece of leading an exceptional life. Powers hopes his books can be part of that foundation for as many kids as possible.
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