Being twelve years old is already hard enough. Being a werewolf makes it even harder. Dillon Howell and his parents have just moved to Harmony, a small town in Northern California. Like all kids, he just wants to fit in and make friends, while keeping his “condition” a secret, of course. But Dillon quickly finds out he’s not the only person in town who isn’t what he appears to be. Welcome to Harmony, Dillon Howell. Your life is about to change forever.
Cold Coffee Review: The township of Harmony in Northern California could be like any small town in America, but it isn’t. Like in most small towns secrets are desperately tried to be kept and the Harmony forest is the keeper of many secrets. For Dillon Howell moving to Harmony with his parents gives him a new chance to fit in and make new friends. If just being a teenager isn’t enough of a challenge for Dillion, being a Werewolf presents its own set of challenges. As Dillion and his family settle into the normal day-to-day life at home and at school the supernatural forces in the dark forest beckon to him and he finds that he is not the only one in this town with a secret. Come with Dillon to Harmony and see what life has in store.
I endorse ‘Welcome To Harmony’ by Dan Trumpis. The author skillfully writes this epic middle grade fantasy (PG) in a way that encourages teens to read. Life in Harmony might mirror their life in some routine ways and then again it might just be a little darker, more intense, and hairier than normal. Reviewed on November 6, 2014.
Book Excerpt Link
Since her mother’s death, thirteen-year-old Gwen Gladstone’s life has spiraled downwards. She’s gone from popular girl to outcast and has been riddled with anxiety and depression. Her life takes a turn when her father suddenly marries a woman named Victoria Weatherly, and the three move to her home in Harmony, a small town in Northern California. Gwen quickly discovers that Victoria is no normal stepmother and the town of Harmony itself is just as mysterious and full of secrets as she is. But if Gwen can hold on, she’ll learn that Harmony is a place where she can grow stronger and discover abilities she never knew she had.
Book Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy, Children’s, Fiction
Book Excerpt Link
Spotlight Interview With Dan Trumpis
Dan Trumpis was born in Los Angeles and spent most of his life in California. He has always loved telling stories, for as long as he can remember, and has practiced writing in a variety of mediums – prose, comic books, stage, and screen. Since becoming an elementary school teacher, he settled into writing books for kids after being exposed to a broad range of classic and contemporary children’s literature.
Currently, he resides in Sun Lakes, Arizona and teaches fifth grade language arts at C.O. Greenfield in Phoenix, where he hopes to inspire within his students a love for writing and literature.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write middle grade fiction – although many teens and adults have read and enjoyed my books. My stories are about magic and monsters, two subjects I have been interested in for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t my original intention to write middle grade fiction. I originally set out writing for adults, but when I became a teacher, I began reading more middle grade fiction and decided to write for that age group. I had a lot of fun doing it – and even landed an agent for a while – and haven’t looked back since.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Gosh, almost fifteen years ago, I made the switch from screenwriting to prose – which, let’s face it, was my first love. I went to workshops and attended writing groups to hone my craft. Those were some rough years as I was also learning to manage clinical depression. It wasn’t until 2009 I felt ready to begin submitting manuscripts to agents.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? For Welcome to Harmony, I wanted to do a story about the importance of friendship for middle school age kids – probably because I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up. However, as a twist, I thought I’d give them all supernatural gifts.
For Gwen Gladstone: A Tale from the Town of Harmony, I wanted to write a book that centered on magic (In each book, I’m trying to explore a different aspect of the supernatural.). Also, like Harmony, I wanted to tell the story of an outcast who finally finds a place to fit in.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I love the rush that comes when everything is flowing, and you don’t have to think about what you’re doing. The story is unfolding on its own, and the characters are telling you what they want to say and do.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Not long after I published Welcome to Harmony, I got a really nice Facebook message from a man in New York who’d purchased my book on a whim and absolutely loved it. He went on to write a glowing review on Amazon.com. It felt amazing to touch someone so much with my writing. Speaking of which, at the last school I worked at, I inspired a whole fifth grade class – who’d read Welcome to Harmony – to want to become writers. That was also a pretty amazing feeling.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write like you’re already famous.
Who is your favorite author and why? I’d have to say Neil Gaiman. I’ve been a fan of his since his Sandman comic book. I’m blown away by how he’s able to write for all ages, from picture books to books for adults. The Graveyard Book will probably go down as one of my all-time favorites.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? For any aspiring and already published writers reading this, I would like to leave you with a quote from the great Ray Bradbury: “You only fail if you stop writing.”