Thursday, March 19, 2015

Guest Blog Author Kevin Springer: Top 10 Things About Sam

Today we have a guest post from Kevin Springer author of recently released Extraordinary Sam and the Adventurers' of Guild. Here's a little bit more about the book...

“This box may seem empty,

But there’s more than meets the eye…”

Sam Miller seems like an ordinary 12-year-old boy, until he discovers a mysterious box. Suddenly, he lands in a magical world in which he must battle deadly pirates, savage warriors, giant man-eating spiders, and a fire-wielding tyrant. To survive, Sam must overcome his fears, solve riddles, and most of all, be extraordinary.*

So without further ado, I turn you over to Kevin!
I was given the fun task of providing the Top 10 Facts about Sam and I viewed this as part introduction to the character/story, part behind the curtain, and part teaser. So, without further ado, here are the Top 10 Facts about Extraordinary Sam:

10. The book began as a simple bedtime story I made up for my then four year old son. It was about a boy who would go on adventures based on the hat he pulled out of a magical hatbox. After a couple weeks, the stories were replaced by others and were forgotten by me, but not him. Almost two years later, he asked for another hatbox story and I had to give life to this character.

9. The original plotting for the book was for a picture book. After a week of writing, I realized I couldn't tell the whole story in 32 pages. I had too many "ooh, what about this" moments to limit his adventure. I feel in the end, I gave Sam the proper start to his adventure.

8. Sam is based very loosely on my childhood. I grew up on a farm in Maryland and relied on my imagination to create my own adventures. The other characters are a mixture of several people or what I felt would best serve the story, so know that my parents didn't wear matching turtlenecks and sweater vests. :)

7. Sam's adventure has just begun. I have plotted out four books and there is a small reference to this near the start of the first book. More will be revealed about this in the second book.

6. When I try and describe the story, I tend to talk about what happens, but I truly feel it is about more. The action and adventure do drive the story, but underneath is a story about a growth and self-realization.

5. In the story, Sam is transported to a different world, the Realm of Ashling. Naming a world proved to be harder than I thought, so I spent hours researching the meaning of names. When nothing stood out as "the name," I turned to Google Translate. There are a few words that play a key role in the story, so I wrote them down. One stood out over the others - dream. After researching translation of the word, I came across the Irish Gaelic word "aisling" (pronounced ash-ling). So, the realm of dreams was born.

4. Extraordinary Sam was almost never written. I hit a block in the story when Sam faces his first obstacle. I decided to put the manuscript away for a few days and start again with a fresh perspective. Fast forward eleven months and a friend I haven't seen in a long time asked me how the story was going and I realized I needed to dust it off and get back to work.

3. The start of book goes against everything I have heard from agents and editors and I didn't care!! Q&A panels, blog entries, rejection letters, and webinars all agreed - don't start a story with a dream. Well mine really needed to and luckily my publisher agreed. Sam dreams of adventure and not being ordinary. I wanted to introduce him to the reader in the way he wished he could be - the hero. This changes quickly and we then see the truth. This was the way it needed to be when I looked at the full path of the story.

2. When it comes to the other characters, there are a few surprises in store. A couple are revealed at the end of book one, but those aren't the good ones. Each book will give you more information about some characters' backstories and some will just surprise you.

1. Sam's story will be wrapped up at the end of the fourth book, but Ashling may need another Adventurer in the future. Another hero will need to step up. After reading book one, you may be able to figure it out. I thought about giving a hint, but where's the fin in that.

I hope you enjoy reading Extraordinary Sam & the Adventurers' Guild. I look forward to sharing book two soon.

Thanks again for having me.

Kevin A. Springer grew up on a farm in Maryland where his imagination knew no limits. As a husband and father, he reconnected with his creativity while telling bedtime stories to his two young boys. One such story evolved into his debut book, Extraordinary Sam & the Adventurers’ Guild (March 2015, Bookfish Books LLC.), which tells the tale of an ordinary boy who finds a hatbox and discovers a world of adventure and self-discovery.

Kevin is a self-proclaimed dreamer and a kid at heart. When he’s not writing or reading, he is coaching soccer or helping with homework. He lives outside of Atlanta with his wife, two extraordinary boys, and dogs. He is also a co-founder of the Middle Grade Mafia blog. Check out his blog and follow him on Twitter.

*Synopsis taken from


  1. It's amazing how the process of writing a book unfolds. Each one is different. This sounds like a great book (I read about and commented elsewhere as well). I like the approach in this post of listing the top ten things about the book.

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth!!