Follow two young heroes, Sebastian and Sara, as they mistakenly descend into a mystical land where elves, mermaids, gnomes and other mythological creatures live. The two discover they have stumbled into an ancient battle between these fair folk and evil creatures called the Kylo. Their guide on this journey is Capri, an elf lord who is on a quest to find his lost tribe. The Kylo chase the children and Capri in his flying galleon north into the Arctic Circle where they find the most unlikely ally. During the final battle the children learn about sacrifice, love and ultimately forgiveness.
SUPER GUEST POST
As a blogger, I don’t like to ‘box in’ authors when prompting them things like topics for guest post topics. Therefore, I give them around 3-5 topics to choose from and the author can pick what they want to write about. The author of THE GROTTO UNDER THE TREE, John Theo Jr. went way above and beyond and wrote for every topic I prompted. Round of applause for Mr. Theo if you please! Now without further ado, the Super Guest Post!
• Top Books and/or Movies that inspired ‘The Grotto Under The Tree’
Books: Tolkien and C.S. Lewis fantasy novels. Narnia and Lord of the Rings. Also I spent (or mis-spent) much of my youth with my face buried in comic books.
Movies: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and pretty much every B grade sci fi/fantasy movie/tv show from the 80’s.
• Favorite Middle Grade and/or Fantasy Authors
In the young adult fantasy genre I was influenced by authors such as Tolkien and Lewis. As I got older I researched their backgrounds to find out what made their fantasy novels so timeless. I discovered their writing was heavily influenced by their Christian faith, which I share.
• Deleted Scene
“Wow,” Sebastian gasped. “I wish I could live that long.”
“No you don’t,” Capri replied.
“What do you mean?”
My kind was given a choice long ago. To live a long life free from sickness or to live mortal lives with souls and a chance at eternity in the afterlife.”
“And you chose long life.” Sara asked.
“We chose wrong,” Capri corrected her.
• 5 to 10 things you didn’t know about ‘The Grotto Under The Tree’
1. I used Old English as a template for the Elves speech to make them more formal and less dated.
2. I based the town and elementary school on the town I grew up in and school I attended in Danvers, MA. Because I fictionalized it I was able to tweak some things. For instance I made the town a seaside town like the one I currently live in.
3. I wanted the elves and Father Christmas to learn from the children. The Bible says that you must have faith like a child. In some ways Sebastian is an adult and must unlearn some things before he has the revelation that pivots the storyline.
4. The Sea has been a backdrop in almost all my stories. I’ve always been attracted to the ocean and feel that it’s a great backdrop for any story. It can help set the mood of any scene and reflect the emotions of characters.
5. I relate more to Sara than Sebastian. Her wants, desires and struggles.
• Your Writing Process
I outline like crazy. Gradually I take a bullet point from the outline and expand it. When it’s big enough I generally cut and paste it into the novel.
John Theo, Jr. has numerous published articles on arts, culture and sports figures. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA. During the day John serves as Vice President of Operations for Blue Sky Holdings, which owns many commercial fitness clubs. John is also an adjunct professor at Endicott College in Beverly, MA, where he teaches screenwriting. John’s Book, The Grotto Under The Tree, has been released by Astraea Press.
Find the author: Website
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