Stone Bearers: The Gift is the first in a series of stand-alone short middle grade novels. It tells the story of a group of five normal kids who are caught in a war between the winged Tutelars and the Corrupters.
They’re suddenly gifted with magic abilities and the power to call swords and warhammers out of thin air. The story deals with how they use that magic and the price that goes with it. It particularly focuses on Constance and how she develops into a leader.
What makes your book different than other books out there?
I think what makes my book different from some middle grade books out there are how the characters deal with each other. Constance and Maria have suffered from bullying and are basically teamed up with their tormentors. Obviously, things aren’t easy, especially when one of them decides that a little payback is in order.
I talked with a lot of people who suffered from bullying and many of them (even years later) talked about how they would want revenge, so I tried to deal with that aspect in the book and how taking revenge can make a person as bad as their bully. I like to think mixed with kids being able to start fire with their minds is a story about real kids with real problems.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere! Though probably mostly from interacting with people and really listening to what people say. I like to take in the real issues people go through and think ‘what would I do?’ then add a little bit of ‘now what would I do in that situation if I could move things with my minds?’
What kind of books do you read? Are they similar to the books you write?
I read lots of things. Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mysteries, Comics and Mangas. Basically I gobble any sort of fiction that crosses my path. I do tend to read more of what I write, but anything is up for reading.
Dream cast your book for us.
Dream cast my book. I actually hadn’t really thought about what actors and actresses I would use. So here are my tentative votes ( the ages aren’t quite consistent):
Constance – Kylee Russell
Maria – Selena Gomez
Jonathan – Josh Hutcherson
Avery – Undecided about him.
Danielle – Bella Thorne
Tyler – Jake T. Austin
Do you have a ‘day job’? What is it?
Yes, I currently have a day job. If I told you what I did then I would have to kill you…seriously.
What has your biggest struggle been so far?
Time. Balancing my job and a hundred other things that clamor for my time means sometimes squeezing in time to write can be a struggle. Still, I manage to do it anyway, because I love it.
How do you feel about romances being so common in YA (and to a lesser degree MG) books?
I feel that it’s natural. In Stone Bearers: The Gift, I don’t really go into any romances, but there are hints of it. Mostly, I think it most books have it to one degree or another, because it’s an important aspect of many people’s relationships. I mean if you look at any Disney movie it’s a story about how the boy gets the girl most of the time.
What trend do you love in MG/YA books? What trend do you hate?
I like the trend where people are taking legends and myths and reinventing them, like with the Percy Jackson series.
I hate the trend where people jump on a bandwagon and try to produce the same story of something that’s popular. I always feel like, I get it, but let’s see what story you have to tell, instead of telling me a second hand story of one I already read.
Who is your favorite superhero?
I hope you don’t mind if I totally geek out here, but Batman. Love the guy. Love his angsty personality, his mad ninja skills and the Nolan movies. There’s just something about superheroes that I love and I think that shines through in my book as well.
What’s next for you?
Right now I have so many things on the burner. There’s the second Stone Bearers book and a YA books about a girl who is a teen paranormal investigator. Yet, the book I’m probably most excited about is a middle grade King Arthur steampunk book I’m working on.
Thanks for talking with us today, R. E.!
Besides moonlighting as a ninja for the Society of Secrets, I am a writer of young adult and middle grade books. I focus mostly on fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal. I’m a graduate of Goddard College’s MFA in Creative Writing program.