Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue – Author Interview!

Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss. A Middle - Grade Fiction book on Tour with Justread tours! Author Q & A + Giveaway!

Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

KidVenture Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue Cover

Title: KidVenture Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue
Series: KidVenture #1
Author: Steve Searfoss
Publisher: Independently Published
Release Date: Jan 26, 2020
Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction
Chance Sterling launches a pool cleaning business over the summer. Join Chance as he looks for new customers, discovers how much to charge them, takes on a business partner, recruits an employee, deals with difficult clients, and figures out how to make a profit. He has twelve weeks to reach his goal. Will he make it? Only if he takes some chances.
KidVenture stories are business adventures where kids figure out how to market their company, understand risk, and negotiate. Each chapter ends with a challenge, including business decisions, ethical dilemmas and interpersonal conflict for young readers to wrestle with. As the story progresses, the characters track revenue, costs, profit margin, and other key metrics which are explained in simple, fun ways that tie into the story.
PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBoundBookBub


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

steve searfoss

I wrote my first KidVenture book after years of making up stories to teach my kids about business and economics. Whenever they’d ask how something works or why things were a certain way, I would say, “Let’s pretend you have a business that sells…” and off we’d go. What would start as a simple hypothetical to explain a concept would become an adventure spanning several days as my kids would come back with new questions which would spawn more plot twists. Rather than give them quick answers, I tried to create cliffhangers to get them to really think through an idea and make the experience as interactive as possible.

I try to bring that same spirit of fun, curiosity and challenge to each KidVenture book. That’s why every chapter ends with a dilemma and a set of questions. KidVenture books are fun for kids to read alone, and even more fun to read together and discuss. There are plenty of books where kids learn about being doctors and astronauts and firefighters. There are hardly any where they learn what it’s like to run small business. KidVenture is different. The companies the kids start are modest and simple, but the themes are serious and important.

I’m an entrepreneur who has started a half dozen or so businesses and have had my share of failures. My dad was an entrepreneur and as a kid I used to love asking him about his business and learning the ins and outs of what to do and not do. Mistakes make the best stories — and the best lessons. I wanted to write a business book that was realistic, where you get to see the characters stumble and wander and reset, the way entrepreneurs do in real life. Unlike most books and movies where business is portrayed as easy, where all you need is one good idea and the desire to be successful, the characters in KidVenture find that every day brings new problems to solve.
 

CONNECT WITH STEVE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

AUTHOR Q & A

Once an idea takes root, how long does it take you to write it down? Do you use outlines?

KidVenture books are business adventure stories where kids learn about being entrepreneurs. I run my own small business so I’m constantly encountering scenarios that would make good plot elements. It’s an unexpected benefit of writing on the side: if I run into a difficult situation in the real world, I can take satisfaction in thinking: this would be great to work into my next book.

When I get a new idea, I jot it down in a notes document on my phone, so it’s quick and easy to capture it right away. So I’m collecting these ideas all year round, and then when it comes to summer, which is when I write the first draft, I start by creating an outline. And that’s very helpful. But then as I’m actually writing, I find the story goes in a different direction and, midway, I have to write a new outline for how the story will end. It’s one of the thrills of writing, seeing a story take on a life of its own. When I’m done with a first draft, I struggle with what to do with everything that was in the original outline that didn’t make it into the story. There’s a time of mourning, I suppose, as I let go of the original story. I console myself by saying maybe one day I’ll write a new story that comes back to the ideas in that first outline.

Which of your Published or Unpublished books is your favorite, and why?

That’s an impossible question to answer. It’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is. Each book has its own personality and memories attached to it. Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue is the first book in the KidVenture series. I’ll always love it because it’s when the whole KidVenture concept came together. When I wrote the second book in the series, There’s No Plan Like No Plan, the characters and their world was already in place and it was a chance to really have fun with them, and go deeper into some of the problems I wanted them to explore. When I finished the second book, I really liked it. In fact, I liked it so much that I was intimidated and had to really wrestle myself into writing book three, because I didn’t think I could top it. I’ve just finished writing the third book, Through The Maize, and am working on final edits. And I love it. It’s a very different book from the first two. It has all the elements I love about the first two KidVenture books, but I gave myself freedom to do more with the characters and push the plot into uncharted waters.

How do you pick your character’s personalities or looks?

The main characters are kids and so a lot of their personality traits are based on my own kids. However, I try to be careful not to map each of my kids exactly to one character in the books. I don’t want my kids to think a certain character is exactly like them and therefore they need to act exactly like that character. I don’t want to box them in like that. So from time to time I change up the personalities. For example, even though there are two girls, Addie and Sophie, in the books, each of them has some character traits from both of my daughters. In fact, one of the joys of writing KidVenture is reading drafts to my kids and the pleasure they get in identifying moments or dialogue in the story they can trace back to their own experience.

The secondary characters in the story, i.e. the grownups, tend to be composites of people I meet in real life. There is a venture capitalist in the books named Mr. Dubois (the kids nickname him Mr. Dubious) who is tough, no-nonsense, and seemingly impossible to please. Some of the Mr. Dubois scenes are straight out of my own experience pitching to skeptical investors.

Lastly, what was your favorite book growing up?

I read a lot of science fiction as a kid. I loved Asimov’s Foundation Series. Science fiction at its best is a commentary on today’s problems, even though the story takes place in the future, and a way to imagine totally different solutions to challenges we face now. Another childhood favorite was Ender’s Game, which has one of the most memorable examples of out-of-the-box thinking to solve a complex problem.

Thank you Steve for letting me interview you so I and my readers could learn more about you and your series!
Sincerely, 
Kimmie – The Travelers Wife


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift card! (10) winners will receive a paperback copy of Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue!

Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue JustRead Blog Tour

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 25, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on February 1, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN/UK/AUSTRALIA only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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Quiet, Quirky, and a Lover of Adventure both indoor's and out.

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13 Comments

  1. I look forward to reading this book! Steve is a new author for me and I look forward to reading this and other books he will write!

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