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Book Details:
Book TitleTHE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF JIMMY CRIKEY: Worlds Beneath And Above The Stars by Wallace E. Briggs
CategoryMiddle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  302 pages
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Release date:   June 2020
Content RatingG.

Book Description:

Do you want to know a secret? Beneath the very ground on which you walk and beyond the stars above your head, are more worlds than you could ever dream of. There are monsters. Be afraid. Magic, wielded by witches and sorcerers. Epic adventures in worlds far across the ocean. And fearsome weapons which threaten to destroy everything.

Jimmy Crikey is a brave soul who faces some pretty scary challenges. Solving mysteries and averting mayhem, his incredible courage allows him to free up his abilities to shine and rise above every challenge in his path, on his way to discoveringwhy he looks so very strange. With a bright red mop of unruly hair, big blue eyes, a small snub nose, pointed ears and enormous feet, poor Jimmy is ridiculed by the neighborhood children and runs away in search of a world where he fits in. Following a midnight flight through the forest, he stumbles into a lost, underground world called Roombelow and magic, adventure, danger and excitement await. From the little lady who lives at the bottom of a well, a starship that wants to take him home, trolls, little people, traders and diamonite stealers to water sprites, witches, helpful dolphins, and interplanetary warfare, Jimmy learns the biggest lessons of his life.

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Author Interview
Hi Wallace, tell the reader a bit about yourself and where you come from.
Born in 1943, yes! A bit ancient by current day standards. I am happily married to a girl who I first met at the age of eleven, walking home from our separate schools. 
My early years were experienced in and around the northern historic Durham City, never living more than five miles distance from the Cathedral. Married in 1964 at the age of twenty-one, Pat and I spent many happy years in the North East before employment almost took us off to emigrate to Jo'berg, South Africa but plans were changed in the final weeks and instead the company moved our family to Sussex in southern England. 
Moving to where the work was I took the family to Hampshire for a decade before employment was again responsible for our last move to beautiful rural Lancashire, where we still reside.

The Amazing Adventures of Jimmy Crikey is a genre-crossing novel with elements of fantasy, science fiction, and adventure as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
In reality, the story came about because of necessity - to entertain four or five children in the approximate age range 4 - 7 yrs. They had struck up a friendship with my son on the beach, on a family holiday to Great Yarmouth, almost 50 years ago. The five boisterous children were forced to seek shelter in our beach tent during a heavy shower. Not surprisingly they were quite loud. "For goodness sake," my wife, Pat, said. "Do something to quieten them down.  Read them a story, or something."
As there were no storybooks to hand, I had to make up a story, “on the hoof”, as they say. I had never before made up a story although I always read to my children every bedtime
I knew I needed a bit of magic to get their attention, so I created a witch. It seemed obvious that they needed adventure and a hero.

 Jimmy is an interesting and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
Observation of the small "playgroup" dynamics of the children playing on the beach, highlighted that there was an underdog in their group, who just happened to have ginger hair. It wasn’t that he was being overtly bullied but he was the one who ‘had to’ bring fetch and carry for the others. The idea blossomed, of a bullied child, who looked different, despite which he overcame - and so Jimmy Crikey was borne to illustrate that it is possible to overcome apparent disadvantages and achieve great things. Otherwise, the adventures that Jimmy embarked upon were designed as pure escapism to keep their minds engaged for a while during the following several wet afternoons.

 Jimmy has to overcome many obstacles throughout the story. What were some themes that guided the development of the novel?
The main theme I tried to get across to my young readers is that with perseverance all problems can be overcome and that being different does not define the person you are.

Furthermore, outright violence is rarely necessary to achieve a peaceful outcome to a dispute. With a bit of thought almost all conflict can be resolved, you just have to uncover the common ground

  What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Another Jimmy Crikey story is well underway. It will involve enlisting the help of the four witches, to assist the inhabitants of the islands in the sky. I would hope it might be completed before the middle of 2021 but the promotion required to bring The Amazing Adventures of Jimmy Crikey to market has been extremely time consuming and in the meanwhile, I am the primary carer of my disabled wife/friend/companion and loved one – Pat. She is my priority when needed.  
And I’m also attempting to complete other stories in my portfolio, including a memoir and a more advanced YA fantasy adventure.

Have you published other stories?
Romney Hole is a 20,000-word fantasy about two early teen siblings, Zac and Rachel) young people who discover a lost alien probe beneath the North Yorkshire Moors.

The Last Footsies is a short story about a boy living in a Border’s village, who is attempting to save the last living Footsies from extinction.

And the Cow is a short children’s story (1020wc) about a little girl facing the recovery of her mother from Cancer. It received a 5* review on The Short Story Site and is available free at my WEB site


Meet the Author:

My formative years were experienced in and around Durham City. Married in 1964 to a girl I first met at the age of eleven, Pat and I spent many happy years in the North East before employment almost took us off to emigrate to Jo'berg, South Africa but plans were changed in the final weeks and instead the company moved me to Sussex.

After more than twenty years in Sussex, then Hampshire, employment was again responsible for the move to beautiful rural Lancashire. Jimmy Crikey was born one rainy day, many years ago, during a family holiday in Great Yarmouth, to entertain my son and his new found friends for an hour or so. The story expanded over the following wet afternoons in the cramped confines of a beach tent, and more and more adventures were required to keep the children entertained. Many years later I decided to commit to the written word.

Now retired I look forward to sharing The Amazing Adventures of Jimmy Crikey with a wider audience. These began as several short, twenty minute duration, stories but after an encouraging review from a major Publisher I brought them together in this offering and hope they will bring a sense of wonder and enjoyment to another generation.

connect with the author:  website
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Feb 1 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
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