A few weeks ago, I was asked if I wanted to participate in a blog tour for The Wee Musketeers, written by Robert Bresloff. I won an Advanced Reader's Copy through LibraryThing a short while ago. I was more than happy to join in, and was excited to get the opportunity to ask the author about the book, which tells the story of 3 friends who get transported into the story of The Three Musketeers along with the grandfather of one of the boys. There is suspense and action as they find themselves changing the direction of the story and needing to get it back on track. I think I enjoyed the book as much as any kid who would read it. My children are familiar with the story because of the Disney live-action version with Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, Chris O'Donnell, and Oliver Platt. I think perhaps this version might make them think about reading the story to compare the storylines.
What was the inspiration for this series? I’ve always loved The Three Musketeers. Whether it be the book, movies, comic books, it didn’t matter. I even dressed as D’Atragnan on Halloween when I was in grade school. I still have my first copy of the book that my older brother gave me back in the early sixties. Because I loved the book, the characters and the romance so much (my brother even taught me how to fence at 11 years old) that I often wondered what it would be like to walk the streets of 17th century Paris with D’Artagnan, Athos, Aramis and Porthos.
What other books do you have planned? I have recently signed with Gauthier to produce, The Fifth Codex, an adventure that takes place in modern day Yucatan Peninsula. It follows the adventures of a well known archeologist and his teenage assistant, as they travel through the land of the ancient Maya searching for the mysterious Fifth Codex.
Illustrator Dan Ziembo and I are teaming up once again on the follow up to The Wee Musketeers, titled Robin and the Little Hoods. This time, Bobby, Fritzy, Keith, and Grandpa Max are joined by a new character, a girl named Judy as they travel to the middle ages and Sherwood Forest.
Is there a reason the book is set in 1961, as opposed to the 21st century? Being a parent and grandparent, I realize the importance of children using their imaginations as well as playing outdoors. Unlike today, where children spend most of their time on computers and playing video games, my generation played outside and we played pretend a lot. We played soldiers, cowboys and Indians, yes and even musketeers. I wanted children to know the kind of things that my friends and I did in the, really, not so distant past.
Are any of the characters based on people you know? Fritzy and Keith were, at the time, my two very best friends. We got into an awful lot of trouble (nothing serious) and played a lot of games. Many were pretend games, and just as the boys do in the book we played outside— almost all day. Grandpa Max, well, he was my grandfather. Unfortunately, Grandpa Max passed away before I knew him. I guess this was my way of having the relationship with the grandfather I never had the pleasure to know. It was actually my brother Marty that read to me and got me interested in the classics.
What do you like to do when you aren't writing? I’m an exercise therapist as well as a personal fitness trainer, so that keeps me pretty busy, but when I’m not working, my favorite thing to do is spend time with my grandchildren.
What is the best book you’ve read this year so far? That’s really a tough question. I try and alternate reading adult books and kid’s books. I love to see what other authors are writing as well as the classic children’s books authors, such as L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll and more recently, J.K. Rowling. The most interesting read so far this year was Codex 632 by José Rodrigues dos Santos. It’s about Christopher Columbus’s true origins.
If you could recommend one book for everyone to read, what would it be? I can’t really recommend one book that everyone should read, but for the kids, I recommend the Wizard of Oz series. Baum is a wonderful storyteller that created a fairyland like no other in literature. Oh, and The Wee Musketeers
I think this book would appeal greatly to boys, although some girls who aren't locked into the idea of "girl books/boy books" would also enjoy the story. It makes a great read-aloud for ones not reading yet, and would work for indpendent readers up to around 11 or 12, I believe.