Acclaimed author and filmmaker Andrew Kooman, formerly of Red Deer, is about to release his second young adult novel – the second in his Ten Silver Coins series.
Kooman, who was born in Red Deer but currently calls London, Ont. home, is excited to see what readers think about his latest literary effort, which comes nine years after the first Ten Silver Coins title.
The book is set for release Nov. 29th.
He started penning the new title shortly after returning home from the shoot for his internationally-acclaimed film She Has A Name, which is based on a stage play he had written prior.
“After a nine year wait, it’s finally time to release book two,” said Kooman, who looks forward to the day when his now two-year-old son will be able to read the adventure series.
As with the first book, Kooman’s imaginative skill and keen sense of what truly makes a rich, adventurous tale work continues to thrive. The new novel picks up where book one left off, as the heroine Jill Strong escapes with the mysterious Drylings from their hiding place in a once dormant volcano into the land of Acchora.
As the synopsis aptly puts it, “The battle for Acchora is a fight not only for survival but for the future. Even though Jill is an outsider caught up in the middle of the drama, without her, the battle for Acchora could be lost.”
There is no question Kooman has his own unique style, and there are hints of influences from legendary authors like C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle and J.R.R. Tolkien that bubble gently to the surface as the brisk tale unfolds.
What also sets the book apart is Kooman’s gift for painting ‘pictures’ via his words. Chapter by chapter, it’s easy to see in the mind’s eye what characters and the landscape itself might look like.
The desire to write this kind of series also springs from Kooman’s own childhood memories growing up in Red Deer, where his folks had lots of books around and the family would spend time reading stories together out loud.
“When I originally started writing it, I just had this image of a young girl who became Jill Strong, and of her escaping her home town. And so I followed that story. At that time, I didn’t even know that it was going to be a novel, but pretty soon I realized that this was a book-length story.
“And as I was writing the first book I realized this was a trilogy. So I’ve been touting it as a trilogy, but when I sat down to write the second book I realized, okay, this is probably going to be four books,” he added with a laugh.
“I do have an overall arch in mind of where it’s all going to go,” he said, adding that things of course spring up as the writing unfolds which ultimately find there way into the books. “As you are imagining it, things happen. There are also a lot of new characters in the new book which I find exciting, and there are a lot of stories that can diverge from them. But I think for Jill Strong’s adventure, for now I’m seeing it as four books.”
For Kooman, writing the book came about in largely a disciplined way.
“There’s this theory of writing that the lightning strikes and you just kind of wait until it does. But for these books, and for most of my writing, I find that you just have to sit down and do the work. I typically write chapter by chapter, but there is inspiration that comes from surprising places. I like what (author) Fred Buechner says – ‘You listen to your life’.
“So it’s about training yourself to be attentive to what’s happening in your world, and the world around you. That can be a source of inspiration, but other than that, it’s about sitting down and doing the work of writing.
“I really see it as a story about courage, identity and imagination,” he continued. “Those are themes that I think are really important in our times for young and old. I’m excited that it’s in a form that is accessible to younger readers, because I know as a young person reading, I loved having imaginative, meaningful content myself.”
Meanwhile, the print edition of the book is available for pre-order at www.andrewkooman.com. Readers who prefer ebooks can pre-order the digital copy for Amazon Kindle. Both digital and print editions will ship on Nov. 29th.
Local readers will be able to buy it in-person, starting the first week of December at Catalyst Cafe in Red Deer (5301-50th Ave).
“I really feel like I’m on the adventure with the characters,” he added of the journey these books have provided.
“With this format, I’m also discovering so many things as the plot emerges. I find that really enjoyable.”