Today we’re featuring Deb Gardner Allard as she masquerades under the pseudonym of Taylor Jaxon. She’s got a new Young Adult Suspense titled Before the Apocalypse.
QPQ – Congratulations on the new release! You’ve written for children before, but this is your first foray into the world of Young Adult fiction. What prompted you to write Before the Apocalypse?
DGA –Thanks, Pegg. My older grandchildren are now 13, 14, and 15. I wanted to pique their interest, and apparently this book did. While I was writing it, I would catch them sneaking into my computer room to read the latest chapters. It does have quite a bit of excitement in it. A young teen fan told me that he liked the book because there was never a dull moment in the entire book. That blessed my heart.
QPQ – I’ll bet it did! I loved your book and I think it should have a much wider audience that just young adults. There is plenty of story in here for older readers. Biblical prophecy is the prominent theme throughout. Did your interest in this start when you were a young adult?
DGA – Not exactly. I grew up Catholic. My interest in the end times began when I was six years old, and the nun who led our Catechism class taught us about the Tribulation. Everyone in class (ages 6-12) sat on the pews wide-eyed and speechless. From that moment on, I was interested in prophecy. When NASA predicted the four blood moons a few years ago, I read every book I could find about them. I also read the prophets and Revelation in the Bible, attended a year-long eschatology Bible study called The Footsteps of the Messiah by Arnold Fructenbaum, and watched programs on prophecy every week for three years—Prophecy in the News, Prophecy Watchers, Sky Watch News, and several others. After studying the prophecies for myself, I have a different view on God’s purpose for the blood moons. An additional tidbit of information is that although I grew up Catholic, I changed denomination in early adulthood.
QPQ – Writing for children and YA has its special issues, like dialogue and seeing the world through young eyes. You obviously spent a great deal of time getting these aspects correct in the story. Do you have children or young adults to help you with that?
DGA—I sure do—eight grandchildren. As mentioned above, three are teenagers. They fill me in on their school and extracurricular escapades. Their speech patterns, slang, body language, etc. never escape my eyes and ears. They’re the first to tell me when a teen character would never say – x, y, or z. Taking courses through the Institute of Children’s Literature and belonging to ACFW and Word Weavers International have helped me hone my writing skills. It’s amazing how many older authors have penned books for kids—Roald Dahl, James Patterson, Jerry Spinelli, Mark Twain, C.S. Lewis, Emma Thompson and more. Many of them wrote for their children or grandchildren, just as I do.
QPQ – I don’t do spoilers, but the very end of the book leads me to believe there might be a sequel in the future. Am I correct? (Please say yes.)
DGA –I’ve got about five chapters written on a sequel J.
QPQ – Oh, good! What else is in the works from Deb Gardner Allard – or from Taylor Jaxon?
DGA—Besides the sequel to Before the Apocalypse, I’m writing a humorous youth novel, Surviving Aunt Maisy, and an adult novel that takes place in the Old West.
QPQ – We’ll be watching for those! Where can our readers find you around the web?