Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Richard Due Author Interview

Photo Content from Richard Due

Richard Due (pronounced “Dewey”) first imagined the Moon Realm while telling bedtime tales to his children. He makes his home in Southern Maryland, where he and his wife owned and operated Second Looks Books, an independent used bookstore, for the past twenty years. The Moon Coin is the first novel in the Moon Realm series. Visit TheMoonRealm.com for more information.
Carolyn Arcabascio hails from Massachusetts, where she lives and works as an illustrator while pursuing her lifelong exploration of words, images, and the magical places where they meet. Visit her website at

Tell us your latest news.
Gibbering Gnome Press is releasing a print edition of The Moon Coin!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
When I was seven or eight, during a half-time show of a Sunday Baltimore Colts football game, I announced to my father that I wanted to be a Drum Major. My father thought it was hysterical. I was totally serious. I mean, what a good-looking hat! AND YOU GET A MACE! Wow! I was sold.

What made you decide to write books for children?
I didn’t. My decision was to write science fiction noir, and science fiction short stories. I had no plans to write fantasy. But once the idea for the Moon Realm series entered my head, I had no choice. And I thank heaven EVERY day that it didn’t demand to be written in first person, because I just don’t have the skills to write epic fantasy in first person.

You read a lot of middle-grade fiction. Please name a few of your favorite books and tell us why they inspire you.
I read The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois in the third grade. It fired up my imagination like no other book before or since. House balloons, super-cool inventions, secret diamond mines, Krakatoa erupting—what more can you ask for? Another would be Between Planets by Robert Heinlein. That book introduced me to a Venusian "dragon" named Sir Isaac Newton, who could speak English using his voder, a small device strapped to his chest. Also, that book was filled with riveting espionage, political intrigue, guerilla commandos and resistance leaders. One of Heinlein’s juvenile books, it opened my eyes to the world of adult topics. After I finished Between Planets I was ready for anything—which at that time meant everything my older brothers were reading.

As for more recent fiction, Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series is my all-time favorite, with Harry Potter series close at its heels. The Tiffany Aching series is set in Pratchett’s young adult Discworld. In book one, The Wee Free Men, Tiffany is nine, and just learning she’s a witch. The title comes from the unforgettable Nac Mac Feegles; a more hysterical band of characters you will likely never meet. By the last installment, I Shall Wear Midnight, we find an almost sixteen-year-old Tiffany tackling some of the most serious issues a character can encounter. Pratchett’s ability to shift between his stock-and-trade humor and this grave task is extraordinary. I’ve read all four of those novels three times, and I will probably read them three more.

With the Harry Potter, it was always Rowling’s fabulous reveals that left me spellbound. Well after I’d decided some element of her narrative was written purely for fun, or was intended for a short arc, she would pull out a reveal that would leave my mouth hanging open—dumbfounded that I didn’t see it coming (not a lot of writers consistently fool me that way). The Sneakoscope, which makes its appearance in The Prisoner of Azkaban, being a perfect example. I LOVE when some bit of fluff develops—the farther down the road the better—into a more serious narrative element. I think J.K. could write an adult mystery novel that would hang with the best of them. I know I’d read it.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel, The Moon Coin, how would you introduce it?
The Moon Coin follows the journey of two young teens, Lily and Jasper Winter, who’ve grown up normal as can be on their family’s tree farm in Pennsylvania. The only unusual thing in their lives is their Uncle Ebb, his home, and the bedtime tales he tells about a place called the Moon Realm, a place where nine moons swirl around one another, each inhabited by strange and wondrous beings: magical lunamancers; undersea merfolk; wise birds; winged dragons; and Lily’s favorite, the cat-like Rinn. But it isn’t until their uncle goes missing that Lily finds out precisely why Uncle Ebb’s bedtime tales seemed so real.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
The Moon Coin is the first book in the Moon Realm Series. Book two, The Dragondain, is written, edited, and currently with the illustrator, Carolyn Arcabascio, for preliminary sketchwork. The eBook will be out the first week of September, and a paperbound version will follow a month or so later. I’m really excited about getting book two out into the world, because I write these books in pairs. The Moon Coin is part one, The Dragondain is part two. Writing the ending to a book two is always going to be easy because book twos will always have a really big finish. I pretty much just have to keep my fingers on the keyboard and hope my head doesn’t explode from the excitement. Writing the endings to part ones is far trickier. I work very, very hard to make sure the reader gets a satisfying end to those. My beta-readers played a significant role in getting the ending of The Moon Coin just right.

Which character have you enjoyed writing the most?
Wow! That's a tough one. I'm currently editing book 3, The Murk, so I had to go back, look over the chapter names of The Moon Coin, and think very hard. (My favorite character to write thus far doesn't appear until book 2, The Dragondain.)

Hm. I get a real charge writing Curse, but I think I'm going to have to say Nimlinn Goldenclif, of the clan Broadpaw. Her mix of royal bearing (she's so darn proud) and spunk always makes for an exciting dynamic—she plays by her own rules.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Hm. You want to peek into my workshop and have a look around, do you? My, my, that sounds dangerous indeed. Caractacus Potts certainly wouldn’t have let you into his workshop, but, then again, I’m not Caractacus Potts. So . . .yesss.

What do you normally eat for breakfast?
A small bowl of Greek yogurt with some fruit (varies with season), a sprinkle of sunflower seeds, and a light topping of Grape Nuts.

Favorite Cartoon?

Marine Boy. (I’m still waiting for oxygum to hit the market.)

Lily bolted from the room and ran down the hall to the bathroom, where she wet and soaped a washcloth and gave herself a lightning fast wipe-down shower. Back in her own room, she sampled tops from her “floor closet,” tossing one after another over her shoulder before finally pulling one over her damp skin, followed by a pair of jeans. Working a comb through her hair, she slipped into a pair of shoes, grabbed her book bag, and raced down the stairs to the kitchen.

Isla was standing on the porch, just outside the open kitchen door. She tended to avoid big-people furniture whenever possible: big-people chairs, big-people tables—they made her feel small. Standing beside the door didn’t make her feel all that much taller, but putting distance between herself and the Winters' tall kitchen counters allowed her to remain in her comfort zone.

Isla Gorpmarch, in her bare feet, stood just four feet six inches tall. Officially, she was not a dwarf, though she sometimes wished she were. At least then she would have belonged to a bona fide group. But no luck. Isla was simply very short. She was two years older than Lily, even though she was in the same grade. This had nothing to do with Isla’s mental prowess, which was considerable. First, the guidance office had suggested she start a year late, even though her birthdate was two weeks before the cut-off date. Her parents held her back the next year as well in the vain hope that she would have a growth spurt. Isla was Lily’s best friend. They had known each other since kindergarten.

“Sorry, Isla, I overslept,” announced Lily, zigzagging her way to the door and shoveling food from the kitchen counter and table into her backpack as she went: an apple, a banana, a handful of granola bars, a hunk of cheese, a thickly sliced piece of toast—perfectly buttered—from her startled father’s hand, followed by a swig of juice from the cup in his other hand.

“Oh, hey, help yourself,” he said, grinning.

“If you insist,” she mumbled around the toast, running out the door and onto the wide kitchen porch.

As Isla and Lily charged down the porch steps, a voice rang out.

“Isla! Isla Gorpmarch!

Myrddin’s tall figure was huffing toward them. He was wearing his wide-brimmed sun hat, the one with the point, and his old dusty cloak. With his tall walking stick and long beard, he looked like some kind of wizard.

“Yes, Mr. Madsen?” answered Isla politely.

“You been coming through The Wald again, haven’t ya? No need to lie about it, I saw you myself.” His accent, like his clothes, was thick and old-worldish.

“I beg your pardon, Mr. Madsen, but if you saw me all the way up in The Wald, then how did you get here so fast to tell us about it?”

Myrddin stopped short, and his face turned a bright red.

“Oof—” He opened his mouth, but no words came out.

“You just suspect I came through The Wald this morning. You are guessing.”

Myrddin’s lips formed a big O, as if to blow a smoke ring. Then he pressed his lips together and frowned.

“We’re late for school, Myrddin,” said Lily apologetically.

“School,” said Myrddin. His distaste was clear.

“I’ll be able to help after. Where will you be?”

Myrddin looked down at the ground. The change of subject had clearly rattled him, which was easy to do, as his mind had been loose and wobbly for all Lily’s life.

“Well . . . might be the greenhouses,” said Myrddin with a vague gesture.

As a time-saving measure, Lily decided against asking which one of the greenhouses.

The walk from Lily’s house to Treling’s gate was not short. Lily set a blistering pace, but Isla, furiously working the pedals of her brother’s all-terrain bicycle, caught up quickly. Pedaling was difficult work for Isla. The bike seat was too high for her to sit, even in the lowest position, and when she cranked the pedals, the bike swayed heavily from side to side, causing its pole-mounted plastic safety flag to whip back and forth with the distinctive snap-flapping sound Lily had come to associate with Isla’s presence.

“You stay outta The Wald, Isla Gorpmarch!” shouted Myrddin as they sped away.

Lily gave Isla a questioning look.

Isla tried to ignore it. Couldn’t.

“It saves me fifteen minutes to cut through there,” she said. “And what does he care? It’s just a bunch of old trees and fields. It’s not like I’m damaging anything—it already has its own trails. Besides, it’s all downhill from my house.”

2012 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards: Gold Medal Winner

Gibbering Gnome Press Presents a Tale of Epic Fantasy

Uncle Ebb was so good at telling his tales of the Moon Realm that sometimes it sounded like he’d been there himself.

As children, Lily and Jasper listened raptly to his bedtime tales of a place where nine moons swirled around one another, each inhabited by strange and wondrous beings: magical lunamancers; undersea merfolk; wise birds; winged dragons; and Lily’s favorite, the heroic, leonine Rinn.

There was only one rule: don’t tell a soul.

But now, years later, Uncle Ebb is missing. Lily has learned the secret behind the tales, and soon Jasper will too. But there’s one big problem. You see, something terrible has happened in the Moon Realm. . . .

Featuring twenty-two stunning full-color illustrations by Carolyn Arcabascio. Volume One of the young adult fantasy adventure series The Moon Realm.

The story in The Moon Coin by Richard Due is an extraordinary adventure for young readers to absorb themselves in wonder, discovery, and mystery. The story is about siblings Lily and Jasper. They specifically loved the bedtime stories that their Uncle Ebb told them while growing up. Now that they are older, the mystical place of the Moon Realm that their Uncle told them is just a place inside a story. When Uncle Ebb goes missing, the siblings are determined to find him. Looking for clues inside his home, they uncover secret rooms and a strange coin with foreign symbols on it. That coin turns out to be the Moon Coin, and Lily is taken to the Moon Realm. Discovering that this new world is in need of saving, Lily and her brother set for a mission to the savior of the nine moons and everything that lives in it.

Due really knows how to grab the reader’s attention. With sharp, detailed words, along with illustrations by Carolyn Arcabacio, readers are able to get a full serving of what each wonderful chapter has to offer. The writing is so vivid that picturing how each event takes place comes so easily to the imagination. Each moon was like a surprise. New world and new characters awaits at each moon. The story is perfect for young minds to really let their imagination go wild. The ending presented a great closing to the book, but also sets the bridge for a sequel. The first installment of The Moon Realm Series was simply wonderful and I know The Dragodain will be just as good. 

You can purchase The Moon Coin at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you RICHARD DUE for making this giveaway possible.
3 Winners will receive one e-book copy of The Moon Coin by Richard Due.


  1. Notting Hill
    The Princess Bride
    Lord of the Rings

  2. Harry Potter Movies
    The Matrix Trilogy
    The Little Mermaid

  3. star wars
    eight below

    thanks for the amazing giveaway :)

  4. Hmmm, that is a hard one!!! Signs, The proposal, Super 8 but there are really so many more!! :)

  5. I love lots of movies, but my 3 favourite are Grease, Star Wars and Dirty Dancing.

    Thanks for this giveaway!

  6. Three all time favorite movies??

    Star Trek (the newest one)
    Independence Day

  7. I don't have 3 I have 10 at least, I LOVE movies:
    1- Pride and Prejudice [all of Jane Austen made movies or mini series really]
    2- Ever After - A Cinderella Story
    3- All of Nora Roberts TV made movies
    4- Practical Magic
    5- Harry Potter series
    6- Twilight saga
    7- Laws of Attraction
    8- Sea of Dreams
    9- Tortilla Soup [I LOVE movies about food]
    10- Gone with the Wind

    Well, that only a little tinny part of what I love. But that's what came to mind.