Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Author Eddie Jones shares with us his "Buy A Boy A Book!" campaign

Eddie Jones

Participate in our "Buy A Boy A Book!" campaign and spur their imagination. Create within them a desire to read and set sail for a life of adventure, wherever that journey may take them. As part of our Buy A Boy A Book! Campaign we are encouraging parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles, Oprah and the President of the United States to buy a book and give it to a boy. That's right. We want you to give a book as a gift.

According to KidSay Market Researchers, teen and tween online video and virtual gaming increased from 65% in 2007 to 91% in 2010. "I'm a writer, not a math whiz," says Eddie, "so I have no idea what those numbers mean but they sound really scary. So part of my goal is to give boys a compelling story they can fall into. I want to create within them a desire to read and set sail for a life of adventure, wherever that journey may take them. Even now I can see Ricky standing on the sugar-white sands of that island just south of Hispaniola. I am that boy. And so are a lot of other men and boys."

Eddie Jones is a full time freelance writer and author of five non-fiction books, one young adult novel, and an adult romantic comedy. He has written over one hundred articles that have appeared in 20 different publications. He serves as Acquisition Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and is a contributing writer, Christian Devotions Ministries, Living Aboard Magazine, The Ocracoke Observer, and Carolina Currents.

Telling Tidal Tales - Eddie Jones

I'm a boat swab at heart. This is why when my boys were little (and by this I mean we could still feed them without maxing-out our credit cards at the grocery store or causing a world-wide food shortage) I’d tell them pirate stories on our sailboat. I no longer have a sailboat. What I have instead are two boys in college. This is way better than a boat because unlike owning a boat, college tuition payments end—if not upon graduation then when the free frat parties stop. Boat alimony, on the other hand, goes on forever. I’m sure in some way, Noah is still paying on the Ark. B.O.A.T., by the way, means: “Break Out Another Thousand.” But if you’ve ever owned a boat you know this.

Anyway, at night, before I’d tuck my small boys into their bunks (a storage locker where we kept the anchor), we’d sit on the bow of our sailboat and I’d make up stuff. Today I do this as a writer but editors have shorter attention spans than my tiny tots. At least that’s what my agent says. So I’d tell these tidal tales and the hero of the story was this guy named Captain Stinky Foot. Captain Stinky Foot was named after my youngest son. If you’ve ever spent any time on a boat in August with a crew of unwashed young males then this needs no further explanation.

Telling pirate stories came naturally to me. I've always been fascinated by the stories of boys snatched away from London and Bristol and forced to serve before the mast. Seems to me life at sea was more fun than peeling potatoes. And more dangerous.

I’d use whatever props I could spy from the bow—a channel marker, boat fender, or crab pot—and I’d work it into the story. A few times every year my boy’s school would invite me in to tell pirate stories. My talks followed a predictable pattern. The teacher would ask everyone to sit quietly and listen, but know how it is with kids. There’s always some smart aleck who insists on cutting up. The teacher would interrupt, scowl and eventually nod for me to continue. Almost immediately, she’d have to stop me again: this time raising her voice. By the third time I knew she meant business. I also knew I’d get sent to the principle's office if I didn’t straighten up.

Now, when I’m asked to describe The Curse of Captain LaFoote, I explain that it’s a pirate tale awash in buried treasure, romance and dead men's bones. The truth is, this book and the ones that follow in the Caribbean Chronicle series are love stories. Ricky Bradshaw, the hero of the book, is on a quest to find his manhood as well as his soul mate.

There are a lot of other deep and important themes explored in The Curse of Captain LaFoote. Things like: what the poop deck is and why cruise ships no longer use them, the secrets inside Davy Jones' locker, and why you shouldn't walk downwind of a pirate who's just eaten turtle soup.

Seriously, my main goal in writing this book was to spur the imagination of young readers. Boys especially.

Click on The Curse of Captain LaFoote and read a bit about the life of a Pirate and purchase a good tale for a boy you love or care about.

Thank you Eddie Jones for spurring us to action.



Timothy Fish said...

I’m all for buying a boy a book, but I’ve got to say that when I saw the statistics about boys reading and video games the thing that crossed my mind was that it doesn’t matter how many books we purchase for boys if boys don’t have male role models who read. I know my mother read to me when I was young, but I have the most vivid memories of sitting on Dad’s lap and him reading to me. There was a fairly long book that I believe was titled The Black Panther that he read to me over a period of several evenings. I think many boys haven’t learned to appreciate the value of reading because their fathers haven’t read to them. We can’t expect people to know the joy of anticipating what is going to happen next in what they are reading if they haven’t experienced it.

Linda Glaz said...

No better gift for a boy...

Caroline said...

We taught our boys to read before they went to school. We've bought books, always--not an expense, an investment. We provided books for road trips, allowed them to read when we dined out. After all, they could finish their meal in ten minutes, and wait on us to finish our 45 minutes later, is asking too much out of two small boys. So . . . out came the books, and compliment of all the waiters & waitresses who tho't our boys were superb. :)

To this day, they still love reading. I'm all for encouraging boys (and girls) to read!! Love this promotion.

Eddie Jones said...

Good points. I agree. One trend we see are reading apps that replace the parent / adult role. The app reads to the child, then ask if the child wants to try reading. It prompts them and eventually the child is praised for reading the entire book. This might actually help given how many boys don't have two parents in the home. So yes, print books are nice but the new technology might be a boom to reading... eventually.