Justin Sloan : Teddy Bears in Monsterland

Teddy Bears in Monsterland

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Children & Teens, Sci-Fi & Fantasy

For Readers Of

Rick Riordan, Lisa McMann, Brandon Mull

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Elder Tree Press

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For free books in the Sloan Starter Library, visit www.JustinSloanAuthor.com.

A teddy bear must travel into the land of monsters to rescue his boy who was taken in the night. In the process, he discovers a much larger plot that threatens all children everywhere. Welcome to a world where teddy bears come to life at night to protect the children, and shadow monsters are controlled by goblins and orcs. The first book in the Teddy Defender series will entice young readers that enjoy fantasy and action/ adventure in the style of Pixar or Disney, as well as older readers who enjoy parallels to the tales of Orpheus or Dante's Inferno. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.


Q: Why did you write three books about teddy bears?

JS: I'm a child at heart, and these are the kinds of stories I love to read. Pixar and Disney made me who I am (not entirely, but mostly), and I'm obsessed with stories for children that can be enjoyed by adults and teens as well. So I wrote the first book: Teddy Bears in Monsterland. This is a story of a teddy bear named Ari whose boy is taken by monsters, so Ari has to go into the Monsterlands to rescue him. It's very much an Orpheus story, or a more friendly version of the Dante's Inferno games/ animated movie.

But I wasn't done. I had Michael Gilliland narrate the audiobook of book 1, and wanted something he could do quickly that we could put out for free as a sample. So I wrote Teddy Bears and the Halloween Ghost. This short story in the Teddy Defenders universe focuses on the female bear from book 1, Mia, as the teddy bears set out to save their children from a ghost. Fun times, and you can check out the #free audiobook on Youtube.

Next came one of my favorite stories to write to date, because I love pirates.Teddy Bears and the Christmas Pirates. Oh yeah, I love Christmas also, so it made sense that I would have to write this story. It is what it sounds like - the Teddy Defenders have to save Christmas from some pirates (they happen to be teddy bear pirates, and although you don't have to read book 1 to totally get it, they tie together for sure). So there you have it - my first completed trilogy. I also have my Bringer of Lighttrilogy coming to a close this month (January 2015), starting with Allie Strom and the Ring of Solomon. But while you wait for the third book in that series, check out the Teddy Defenders.

Q: We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

JS: Of course! I loved reading The Hobbit and the Narnia books as a child, so of course J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and more recently there is naturally J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter, but also on the less directly related side Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn) and George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones). They are both fantasy authors that definitely have their craft down. In fact, I started writing fiction with a YA fantasy after reading Martin's books and being frustrated that I couldn't' find anything else that grasped my attention like his books did.

Q: Do you have a target reader?

JS: The target audience for Back by Sunrise is kids from 7-12, thought I certainly approached it as Pixar would, writing it with the adult in mind. I have heard from multiple adults that they enjoyed reading it, as well as a younger audience. One reader told me she used to be a hospice worker and that she thought my book would be perfect for the people she used to help. I certainly hope my book can help people dealing with grief, and of course anyone who loves a fun story of magic and animals.

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