THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOKS, ‘THE GIRL WHO COULD READ HEARTS,” BY SHERRY MAYSONAVE AND “DESCRIPTIONS OF HEAVEN,” BY RANDAL ELDON GREENE, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHORS’ NAMES ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.
THE BOOK: OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters
PUBLISHED IN: 2016.
THE AUTHOR: M. W. Adams.
THE EDITOR: Gina Edwards.
THE PUBLISHER: Mark Wayne Adams, Inc. now SYP Kids an imprint of Southern Yellow Pine Publishing
SUMMARY: The Family Tree Novel series’ steady, enduring story is like a tree growing against nature’s will toward the sky. Driew Qweepie’s perennial story buds, blossoms, grows, and falls from the twisted branches of the Qweepie family tree. The story’s sing-song rhythm creates a songline for readers to follow, scanning a century all told.
The book begins with a boy starting walkabout, a historical rite of passage into manhood. The moments throughout walkabout are viewed by a magic man chasing along an untimely move from Dawson City, Victoria, Australia’s Outback, to Dawson Springs in rural western Kentucky. This journey becomes a boy’s tracing of his bloodline, discovery of country, and possible death.
THE BACK STORY: The Family Tree Novel series foundation has been written and illustrated throughout my life. The novel series germinated in 2012 from a conversation: “Write a story about the horrible things we did as siblings, that we never told our parents. Call the book Bothers and Sinisters.” From my parents’ farm, on the outskirts of Pennyrile Forest State Park in western Kentucky, I married the idea with my Australian Never Never fascination.
WHY THIS TITLE?: Included in “The Back Story” section above.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? I never imagined educators might use the series as a resource to teach language, geography, and history through the Family Tree Novel events. Lately, I cannot escape questions about the novel and art created for the illustrated editions of the series. Driew Qweepie’s fascinating life is made real through pages of thought-provoking words and illustrations.
The brilliant “water boom era” of Dawson Springs and equally brilliant tale of family perspective elevated my illustration and writing passion, while making reading a hands-on activity. I thought it unfair not to include the fascinating perspectives of supporting actors through the illustrations. There are always two sides to every story—yours and theirs.
“OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters is a book to be read slowly and savored. I was captivated by the mood and magic that pervades this most unusual coming of age story.” — Jack Mangus, Readers’ Favorite
“Adams’ characters amuse, frustrate, intrigue, and redeem us. Most importantly, Outback teaches us the wisdom of ‘family,’ ‘roots,’ and ‘home’—all of which make their own kind of magic in our everyday lives.” —Jo Travis, retired English Teacher and Librarian
“A story that young readers and adults of all ages will enjoy.” —Ryan Jordan, Readers’ Favorite
AUTHOR PROFILE: M. W. Adams explored the magic of childhood in the creeks, caves, and bluffs of western Kentucky. Playing Outback uncovered an adventurous world between his home near Pennyrile State Park and his hometown of Dawson Springs. Accompanied by pretend horses and a brown baby doll, M. W. grew to love his bizarre Outback family, sometimes more than his “normal” family.
Mark was inspired to chase his entrepreneurial dream in the 3rd grade, selling drawings to classmates. Creating books and inspiring others has always been his passion. Mark’s ability to produce quality illustrations at a fast pace and dedication to mentor others has made MWA, Inc. both successful and unique. In the past five years, his authors have won over 50 book awards and he continues to create new, successful products annually.
Mark contributes his talents and time to the community locally and nationally. He promotes reading and writing via public speaking engagements, book signings, and participation in book events from Florida to the Northeastern United States. He has been recognized through the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, KACo (KY Assoc. of Counties), FAPA Board, SCBWI, IBPA, and national book awards. He also volunteers his talents to the Kids Need to Read annual calendar and donates books to various organizations.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: Research and writing continues to take me home to Dawson Springs, both as a nostalgic adult and as an adventure seeking kid. Through masterful storytelling and art, each book is about the return of family from an abandoned life—until Driew’s shocking discovery of a songline crossing his family farm.
I always considered myself reasonably creative, but not a writer, expressing my ideas through illustrations. I felt tongue-tied and without a voice until the words cascaded onto the pages of my Best Sketchbook. This Never Never story, a dreaming, timeless-time adventure in my life. When I open the pages, I’m in wonder that somehow the phrase “Bothers and Sinisters” triggered a new childhood Never Never land.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: Mark Wayne Adams’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Wayne-Adams/e/B01AJ7WQ8C
“Be them ever so cruel, there’s no family crueler than ours!” Driew Qweepie’s hooded tormenter chuckled. “Go! Here comes that Brown kid!”
Four teenage silhouettes bounced through the overgrown pumpkin patch, their escape concealed by the shadowy tree line.
Fall’s first cool breeze crept through the once popular town of Dawson Springs, ending the suffocation of summer’s dog days. Driew Qweepie’s tween body hung limp in his overalls from the scarecrow’s post. Cawing crows, darker than his hair, mocked him from their perch above.
His eyelids rose and fell over eyes of blue and green. Heterochromia, the condition was called, thought to be hereditary, or caused by a disease or an injury. Since he was healthy and the only family member with heterochromia, Driew’s explanation was an unimaginable injury. His siblings teased, “Dropped on your head is your problem.”
Thick wire-rim glasses obscured the condition. Non-family members awed at Driew’s pleasing appearance. His dark complexion, chocolate ringlets of hair, and dwarf-like size made him a doll for sure.
As he hung from the scarecrow’s perch, his consciousness swayed like a porch swing in a gentle wind. The hangin’ left him to reflect on his family hierarchy. An unwritten historical timeline that flipped through his mind recalled a decade of prank-filled albums created by four tormenting siblings. Soon his eleventh year would bring new volumes of teenage tortures.
Labeled “little bother,” he was the youngest and lowest ranking member in the Qweepie family. From the first moment of his life, he learned trust was not easily earned. His bothers’ and sinisters’ torments had worsened since moving to the Kentucky farm.
His parents, Nieve and Marq Qweepie, uprooted their Florida lives to resolve nasty letters received about their farm’s demise. Marq listed the property for sale after his father died and never intended to return. Ida Mae, the caretaker during Marq’s absence, became feeble and unable to maintain the farm properly.
“She needs you. She needs you,” a voiced echoed melodically, awakening Driew. His heavy eyelids rose to reveal a hazy heterochromic gaze reflecting his own.
“PSST! Holy Dooley! You alive mate? G’Day! Here down under!” a voice called below him.
Driew’s light-sensitive eyes focused on the pumpkin patch. Behind the scarecrow’s post, the setting sun cast a veil of darkness over the stranger. “Wh-wh-who are you? Wh-wh-what do you want?” Driew’s voice screeched into the silent patch.
“I heard whimpers. Thought I’d find an abandoned pup out here, or something entertaining. People dump treasures off this road all the time.” The stranger pointed toward the road leading to the Qweepie farm.
Scarecrow was an elevation from being a “little bother.” This prank signified his torturous life—a pawn to ward away intruders.
“No worries. They aren’t coming back,” coughed Driew.
“Who did this, mate?”
“My bothers and sinisters.”
The stranger tugged at Driew’s overall straps, releasing him from their confines. The stranger backed away in awe of Driew’s glide to safety.
A whirling cloud of dust howled through the patch. Crows abandoned their perch, alerting the hillside of the disturbance.
“A willy willy! Let’s rack off! These spirits give me the heeby jeebies!” The tween stranger grabbed Driew’s overall straps and led him away.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Links are included below.
Social Media: • Twitter: @markwayneadams • Facebook: Mark Wayne Adams • Google+: Mark Wayne Adams • Instagram: markwayneadams • Pintrest: markwayneadams