Welcome to the Explorer Academy: The Forbidden Island Blog Tour!
Follow along all week as we celebrate the release of The Forbidden Island — the heart-pounding final adventure in the hit Explorer Academy series — with behind-the-scenes looks from author Trudi Trueit, plus 5 chances to win the complete 7-book series and an Explorer Academy map!
by Trudi Trueit
Whenever I do a school visit or bookstore appearance, we try to leave time at the end for questions from the audience. One I can always count on someone to ask is, “What’s your favorite part of being an author?” My answer is always the same, “THIS!”
Trudi answers questions from students at the Pegasus School in Huntington Beach, CA
I love answering queries from readers, whether in-person or online, through snail mail or email. It’s my opportunity to learn what you are curious about when it comes to writing and publishing. It also makes me take a closer look at my process and dissect why I make the decisions that I do regarding plot, dialogue, character development, and so on. Finally, I enjoy the spontaneity. I never know what questions will come at me and thinking on my feet is a thrill. Okay, maybe it’s not a cliff-diving thrill, but you stay in your wheelhouse. Of course, sometimes, I will get an unexpected curveball like, “How old are you?” or “How much money do you make?”
In the case of salary, I take the moment (while the teacher is turning red) to share some honest thoughts. I explain writing isn’t as consistent as, say, being a teacher or a welder. As a freelancer, you don’t bring home a weekly paycheck and the work can be sporadic. I tell young readers that if they want to write, look for a career that will allow them to make a living doing it, such as news reporting, marketing, advertising, or community relations, and write books in their spare time. By the time I’m finished, I may not have said the true answer, which is, “Not enough,” but they get the point.
To the age question, my stock answer is, “I’m a little over 21. How old are you?”
Visiting with kids at the Riverside School in Riverside, CT
I like when someone asks about my quirks, such as “Do you have any weird writing rituals?” You mean, other than talking to my characters out loud, gobbling Sunkist fruit chews while I work, and having, at least, one cat chewing a pen on my desk at all times?
Another good one is, “Which fictional place would you want to visit?” The answer to this varies depending on my mood because they are too many to pick just one: Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh’s hundred-acre wood, Fern’s farm in Charlotte’s Web, the Concord, MA home of the March girls from Little Women, Hogwarts, Narnia . . . see what I mean?
A recent favorite is, “If you could put one item into a time capsule, what would you choose and why?” I selected an object that doesn’t actually exist (since I write fiction, that’s okay, right?). In Explorer Academy, Cruz and his teammates get a unique gift called a Time Capsule, a device that looks like a cold capsule but can keep a memory. You hold the capsule, think of a special moment in your life, and voila—it is forever captured for you or anyone you gift it to for later viewing. So, I would put a Time Capsule in the time capsule! And my memory? For that, I would need two capsules. One to remember my incredible parents, who encouraged me to be a writer, and another to recall a school visit, because whenever I can connect with the next generation of great thinkers and doers, and dreamers, it is an experience to treasure.
Chatting with a reader at John Muir Elementary in Seattle, WA
Now that I think about it, the best question just might be the next one—the one no one has yet to ask. Stay tuned!
Want to ask Trudi a question? She’s game! Write to her at www.truditrueit.com.
About the Book
A heart-pounding final showdown changes the life of Cruz Coronado forever in the seventh and final book in this thrilling fact-based fiction series.
Amid assignments that take the Explorer Academy recruits from the iceberg-filled waters of Antarctica to the bone-dry deserts of Argentina, Cruz Coronado is scrambling to complete the last piece of the cipher. With Nebula agents and the elusive explorer spy still out there, his opportunity to recover his mother’s world-changing formula is slipping away. But as Cruz has learned from his time aboard Orion, true explorers must never give up.
Even after completing dozens of high-risk missions and traveling to all seven continents, Cruz could never prepare himself for one ultimate surprise.
Explorer Academy features a gripping fact-based fiction plot that inspires curiosity with new technology and innovations; amazing inventions and gadgets; a cast of diverse, relatable characters; secret clues, codes, and ciphers to track down within the text; vibrant illustrations; elements of STEAM; National Geographic explorer profiles in the “Truth Behind” section.
Check out the Explorer Academy website featuring videos, comic shorts, games, profiles of real-life National Geographic Explorers, chapter excerpts, and more.
“Sure to appeal to kids who love code cracking and mysteries with cutting-edge technology.”
“A perfect blend of adventure with real science and technology!”
—New York Times #1 best-selling author Rick Riordan
“A fun, exciting, and action-packed ride that kids will love.”
—J.J. Abrams, director and screenwriter of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lost, Alias
“Inspires the next generation of curious kids to go out into our world and discover something unexpected.”
—James Cameron, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and acclaimed film-maker
About the Author
TRUDI TRUEIT has written more than 100 books for young readers, both fiction and nonfiction. Her love of writing began in fourth grade, when she wrote, directed, and starred in her first play. She went on to be a TV news reporter and weather forecaster, but she knew her calling was in writing. Trueit is a gifted storyteller for middle-grade audiences, and her fiction novels include The Sister Solution, Stealing Popular, and the Secrets of a Lab Rat series. Her expertise in kids nonfiction encompasses books on history, weather, wildlife, and earth science. She is the author of all the narratives in the Explorer Academy series, beginning with Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret. Trueit was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and lives in Everett, Washington.
- Five (5) winners will receive the COMPLETE 7-book Explorer Academy series and an Explorer Academy map, showing all the places around the world that Cruz and his classmates visit over the course of the series!
- US/Canada only
- Ends 10/23 at 11:59pm ET
- Enter via the Rafflecopter below
- Visit the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!
Blog Tour Schedule:
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.