Meet J.C. Whyte, Author of Karmack
JCW: I discovered a love for writing at the age of eleven when my 6th grade teacher told the class to write a poem about a sport. I knew my classmates would probably choose a popular sport like baseball or football, so I chose to write a funny poem about golf. To my surprise, the teacher really loved it and encouraged me to continue writing. So I did. Then that summer, students were told to choose 26 books from a reading list, read them and write a book report on each. BLAH! I wanted to enjoy my summer, not spend it reading! Back then, I was a very slow reader and didn’t much enjoy the experience. Plus, kids didn’t have the fun books which are available today. But then my wise teacher told my mother I could write 26 stories instead of reading them. That was genius. I never actually wrote a full 26 stories, but I wrote one which made my teacher laugh out loud in class. And that teacher gave me an “A” on my summer reading assignment. I never forgot that wise and wonderful teacher who let a budding author play to her strengths.
JCW: For many years now, I’ve been appalled by the rise of bullying in elementary schools. Yet I wanted to write a story that would illustrate how bullies eventually get their due – that no bad deed goes unpunished. As adults, we frequently see that what goes around, comes around. But kids don’t quite understand that. They see bullies getting away with meanness and it makes them angry. But when Karmack enters the lives of three tough guys, the bullies learn their lesson the hard way when their own pranks coming boomeranging back to them!
BBB: Tell us about your character, Sully?
JCW: The leader of the bullies -- Sully -- is a guy all the kids at Higgins Elementary look up to. Yet he thinks he has to bully to maintain their respect -- that being a leader requires being tough all the time. But by the end of the book he learns what it takes to be a true leader.
Sully is actually based on a real boy I knew growing up back in the 1960s. Like Sully, that boy was always getting into trouble. Since much of Sully's personality is derived from that boy, I think it makes the character more believable. And likable.
BBB: What do you think children will like most about Karmack?
JCW: Kids will love the comical way Sully and his gang keep getting boomeranged by their own pranks. Plus, Karmack is a cute little guy with only a limited understanding of the English language -- this just adds to the fun!
Parents and teachers will probably like the subtle lessons the book also has to offer.
JCW: Yes! I'm writing the sequel to Karmack, which takes place the following school term when Sully and his gang enter middle school. That's when the bullying really escalates. Only this time, Sully's gang is on the receiving end!
Find out more about Karmack by visiting
http://karmack.webs.com and connect with J.C. Whyte on Goodreads.