Hi Will. Thanks so much for agreeing to answer a few questions for us. Anabar’s Run is the story of one boy’s journey to manhood. He makes some difficult choices and overcomes tremendous obstacles in pursuit of his dream to become a Scout. Can you tell us what inspired such an encouraging tale, and what do you hope your readers take away with them?
I began writing Anabar’s Run with the basic idea to tell a story that everyone is capable of doing great things. Anabar is not a prince, or rich. He also does not have special powers, nor is he a hero predestined to save the world from some evil force. Instead, he is a typical young man trying to find his way in the world.
In your Goodreads bio blurb, you mention that your writing has been influenced by some extensive traveling. Will you elaborate on that for us?
I feel fortunate to have traveled throughout much of my life. When I was in middle school, my family and I lived in Geneva, Switzerland, one of my favorite places in the world. I spent time in the Alps and found I really love mountains. I think that is why I include so many mountain scenes in Anabar’s Run. Plus, climbing and passing through mountains is challenging, and this seemed like a suitable setting for a young man like Anabar struggling to grow up. I have also traveled to Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and many countries in Europe, and I think this led me to write a story in which the protagonist must travel a great distance.
I’m particularly impressed with all the detail involved in Anabar’s training. In your bio, I also noticed that you spent 20 years in the Air Force. First I want to thank you for your service. Next I want to ask if, indeed, you drew on those experience in creating Omalof’s training “course,” and just how they helped you craft your story.
I never did go through any serious survival training like some people in the military; however, my career in the Air Force did teach me the importance of preparation. I believe that is why I included so many details about Anabar’s training. I do have three sons, and we spent quite a bit of time camping and hiking over the years. I think that helped me to make the outdoor training scenes authentic.
You have already finished a second book in the Anabar Trilogy called Anabar Rises. Can you give us a brief synopsis? And you mentioned to me that you have some thoughts lined up on the third book, though it is still in the beginning stages. I understand an infant story is very unpredictable, but when do you hope to have it completed?
In Anabar Rises, Anabar begins his duties as a fully qualified Scout. He is initially successful and even gains some fame, which he likes, but this brings him in conflict with Omalof, his mentor from Anabar’s Run. The problem is that Scouts are supposed to remain secretive, not attract attention. Omalof eventually banishes Anabar to the border near the neighboring country of Ricamareth. Anabar gets captured, becomes a prisoner, but eventually is freed when he saves the queen from a dangerous snake. Anabar then meets, and falls in love with, Princess Astrida. During all these events, Anabar sees signs of an approaching war between Ricamareth and Semdela, the nations linked to his past in Anabar’s Run. He struggles with the choice between his loyalty as a scout and his love for Astrida. He ultimately decides that the war is futile and risks everything to try to prevent and stop it. In the end, my real message in the Anabar books is peace. I believe Anabar’s solution to simply just stop fighting is really the only solution to conflicts like the one between Israel and the Muslim countries in the Middle East.
I have the basic idea for the third Anabar book, and I hope to get started soon and finish it by the end of July. I’m a teacher, and I have much more time to write in the summer.
Finally, will you share with us some of your favorite books and authors?
The Call of the Wild, by Jack London, is my all-time favorite book, and I believe it turned me into an avid reader as a child. Today, I love all types of books and do not stick with one genre. Tom Wolfe is my favorite modern author. I think his portrayals of people are accurate and hilarious.
Thank you so much, Will!
For links to download Mr. Granger’s books, to connect him, or to visit his really cool Anabar website, head back to my book review and scroll to the bottom.