Joshua Garland: The Legend of the Kids by Ramsey Damouni
1- What do you feel is the main cause of childhood obesity these days?
A number of reasons.
- Portion control is one aspect. Kids eating far too much in one sitting, and then snacking for the rest of the day.
- Eating the wrong foods. There’s not enough of a focus on eating nutritiously dense foods.
- Eating at the wrong times – eating very heavy meals at night and eating too much before bed. This excess, unused energy is turned to fat.
- A lack of knowledge about food and nutrition.
- We’ve become far too sedentary. I see too many kids sitting down on the screens all day. What happened to kids riding their bikes!
2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?
My best tip is to think about the objective/outcome, character arcs, and story structure first before you start writing. Then fill in the gaps and make it as interesting as you can!
3- What is the best piece of writing advice you've received?
This is one that I learned for myself – fewer words make for a better description. Leave the rest to the reader’s imagination.
4- What is your favorite vacation spot?
There’s so much, and I really can’t name one. Prior to this unfortunate global situation, I travelled the world with my wife. We absolutely loved Tokyo, Osaka, and New York. We’d heard a lot about these cities, but being there blew us away. Lebanon is possibly the most beautiful country I have been too, and Jordan’s deserts were stunning. But, I live in Australia, and I truly think we’re lucky to be here. We have amazing beaches, incredible mountain ranges, and stunning cities. Melbourne is a great multi-cultural city, with possibly the world’s best food.
5- Would you share a picture with us of your book with something uniquely Australian?
What’s more Australian than Vegemite!
6- What is your main character's biggest fear?
Joshua Garland is the main character. He’s 12 years of age, and is obese. He’s unfortunately bullied and teased in school about this by not only the other kids, but also by his teacher. As we’re introduced to Josh in the book, he’s biggest fear is about being singled out and challenged about his weight, and his lack of physically sporting prowess. Also indulging in food is his comfort and he does not want to be taken out of this comfort zone.
7- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?
My twitter handle is @ramzewrites. Also on Instragram. A shout out to @droneon1 , @happyfeetcrew , @pursoot for their positivity and support.
8- What is your favorite book to movie adaptation?
To Kill A Mockingbird was a stunning movie, and did the book a great justice.
9- What most motivates you to read a new book?
There’s nothing better than the feeling of not being able to put a book down, and practically reading it throughout the night. That’s what motives me to read a new book.
10- It's our tenth anniversary! How far has your writing come in the past ten years and where do you see your writing career ten years from now?
Well, it took me more than 7 years to write and publish my book `Joshua Garland – The Legend of the Kids’. Not because it’s an incredibly long novel, but life just got in the way of making it a quicker write. In that time my writing style did evolve. Similar to what I said in one of my earlier answers, I just learned the value of using less words to be more effective. This was in part thanks to a number of beta readers who provided me with this piece of advice. I plan to use this style in future projects.
11- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!
Author name: Graeme Simsion
Title: The Rosie Project
Love because: Many books but a recent favourite was `The Rosie Project’ . Actually a trilogy of books, written by a fellow Melbournian Graeme Simsion. A funny, heartwarming tale. Actually funny is downplaying it, it was hilarious. The main character, Don Tillman, has Asperger Syndrome, and has an interesting take on society and human behaviour. Hmm, couldn’t find a twitter profile, but check out his website.
12- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader?
I’m hoping the reader will completely emphasize with the main character, Joshua Garland. Not everyone would understand what it’s like to be obese, but I’m sure most people would have been bullied or teased at school at some point. It’s not pleasant and I expect the reader to be in tune with the desperation Josh feels when he’s cornered by his predicament. However, it’s a long journey for Josh and without giving too much away, this is a feel good story. So, I also expect the reader to eventually be cheering him on.
13- What kind of impact do you hope your book will have?
I absolutely expect the book to bring childhood obesity in the spotlight. I experienced and overcame obesity as a youth. I learnt a lot of lessons during this time and I wanted a platform to share these lessons with younger readers. So what this book does is tell a really interesting, inspirational story for the reader. But it carefully weaves in the lessons I learnt (without preaching) and hopefully enhances the knowledge of the reader for either losing weight, keeping fit, or just maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
14- What is the best writing tool, program, or reference book you've ever bought?
Grammerly, hands down!
15- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks
The book is set in Australia and uses Australian colloquialism and settings. In a twist, a main character is introduced later in the book who comes from Egypt. There’s a brief shift in setting at that point, and a take on life in Egypt.
16- Who is your favorite book review blogger?
Hmmm, I don’t have one specifically. However, I’m part of a great writing community on Twitter and we share book tips and reviews.
17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?
I went with self-published because it just gave me much more control in the process. However, I’m open to the traditional format too.
18- Which author, past or present, do you feel most resembles your work?
I found I took cues from a number of my favourite books and my writing style tended to resemble a number of those great authors. In particular Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, and I really admired JK Rowling’s sheer imagination in creating the Harry Potter world.
19- Would you please ask our audience a question to answer in the comments?
I would like to see the audience’s thoughts on childhood obesity. Why is it a problem, and what can be done?
20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
@ramzewrites. Also on Instragram.
Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/3kWGyO
Joshua Garland: The Legend of the Kids by Ramsey Damouni