How’d you get into this Bucky Stone series?
As a kid living in Bangkok, I gobbled up tons of such books purchased by my parents. I remember a “Danny Orlis” who excelled in hockey and football, and was always sharing his faith. But the books back then smacked of legalism – and were woefully dated. “Say, Millie, let’s go have a soda at the drugstore! Then maybe I’ll hold your hand.” “Well, that would be keen!” So I prayed about a writing project the Lord could bathe with grace.
So who’s Bucky Stone?
He’s definitely a hero type. Nice kid, good-looking, excels on the basketball court. Obviously, that means some girlfriend issues.
Not based on your own life, then?
What’s the spiritual aura of the stories?
Just solid generic Christianity. The original series was written to fit one particular denominational mindset, but now that we’re taking them to Amazon, I’ve done some editing and reshaping a few plot lines so Jesus freaks of all sizes and shapes can enjoy them.
And the target age group?
Well, the ten books take Bucky through four years of high school. Basically one book per semester plus two “summer specials” I really like, particularly since Book #5 involve a risky mission trip to Bangkok! But it’s aimed at kids ages 10-14. The tone is fairly light: lots of humor and teasing and high school banter. Bucky’s in a happy, intact family with a sister, Rachel Marie, who’s eight years younger. Mom’s a Christian; Dad isn’t . . . but that part’s all domestic harmony.
Safe to read?
Definitely. There are romantic temptations, and a particularly challenging moment in Book 9 where Bucky gets a real come-hither from Deirdre – and Mom and Dad out of town. But I think by then kids will be ready for that. Other recurring characters do struggle with booze, cheating, etc.
Does each book stand alone?
Yeah, each has its own unique story. Of course, I hope kids will begin with #1 and zoom right through the entire set. Making Waves at Hampton Beach High has a good lost-on-the-ski-slopes story to it.