Having worked for the publishing companies Scholastic and Harcourt, Eileen Robinson knows her way around the publishing world, but she was dismayed by a lack of books aimed at boys. This led her to create Move Books, a publishing house dedicated to delivering topnotch MG fiction aimed to get boys excited about reading (though the books will entertain female and older readers as well). Move Books’ first title, a fantasy called “The Mapmaker’s Sons”, is being released October 26 and promises prophecies, pirates and a map that comes alive. Robinson and V.L. Burgess, the author of “The Mapmaker’s Sons”, spoke to MTV Geek more about their endeavor, what sort of fantasy we can expect, and if Move Books will have similar titles down the line.
MTV Geek: What was your inspiration to start Move Books? Why did you pick a fantasy title as your debut?
Robinson: My son’s struggle to find fiction that spoke to him inspired me to start Move Books. The industry tends not to focus on developing passionate readers among boys, so I’m hoping Move Books will fill that niche.
When I began reviewing submissions, we were not specifically looking for fantasy, but The Mapmaker’s Sons grabbed me from the first line and as the adventure began to unfold, I realized I was lost in the story. When [the main character] Tom moved his hand over the map and it came alive, I was sold! I started envisioning the cover. I knew boys would pick this one up without hesitation.
Geek: What makes The Mapmaker’s Sons stand out as a fantasy read?
Burgess: The book is a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat adventure. Tom Hawkins, an average 13-year-old boy, discovers he can make ancient maps come alive. Tom’s life is turned upside-down when he enters The Beyond, the dangerous land depicted on a rare and mysterious map. There he discovers a prophecy that puts him at the center of a race to find a powerful weapon before it falls into the hands of a cruel tyrant.
And if Tom doesn’t get there first, he may not make it to see his 14th birthday!
Burgess: Tom is an ordinary teenager who is thrown into an extraordinary adventure. While he does have the magical ability to make maps come alive, that’s his only edge. He must dig deep and discover he has the skills within himself to survive the strange new world he’s crossed into.
Geek: What sort of fantasy adventures does he have?
Burgess: One of the early reviews of the book compared it to a young Indiana Jones type story. The pages are packed with deadly dangers, devastating betrayals, and epic battles.
Joining him on his quest is a brother he never knew existed, a tough-minded girl with a mysterious past of her own, a cunning young boy, and a sly, one-legged pirate. As Tom’s adventure deepens, he treks through deadly swamps and scales massive cliffs, battling his way past brutal armies, savage monsters, and primitive warriors. Each escalating disaster brings him one step closer to a showdown with the vicious warlord, Keegan.
Geek: What do you hope readers will take away from it?
Robinson: Everyone has destiny and we want readers to join 13-year-old Tom Hawkins as he discovers his! Readers will meet a sword-wielding, one-legged pirate, the brave Willa and others. Alongside Tom, they will fight swamp dogs, dragons and the evil Keegan and his army as they race to find the Sword of the Five Kingdoms, the most powerful weapon in the world!
We want readers to leave with a sense of adventure and want to come back for more!
Geek: Do you have more fantasy titles lined up to be published?
Robinson: Wow, authors have submitted so many good fantasy ideas! I can only say that we do have more fantasy coming but I can’t give you any details yet. Stay tuned!