December 11, 2015

Book Spotlight - The Land of Look Behind by Aaron Blaylock

The Land of Look Behind

by Aaron Blaylock

Today I'm happy to participate in a book spotlight on Aaron Blaylock, author of the new YA novel The Land of Look Behind.

Blaylock was born and raised in Arizona, but later moved to Sacramento, California. As a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Blaylock served a two-year mission in Jamaica where he fell in love with the people and culture. Blaylock and his wife have four children. He worked as a freelance sports reporter for nearly ten years and loves soccer, baseball, and golf. His storytelling draws heavily from his love of history, adventure, his faith, and his own life experiences.

In his young adult mystery/adventure novel, The Land of Look Behind, Gideon discovers a mysterious drawing tucked in an ancient journal. He follows it to Jamaica with dreams of finding old treasure. He quickly learns that there are some who are willing to kill him to keep the treasure a secret.

Below is the book trailer:

Tell me about your writing process.

I think my writing process is a work in progress. Most of my stories start with the question "What if...?" In this case I thought, "What if a missionary found a symbol and what if he recognized that symbol from a cave he had visited?" From there I constructed a tentative framework of what might unfold and where the story should begin. Then I started writing. With this book, I would write a chapter and then proofread it before I gave it to my wife to read. I think that was a mistake as it slowed down my writing. I vowed not to do that again and now I just write and will worry about the rest when I get to the end.

What inspired you to write this book?

Jamaica. I fell in love with Jamaica, with her people and the beauty of the island but particularly with its history. There were so many components involved in shaping the island in the mid-seventeenth century that captured my imagination. I want to explore those events but give them a contemporary counterpart that would make them relevant to readers today. The history of Land of Look Behind allowed me to reach back into the past and connect it to the present in a way that was completely natural.

Who is your favorite author?

For me that is a question that changes constantly and the list of my favorite authors grows with each book that I read. I love storytellers. If you can tell an engaging story with interesting characters and make me smile then you are tops in my book. Gun to my head, if I had to pick, I would say Mark Twain. I just imagine him writing with a constant tinkle in his eye as he laid out his tale for the reader. Although there are many authors living today that I love to read I wouldn't want to pick one in the off chance I might meet one of those I did not mention by name.

What do you hope your readers take away from The Land of Look Behind?

To quote one of my favorite Disney/Pixar films "Adventure is out there!" I think it is easy to believe that in this age of information where we can read about or view so much of the world that it has all been seen and there is little left to explore or discover. There are adventures left to be had and discoveries to be made and we need people who will seek them.

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