Interview with author, R. A. Douthitt
So, tell us how you came up with the idea for The Children Under the Ice?
R. A. Douthitt- Believe it or not, I was conducting a spelling test for a 6th grade class once Friday morning and I noticed the words, when combined, seemed to form a story...a mystery story.
So, as I stated the words and used them into a sentence, I began to form a story about the ghosts of these children under the ice of a frozen pond and a detective trying to find the murderer.
Fascinating premise! How long was it after that spelling test when you wrote the story down?
R. A. Douthitt- Many years later. I began to write it for the NaNoWriMo contest in November 2012. I revised it and completed it in the summer of 2013.
That's quite the journey! Tell us a little about your protagonist, Mikey.
R. A. Douthitt-I really like Mikey. I see a little of myself in him. He's a quirky kid in that he lives in this Minnesota town, but doesn't like to play hockey. So, he's the "odd-man-out". He would rather write a story for the school newspaper. He aspires to be the next Carl Bernstein or Bob Woodward.
That brings me to the next point. Why set the story in 1976?
R. A. Douthitt-You know, I'm a child of the 1970's and that time was a time of innocence and youth for me. When I look back on that time, I feel as though it was the last time kids could play all day away from home even late into the night without being afraid or concerned for safety. Perhaps it's just the nostalgia in me, but that's how it seemed to be. I needed that era of innocence for this story to work because the kids in the story need to be out on their own or out late at night without fear or trepidation.
I see. So, you went from a fantasy series to a murder mystery thriller series. Why the change in genres?
R. A. Douthitt- Once I completed The Dragon Forest trilogy, I needed a new project to work on. CUI just seemed to be a nice segue into another series set in the past. I will still write more fantasy because I truly love that genre, but I also want to break out and try new things.
I am working on The Dragon Forest "spin-off" series called The Elves of Vulgaard. Book one, The White Wolf, is out. I had a lot of fun illustrating that book and plan on illustrating book two, Dragon Games, which should be out later this year. I am also writing an adult contemporary romance set during the Iraq War. More mystery/thrillers are coming out for middle grade readers: Red Water (about a group of kids who find the dead body of a girl they once bullied...) and Whispers in the Hall (about a haunted school). Right now I am writing The Cafeteria Club (about a group of outcast kids who can't eat lunch in the cafeteria anymore thanks to some bullies, so they form a club of their own and storm the cafeteria...the war is on!)
Your Children series is now an award-winning series! Tell us a little about that.
In July of 2017, I happened upon The Moonbeam Children's Book Award contest for Indiepublished books, so I entered my book series..and won the 2017 Bronze medal for Best Book series! I couldn't believe it! I am so honored that this group of judges believed in my stories. It is quite an honor.
Sounds like you will be busy writing for some time! Thank you for answering our questions about your books and your Children series!
The book can be purchased at Amazon.com.