Researching A Boy Called Duct Tape by Christopher Cloud
I conducted months of research before sitting down to write my middle-grade novel A Boy Called Duct Tape, the story of Pablo Perez, a 12-year-old kid without much going for him. His classmates have dubbed Pablo “Duct Tape” because his tattered discount-store sneakers are held together with…you guessed it, duct tape. He can’t escape the bullying.
Pablo’s luck changes after he finds a $20 gold coin while swimming with his younger sister in a river near their home. Pablo later buys a treasure map at the county fair for $1. The map shows the route to the “lost treasure” of Jesse James—the booty is stashed deep inside a cave. Pablo can’t help but wonder: Is there a link between the map and the place where Pablo found the gold coin? He is determined to find out, and after befriending an ill-mannered cave guide, Pablo, his sister, and cousin begin a treacherous underground adventure in search of the Jesse James treasure.
The premise for my story is grounded in a 130-year-old legend, one that claims Frank and Jesse James—after 11 years of robbing banks, trains, and stagecoaches—hid their loot in the black recesses of a Missouri cave.
Consequently, before I wrote a single word of my story, I was faced with the task of researching two topics: the geology of caves and the life and times of Jesse James. I knew little about either.
Set in the fictitious town of Jamesville, roughly half of A Boy Called Duct Tape takes place in an elaborate cave system. I knew that many hours of research about caves would be required to bring my story to life. It was essential to create an underground setting that was not only interesting for the reader, but credible. There had to be more to caves than simply rock walls. (As it turns out, there is).
Researching the folklore behind the “lost treasure” of Jesse James was also a huge undertaking. There is more information about the infamous outlaw and his thievery exploits than one might imagine. Indeed, it was informational overkill, and selecting the nuggets of information relevant to my story was a tall order.
Thankfully, all the elements fell into place, and A Boy Called Duct Tape was born. Does Pablo find the “lost treasure” of Jesse James? Sorry, you’ll have to read the book. It is due to be released in digital and paperback in late February.
A Boy Called Duct Tape synopsis:
A Boy Called Duct Tape synopsis:
Christopher Cloud bio:
Christopher Cloud began writing fiction full time at the age of 66 after a long career in journalism and public relations. Hutchison graduated from the University of Missouri in 1967 with a degree in journalism. He has worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist at newspapers in Texas, California, and Missouri. He was employed by Sun Oil Company as a public relations executive, and later operated his own public relations agency. He created the board game Sixth Sense in 2003. The game was sold at independent bookstores nationwide. He lives in Joplin, Missouri.
To purchase directly from the author visit: website: www.christophercloud.com.
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Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
http://guardianangelpublishing.com/pathway.htm ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval Recipient and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist