Tony Abbott is the bestselling author of over 80 books for young readers, including the Secrets of Droon series and The Haunting of Derek Stone series.
My next guest is Tony Abbott, author of over 80 books for young readers, including the Secrets of Droon and The Haunting of Derek Stone series.
Now before we get into your Droon series, let’s talk about the new series that you’ve been writing called The Haunting of Derek Stone. Just to tell you a little bit about it, Derek is a boy who’s 14 years old and his family suffers a tremendous disaster, a tragedy where his brother and his father are killed. And your main character, Derek Stone, he’s not your typical, you know, strong strapping muscular boy with all the popularity.
That’s good to know that there’s going to be some more because you have a huge fan base or children that just love these books. Yeah, Firegirl, which won me the Golden Kite a few years ago, the fiction award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Well, I’ve been speaking with Tony Abbott, author of over 80 books for young readers, including the Secrets of Droon series and The Haunting of Derek Stone series. Tony Abbott is an author with over 80 books to his credit and numerous awards and nominations. Dedicated to bringing children, authors, and illustrators together through the magic of books.
Since 1994, Tony Abbott has published over sixty books of fiction for younger readers, including the popular Danger Guys series, Cracked Classics, and the ongoing fantasy sequence, The Secrets of Droon.
ReaderKidZ is pleased to welcome Tony Abbott, author of the wildly popular and long-running (11 year!) Droon series.
My new series is called UNDERWORLDS, and the first volume, “The Battle Begins,” will appear from Scholastic in its book fairs and book clubs this September, and in bookstores in the spring of 2012.
Mission StatementTo provide teachers, librarians, and parents with the resources and inspiration to foster a love of reading in kids, K-5. Would Tony Abbott, author of more than 75 books, including Fire Girl and the internationally popular fantasy series The Secrets of Droon, give it all up for a moment in nature?
My backyard, a flat area, treed and fenced in (we have two dogs), is a lovely, tranquil garden in the spring and summer, a quiet place in winter when the snows fall. I’m reading the biography of Beatrix Potter now, and I realize how intrinsic nature and nature study was, not only to Beatrix — to the extent that we wouldn’t have Peter Rabbit or any of her bold and hilarious characters had she not been out in the natural world when she was young — but to so many of the great writers that I — that we — admire. And this is an admonition, a scold, on our lives, particularly on my life, but, I’d suppose on the lives of so many people today.
I confess I lift my shades in the summertime when the sun’s arc is higher over the trees and the pages of the books I love are not in danger. Tony Abbott has written over 75 books for young readers, including the acclaimed novel Fire Girl and the popular fantasy saga The Secrets of Droon.
Abbott said he was "proud and humbled" to "shoulder the duties of government", as he spoke to his supporters today after his victorious win. Earlier, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd conceded that Labor has lost the federal election from Brisbane. At a party function in Brisbane, Mr Rudd said: "A short time again I telephoned Tony Abbott to concede defeat at this national election. Former prime minister Bob Hawke told Sky News the election was "lost by the government" rather than won by the opposition. Deeply religious, Abbott's conservative views on issues such as abortion and gay marriage have sparked cries of outrage.
Questions have also been asked about his attitude towards women, with Australia's first female prime minister Julia Gillard famously labelling him a misogynist in a heart-felt speech in Parliament.
But now his party will lead Australia following Labor being marred by relentless infighting - which saw Mr Rudd oust Ms Gillard a few weeks ago.
Labor minister Jason Clare has said it's time for fundamental change in Australian politics.
Mr Clare said people were sick of the "dance of death between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd". Opinion polls and an early exit poll all predicted a resounding Liberal win after more than 14.7 million electors took part in the mandatory ballot across the country.
Abbott currently lives in Trumbull, Connecticut with his wife, two daughters, and dog Comet. This entry was posted in news, Politics and tagged australia, liberal party, politics, tony abbott, winkgate. Nevertheless, you know, I put in all these mysteries that might or might not be solved if the series went to fifteen or twenty books.
His hardcover novel, Kringle, was called by School Library Journal ?a delightful explanation of the origins of our present?day Santa Claus. THE FINAL QUEST,  the most recent and last book in THE SECRETS OF DROON, brings Eric, Keaah, Neal, and Julie together in a final standoff to defeat Gethwing and save the Kingdom of Droon. It’s about four friends — Owen, Jon, Dana, and Sydney (the last two are girls), and it begins with one of them vanishing at school.
I spend nearly every day in my writing studio on the back of my house, my shades drawn, a hermit, a recluse, a shadow. My brother and I, along with our neighborhood friends, would exhaust ourselves from morning until suppertime in the nearby woods, on the streets, riding our bicycles, walking, inventing, exploring, battling, imagining, and racing until our bodies gave out. One’s work, one’s daily task keep us long-occupied indoors in stale air, under artificial light, with the exhaust of illness all around us. His most popular work is the book series The Secrets of Droon, which includes over 30 books.
His father, also a writer, kept many books around his house during his childhood, and this became Abbott's first source of literature. After unsuccessfully studying both music and psychology, he decided to study English, and graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor's degree in English literature. Tony Abbott MP, leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister of this dinky-di land of ours, was busted on camera winking and grinning after a caller to the radio show – who wanted to discuss budget cuts and increasing medical costs – identified herself as a phone sex worker.

He was the recipient of the 2006 Golden Kite Award given by the society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to recognize excellence in the children’s literature.
For the next two weeks, we’re going to do some reruns of previous shows because of the holidays, but we’ll start back up January 7th with an episode devoted to military and hard science fiction with Joe Haldeman, David Drake, David Weber, and Ben Bova. He took some time to answer 20 questions for Book Reviews and More, we thank him for taking the time and hope you enjoy the interview.1.
Fantasy readers will enjoy this tale year?round.? His realistic novel Firegirl appeared from Little, Brown in Spring 2006 and received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and the Bulletin of the Center for Children?s Books.
I loved stories like Peter Pan and The Wind in the Willows and Treasure Island, but I didn’t find the stories of wizards and magic all that interesting. The others discover that maybe the ancient Underworlds of gods and monsters and heroes and magic are behind the vanishing. Her first picture book, BLUE ON BLUE , illustrated by Caldecott winner, Beth Krommes, was published by Beach Lane Books (S&S) in 2014. There is a degradation known in the book trade as “sunning” or “tanning” which occurs when paper comes into contact with sunlight directly or even indirectly.
Indeed, our world couldn’t function without such work, whether it takes place in a factory, a classroom, a mall, or a writing studio. I won’t get as much work done, certainly, but the warm summer air refreshes as nothing else does.
He has sold over 8 million copies of his books and they have been translated into several other languages, including Italian, Spanish, Korean, French, Japanese, Polish, Turkish, and Russian. When he was eight years old, his family moved to Connecticut where he went through elementary school and high school.
You have published over 80 books in 16 years and the few I have read were amazing, to what do you attribute such copious output?I suppose I established myself early on as someone who could write series books.
While specializing in science fiction, fantasy, and adventure, all of Tony?s work, including his realistic fiction, displays a strong element of humor.
They band together to find their friend, and discover that there is something going very wrong in the ancient places.
How could I possibly work, head down, scribbling or typing, when breezes are twisting the treetops, flakes are whirling around in crisscrossing hatchwork, cardinals and blue jays and finches are looping from hedge to hedge? This is no longer the case for children, and it wasn’t ten years ago when my daughters were young. I’d also like to think, however, that there is an essential link between the book and nature.
One day, for me, there won’t be an outdoors to look on, to walk in, to race through or explore or imagine in.
In addition to writing, Tony speaks at library and writing conferences, visits and speaks widely in schools, and has taught writing workshops for all elementary grades. There is unrest in the Underworlds — all the different ones, Greek, Norse, Egyptian, Indian. It’s a contrary activity to the internal sparking of the mind making connections among characters, sketching out settings that are halfway across the world from where I live, riding the downward wave of a boy in distress. The out of doors, nature, was something my children didn’t experience in the way that my brother and I did. Strangely, perhaps — or perhaps not — if anyone asks what my favorite thing in the world is, I know what my answer will be: a warm summer breeze on my face. You have to be able to promise a finished book every few months, to keep the publishing schedule going.
Nearly eight million copies of his books have been sold worldwide; in addition his work has been translated into Spanish, French, Japanese, Polish, Turkish, Russian, Italian, and Korean. From pictures and videos, certainly, but most intelligently and in-depth from the careful analysis and rumination and study that goes into writing about our world.
My first book, Danger Guys, back in 1994 was the first of a series, and for a while, that's all I wrote, for various publishers. The Secrets of Droon has been voted one of the top ten fantasy book recommendations among the nation?s independent bookstores for readers awaiting the next ?Harry Potter? book, the only paperback original series to make the top ten. There are so many stories from the ancient myths and legends to draw from, but it is happening now, which changes things quite a bit. The Secrets of Droon was also a Main Selection of the Children?s Book of the Month Club (May 2000). Droon has appeared on BookSense and Publishers Weekly Bestseller lists, as well as on many school and library reading lists.
I have read that over 12 Million copies of your books have been sold worldwide and published in over a half dozen languages (Italian, Spanish, Korean, French, Japanese, Polish, Turkish, and Russian). Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Tony graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English Literature. He worked for a variety of specialty bookstores, a university library, and an Internet book and magazine publisher before becoming a full?time writer of books for elementary, middle?school, and teen readers.
And I knew instantly that this was the name of a huge world of enchanted cities and deserts and seas. An avid tennis player, Abbott?s literary and cultural interests include the farcical novels of P.G. Wodehouse, the films of Preston Sturges and the Marx Brothers, the writings of James Thurber and S. I went into my workshop, got out lots of sheets of blank paper, and began to sketch out ideas for characters and places and magic and . It's a wonderful feeling to think that children in other countries are picking up your books, just as we in North America read, say, Cornelia Funke or some other European writer. With so many books published do you have a favorite book you have written or a favorite series?The Secrets of Droon will always be my favorite series, I think, because it's gone on for eleven years and over 40 books, all of which I've written myself. Out of all these thoughts came the first book, The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet — which tells of Eric, Julie, and Neal finding the stairway to the magical world of Droon.
You have mentioned that your writing was sparked by reading books to your own children, what were your favorite books to read together as a family when your girls were young?We did read a lot.

The sorts of picture books that you can read over and over because there is real wit behind it.
Parents are also being written to in the best of these stories: the Fox books, The Cut-Ups (I love those books).
At Christmastime, we would read from Washington Irving's Christmas stories, and, of course, Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Danger Guys was your first published book, but you have elsewhere mentioned previously written books. Have any of them since been published or with your popularity would you like to go back and publish them now?When one starts writing, there are a lot of things that seem not terrible, but that probably shouldn't be brought into the light.
One idea does not go far, there has to be a tension, and interaction of several, and then something wonderful begins to happen.
I will sketch out a story on paper, with pencil, for the longest time, until it seems right to begin typing it all into the computer. Then I print it out and start again on paper, honing down the initial mess of a first draft into something that looks like a story.
There is a succession of drafts like this, drafts that I wouldn't want anyone ever to see, before I get to a place where the story begins to work on its own.
Then the draft changes dwindle and finally I polish the manuscript to a point at which my editor can see it. Maybe two more drafts before the book is ready for typesetting (if that's still what that procedure is called). We are talking at least a year from the beginning to the end of what I've described here.7. How do you come up with so many different worlds and series ideas?As I often tell school children, the problem is not where to find ideas, it's that everything IS an idea. And once the characters come to life on your desk, the ideas come even more quickly and interestingly.8. But I have a new book coming out next year, Lunch-Box Dream, from Farrar Straus Giroux, and I am very proud of this story. You books are published and marked for children and teen, and yet I have recommended The Haunting of Derek Stone to about a dozen adults who have all loved it. Have you considered remarketing some of your books as omnibuses for the adult market?Wouldn't that be fun? I confess that I write books I, as an adult, would like to read, so it's no surprise that adult readers sometimes find them appealing.
I have thought about reworking Derek Stone into a single fat volume for older, perhaps adult, readers. In fact, the novel coming out next year, Lunch-Box Dream, for the longest time seemed to me an adult book.
You have stated one of your biggest inspirations for writing is "I love being with the characters I create and seeing what kind of adventures they get into (and out of!)" I once heard Madeleine L'Engle state that her characters were real to her and almost an extended part of her family, she said once that at the dinner table she sat up and stated "Meg just finished her PhD." Does that same sort of thing happen to you? There are characters that continue after the stories are written, just because of the very realness of them. Perhaps the best I can do is to say that the main character of Lunch-Box is one I will write about again, and I have begun sketching out the story, which will be a lighter look at the person who is somewhat dark in the original book.12.
Do you have a feeling how many more books might occur in that world?I could have gone on for some time, but in fact the final book appears this year. Series of any kind, television included, don't often go as long as Droon has, so it has been a great run.
In that last book, I tried to bring in as many of the favorite characters and places and storylines as I possibly could. It was a task, and a sort of melancholy task at that, but the book is one that I am very happy with. There are rumors that your book Kringle is in preproduction for a film to be released in 2011, have any of your other works been optioned for either the large or small screen?Well, the movie thing is dead.
The option expires, the director, writer, producer go their separate ways, and the ground is raked behind them so that you can't read any of the footprints. What are some of your favorite films?Chinatown, The Thief of Baghdad (the Steve Reeves version), there are others that escape me.15. Who were some of your favorite authors or books in your youth?Well, The Wind in the Willows takes first spot. Who are some of your favorite authors or books now?I don't read many children's books, but I do like people like Kevin Henkes, Karen Hesse, and Walter Dean Myers, real writers. Adult writers include William Faulkner, Carson McCullers, Richard Wright, Tonie Morrison, Truman Capote, Flannery O'Connor, James Agee, Ralph Ellison; mostly Southern writers, for some reason. Oh, and Robert Frost, Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, James Joyce, John Updike, Langston Hughes.17. As a former librarian what ten books would you recommend for teen readers?Of course, I have never been a librarian, as one of my bios happens to state.
What advice would you give to teens today, to your readers, what gems of knowledge have you gleaned in life that you would pass on?Try to do everything (non-risky), read everything, open your mind to the possibilities of life and people, imagine a better world, love the world in all its beauty and horror.20.
What advice would you give to young aspiring authors and artists?Same as above.Tony live in Connecticut with his wife and daughters. With his success and scheduled he is still very approachable and always willing to interact with his reads, fans and students.
Though his books are published for children and young adults I am sure readers of all ages will enjoy them so pick one up and give it a try.

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