Polaris by Beth Bowland
Bixie, Montana, is in the middle of nowhere, not connected to any place, and not used as a pass through to get anywhere. But one snowy evening, a lone visitor walking down an old country road changes 13-year-old Aaron Martin’s life forever. Aaron thinks he’s being a Good Samaritan by inviting the nearly-frozen visitor into his home, but he’s unwittingly initiated The Game. A group of Elders, known as the Council of the Legend, come together from time to time to enjoy a rousing event they playfully call “The Game.” Now, Aaron’s town is the playing board and he and his fellow townspeople are the players. The rules are simple. Win. Because if Aaron loses, he won’t just lose his family . . . he’ll lose his very identity.
How did you come up with the idea for this book? A few years ago, while flipping through a Christmas card catalog. I came across a photo of an old country farmhouse with a snowy background. On the card there were kids playing outside and a horse and carriage in the background, all decorated for Christmas. I didn’t give it much thought at first and continued flipping through the catalog, but something made me flip back and look at it again. This time, in my mind, I saw the same farm house, but the kids, horse, and carriage were gone as were the Christmas decorations. In its place was crisp black sky, with the ground heavily covered in snow, and one young teen boy walking toward this house in the snow, as a meteor streaked through the sky. I stared at that one picture for the longest time and knew it was the opening for Polaris. This, along with my love for conspiracy theories and planets gave me the inspiration to write the story.
How long did it take you to write and publish your book? (From day one of the first draft to publication date) Storylines come to me while I’m in the middle of working on something else. Usually, I will just see the opening scene and that’s it. I will write it down and any notes or inspiration pictures and put it away in a folder. The idea for Polaris actually came to me in September 2009! I started writing it January 2011. Got a few chapters in and stopped to work on something else. Finally got it finished late 2013. Received the offer 06/2014 from Month9Books and published 08/2016. Wow! Seven years total.
When you aren’t writing, what is your favorite thing to do? Watch HGTV! Love, love, love all the shows.
If you could bring one of your characters to life, who you it be and why? I’d bring Nakal to life. He needs a loving family!
What is the weirdest thing you’ve eaten? It’s not really weird, but my brother gave me what “I thought” was a little different kind of little tomato. I popped it in my mouth and didn’t think twice. It ended up being a habanero pepper! I drank like half gallon of milk and my mouth was still on fire! Lesson learned!
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? Keep writing! Don’t give up! Stay away from the naysayers. Don’t follow trends. Write what you want no matter how quirky it is. Tell the story you want to tell. The story will find its audience. When you get rejections, have some chocolate, watch some HGTV, then print out the rejections and turn them into pieces of origami art!
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