Saturday, 23 November 2013

{Book Spotlight} Thimble Down by Pete Prown

Thimble Down
Genre: YA Fanstasy
Paperback, 1st, 384 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by CreateSpace
Buy: AmazonKindle, iTunes, B&N
Thimble Down, by Pete Prown, is a fantasy adventure novel, written to challenge and engage young adults ages 10 to 18.  The book is recommended for readers who enjoy The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, The Wind in the Willows, Redwall, Artemis Fowl, and other timeless tales set in landscapes and cultures that bring to mind England, Ireland, Scotland, and the British Isles. 

Thimble Down is a country village where death and malice lurk the quiet lanes. When the vile, drunken Bing Rumple acquires a gem-laden treasure, violence begins to follow him everywhere. Where did Bing find such a precious jewel, and worse, is someone willing to kill to possess it? In this fast-paced adventure, the village bookmaster, Mr. Dorro, and his young companions Wyll Underfoot and Cheeryup Tunbridge are in a desperate race to find the answer—before death comes to Thimble Down.

Thimble Down is the first book in the “Chronicles of Dorro” young adult mystery series, which follows Dorro, Wyll, and Cheeryup, on their exciting, but dangerous, mystery adventures. 

Readers' views:
“A fun read. Choose your favorite chair and settle down for a lighthearted, fast-paced tale of thievery and intrigue in the faraway and long ago village of Thimble Down. You’ll meet some unlikely heroes among the town’s inhabitants, the “Halflings,” who love a good mystery almost–but not quite–as much as they enjoy their creature comforts. This book is part mystery and part fantasy with a tasty smattering of cooking, gardening, and fishing tips thrown in. Enjoy!”

“Perfect for the tween in your life. Ordered this book for my twin, 12 y/o nephews for Christmas and they both devoured it. Can’t wait for the next one!”

Details can be found after the interview

Interview with Pete Prown
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I’m a journalist, editor, writer and musician, fairly well known in the guitar universe. Also know quite a bit about gardening and horticulture. (This is why my band is named Guitar Garden.)

Can you describe your book in one sentence?
A classic fantasy-adventure for people who to travel new worlds and explore the depths of their imaginations.

How did you come up with the title?
Titles are very difficult—maybe the hardest part of the book! You have to keep your title very simple and easy to understand, from a marketing point of view. Writing the actual book is a piece of cake compared to coming up with a title, since so much is riding on those precious few words.

Where do you get your ideas/inspiration for your book?
Life, books, movies, TV, nature, art, people, music…everything. A writer draws from every part of their life to create good, believable fiction. Even fantasies have to be believable. I listen to lots of music—rock, jazz, classical, World, ragtime, country and folk—so I get a lot of ideas from the moods of the music I hear. 

Who designed the cover of your book?

Laurie Baxendell of Baxendell’s Graphic. We’ve worked together on various projects for 15 years and hopefully we’ll go for another 15 more.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
I would have started earlier. If you want to write, the time is now.

What do you do when you are not writing?
I play a lot of guitar and have recorded four CDs (all on I also garden, watch TV with my kids, cook, walk and ride my bicycle. I also run a Facebook page called “Legends of Rock Guitar,” named after a guitar reference book I co-wrote in the ‘90s.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I wrote Thimble Down from January to April 2012—it came very quickly. I think that book was already done inside me and just waiting to come out. The Dorro books I’ve written since then have each taken about six months each.

How did you choose the genre you write in?
I knew I wanted to work in mystery genre, so the jump to combining mystery, adventure and fantasy came easily to me. 

Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Fortunately, never. I’ve been writing professionally for 25 years—writer’s block is not an option when you’re on deadline. 

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I work with an outline throughout each book project, but it evolves along the way. I start with a sketch of ideas and a few chapters—after that, each book seems to take on a life of its own. 

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
As a kid, JRR Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, and CS Lewis, and later Charles Todd, Agatha Christie, MC Beaton, Brian Jacques, Eoin Colfer…all brilliant in their own way.

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Thimble Down appeals to young folks and adults, too, especially those that grew up reading The Hobbit. I have a publicist I work with and we experiment with different ways to get the book out to new audiences.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
It’s the next adventure of Mr. Dorro, Sheriff Forgo, Wyll and Cheeryup. I don’t want to give away too much, but it’s quite thrilling and full of unexpected thrills and … a monster.

What project are you working on now?
Just finishing up Book 3 in the Chronicles of Dorro series, and will begin editing and actual publication of Book 2 shortly. Also outlining Book 4, as well as a Thimble Down side project that will be great fun to write.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
There’s a strong theme of Nature in all my books. In our increasingly electronic world, young folks don’t spend as much time outside as they did when I was a kid or my parents before me. I hope the Dorro books help kindle a love of nature, gardening, animals, and the outdoors in all my readers. It’s great to spend a little

time outdoors very day and in any weather. I particularly like walking in the rain and even shoveling snow.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
My wife liked Thimble Down, which was nice to hear, as well as a high-school friend I haven’t seen for many years. Even the librarian at the Middle School I went to 35 years ago liked it and gave it a good review. Every writer gets bad reviews and there’s nothing you can do about it. If you know your book is good, you should brush poor reviews aside and keep moving forward as an artist. 

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Keep at it and don’t let anything, or anyone, deter you. This is your art and your writing—stay with it as long as you want. Ignore people who say you shouldn’t do it.

What book would you like to read again?
At Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears. One of the most mind-expanding books I’ve had the pleasure to read. It’s a historic mystery, but of a very high caliber.

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
I don’t think it’s superior, but The Hobbit was terrific. 

Do you buy a book by the cover?
Yes, I’m afraid I do. Despite the old saying, everyone in fact does judge a book by its cover. So make sure you have a good one!

Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Yes, the next two books in “The Chronicles of Dorro” series are complete. The next one will arrive in the first half of 2014.

Can you tell us where your book is available?
Thimble Down is available in paperback on Amazon, as well as Kindle, iBook (for iPad), Kobo, and other e-formats. Promoting a book, of course, is more of a challenge. That takes time and effort.

Pete Prown is a noted American writer of Young Adult fantasy books, as well as a magazine and book editor, and journalist. He’s written both fiction and non-fiction books, including THIMBLE DOWN and a series of instructional titles about guitars. Also a talented musician and recording artist, his Guitar Garden music is available on and iTunes. For more information, go to