David Ebright -The Haunted City Writer: There’s nothing like living in a haunted seaside town and since St Augustine is the oldest city in America, some of our ghosts go back hundreds of years. And with some of the most incredible beaches anywhere – it’s the perfect summer hangout for my thrill-seeking grandson. He’s really into surfing, fast boats, Ghost hunting and learning the ‘secrets’ of the family trade. So what do I, a retired treasure hunter, do when he’s not around? I write award-winning books for teens (and young-at-heart adults) sharing the chilling tales of Jack’s summertime adventures.
What is the name of your book and if you had to sum up a description in 40 words or less, what would you say? There are 2 books – BAD LATITUDE and RECKLESS ENDEAVOR – both Jack Rackham Adventures. The stories follow teenaged treasure hunters through the oldest city in America in Bad Latitude & across the high seas & through the Bermuda Triangle in Reckless Endeavor where they are joined by the dead pirate Calico Jack Rackham.
Where did you get your idea for your book? Never thought about writing a book, but we’ll get to that later. I live in the “haunted” seaside town of St Augustine, Florida – known for its history, ghost tales, pirates, beaches & me. So when I DID start writing it seemed like a no brainer to put 4 teenagers in the middle of that setting, add a 300 year-old treasure guarded by zombies on Rattlesnake Island (a real place near my home) & have the kids search for it in between surfing, a hungry shark, & the lighthouse ghosts. Three quarters of the way through the 1st draft I decided that my protagonist Jack is a descendant of the pirate Calico Jack Rackham. That kicked open the door for the sequels. Calico Jack is now a key character in RECKLESS ENDEAVOR & returns in GALLOWS POINT, my current WIP, in an even bigger role.
When did you publish this book? BAD LATITUDE came out at the end of 2008 & RECKLESS ENDEAVOR 2011.
Is your book part of a series? YES
What is the most important thing about your book you would like to share with potential readers? The underlying themes are loyalty, perseverance & putting it all on the line for family & friends. They are written to appeal to kids that enjoy adventure, ghost stories, a bit of twisted history, all mixed with humor & filled with twists, turns & surprises.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? Making time to write.
What is your next writing project? Have 2 underway GALLOWS POINT – A Jack Rackham Adventure & one for little kids that needs my attention – SPANKY AND THE SPECKLED BUTTERBEAN (for my granddaughter Isabel).
What format are your books available in: eBooks, Paperbacks? Both
Where can readers find you?
What is your name and where are you located? Dave Ebright – St Augustine, Florida
Do you write under a pen name? No
What books have influenced your writing? The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn & Tom Sawyer – The Harry Potter series – I read all 7 HP books in one weekend.
What inspired you to first write? 8 years ago I convinced my wife Deb that we should move from Pennsylvania to Florida. A few years passed & I was in the garage tinkering with something at my workbench thinking about my grandson Jack & what an awesome time we would have if he spent summers with us. I had a laptop sitting there & tapped out the sentence “Jack spent summers with his grandparents in St Augustine, Florida”. I went on to describe his arrival. It’s a pretty accurate description of the way my family would joke & tease one another. There was a picture on one of the workshop shelves that showed Jack & me standing behind the helm of my boat Laffin’ Gaff with the little tyke “driving”. Being an over-indulgent grandfather in real life, I decided that “Pop” would give 15-year-old Jack his own brand new boat – a replica of Laffin’ Gaff which Jack & his friends use for their summertime adventures. The daydream turned into a story and expanded into a book that ended up winning a Florida Writers Association RPLA award for Young Adult books and that first book is now part of a series.
What have you learned the most about being a writer/author? Nothing is more rewarding than listening to a young reader gush about your stories & characters as if they’re nearly part of a real-life experience. Being presented with a framed “story key words” for my writing room created by a 12 year-old fan was a top highlight. I was pleased that he chose to make the word family prominent.
Do you see writing as a career? Sure but I gotta sell a lot of books for THAT to happen. Can’t give up the big boy job yet.
Is there an Author that you would really like to meet? Since Mr. Twain is no longer with us, I’d say . . . Vince Flynn.
Do you have any advice for other writers? I’m not a big advice guy but here goes: Don’t be timid about rewrites. Tearing a manuscript apart, chopping stuff out, eliminating scenes makes the book better & the author happier.
What is the one most important thing others should know about you? Hah! I’m a neat freak. Love frosted strawberry PopTarts. Enjoy kids & spent years coaching & mentoring. Many of those “kids” are friends on my FB page & I’ve had the pleasure of attending many of their weddings & meeting their kids!