IPPY Winner–THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, by client James Babb!
Nothing gives me greater joy than touting the success of a client’s work. In this instance “work” should be “works,” since James Babb’s THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE and THE DEVIL’S TRAP are both finalists for the Next Generation Indie Award in Juvenile Fiction. As with the IPPY competition, in which THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE placed third, a book’s becoming a finalist for an NGIA is a major accomplishment, as hundreds of books are considered in every category. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed, and as I mentioned recently I’ll be working with James on the third installment in Brodie’s journey in what fans of his series hope will be the not too distant future.
A good way to look at this series is as a male version of the LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE oeuvre, as it’s full of historical accuracy but with the author’s wonderful imagination adding spark to the scenes. I’m not saying that James writes like Ms. Wilder, as who does except perhaps Lucy Maud Montgomery and a few select others, but James Babb’s stories are spot-on from the perspective of providing a character readers can hold dear to their hearts and want desperately to see succeed. Young kids need a real hero who’s not killing aliens or trying to escape vampires or abusing parents. This is good, wholesome reading with adult elements that could not be treated with greater circumspection. Also, for all aspiring authors, James’s books clearly demonstrate what makes a narrative compelling enough to “break in” at a time when there’s more competition than ever before (okay, exponentially more). I’ll beat the drum again—yea, to James!