Statesboro author Christopher L. Thompson’s first book, which he hopes will be the first of a series of adventure books for children, was released Dec. 13 by Palmetto Publishing Group.
Because a specific name for this first installment follows the fun, alliterative series name, the full title is a long one. “The Marvelous Adventures and Mishaps of the Amazing Bah Brothers: Assignment 1: The Search for Tooky,” is available from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. Both offer the paperback for $11.23, and Amazon’s Kindle e-book version goes for $4.99.
Thompson, 47, was born in Statesboro and has lived here all his life. Recently he works for Ellis Wood Contracting, but he has had other jobs, writing in his spare time when he has any to spare.
“Any time when I’d come up with a good idea for the book, I would jot it down and add it in when I was able to, and it just kind of developed into this story, and I’ve got a lot of different ideas and different stories for about eight to 10 more books,” Thompson said.
His main inspiration to think about children’s adventure stories over the years has been his son Lane, now 15.
This first “Amazing Bah Brothers” book is a far-flung work of fiction but with elements from the author’s real life. He appears in the book as “Fiss,” from the way some children pronounce “Chris.” Thompson was raised by his grandparents, the late Johnny and Shirley Taylor, and the “Taylors” also appear in the book, as owners of a toucan, Tooky.
Heroes with gadgets
When Tooky is stolen, the boys in the book, Wayne and his neighbors, brothers Fisson and Wiley, team up under the guidance of Wayne’s father, Fiss, to find the exotic pet and some other mysteriously missing birds. While Wayne, who appears facing down a monster on the book’s cover, is based on the real-life Lane, Fisson and Wiley were inspired by his stepbrothers, the author said.
The book describes the characters’ names as “code names” and provides a list of strengths, weaknesses and gadgets assigned to each team member. Gadgets include a “Mallet of Justice,” a crossbow, rocket scooters and “the Bah Mobile,” among others.
Palmetto Publishing Group’s press release states that “Thompson’s desire for originality and for finding courage in the face of adversity motivated him to develop the series, and he hopes to highlight strength through hardship.”
Experiences in his adult life put him in this frame of mind, he told the Statesboro Herald. These include his divorce, the passing of his grandparents and seeing other family members move away.
“It’s been a long, hard road for about 12 years now, and I’m ready for things to change and start looking up,” Thompson said.
But this story is geared to children. In the press release he describes it as “family-oriented with good old-fashioned values,” and compares the mystery element to the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.
Palmetto Publishing Group, based in Charleston, S.C., offers self-publishing plans, and that is the route Thompson took. Even this way the book, listed as having 60 pages in the paperback version, took about two years to complete and get published.
“I went through the self-publishing process because I wanted to go ahead and get it out there,” Thompson said. “I thought it would be better than possibly waiting five years or more for somebody to pick it up. But hopefully somebody will.”
In addition to the brightly colored cover illustration, the book contains 10 interior illustrations. These were created by Mark Brayer, a professional illustrator and graphic designer who works with Palmetto. Brayer would send Thompson rough sketches and ask for his suggestions, he said.
“Everything was pretty much my imagination and what he created from that, all based on whatever directions and specifics I relayed to him,” Thompson said. “It took some time. “
He said he would have liked to have twice as many illustrations, but these add to the cost of producing the book.
“Maybe with the next book – which I plan on doing more, hopefully this will be an ongoing series – next time maybe I can do 20,” Thompson said.
Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.