New Children’s Fantasy Book Tackles Noble Virtues
Below is a Q&A between Movieguide® and Ron Smorynski, the author of children’s book titled ALFRED THE BOY WHO WOULD BE KING, which is available on Amazon.
Q: What is ALFRED THE BOY WHO WOULD BE KING about?
A: Alfred is an epic fantasy adventure about a modern-day boy thrust into a medieval world. He knows a lot about myths and legends, playing computer games and studying history, but underlying the whole story is of course, a grand mystery and story of fate, as well as an underlying faith that has yet to be discovered. Alfred, to me, represents a boy who may know a lot about courage, ingenuity, history, computer war gaming strategies, but he unfortunately doesn’t know the source of Truth and Good, or why people desire and strive for it.
Q: Why did you choose to write a children’s book?
A: I have, like all of us, the desire to be creative. However, my path before was one of adult themed action and violent concepts, whether alien invasion, sci-fi action, or zombie horror. After getting married and raising two girls, and through many failed adult themed projects, I decided to do one that I could actually share with my own children. Reading my own self-published (& not selling) book to my own daughter every night was just an incredible joy. Just that, was worth it. Actually, after that, I put the book away. I really gave up on it. That was around 2006. My sister, in 2014, found the book and decided to read it. She fell in love with the story, but hated the writer who couldn’t write a proper sentence. She then began this long arduous road of getting me to actually follow through and finish it with that polished professional touch. She spent more than a year editing it. After finding me to be humbly accepting, she decided to invest in a professional editor, all for Alfred! I was actually against it! Having that editor teach both me and my sister a whole new level of polish was a great experience. Both of us learned to write and edit better.
I also found writing a children’s book to be more liberating. In the sense that anyone can read it. I’m not ashamed of or wanting to hide parts of it. Family themed, doesn’t necessarily mean not-scary, and not-intense. It just shouldn’t be gross or gory, it shouldn’t be gratuitous. A child can easily understand a lonely mother and lost love, fear of monsters and the courage to confront them, fear of pain and the hope of healing.
Q: What do you hope children learn from the book?
A: I actually have so many hopes for children. First, this book is meant to appeal to both believers and those who have never heard or misheard the message of the Gospel. It isn’t seeking to preach, it’s definitely more like Narnia, but perhaps even less direct than that! It’s about a journey that leads to the Answer. However, that Answer, right now in the story, is lost, which could be pretty analogous to what a lot of kids are learning and mis-learning in society today. In that, the story is about many truths, of courage, fear, hope, Good vs Evil, leading and even being misled. . . . It’s about the right food and diet, hard work, trust, about honoring the mother and father, about the importance of family and duty to each other, to leaders. . . . It’s about a lot of good noble things, that have actually been lost, in the world he visits, and in the modern-day world in which he lives. It’s also about faith, when it seems all around, there is only the Darkness that exists and seems to be winning.
Q: How has being a parent informed what you write?
A: Being a parent is part of it, but you have to be a humble servant parent under an even greater Father to truly be a halfway decent parent. I’ve learned that the true joy of being a parent is this, to love God more than your children or wife. What?! Once I realized that love that came from God, forced me to be a better father than I ever was. Before, I was a jealous, conniving, angry, selfish father. When God came into my life, my humility grew, and really, the passion and ego I had to write a ton of stuff didn’t matter, it was the humility to work with the story, the characters, then to feel a larger message coming through, then to be humble enough to follow through with editing and appreciate my sister’s hard work on the series, that is what informed me to write best.
Of course, loving your children and wanting to tell them a great story, with even greater hope, isn’t such a bad part of it.
Q: Where can people get the book?
A: Right now, as a self-publisher, it is available on Amazon, you can look up my Ron Smorynski author site www.amazon.com/author/ronsmorynski or you can search for ‘Alfred the Boy King’ to see the series of books. There are two out now. ALFRED THE BOY WHO WOULD BE KING, and ALFRED 2: ALFRED AND THE UNDERWORLD. ALFRED 3: ALFRED AND THE QUEST KNIGHTS is in its final editing stages and could be out before Christmas.