How does a lawyer who holds a Ph.D. in History end up as a writer for young adults?
It’s not a trick question. started writing the Game Time series because he wanted to recreate the types of books he loved as a kid. Having a son who is a reluctant reader, David has first-hand knowledge of how difficult it is to engage boys in books in the face of video games and computers. In fact, since writing Off the Crossbar, the first book in the series, David has become greatly involved in this issue and has been speaking to school groups, in the hopes of inspiring them to read.
“I was an avid reader when I was a kid – and until I turned 14 or 15 I only read sports books. In fact, all I really cared about or did was related in some way to sports,” he admits. He has transferred all of that passion into his writing. His aim is to inject a sense of authenticity to novels of this genre and to also infuse a sense of ethics that is often lacking in youth sports today.
“The sports genre has disappeared to a great extent for boys above the age of eight, probably because boys don’t read much. Fantasy aside, the choices are relatively slim. Charlie Joyce was created to fill that void – by offering a main character boys can relate to,” explains David.
David is married and has two children: a son and a daughter. He continues to play hockey and coaches at minor league level. David’s stand-alone novel, Undergrounders, is set for release in Spring 2011.
A note from David Skuy
There’s no older writing cliché than write what you know. So what do I know? Well, after a childhood filled with sports, reading about sports, watching sports, and suffering injuries playing sports – guess what?
I did spend a great deal of my youth reading sports series – mostly books that had long since gone out of print: Chip Hilton, Bronc Burnett, Win Hadley. Those books created a special world, where kids competed against each other for the fun of it.
And with Charlie Joyce I hope to capture that same spirit, that special time in a young person’s life, when sport is pure, and when the pressures of adult life couldn’t be further away.
Charlie Joyce represents to me the best in what sports can be: competing for all the right reasons, as he tests himself every time he steps on the ice. I wish I could play like Charlie Joyce – my reality was more house league than AAA. But so what? Besides, as my memories fade of those long ago days, my talents surprisingly improve!
I hope kids will relate to Charlie Joyce: his hopes, his trials, his fears, and his triumphs. There are three books in the series now, and more to come. Get reading, because it’s Game Time!
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• Our Author Spotlight Q & A with David Skuy (PDF)