Monday, April 10, 2017

BLOG TOUR & AUTHOR INTERVIEW with N.R. Bergeson for "The Magnificent Glass Globe"

Author: N.R. Bergeson
Pub. Date: April 10, 2017
Publisher: TantrumBooks
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 273

Eleven-year-old Mary Tucker dreams of visiting the Amazon. But if her father, a museum curator, has his way, she might be a grandmother before she ever gets the chance.

One day, while mischievously exploring the museum’s warehouse with her brother Ike and best friend Helen, Mary stumbles across an old travel trunk belonging to her grandfather.

Inside, they discover an nondescript glass globe. Curious about the simple object, Mary touches the globe, and is shocked when the room is suddenly consumed by the most amazing view of Earth.

The magnificent globe lets the friends zoom closer and closer toward the earth’s surface, eventually bringing them close enough to touch the trees. That's when the globe entirely disappears, and they find themselves falling.

Suddenly, they're far from home, in place that's either a paradise, or the place where they will die.

Sleep, water, and food become precious and scarce. A native tribe may hold the keys to their survival as well as clues to help them get back home. But it won’t be easy. The rain forest is a big place, and when others find out what the globe can do, Mary, Ike and Helen will need a plan, allies, and a little luck.

~AUTHOR INTERVIEW with N.R. Bergeson~
1)      What gave you the inspiration for the storyline? 

I’m an avid traveler (obsessed, if you ask my wife). Because of my work, I’ve been very lucky to see and experience places all over the globe, particularly in Europe, Asia, and South America. For years, I’ve kept meticulous track of all the places I’ve been with a large map on my wall and pins indicating places I’d seen.

And that’s where the idea for this story came. While daydreaming in front of the map one day, and fantasizing my next adventure, the idea of the globe came to me. The rest of the story worked its way out from there.

2)      Are there any hidden themes in the book that you hope readers will discover?

In other words, what’s my hidden agenda? Am I trying to hide the vegetables in other food so that kids will eat it? Alright, you’ve got me there.

As a development worker, my career has been spent dealing with global issues in various countries. I’ve seen some very sad situations, and some very happy situations as well. The only thing that I have come to see as constant in every culture I’ve experienced is the fact that culture is always changing. In some places, people go to extremes to try and preserve culture. In other cases, they go to extremes to try and leave it behind. I don’t think either extreme is the right approach, and a lot of the problems we face in this world can be traced to these two extreme actions. I tried to show the case of the Ticuna as one where an appropriate balance can be sought for.

Also, this book deals with some of the ongoing major threats to biodiversity and the environment faced in the rainforest. Those themes aren’t so hidden.

3)      Are any of the characters based on real people you know?

Not so much in terms of specific personalities. But I did use a lot of family names among the characters. Mary is my aunt and great-grandmother. Lewis and Ike are great-grandfathers. Ephraim is a great-great grandfather, and Helen is a great-aunt. You could say I am doing this to honor beloved family members, and so sure, why not. The truth is, however, that I am horrible at coming up with good character names, so this was my excuse.

In terms of personalities, I think I took pieces of myself and close family members and patched them together for my characters. Mary’s wanderlust is definitely from me, but my personality is probably a bit more obnoxious and sarcastic like Ike. Anatoly’s physical description is based on a particular Russian friend of mine, but the personalities definitely are different.

4)      Who has influenced you most as a writer?

If I had to credit anybody for me wanting to pursue writing, I’d have to go with my second-grade teacher, Ilone Long. I wrote a short story about our class based on the “Magic School Bus” and gave it to her. She was so proud that she laminated it and posted it on the wall of her classroom, where it stayed for several years. She told me “someday you’ll be a writer,” and the idea has stuck with me ever since.

5)      If you could have any three literary characters over to your place for game night, who would you invite, what would you play, what would you serve, and why? 

      Fascinating question. Perhaps first I’d go with be Jeffrey “Maniac” Magee from Jerry Spinelli’s timeless work, with the hope that some of his innocence and confidence would rub off on me. Of course, Maniac would probably win at all the games, but I’d be okay with that. Second, I’d have to go with Jo March from Little Women, to make sure somebody smarter than us is there to put us all in our place if necessary. Finally, if he’s available, I think I’d invite the Brown Bear from “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” I’ve always wanted to meet a talking bear.
      Rather than play a game, I’d probably challenge everybody to a karaoke contest and make them sing Broadway show tunes, just because you never actually get to hear people sing in books. And we’d all eat pizza. I don’t know why, but it’s probably because I’m writing this before dinner time and pizza sounds really good right now.

About N.R.: 

N. R. (Nils) Bergeson is the author of the “Magnificent Glass Globe” series. Nils was born in California but spent his childhood at the foot of the beautiful mountains of northern Utah. From an early age, he was fascinated with the wider world, prompting him to earn a degree in international studies from Utah State University, followed by a Master’s degree in Public Administration / International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He knew early on that his interests were as wide as the world itself, and that he’d find real joy living overseas. Since 2002, Nils has only spent four years living in the United States. He was a missionary in Siberia, spent time in Romania as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, and has worked for several years in Colombia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, and now Indonesia as a U.S. diplomat/international development worker. He’s traveled to more than 60 countries with his wife, Emily, and their three young children. Nils’ love for writing, which began in the second grade, complements his globetrotting ways well. He hopes his writing will instill a desire in his readers to take advantage of modern opportunities to see the world, learn new languages, and expand their cultural experiences. We live in a wonderful world, and it’s just waiting for us to see it.

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:
4/3/2017- Rockin' Book ReviewsExcerpt
4/4/2017- Books: A true storyReview
4/5/2017- Never Too Many To ReadGuest Post
4/6/2017- Month9BooksExcerpt
4/7/2017- I am not a bookworm!Review

Week 2:
4/10/2017- Book Review BeccaGuest Post
4/11/2017- So Few BooksInterview
4/12/2017- LILbookloversInterview
4/13/2017- Don't Judge, ReadExcerpt

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