Julian and I met through social media. His book sounds fun and engaging for younger readers.
I was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, the only child of an awesome loving family. Growing up I fell in love with dinosaurs, through movies like Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. In 2013, I graduated from the now defunct Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a degree in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics. In 2016, I married the love of my life, Cloey. We live just north of Pittsburgh.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Joey Kelly (my pen name is Julian Michael Carver). I work full-time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as a video editor and motion graphics artist. Some of my content has been featured in Roseanne, Ancient Aliens, CNBC, and most recently the trailer for Hunter Killer. Thankfully, I am one of those rare people who love their day job, so I don’t mind using my skills in advertising to market my books! When I’m not writing, I enjoy working out, gardening, and fossil hunting! I’m completely obsessed with dinosaurs and extinct life, which plays a big part in what I love to write about. If I wasn’t a video editor, I would probably have pursued a career in paleontology.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Although I can’t give an exact date to this question, I can say that I’ve always been interested in writing books. As a child of the 1990’s, I grew up loving books like Goosebumps. When I was a teenager, I had a big interest in reading Fantasy novels, in part because of their beautiful cover art (there’s the artist in me coming out again) which led me to begin writing my own stories. I would write so much, sometimes my parents would have to force me to go outside just to see my friends and get me away from the computer. Eventually, I wrote my first novel in 7th grade. It is out of print now, but from what I remember it was about 100,000 words.
What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?
This may seem a little out of the ordinary, but I find the genre I like to read the most is mystery novels, like ones from Mary Higgins Clark. I am a Lifetime channel addict so that’s probably why (LOL!) I am currently reading a book called “The Eye of the Beholder” by Anne Reed Rooth, and I love it. I usually hunt down the ones from the 1990’s in thrift stores. As far as what genres I write in, I have written in the past in fantasy, horror, and science fiction, but right now it is mostly science fiction in the lost world subgenre, which means lots of dinosaurs!
Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
My current book series, and the one I will be writing in the foreseeable future (The Backpack Dinosaur series) will be for children, but who knows? Hopefully the parents will like it too!
What is your current release or project?
The Backpack Dinosaur Book #1 – A Raptor Ate My Homework! A cute, funny series spotlighting a pair of siblings who find and hatch a raptor egg and adopt it as a pet in their suburban neighborhood. The series will expand over many tones, like humor, adventure, thriller, holiday, horror, and many more.
Tell us about the key characters:
Andy and Anna are the two key human characters, and are twin brother and sister, living in the fictional town of Highland Falls in Western Pennsylvania. They find a strange egg in an alley in their home. The egg hatches into the third main character, Tennyson the velociraptor, who will be featured prominently on all the covers. Fortunately for the kids, the raptor is a “good” raptor, and is very protective of them, which will come in handy as they face various problems throughout their fourth-grade adventures.
What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?
It’s the first day of fourth-grade for twins Andy and Anna. Andy is a shy boy obsessed with dinosaurs and Anna is an adventurous girl willing to take risks. One day when they step off the school bus, Anna suggests taking a shortcut through a dark alley to get home.
As they navigate through the abandoned alley, they find a mysterious large egg tucked under a bush. They take it home and try to hatch it, careful not to tell their parents who are strict about pets. After building a makeshift nest in the attic, the egg hatches into a friendly baby velociraptor, whom they later name Tennyson, due to his infatuation with destroying tennis balls.
Now they must convince their parents to keep the little dinosaur, while overcoming bad grades and the school bully.
Aside from your love of Dinosaurs what inspired your story?
The book itself was inspired by many children’s book series that a loved to read growing up. The cover art is inspired by goosebumps and encyclopedia brown. The story itself spawned from my love of Jurassic park and The Lost World, and another book that I recently got into called Raptor Red, which was released in the mid 90s. The novel was unique as it finally featured a dinosaur as the main character.
What advice would you give a beginner?
I would say never give up, even if you get bad reviews. Not everyone will think your work is great. Tolkien is regarded as one of the greatest writers ever, and on every page of his writings I find things that I would change. Also, as a secondary bit of advice, I would say to set manageable goals. Writing a little bit every day, even a hundred words is progress. Networking with fellow writers on social media has done wanders for me as far as keeping me motivated and making me laugh when I am in a writer’s block.
Social media links:
Twitter: @julianmcarver (personal) @PteranodonPress (my publishing imprint)
Other: PteranodonPress.com (my publishing site)
Blog link: julianmichaelcarver.home.blog
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-raptor-ate-my-homework-julian-michael-carver/1131448328?ean=9781733996204&st=PLA&sid=BNB_ADL+Core+Generic+Books+-+Desktop+Medium&sourceId=PLAGoNA&dpid=tdtve346c&2sid=Google_c&gclid=Cj0KCQjwn8_mBRCLARIsAKxi0GJpXgmg9mlEH7uh8nG9HKXtJvhe6EfMaDO__ot8G0aeHgEmKcrxHwkaAqgBEALw_wcB