The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast by Samantha M. Clark

Hi, Samantha! Thank you for celebrating The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast’s cover reveal with me.

Samantha: Thank YOU for having me and my book on Watch. Connect. Read., Mr. Schu! I love seeing all the amazing new books you feature on your blog, and it’s been wonderful to see some of my fellow 2018 debut authors on here too.
Thank you for championing your fellow 2018 debut authors and for finishing my sentences. Shall we get started? 

Justin Hernandez’s cover illustration for The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast is a wonder to me. I didn’t know what direction Paula Wiseman Books and Simon & Schuster would take with the design, but I knew my book was in good hands with my art director, the amazing Laurent Linn. Laurent found the perfect illustrator for this book in Justin Hernandez. Justin is a comic book artist and THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST is the first novel he has illustrated.
I couldn’t be happier with his work. Justin and Laurent came up with a cover that’s not only beautiful, it also captures the mood and mystical nature of the story. I love the colors and details on the cover. And those details are carried throughout the interior as well, with little illustrated surprises at the start of each new chapter.

The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast tells the story of a boy who wakes up with no memory of who he is, where he is, or how he got there. All he knows is that he’s on a beach with birds that turn terrible, trees that try to grab him and an ocean that wants to drag him under. The boy does the only thing he can—stays still and hopes for a rescue. But when he sees a beam of light shining over the trees, he gathers up his courage and follows it, going on a journey to find answers, strength, and home.

The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast is about overcoming the fears we must face in the world as well as the fears that come from inside.

The Green Wall is scary! The Green Wall is a ginormous wall of trees that looks impenetrable, dark and gloomy to the boy. All he can see within it are flashes of eyes, but he knows what’s really hiding behind those branches—and it’s big, strong and terrifying!

The Green Wall is one of the ways the book shows the boy’s fears and how even the smallest things that scare us can become HUGE in our imagination. The boy in this story makes me think of the scared little 10-year-old in every person, no matter how old we are. As we get older, I don’t think we ever fully outgrow our fears, but the more we work through them, the stronger we get. Like a character in my book says, “Make your own courage.”

Explore Samantha's website. 
Reading is how we learn, explore, experience, escape. When I was little, I moved around a lot. I lived in 4 countries by the time I was 12. And with each move, I became a little more quiet and shy. But with stories in books, I could be anyone in any place. My world got so much bigger, as well as my circle of friends. And through them, I also learned how to not be as quiet or shy. So stories and reading is where I go to when I’m sad, happy, unsure, confident, uncomfortable, comfortable… J

School libraries are the magical place where children learn about stories. Libraries, both school libraries and public libraries, are the heart of the community, and librarians are their pulse. I’m always in awe of librarians who can put the right book in a child’s hand at just the right time in their life. When my family moved when I was kid, the library was the one place that was always there. No matter where I was around the world, I could always connect through the books in the library. Now my stories are going to be in libraries, and my hope is that children will find as much comfort in them as I did in the books librarians gave me.

Click here to learn more about The Electric Eighteens.
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about the best part of being a debut author. I will only ever have one FIRST novel published, and for it to be The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast is special for many reasons: because it was scary write, it stretched my craft, it connected me to wonderful people who are now my friends, and especially because its themes are close to my heart.

But I’m also just one of many authors whose debut book will be published next year, and because of that, I’ve met a whole group of fantastic writers. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking, but we’ve all helped and supported each other, as well as shared our stories. I’ve read a few of the ARCs of my fellow 2018 debut authors, and I can tell you that it’s going to be a year that will launch some fantastic new voices. I’m thrilled to be part of it.

Look for The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast on June 26, 2018. 


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