Happy Book Birthday to Niles Wormwart, Accidental Villain! Plus an interview with the author!

Happy Book Birthday to

Niles Wormwart, Accidental Villain!

This month’s release is Niles Wormwart, Accidental Villain by D.M. Cunningham.niles_final_t

 

In the science fair world of ketchup-spewing volcanoes and potato clocks, one boy, Niles Wormwart, plans to alter the history of science fairs with his time travel wristwatch based on Nicola Tesla’s work. Unfortunately, history has different plans for Niles.

After Niles blows up his school’s science wing with his project, his father, deciding his son needs to man up, make some friends, and take a break from his constant experiments, sends unsuspecting Niles off to the mysterious Camp Mayhem.

The only problem is that Niles’ father thinks it’s a role-playing camp. Well, it’s not.

Headed up by the ominous Red Czechmark, Camp Mayhem is ground zero for training the future villains of today. A place for real kids to realize the real villain inside them. Niles sharpens his focus on escaping the camp while everyone inside wants him to sharpen his focus on discovering his own dark powers. There’s a sinister plot brewing, and Niles is dead in the middle of it.
Thrust into a world he only thought existed in comic books. Niles discovers his true potential inside the walls of Camp Mayhem-the potential to become the darkest of evils or stay true to his good-hearted roots.

SHPMG:  What inspired you to write NILES WORMWART: ACCIDENTAL VILLAIN?

A culmination of so many things. I think staying out of jail was the first thing. Because if I didn’t right books I would have to be a villain and that’s no good for anyone. Especially me. I don’t do good in small spaces for long periods of times. Plus I heard the coffee in jail is no good.

SHPMG: In NILES WORMWART, our hero is sent to a camp for villains. Are you secretly (or not so secretly) a villain?

It’s NO secret, I am a villain. Which totally contradicts the first question you asked me. Which is what a great villain does. I said no, then WHAP, cold fish slap out of nowhere. Full mastery of distraction. Oh hey look over there it’s a turtle wearing a sweater! (That’s where turtle neck sweater came from – just in case you didn’t know that).

SHPMG:  What’s your writing process like? Do you plot everything ahead of time, or just let the words flow?

Hold on, let me process this question…. Okay. First thing I do is watch and read and listen to everything that inspires me toward the new story I am about to write. Then I totally rip it off (score one for the villain!). Ahem, I’m only kidding about that part. I sit for days and let it marinate. I only recently started really outlining in great detail. I was much looser early on. Like a 70s disco queen (can I say that?) I spend a lot of time on the outline, massaging it, looking for holes in the story and so on. Then I write like a mad cow and vomit out that first draft. THEN I realize that I completely abandoned my outline because the characters took me somewhere else.

SHPMG:  What sort of reader would enjoy NILES WORMWART?

Only people who love awesome books and pumpkin flavored anything. If you like Oxen you’ll like this book up to a certain point. I don’t think this book is for everyone, because if it was…  J.K. Rowling would be serving me soup. Nikola Tesla would love this book. I’m thinking of using that watch of his to jump through a wormhole and give him a copy and rewrite all the Harry Potter books to be Niles Wormwart.

SHPMG:  What’s next for you as a writer?

I was thinking of walking to the coffee shop and getting a latte. Want to join me? Oh, wait, that’s probably not what you meant. I’m working on a middle grade horror. I told my super amazing agent Bree Ogden the story line and her head exploded. Figuratively, not literally. Because if that did happen I would have to look for a new agent. And we know what a task that is!

Want to learn about the inspiration for Niles Wormwart? Click here!

Interested in purchasing ? Order the book on: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM

Get to know the author by visiting his author page.

 

 

D.M. Cunningham, finding inspiration in a traffic jam

For writers, inspiration usually comes from a store in Los Angeles. You can buy it at a place called the Writer’s Store. They sell it in this nice tiny box…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, that’s not really where it comes from. But if you did believe me, I’ve got this car for sale that travels to the future and back. I’ll give you a good deal.

 

 

niles_final_tAll kidding aside. My first book, Niles Wormwart: Accidental Villain, came from everyday inspiration. It also happens to take place in the very city I live. Like several other millions of people in the city of angels I sit in traffic daily and poke along at the break-neck speed of 15mph (if I’m lucky). A lot of people do their makeup, eat their breakfast, and make phone calls. I have even seen a woman curl her hair and get dressed behind the wheel. Because I prefer to gets dressed before I leave the house, I use my time in the car to brainstorm.

But let’s back up a bit.

I was searching for a kid lit writer’s group to join. I needed that shot of inspiration and other like-minded folk to read and share material with. I eventually found them at an agent writer meet up at a local bookstore. We shared a laugh that the agent had no idea who Nikola Tesla was and why I was talking about him in my book for children. I was horrified that the agent didn’t know who Telsa was, but that’s how us nerdy types react when others don’t know all the cool things we do. All you nerds are shaking your heads right now because you know exactly what I’m talking about.

All that driving and thinking and meeting with a writer’s group spawned a story of a kid who was sent to a villain camp on accident. It started as a short chapter. Not a very good one, I might add. It had some funny moments, but that was it. How was I going to turn this chapter into a full book? Of course, many times in my life I have gravitated toward stories that everyone else in the Universe seems to be thinking about as well. The only comfort we have as writers is that we might have the same ideas – but none of us are going to tell that story the same way. The writer’s group challenged me, I kept working on the chapter and they kept giving me notes. Eventually I had to set out like Skywalker and face the challenge on my own. I could have written that chapter a million times over. You just have to know when to move on in your writing and that’s what I set out to do.

My love for 80s movies and comic books started to blend and ignite a larger kernel of story. I could actually hear Niles talking and see him doing things that I thought were funny. He wasn’t just a person but a personality. He had quirks that were coming to life each time I sat at the computer to write. I rarely outline (sometimes this is a huge detriment as I have learned in my writing career) and I let the story go. For me, I almost channel the story spirit and it just goes through my fingers. Yeah, okay, that sounds a bit corny. But that’s kinda how it works for me. I’m one of those writers that vomits out the first draft and then I go back and clean it up. Sometimes I go back and throw out gobs of writing. The whole point is to let inspiration awaken. Don’t put a governor on it, no brakes, hit the gas, downhill on roller skates… I think you get the point.

So there I was. Niles erupted.

Part Ferris Bueller,

part Bruce Wayne,

and part me. A half a dozen messy drafts later I had something. And the rest they say, is history… let’s save the road to publishing for another day.

Right now. I’m still sitting in traffic. Niles is just months away from his book birthday and I’m wondering if he will find his way into the world.

Will he be able to pull in some of those reluctant readers?

Will he inspire?

I hope so.

Pre-order the book on Amazon, B&N, BAM or any local retailer near you!

D.M. Cunningham is a film and television writer, director and producer who has worked with several of Hollywood’s top production companies such as Disney, MTV, NBC, History Channel, Cartoon Network, and Lionsgate. His short stories can be found in STORIES FOR CHILDREN, UNDERNEATH THE JUNIPER TREE, AND CROW TOES QUARTERLY. He is a writer and columnist for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND magazine where he interviews the top talent in the horror and science fiction industries.

D.M. Cunningham’s Spencer Hill Middle Grade Books: Niles Wormwort, Accidental Villain

Visit The author online : Website,Facebook, Instagram, follow on Twitter: @LiteraryAsylum