Have you heard of Grant Beagan? Each week, an accomplished published author takes over the YEM Twitter account for Thursday’s Twitter Takeover. During the takeover, the YA author will answer questions, tell stories, and give advice on our social media. This week author Jonathan R. Miller will be taking over our Twitter account. Jonathan R. Miller is half of the writing team behind “Grant Beagan: The Finder’s Code.” Read YEM’s interview with Miller as well as his co-author Tom Anderson below!
Young Entertainment Mag: You both are the authors of “Grant Beagan: The Finder’s Code.” So where did your inspiration for the book come from?
Jonathan R. Miller and Tom Anderson: We’ve known each other since middle school, so at a high level it was a compelling project for each of us, working with a lifelong friend. For Tom, his admiration for Jonathan’s writing really drove the desire to work together on a project. For Jonathan, his admiration of Tom’s creativity and storytelling was equally strong. At one point, we discussed our love of stories about young people who discover magical realms, and we agreed that it was something we wanted to try for ourselves. With that insight, we began the Grant Beagan series. As we’ve moved deeper into the project, it has really taken a life of its own and has grown into much more than we personally initially thought it would.
YEM: Do you anticipate this becoming a series?
Jonathan and Tom: The project was designed from the beginning to be a series. Before we began creating the book, we mapped out the overall story and premise for the entire series.
Jonathan R. Miller and Tom Anderson
YEM: Similarly, will readers get to see more of Grant Beagan?
Jonathan and Tom: Grant will be featured in all seven books, as will Alina, his closest friend. Additionally, the Grant Beagan series is part of a larger universe called LitCraft. LitCraft includes a rich history, amazing powers, and a deep and complex society. It is a magical universe, hidden in plain sight in front of us all, filled with wonder and imagination. Beyond the books, there are integrations with video games, assets on a blockchain, a website that describes the canon, and much more to come. You can check it out at the LitCraft website https://LitCraft.io
YEM: How did you create the character of Grant Beagan?
Jonathan and Tom: In understanding how Grant was created, it is important to understand some of the philosophies for the series. The story of the Grant Beagan series, in contrast to most other books in similar genres, is not a story of good versus evil. It is a story of not only right and wrong, but what constitutes acceptable actions to get there. Other books have an antagonist who is clearly evil. Ee have created two characters that we envision half of our readership will each resonate with by the time the series is complete.
Grant was created not only to reflect the journey that the series tells, but he is a specific type of person that we felt would be relatable to readers. He is also biracial, which has always been an important part of Jonathan’s writing. Grant reflects what one would experience having a fresh look at a universe that encompasses the goals of the series.
YEM: Which came first, the character or the story?
Jonathan and Tom: Because the two are so closely aligned, they were developed in unison.
YEM: Grant enters the “World of Lit.” Above all, what is this world like and how did you create it?
Jonathan and Tom: The Lit are a society of mages and magical creatures hidden in plain view right in front of us all. The society evolved over millennia, and over time mages created hidden cities where magical creatures flourish. Today, the Lit live in a thriving and wondrous society. There are amazing locations, creatures, and, importantly, powers. The world is a mix of classic stories like The Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter. Where readers can imagine jumping into a new life; stories like Star Wars, Star Trek, or Tolkien’s works. Where there is a believable and self-consistent world that one can escape to; and stories involving the X-Men or other Marvel or DC characters. Where heroes can perform wondrous feats with varied and complex abilities.
YEM: So, if you could go to the “World of…” anywhere, where would it be and why?
Jonathan and Tom: Probably one of the most fun places to visit in LitCraft is Nys. Nys is almost like a combination of Alice in Wonderland, the Holodeck, and an amusement park. I think everyone would vacation there if they could. It makes for some fun scenes in the books as well, of course. Another amazing location is Cent, a spinning sphere in the center of the earth. It is a hub of magical creatures, and one can spend hours creature-watching at the Cent Portal Junction.
YEM: Finally, what do you hope readers take away from reading “Grant Beagan: The Finder’s Code”?
Jonathan and Tom: For us, the Grant Beagan series and LitCraft as a whole are more than just the story itself. The goal of all that we have created is to be uplifting. We want people to enjoy their time when they visit LitCraft. We hope people lose themselves in the story and can’t wait for the next piece to come out. As importantly, though, we created LitCraft to reflect a positive world and society that mirrors goals that we would like to see our own society strive for. It is a society of inclusion and accessibility where many barriers to participation are removed.
The world of the Lit shows a society where responsibility and strength are honored. Where the values of exploration and growth are understood by everyone, and where the personal values of the citizens lead to an environment where everyone has a place in society. For readers looking into this world, we hope it is not only a view into a place of wonder and a story that keeps people on the edge of their seats and wanting more, but also a work that people can reflect on and learn from. We hope they can understand our world better, and help shape all of our lives in positive ways. Those are all ambitious goals, of course, but those are our goals.
To follow along with this week’s Twitter takeover, follow our Twitter account @YoungEntmag and follow the hashtag #YAAUTHORTAKEOVER.