What if you discovered that the legendary stories from destinations such as Hogwarts, Middle Earth, Narnia and Oz had all been shared with the world to set the stage for an even greater saga?
What if after hundreds of years and endless myths, you rode the Train of Thought from "A" all the way to "Z" and found a Capital City to this realm of fantasy?
"Everything Zing" is your invitation to the Imagine Nation’s ultimate destination – and story!
As the new millennium begins, Zing’s royal family has every reason to be concerned. Their kingdom is under attack, and all their nemesis needs is the small but powerful key a new visitor to Zing has mysteriously inherited. The society of eternal children, known as "Puresands," will use every ounce of magic to protect their kingdom, but the fate of the Imagine Nation now rests in a very dangerous place – a grown up’s hands.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born and raised in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula, the city of Sault Ste. Marie. I now reside in Missouri (primarily because the majority of my family moved there), but I’m determined to get a lake house up north some day soon.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
As a young teenager I started writing a journal – 25+ years ago – which definitely helped to develop my writer’s “voice.” The majority of my professional career has also been as an editor. However, the moment I truly believed I was a writer was when I wrote a piece for my grandfather’s funeral in April, 2001 (a year a half before I started writing Everything Zing.) The words and message felt so beyond my own means that I knew something greater was at work, and I’ve always believed that was the quality of good writing.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
What if you discovered that the legendary stories from destinations such as Hogwarts, Middle Earth, Narnia and Oz had all been shared with the world to set the stage for an even greater saga? What if after hundreds of years and endless myths, you rode the Train of Thought from “A” all the way to “Z” and found a Capital City to this realm of fantasy? Everything Zing is your invitation to the Imagine Nation’s ultimate destination – and saga.
I love reading the warnings on the blurbs for many books. If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say?
Beware: Time spent in the Imagine Nation’s Capital City of Zing might change your view of Reality forever.
Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
All of my characters are originals, with minor quirks, idiosyncrasies, and names borrowed from people I’ve known.
How did you come up with the title?
The “Zing” part came first and was relatively easy. I needed to find a word that started with “Z” as the Train of Thought had to travel all the way to the end of the alphabet. Then my mind started chugging through all the potential rhymes. I still remember the joy (and relief) when “Everything Zing” came to me.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Everything Zing is a four-part series, all of which are written, the first subtitled Winter now in publication… and the others (Spring, Summer and Fall) won’t be far behind.
How did you come up with the cover design?
< font size="4">The first round of graphics from my publisher’s creative department was frankly horrendous, and I hope nobody ever sees them. I remember screaming and crying, one right after the other. However, these initial concepts forced me to take the matter into my own hands. Rather than the initial vague suggestions (which resulted in disaster) I replied with precisely what I envisioned – the graphic, the colors, the font, everything… and the result was perfection.
Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
I’ve become a fan of all versions, enjoying each depending on the situation. There’s nothing like the traditional hardcover, so I made it a point to have that offering (and personally autographed) of my first book as a “collector’s item” for family and friends.
Are you a self published (Indie) Author or big trad published?
I am currently published by Tate Publishing.
How do you market/promote your books?
My creative team kicked off publication with “29 Read Zing-ers” on our Facebook Fan Page. We recently completed “Favorite Zing Things” and will soon launch “Christmas in July – 31 Gifts from Grant” all on the Facebook Fan Page. It’s been wonderfully rewarding interacting with readers, giving them a way to promote Zing by liking and posting on their walls.
What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
My favourite chapter in the entire series is entitled “The Shadow of Tango” (from Book 3: Summer). It’s the culmination of several intriguing elements in an absolutely fantastic setting.
What are your pet peeves?
“Pet Peeves” is actually a chapter title in Book 2 (Spring), but it’s not a list of the author’s grievances… those are woven in much more subtly throughout the storyline.
Coffee or tea?
Flavored coffee with excess milk / sweetener.
I eat very well (healthy) most of the time, so a real treat is any variety of junk food – burgers, fries, chips, candy, and the list goes on.
Laptop or desktop for writing?
Laptop in bed – I like my legs stretched out.
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
Mornings are much better for me. Someplace quiet with minimal distractions.
One of your favourite quotes.
In Book 3 (Summer) a character named Damita says, “Rules are made for the common good – which is fine – for the common.”
List 3 of your all time favourite movies?
Fight Club, Napoleon Dynamite and Grey Gardens
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
Modern Family is one of my all-time favourite sitcoms, even more so as I recently had the chance to meet its Casting Director, Emmy-Winner Jeff Greenberg. I’m character-driven so loved hearing the behind-the-scenes details. Jeff is now reading Everything Zing, so I can’t wait to see who he envisions as each character.
Like most of his generation, Grant Stone blames his parents. In this case, that’s a very good thing. His father was an English teacher, and his mother taught 2nd grade, so his profession as an author shouldn’t come as a surprise… even though it’s taken almost four decades to realize.
More importantly, his parents took their three sons (Grant being the oldest) on endless summer vacations. Camping all across America as a kid… is it any wonder he caught an unquenchable case of wanderlust?
Grant graduated with a triple Business degree (Accounting, Marketing & Management), but his career has always focused on writing and exploration. For over a decade, he’s worked as the Editor on Crystal Cruises’ luxury vessels, traveling to hundreds of destinations in over 145 countries.
At the mention of Zing, Grant will probably grow an irrepressible grin. At this point, he’s the only one who truly knows everything Zing because he’s written Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall. He’s keeping the secrets, but he can’t wait to share the entire series.