WNDMG – Interview with Debut Author Patchree Jones

Welcome, Patchree!

It is my extreme pleasure to welcome Patchree Jones to the blog today.  Her debut book comes out later this year, and it’s the sort of story I adore. This is a fantasy that features best friends and a Thai-inspired world.

Take Home Messages

What messages do you hope young readers will take away from your story?

In SKYLIGHT, we follow Sofia through her journey as she deals with issues of self-love, self discovery, and struggles to share her true thoughts and feelings. This story is meant for every kid who feels like they don’t fit in.  I want readers to know that it’s okay to not blindly follow the plan others have for you because you are entitled to have an opinion in your life, even as a kid.

Thai Inspiration

Can you tell me about the Thai folklore that inspire this book?
One of the many traditional Buddhist temples in Thailand
There isn’t one particular folklore that served as the main inspiration. Rather, it’s an homage to my Thai upbringing and culture. I pulled ideas from different elements of mythology and infused my own interpretations. For instance, the Mehk people of the story are loosely based on the kinaree,
a half-human/half-bird creature. However, I’ve recrafted this mythological creature into one which has roots with the kinaree but does not exist in Thai folklore.


Phra Aphai Mani - Wikipedia

Since I was born and raised in the US, I didn’t have many “home-grown” stories of Thai folklore, besides a few scary ghost stories. I delved into classical Thai literature and mythology as an adult, and I was inspired by PHRA APHAI MANI, an epic poem composed by Thai poet Sunthorn Phu. This poem is similar to the Ramayana fused with elements of the Odyssey, so it was a great resource for Thai folklore.

Learning About Different Cultures

How do you balance introducing readers to unfamiliar cultural aspects of your story while keeping the story engaging?
different culture to kids
I used Sofia, my main character, to introduce readers to unfamiliar cultural aspects. Without spoiling too much, Sofia learns about the Mehk people and the kingdom of Tropos right alongside the reader. Everything in this world, including all of the cultural norms, are new to her because she was raised outside of these traditions. She learns throughout the story as she learns aobut herself.

Advice for Aspiring Authors

What advice would you give to aspiring authors of middle grade fantasy?
The Best Middle Grade Fantasy Books - The Bookish Mom
Just keep writing. Read a lot of middle grade books beyond just fantasy and take copious notes. As you write, don’t delete anything and don’t expect your first draft to be perfect. Finally, write the story of your heart or at least the story you want to read. There’s really no wrong way to write as long as you continue to put words down on the page.

Dogs and Anime!
Beastars - Plugged In

Can you tell me about your dog?
I love anime, and one of my favorite shows is Beastars. The main character in that show is a wolf so I named my dog Legoshi because he’s part German shepherd, part timber wolf!
He’s a pandemic pup and turns four this year. Legoshi is bigger than most German shepherds, but is the biggest scaredy cat. He hates golf carts, garbage trucks, and the vacuum cleaner, but he loves cheese and candy. He’s a professional napper and is the perfect blanket whenever he naps next to you.

Best Thing about Being an Author of Fantasy for Middle Graders!

What’s the best thing about being an author of fantasy books for middle grade children?
The best thing about writing middle grade fantasy is that I can watch any cartoon or kids show I want and claim that it’s research! But seriously, I think the best thing about being a middle grade fantasy author is the freedom that comes from writing for kids. I get to lean into my silly side, invent
wild storylines, and deal with serious topics in a digestible manner. Moreover, writing middle grade makes me feel closer to my kids and helps us learn from each other as I draft new stories.
K.D. Garcia on FacebookK.D. Garcia on InstagramK.D. Garcia on Twitter
K.D. Garcia
A veterinarian and an author, K.D. is passionate about animals and story-telling. As far as story is concerned, she particularly loves stories that include ghosts, vampires, and anything that goes bump in the night. When not pounding out stories, she spends her time with her usually wonderful children, mostly well-behaved dogs, and her absolutely devious cats. She’s grateful for a very tolerant husband.
  1. What a wonderful interview and congratulations to Patchree Jones on the upcoming release of her debut.