Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Brieze. I’m fifteen years old, and I’m the apprentice and adopted daughter of wizard Radolphus of Spire. I live on a floating island, which is marvelous. Much better than where I used to live, a tiny little backwater mountain called Footmont. Growing up there was rough.
What is your role in the story?
You know, this really should be my story. I’m the one who risks her neck venturing underground on a diplomatic mission to the Gublins. I’m the one who plays a decisive role at the siege of Selestria. Tak, the main character, and his friend Luff, just sort of tag along. But boys always get all the attention and credit.
What is the challenge you are trying to overcome in the story?
You mean aside from not allowing those two lunkheads Tak and Luff to get themselves killed? Well, our kingdom has this nasty, warmongering admiral named Scud. He’s trying to start a war behind the king’s back with a race of underground creatures called Gublins. I’m sent on a diplomatic mission to prevent this. And I challenge the admiral, going toe-to-toe with him on the command deck of his own battleship. That doesn’t turn out as well as I hoped, though.
What is your favorite hobby?
Hobbies?! I don’t have time for hobbies. When I’m not trying to prevent wars, my wizard father and I are engaged in serious research, which takes most of my time. I do read a lot though. And I like to play chess.
If you had one wish, what would it be?
I wish people would treat me like everyone else. People are either in awe of me or afraid of me, and that gets old after a while. That’s why I like Tak. He was rude and obnoxious the first time we met. (To be fair, I did start off our relationship by shooting an arrow at him.) After that, we were drawn together into so many adventures so fast that we got to know each other quickly, and we became genuine friends. But I do not—repeat DO NOT—like him like a boyfriend. I don’t have time for that silliness.
Title: The Sailweaver’s Son
Author: Jeff Minerd
Genre: MG/YA Fantasy
The Sailweaver’s Son combines traditional fantasy with a dash of steampunk and takes young readers to a unique world—Etherium. A world where mountains rise like islands above a sea of clouds and adventurers travel the sky in sail-driven airships.
When fifteen year-old Tak rescues the survivor of an airship destroyed by one of the giant flammable gas bubbles mysteriously appearing in the sky of Etherium, the authorities react like a flock of startled grekks.
Admiral Scud accuses Tak of sabotage and treason. Tak’s father grounds him for reckless airmanship. Rumors spread that the bubbles are weapons devised by the Gublins, a race of loathsome but ingenious underground creatures. The King’s advisors call for war, hoping to win much-needed Gublin coal.
To clear his name, solve the mystery, and prevent a misguided war, Tak must do what anyone knows is suicide—visit the Gublins and find out what they’re up to. When the wizard’s adopted daughter, an oddly beautiful and irksomely intelligent girl from the Eastern kingdoms, asks Tak to help her do just that, he can’t say no.
The adventure will take Tak from the deepest underground caves to a desperate battle on Etherium’s highest mountaintop. It will force him to face his worst fears, and to grow up faster than he expected.
Jeff Minerd thought he stopped writing fiction a long time ago until the story for The Sailweaver’s Son came to him not in a dream but after a dream. He is grateful for that, and for the opportunity to explore the world of Etherium and entertain others with what he finds there.
Jeff has a son, Noah, who is also a writer and avid reader. Jeff hopes to one day place in the top ten—or maybe even top five—of Noah’s favorite authors. But the competition is pretty stiff.
In a previous lifetime, Jeff published short fiction in literary journals including The North American Review. One of his stories won the F. Scott Fitzgerald competition, judged by former NPR book reviewer Alan Cheuse.
More recently, Jeff has worked as a science and medical writer for publications and organizations including the National Institutes of Health, MedPage Today, The Futurist magazine, and the Scientist magazine.
Jeff lives in Rochester, NY.