Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Impenetrable Spy - Spencer Brokaw - Interview and Review

The Impenetrable Spy – Spencer Brokaw
Source:  Purchased
Publisher:  CreateSpace Kindle Editon
Genre:  Adult  Spy Thriller

WARNING:  This book and author will knock your socks off!
DO NOT Pre-judge this book because of the author's age.
Enter this review with an open mind and without hesitation!

*Something interesting.  Spencer started this book when he was 10 years old, finished it when he was 11 and finally published it this year at age 12.  Can't wait to see what he does at age 13!
Interview With Spencer

Spencer, you state you are 12- years old.  What grade will you be going into this year?

From Goodreads

Zack Carter was an ordinary person until meeting up with the CIA. Zack creates a time machine that can transport him back in time when his heart rate stops. Zack is nearly "Impenetrable" and can not be beaten. Wang Bo, a rich leader of China discovers a small statue that can make peoples worst fears come alive. He is also the leader of a mass terrorist group dubbed the Bad Hounds. Zack's main priority is to save the United States from World War 3. He travels through several missions through huge mansions, a war torn D.C, an insane asylum, and New York City.

My Thoughts
I bought a copy of Spencer's book after reading his introduction on the Goodreads author's page.  I was intrigued by his age.  When I'd read he had written  an adult spy thriller with a time machine thrown in I was really interested.  Let me start off by saying I plan on holding his book up for my students as an example of what they can do if they want something bad enough. 

I am always honest in my reviews and so I will do nothing different because of Spencers age.

I enjoyed his book very much.  It has a maturity that goes beyond many writers who are already adults.  The plot was believable.  I had issue with only  one  thing. I was reading a part of the story to my husband and  the characters  names were used repeatedly line after line.  This is not all the way through.   Now that is all of the negative you will hear and I honestly believe that this problem is one that often affects a first time writer and a due little bit to the  age factor.  I'm sure we will see the level of writing improving with each new book.  I have to believe it works that way for all first time writers including myself.

Now to the more positive side.  Zach's command of language is awesome.  He uses vocabulary that I would love to see more of my students use.  He is great at plotting out his story.  The story was well thought out and flowed quite well.  He brought everything to a smooth conclusion. He created an ending that felt finished, but left the door open for the next book in the series.  I follow his blog "Writing Tips from a Twelve Year Old.  I was quite shocked to learn he writes the blog from his own perspective of writing.  His explanations are so well thought out that I will be putting a link to his blog on my school website for parents and students to access.  Students often learn better and are more willing to learn from someone their own age.  He is a well rounded person when it comes to reading and writing.  I enjoy discussing books with him.  In that capacity the middle school teacher and blogger comes out in me and I find myself wanting to recommend all types of books to him.  You really need to go to his blog to find out more about this author.  His second book will be coming out in the near future.  I look forward to reading it.  Look out world, we will be seeing more of this young author.  I just hope he inspires others as much as he has inspired me. 

You can find his book on Amazon,  and Smashwords

I will be going into 7th grade this year.

Zack, the main character of your book is an adult.  How difficult was it to write from an adult perspective when you are only 12-years old?
Actually, it was not that hard. Zack has a lot of my personality, but I read a few espionage action books while writing it. They were like mentors; they helped me improve on my writing by a ton. It is not hard for me to write in an adult perspective because most of the books I read involve adults as main characters.

You said your father was your inspiration.  Does he write?
No but he is great at finding errors and giving me suggestions. He has always been there for me. He was the one that suggested I start writing at age 6. I wrote 21 notebook pages of action and things I thought were funny. Writing never got serious until The Impenetrable Spy. If my dad wouldn’t have suggested I write, I wouldn’t be writing today.

If you had your own time travel machine where would you travel and why?
I would travel to places to research for future books. I have always wanted to go to Venice at about 1800 to learn about the city, food etc. I was thinking about writing a historical fiction book and I love Italy. I think that it would be amazing to see how much technology has changed. The architecture of the area at that time was amazing too. I have always loved architecture so I think 1800 Italy would be a good place and time to visit.

You said you love spy thrillers.  Do you think you will ever write any other genre?
I think I will write historical fiction and a YA action adventure book next. I have also created over 30 comic book characters over the past few years. Maybe I’ll write a superhero novel.

I am a teacher and love the idea that you already have your first book published.  What words of advice would you give to my students about writing?  Would it be a different message for those who don’t think they like to write?
You should give writing a chance. It is one of the most fun things you can do. You have complete control over everything that happens and it is a good way to express your thoughts. Write about what you like to read. Normally writing what genre you like to read will make your writing better. At school you can’t choose, but it is good to try other things and get good at them.
It would not be a different message for those who like to write. Writing will also help them cope with hard times.

I’ve been following your blog for a while.  Your tips for writers are so mature.  Where do you get most of your information for your tips?  Do you have an adult writer you work with?
The information for my tips come from me. I am simply explaining what I have found to be helpful from past experiences. I do not have an adult writer that I work with either. My dad helps me, but he isn’t a writer. Everything you read comes from me.

If you were stranded on an island and could only bring three things with you what would they be?
My favorite book, and a pen and some paper. I would mark down what happened each day. If I were ever to get rescued I would have a book ready to type up.

Who is your favorite author and why?
I think J.K. Rowling has to be my favorite author. Harry Potter has been an addiction since 2nd or 3rd grade. I picked up Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire and brought it to the librarian. She looked at me as if I were joking. She flipped to a random page and told me to read. She seemed surprised that I was able to understand it as she handed me the book. Ever since I have been up to date on all Harry Potter news, including the movies. I have read the entire series and the newest book 3 times.

Are you an eclectic reader or do you prefer certain genres?
My favorite series are all under different genres. Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Lightning Thief, Daniel X, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid are all quite different. I read about any book that I find entertaining. I am a picky reader so sometimes it takes a while to find a good book

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