Monday, August 20, 2012

American Chronicle | Meet Author Sands Hetherington of the Night Buddies children's book series

Sands Hetherington majored in history at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and has an M.F.A. in creative writing and an M.A. in English from UNC-Greensboro. When I asked him to share a bit more about himself, his response was, "I'm an old man living by a lake on the edge of town with two Saint Bernards, Dudley and Maggie. I go to a gym on weekday afternoons and the grocery store on Saturdays."

However, don´t let Sands´ response fool you. He has a sense of humor, which is laced throughout his debut children´s chapter book series Night Buddies. The series is a straight-out fantasy, lights-out adventure that will delight young readers and middle graders who relish roller coaster fun, filled with unforgettable characters and an astonishing and inventive collection of magical whatchamacallits. Having said that, Sands shared, "I did have New York City in the back of my mind when I set them (the books) in the Borough." Of course, anyone who lives in or has visited New York knows it is the perfect place to have fantasy and adventure pouring from the pages of a book.

Sands Hetherington found himself bitten by the writing bug in tenth grade. He said, "I handed in some sappy poetical piece and the very cute student teacher gushed over it. Her name was Ellen and she was spoken for, but that did it right there." From there he wrote a number of short stories, some were published in various periodicals but others weren't commercially successful. Sometime around his thirties, Sands quit. He shared, "I stopped writing for a number of years."

He credits his son John for being his principal motivator to pick up the writing pen again. Sands raised his son as a single parent from the time his son was six. He read to him every night and during those formative years, his young son John developed the Crosley crocodile character in the Night Buddies series.

"Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare (the first book in the series) is the result of a bedtime collaboration my son John and I had many years ago. One night when John was six and I was done reading, John wanted more or I may have suggested he invent a lights-out companion to go off to sleep with. In any case, the next thing I knew, there was Crosley the crocodile, complete with goofy name and bright-red color. I was duly charmed," shared Sands.

Read the full Spotlight at
American Chronicle | Meet Author Sands Hetherington of the Night Buddies children's book series

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