Thursday, January 23, 2014

THE FOXES OF CAMINUS by Laura Burroughs

by Laura Burroughs


Fraternal twins, Anya and Harlie Fox are plucked from their cozy Atlanta home and deposited on an uncharted island. The teenagers quickly make friends, but their lives get complicated as they discover that some of their acquaintances possess extraordinary talents—and they do as well. They are just getting the hang of their new-found talents when they are threatened by individuals who want to use the island's unique resources to further their own agenda. Rumors, espionage, kidnapping, and murder ensue, and the twins are drawn into one of the oldest conflicts in human history. They must decide for themselves what is true, and the future of the island hangs in the balance.

-What inspired you to become a writer?

I come from a huge extended family with three sets of great grandparents and more great aunts and uncles than I could count as a little kid. I’d sit and listen to them tell stories and play music for hours. I loved the adventure and the cadence of their words. I felt an incredible sense of connection and belonging no matter who I was visiting. I wanted to make other people feel like that; I wanted to fill them with a sense of being part of a mystery that is bigger than themselves. Among my biggest influences are Harper Lee, J.R. R. Tolkien, Pat Conroy, and J.K. Rowling. Those are storytellers!

-What draws you to science fiction?

I stumbled upon Sci-fi. Really, I backed into it. I loved, Star-Trek and Star Wars as a kid, but I gravitated to stories that smacked of family legends, southern authors, and coming-of-age themes with humor. Science fiction seemed laden with too much gravitas for my taste. But I loved science. My dad and I would watch The Wild Kingdom and Nova and other shows on PBS and we’d talk about genetics, electricity, and the cosmos. Then I grew up and started teaching science. The science itself stirred the creative inklings in my mind. I loved playing with the what if’s and if...then’s that emerged with each new discovery and technology. I threw Harlie and Anya into a world I’d like to be thrown into. I enjoy watching them adjust and regain their sense of equilibrium.

-What’s a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book?

The Phoenicians spread new knowledge and skills across the Mediterranean and North Africa as they traded with so many different cultures. Their greatest contributions included, masonry, boat-building, navigation skills, and of course, the alphabet. Unfortunately, they also spread the idea of crucifixion to the Romans.

-Which of your characters would you go out for pizza with?

Oh, that’s a tough one. I’d probably invite Devlin and Anya. I love Devlin’s penchant for mischief, but I’d need Anya’s help to reign him in. She makes Devlin want to be a better person. Also, Anya is easy to underestimate; I love people who surprise me with their insight and courage. Devlin will keep us laughing.

-For aspiring writers, any tips?

Write. Write and write some more. When you hear your rational voice telling you to stop, don’t. When doubt creeps into your mind and says you can’t, write down what it says and burn it in effigy. Just keep writing because that is the only way to get better. Once you’ve written it, get an editor. Then write some more. Oh, after you’re done, then comes the hard part.

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

I’d never write horror. I like to sleep at night, thank you very much. I believe our thoughts have power, so I don’t want to spend my energy creating such horrific worlds. I can find enough that horrifies me in the world we’ve already created.

Wow, thanks for the awesome interview, Laura! 



And add it on Goodreads.

-Former educator creates a science fiction novel teaching teenagers to discover their potential

Few young adult books have been more popular in recent years than the science fiction and fantasy genres. From Harry Potter to The Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games to Divergent, young adults can’t seem to get enough of these make-believe adventures, self-empowerment messages, and thrilling worlds.

Enter The Foxes of Caminus by Laura Burroughs. Not unlike these previously mentioned series, the book is the first installment of a new science fiction series that will completely captivate your teenager. Written by Burroughs, a former educator, the book follows fraternal twins Anya and Harlie Fox as they explore their new lives at Caminus Academy, a secret school for the specially gifted. As they open themselves to the possibilities of their own power, the children discover that they have gifts they never knew they had. And as threats loom for the fate of their school, they need to pull together with the rest of the students to fight for their right to learn. The novel features fantastic lessons about the importance of personalized education, the value in self-discovery, and the power of belief.

“Our world is too vast and complex for education to continue to be one-size fits all,” says Burroughs. “We need to reconstruct education to teach people how to solve problems and to develop the individual talents of every student. People can create limitless possibility, but many of us are often poor judges of what is possible. Our beliefs drive our perceptions, our perceptions drive our actions, and our actions drive our lives. To grow we must be willing to confront our own misconceptions about what we can and cannot do, as they are the most influential factors in realizing our potential.”

Major themes in the book include:
-The power that each of us holds in unlocking our own potential
-Opening yourself up to unthinkable possibilities
-Lessons in the value of tailored education
-Building compassionate and respectful community of peers
-Exciting and eye-opening glances through history and time
-Religious acceptance

“As young adults face challenges and question their abilities to create their own future,” adds Burroughs, “I hope The Foxes of Caminus inspires them to reach higher, dig deeper into their own untapped potential and celebrate the rewards that come from their own efforts.”

Born and raised in East Point, Georgia, Laura Burroughs knew she wanted to be a writer, almost before she knew what writing was. After earning a degree in education from Vanderbilt University, Ms. Burroughs received her Masters and Specialists degrees from Georgia State University and taught science and literature to teenagers in Georgia's public schools for a number of years. With The Foxes of Caminus, the writer's literary talents are on full display. Her second book chronicling the continuing adventures of Harlie and Anya Fox is now underway. Ms. Burroughs lives in the Atlanta area with her husband, daughter and dog.

Visit Laura’s website. Connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter @FoxesofCaminus.

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