I like taking photos of animals I come across. Mostly bugs. The only problem is that I don’t know their names yet! And since Prince Duncan is busy, I need your help. Tell me in the comments what each of these critters should be named—be specific about which one you’re giving which name—and I will re-caption the photos with my favorite responses.
I and a slew of other great authors will be signing books at the 2021 Maplewood South Orange Book Festival in Maplewood, New Jersey, on Sunday, Sept. 26th, from 11am–4pm. If you’re in the vicinity—or if you’re not, but have a teleportation device that can get you there—stop by and say hi!
Through the writing of my last seven books, I have had the constant presence of a black labrador retriever on the floor of my office, either sitting and panting while watching me type, or laying in his fluffy dog bed by my bookshelf, snoring like a horse. That dog, Duncan, has been a beloved member of my family since soon after I wrote the first Hero’s Guide book (perhaps you’ve noticed his name in the About the Author blurbs of my books). Sadly, Duncan passed away this month, and his absence has left a huge hole in my heart. But my memories of him will never stop bringing me joy or inspiring me creatively.
In case you were wondering, yes, Duncan the dog was named after Prince Duncan from the Hero’s Guide series. When we first got that tiny handful of puppy (who later grew to a whopping 90 pounds), we gave him that name because he was a silly little pooch who would make goofy faces and stumble into walls. But we could never have realized back then how much he and the lovably eccentric prince would actually have in common.
Our sweet dog was incredibly enthusiastic about everything—occasionally a bit too much for his size. He loved meeting new people and visiting new places, though he was socially awkward and would sometimes give people the wrong impression by coming on too strong. But what it says about Prince Duncan in The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom also applied to his canine namesake: “If Duncan were to become your friend, he would bring a lot of positive energy to your day, he’d certainly make you laugh, and he’d prove himself to be perhaps the most loyal pal you would ever have.”
So, here’s to Duncan, whom I’m sure is getting endless belly rubs from every soul and spirit he comes across in the afterlife. Because when he rolls over and offers you that fuzzy tummy of his, he’s just too cute and lovable to pass up.
We will miss you forever, Duncan.
Why, yes! You’re correct! Something IS different! Namely, this website. I’ve switched some things around and gussied the place up a bit in preparation for some exciting news and the upcoming Hero’s Guide 10th Anniversary Celebration next year. There’s not much in the way of new content right now (in fact, you may notice that the “new” posts before this one are really old), but I plan to post some more fun stuff and a few interesting features in the coming months. I hope you’ll return to check it out. Until then, thanks for stopping by! (And if you haven’t read my books yet—you should! They’re awesome!)
THE CRITICS HAVE SPOKEN!
“Whip-smart.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A zany, rollicking series opener. Clever… outlandish… and entertaining.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Plot twists and banter hit at breakneck speeds in this heartfelt yet tongue-in-cheek look at the tumultuous Age of Invention.”—Publishers Weekly
“Readers who enjoy nonstop action will want to give this new series a try.”—School Library Journal
“Christopher Healy knows how to tell a good story.”—Brightly, Must-Read Middle Grade Books of 2018
“A solid choice for adventurous readers.”—Booklist
“Wacky, poignant, and rousing by turns.”—Common Sense Media
“Christopher Healy has written another middle grade masterpiece.”—Flashlight Reader
“Woo hoo! Now that’s what I call an adventure!”—Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
“This is the exact book the world needed!”—Unleashing Readers
It’s 1883—the Age of Invention! A time when great men like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla, and George Eastman work to turn the country into a land of limitless opportunity.
And it all happens at the world famous Inventor’s Guild headquarters in New York City—a place where a great idea, a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck can find you rubbing elbows with these gods of industry who will usher humanity into the future.
Unless, of course, you’re a woman.
Molly Pepper, daughter of brilliant but unknown inventor Cassandra Pepper, lives with her mother in New York. By day, they make ends meet running a pickle shop; but by night, they toil and dream of Cassandra taking her place among the most famous inventors in America.
In an attempt to find a way to exhibit Cass’s work at the World’s Fair, they break into the Inventor’s Guild, where they discover a mysterious plot to destroy New York.
The evidence points to the involvement of one of the world’s most famous inventors, and now it’s up to Molly, Cassandra, and a shop hand named Emmett Lee to uncover the truth—even if no one will ever know it was they who did it.