Happy Wednesday and welcome to my stop on the The June Boys blog tour!! I am so excited to be a part of this tour, and I’m even more excited for you to discover Courtney’s favorite scenes from her book, which YA characters Thea and Nick would hang out with if they could, and what inspired her to write this story! Plus, follow the rest of the tour and enter to win a print copy of The June Boys!
The June Boys by Courtney C. Stevens
Published by Thomas Nelson on March 3, 2020
Genres: YA, Mystery, Thriller
The Gemini Thief could be anyone. Your father, your mother, your best friend’s crazy uncle. Some country music star’s deranged sister. Anyone.
The Gemini Thief is a serial kidnapper, who takes three boys and holds them captive from June 1st to June 30th of the following year. The June Boys endure thirteen months of being stolen, hidden, observed, and fed before they are released, unharmed, by their masked captor. The Thief is a pro, having eluded authorities for nearly a decade and taken at least twelve boys.
Now Thea Delacroix has reason to believe the Gemini Thief took a thirteenth victim: her cousin, Aulus McClaghen.
But the game changes when one of the kidnapped boys turns up dead. Together with her boyfriend Nick and her best friends, Thea is determined to find the Gemini Thief and the remaining boys before it’s too late. Only she’s beginning to wonder something sinister, something repulsive, something unbelievable, and yet, not impossible:
What if her father is the Gemini Thief?
Do you have a favorite scene, quote, or moment from The June Boys?
Yes. This quote is the central core of The June Boys:
“Long ago, fairy tales taught me that dark people and places in this world exist; every story I consumed said, Expect dragons and trolls; thieves and cheats exist; witches and dark magic are out there; watch out little one, they’ll bring darkness to your doorstep and whatever you do, don’t answer the door when evil knocks.
None of those stories told me there’d come a day when I’d count the lock on my door as a cruel irony. Because here’s the real truth: you can’t keep darkness out if he has a key.
Why don’t parents and storytellers understand that kids are smart and they can handle the truth? It might be a different world if we put children in our laps and whisper, “Honey, sometimes you can’t tell a monster’s a monster until it’s too late, and sometimes you will love a monster, and sometimes you’ll be related to a monster, and if that happens to you, you’re not stupid; you’re human, and love is still a good thing.”
If Thea and Nick were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
If I could give them anything or one, I’d let them spend a day at Hogwarts with Hagrid. Let them see magic and the wildest castle of their imaginations through a pure, loving soul.
What inspired you to write this story?
The June Boys premise began with a boy who believed he must build a castle. I’d visited Bishops Castle and there was a certain audacity and even Noah-ness to the structure that stoked my curiosity. (I loved it.) More than anything, I wondered about the sociological impact of building a castle. Do your neighbors think you’re certifiable? Is faith crazy? If I felt “called” to build a castle, would I follow through? And somewhere in the intersection of my questions I began to see how obsessions could get crazy and crazy could get dangerous and dangerous could get deadly. From there, obsession was a plot point and the ball was rolling. And so naturally serial kidnapping followed.
Here’s a sneak peek inside my plotting notebook:
What was your favorite piece of research you ended up not using?
There was a moment when I asked myself if my main character kid needed to build a castle. And if he wasn’t building a castle, what might he build? Or what if a kid building a castle met another kid building something else? I ended up on a total Redbull Flugtag research bender. (How wonderfully weird.) https://www.everfest.com/e/redbull-flugtag-multi-city
What would you do if you spent the day with Thea and Nick? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
I’m giving them a semi-local (to the book) date. I would have them stop at GAD (Great American Donut) in Bowling Green in the late afternoon and then drive to Cumberland Falls to see the moonbow (a lunar rainbow.) They’d get back to the castle late and lie on the hood of the Civic and watch the stars and think about the sky and what’s next for them. They’d swat at mosquitos and ask each other big questions and then get slap happy and hit the doughnut bag again around 3:00 a.m. Oh, also, they’d kiss.
What are some things that we might not know about Thea and Nick?
Here is a look inside my plotting notebook and how I selected Aulus’s name from a long research rabbit hole.